Monday 31 May 2021

SÅND by ånd fragrance

The world of fragrance is really starting to focus on commitments to sustainability, eco consciousness, and plastic reduction. Well, to be honest, the majority of companies are just hopping onto the bandwagon with the minimum input so that they can use the “buzz words” in their marketing. Sustainability does not just mean recycled glass, and eco consciousness goes far beyond merely removing cellophane from your perfume box. However, one company that has absolutely committed to these pledges is ånd fragrance, and their Sånd perfume shows that environmental concerns and incredible fragrances can definitely go hand in hand.

When Simon Constantine launched ånd fragrance back in September 2020 it came from a firmly held belief that consumers had in their control the very real opportunity to make positive change. His background as perfumer at LUSH and Gorilla Perfumes had already shown that elaborate bottles and highly engineered packaging wasn’t needed, and also that customers were very conscious about the impact that their purchases had on the environment. This wasn’t just in the way that the empty bottle or jar was disposed of, it was also understanding how ingredients were sourced, processed, and paid for.

Simon had always looked at ways of pushing the boundaries of perfume, but ånd fragrance saw a real coming together of his artistic and environmental passions. He described it to me as “an ecological and societal regeneration in the middle of fine fragrance.” The way he has done this is by working directly with the ingredient producers and offering them a fair price for their product. “The more you look at these communities the more you realise that they are ecologically literate rather than mystical. Which means the more that you can listen to that, and be in service to it, the better.”

Each of his five fragrances showcases a central indigenously-sourced ingredient, or suite of ingredients. Frånk features Marda Moge frankincense, Beån celebrates Kayapo tonka, Måd focuses on Madagascan vanilla, and Båre showcases wood oils from The Great Bear Rainforest. The bottles and boxes are recyclable, the labels and glue are biodegradable, and UK manufacture helps to keep the carbon footprint small. So you see, Simon is very committed to making a real change. The fifth fragrance in the range is Sånd, and the Dutjahn sandalwood from Western Australia takes this well-known ingredient to a whole new level.

The fragrance opens with an arresting blend of black pepper, bergamot, and a touch of banana before being quickly joined by violet and honey nuances, which I think come from the mimosa. A note of cardamom then pushes through, adding some heat alongside a sharp clove, before the first hints of the wonderfully smooth sandalwood start to appear. It’s then joined by a measured dose of earthy vetiver, seemingly attaching itself to the black pepper, before you’re treated to a controlled resinous aroma reminiscent of liquorice and labdanum. The final main appearance of sweetened sandalwood completes the amazing use of the ingredient, and shows that Simon Constantine really can “connect people to the natural world.”

Sånd is available from the ånd fragrance website at priced at £35 for 10ml, £125 for 50ml, or as a solid 5g perfume for £35. You can also click on the image below to read my "Stephan's Six" interview with Simon Constatine. [Sample provided by Sue Busto]

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