An Artisan Craft Perfumery
The Olfactive Interview
- Can you speak about the team that creates the brand and your roles?
I have been making natural products for over 30 years. I first started with a friend and his father making soap in a garage in West Los Angeles. The team has changed a lot over the years. Sarabecca grew out of a revelation working with natural fragrance at Earth Science Naturals. Creating a great natural perfume hadn’t been possible before, because of the limitations of pure essential oils. As interest in natural fragrances grew, advancements made creation of natural fragrance essences possible. Because of this, it was finally possible to create better fragrances. My wife and I were interested in working with fragrance suppliers to create a fine natural fragrance and Sarabecca was the result of that quest. While I am not the nose, I am the conductor of the brand. I own and run a larger beauty and personal care products business, Earth Science Naturals. Sarabecca is an entrepreneurial project that is almost exclusively myself, but as the brand grows, the team and staff will evolve. For now, I am very hands-on in the brand, from creating the fragrance, to packaging creation, to even filling bottles.
- Are there any scent memories from growing up that you all are still drawn to?
I have always been drawn to fragrance. I remember being young and going into my mom’s bathroom and mixing-up my mom’s perfumes. That was my first dabbling in perfumery. Smell has just always been a powerful part of my sensory life. I remember fragrances as well as a
picture or sequence of events. Working with fragrance, my sense of smell has gotten keener and keener. I have to remember that I can smell things that others can’t, even emotions such as fear. I can smell emotions on people.
- How did your career or journey into the fragrance world begin?
Fragrance was a large part of my first company, Alba Botanica. Part of what made that brand was the fragrance. I started out making soaps, then gravitated to skincare and fragrance because it is more artistic. My interests have always drawn me to fragrance because it’s
creative, and I am naturally inclined towards things that are imaginative.
- What are the changes that you have seen in the fragrance industry over the past years?
The biggest change is the sector that I am a part of and the shift towards natural, and I hope to be a key part of the movement of making really great fragrances. The ability to make quality and diverse fragrance wasn’t possible before and I now have a chance for that.
- Can you talk about the brand, how it began and its themes?
The brand started by smelling fragrance blends for a skincare product. The fragrance was reminiscent of a perfume. The idea of creating a natural perfume brand began to resonate. I became more and more intrigued and began to sketch ideas. My sketches were mainly of trees
and flowers. The more I thought about the brand, I realized that running a larger company gave me less of an ability to be involved. As an artist and former carpenter, I wanted the project to be my artisan craft, personal and intimate. This idea deeply resonated with me. I thought about it, and the things that came to mind were my daughters, Sara and Becca, the brand’s namesakes. The art on the original perfume package was from a painting in my house and, to me, that just seemed right. The brand is a reflection of the things that really exist in my life. I want the brand to be true, real and embedded with the creativity and life of the people involved.
- Can you speak more about the process of creating a scent?
I work with a very fine perfumer. The process starts with expressing an idea, then letting the artist create freely. Enabling artists to create their work is a key part of the process.
- What do you think makes fragrance such a large part of people’s life?
Fragrance is one of our animal senses, conjuring memories, moments and emotions. It helps us to find food, mates and as such, plays a really important part in our primal experience and works directly in our pleasure receptors.
- Do you have any new projects that you are planning for the future?
Sarabecca is a creative enterprise and, therefore, we’ll always be creating and developing new fragrances. Because of my skincare experience, we’ll undoubtedly add body care to the line. My goal for Sarabecca is for it to be eternally fun and inspiring.
- Lastly, is there anything else that you would like to share?
I am glad that natural is starting to make its way into the fragrance world. I really appreciate the work that other perfumers are doing in natural and hope that together we can make natural perfume a very robust part of the fragrance world.
- Where can we find your scents?