Monday, 21 September 2020

BÅRE by ånd

An aspect of daily life that recent months has highlighted is one of community. Neighbourly support mechanisms were suddenly brought back into service, and many wondered why we had allowed them to disappear in the first place. When it comes to business, this idea of support is called Corporate Social Responsibility, but often amounts to nothing more than bucket rattling. One company that's shaking up the perfume industry’s perception of “giving back” is ånd. Under the direction of Simon Constantine, it’s time to discover how fragrance can offer independence and also bask in the beauty of Båre.

When we donate to charity we trust that it will make a difference, but we actually have little idea who we’re directly helping. Whether you’re buying a charity candle or dropping a coin into a collecting tin, where is that money going? When Simon Constantine founded ånd it was out of a desire to directly give back to communities around the world. He decided that it was time for the perfume industry to stand up and be counted, and that is what he’s achieved with his debut collection of five fragrances. Each focuses on a hero ingredient and you’re actually supporting communities on a very human level.

Simon Constantine
didn’t sit in an office surrounded by reports, he visited each of the communities that feature in the collection and sourced key oils directly from them. He told me, “The idea is to champion an ingredient, or a suite of ingredients, that comes from a particular indigenous community group or ecosystem. The aim is to achieve a direct connection, emotional and financial, between the wearer and the producer.” Sånd features Dutjahn sandalwood, Frånk offers Marda Moge frankincense, Beån showcases Kayapo tonka, and Måd focuses on Madagascar’s vanilla. However, for me, Båre resonates on so many levels.

Båre takes its inspiration from The Great Bear Rainforest® in Canada. As Simon explained, “The First Nation people have literally branded that ecosystem, basically like a trademark, so that they had an identity that could be used to protect it.” Båre contains three ingredients from the forest - Douglas Fir, Shore Pine, and Western Red Cedar - but it’s only branches and needles that are used to create the oils, so the trees are unharmed. The idea that our current way of life has been stripped bare, almost ready to evolve into something new, seems to perfectly fit with the idea of the forest’s unspoiled expansiveness.

The fragrance opens with sharp notes of green galbanum and bergamot, which instantly give the impression of hot vegetation, before being joined by touches of an almost metallic neroli. These convey that desired feeling of expansiveness, and the hero ingredients that follow really do push that home. Simon has expertly blended Douglas Fir, Shore Pine, and Western Red Cedar into an exquisite trio of wooded aromas that continually cycle between campherous, dry, and resinous. I swear that I can smell a whisper of jasmine in here as well, which adds a floral quality, but the closing pairing of earthy oakmoss alongside a subtle dose of vanilla put you squarely under a forest canopy. I don't know whether you would describe Båre as a raw green aromatic, perhaps you could even push it into the chypre category, but I do know that Simon Constantine has created a little piece of magic. He'd previously said to me, “I hope that the perfumes can speak for themselves, so I don't need to worry about what I'm saying.” Well, I can confirm that that their voices are coming through loud and clear, and the world is listening.

All five fragrances are available from the ånd website at andfragrance.com priced at £35 for 10ml, or there's a discovery set priced at £25. You can also click on the image below to read my "Stephan's Six" interview with Simon Constatine[Sample provided by Sue Busto]

2 comments:

  1. I accidentally seem to have gone to the website and bought them all, because I love what's happening here.

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    1. Hello Sarah, you won't be disappointed. Best, Stephan

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