Exclusive Interview with Hope Freeman, Co-founder of Nateeva
Photo: David Lewis Taylor
Imagine if every day was a moment in paradise: Sun-drenched mornings, balmy breezes, the essence of native flowers enveloping you no matter how far from your favorite exotic destination you might be.
Thanks to Nateeva, now there’s a fragrance collection ready to transport you back to the golden warmth of stress-free days, inviting you to recall lush exotic journeys that linger in your memory or beckon like a soon-to-be-discovered destination. As you experience the luxurious leisure and tropical notes of each fragrance, you’re brought to a place where day jobs take a back seat and time doesn’t seem to matter.
Hope Freeman smelling the Wanglo flower in Aruba
1) Your work with Nateeva is inspired by visits to exotic destinations and infused with an island feel. As you’ve traveled, how does each location, from St. Martin to Jamaica to the Dominican Republic, affect the spirit of the fragrances in a unique way?
Traveling just about anywhere in the Caribbean is bound to put you in a cheerful mood, and each of our fragrances captures the fun and friendly atmosphere of the region. While every Nateeva fragrance draws its inspiration from one of the native flowers of the islands, the unique charm, nature and character of each destination plays a pivotal role in the fragrance development.
For instance, a festive nightlife and mix of colorful cultures creates the perfect landscape for our radiant St. Martin fragrance, which is inspired by the exuberant Hibiscus flower and lures its watery top note from the abundant beaches that surround the island.
The woody warmth of our fragrance for Jamaica, dubbed the “Land of Wood and Water” by the island’s indigenous people, is inspired by the Lignum Vitae flower, which blossoms from small, slow growing trees.
St. Thomas is abundant with beautiful cliffs dotted with lavish wild flowers like the Frangipani, the inspiration behind that island’s Nateeva fragrance. It’s impossible to visit this corner of the Caribbean without being seduced by the sweeping aroma of plumeria.
Coral reefs and crystal-clear waters provide the perfect backdrop for our radiant Bahamas fragrance, which is inspired by the island’s native Yellow Elder flower and is sun-kissed with orange flower, neroli absolute and linden blossoms.
Rose is the universal symbol of love, and the Bayahibe Rose is the inspiration behind our Dominican Republic fragrance, one of the Caribbean’s most romantic islands.
And the warm and friendly faces of the tiny Dutch province of Aruba, nicknamed “One Happy Island,” team with the incomparable radiance of the Wanglo flower to inspire a fragrance infused with neroli, bergamot, Persian lime and cedar wood.
2) In your role as a creative artist in perfumery, how do you think tropical locations affect the notes in the perfumes you visualize? What makes them different from say, “green” scents or spicy ones?
When you conjure up dreams of exotic destinations, your mind immediately drifts toward intoxicating scents, fiery sunsets and tantalizing flavors. Nateeva fragrances derive their inspiration from many appointments – including tropical florals and fruits, coconuts, salty beaches, suntan lotion, island spices and watery notes. These inspirations invariably allow people to feel enchanted, peaceful and in a “vacation mode” no matter where they are at any point in time.
3) Can you tell us in layman’s terms how tropical textures in perfume help to create an “exotic olfactory fantasy vacation?”
Fragrances are all about texture. When you’re wearing a Nateeva fragrance we want you to be able to visualize being on an island…in a field of the flowers that inspired the fragrance…with a sun-drenched beach in the background. It’s important to us that our fans “feel” each of the fragrances as they wear them — not just in olfactory sense but to be transported to another dimension in their hearts and in their minds.
4) We’re excited about the Nateeva Fund. Tell us more about it.
The mission of the Nateeva Fund is to aid the conscientious efforts of hardworking animal shelters, humane societies and private citizens throughout the regions we serve with our products. It combines two causes near and dear to our hearts — a deep affection and caring for animals, and loyalty to the exotic destinations we enjoy visiting. By giving back, we’re able to provide resources and support for those dealing with the plight of strays roaming and often suffering on the streets, as well as other animal welfare concerns.
5) What’s next for Nateeva?
Right now we have fragrances for six islands – Aruba, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Martin and St. Thomas – and body lotions for Bahamas, Jamaica and St. Martin. Soon we’ll have lotions for our other fragrances as well, and we plan to launch fragrances for six additional exotic destinations in 2019. Next up – Cuba!