Table of Contents
- 1 Raw Spirit’s clean, cruelty-free, unisex scents were inspired by global adventures and unique expeditions
- 2 An Exclusive Interview with Joyce Lanigan, Founder of Raw Spirit
Raw Spirit’s clean, cruelty-free, unisex scents were inspired by global adventures and unique expeditions
The niche perfumery brand makes incredible fragrances inspired by some of the oldest and most marginalized cultures in the world. Their focus is not on just being artists and perfumers, but also to support the communities which have inspired their creations.
Raw Spirit partners with charity organizations that directly aid communities in Australia, Haiti, Bali, and North America. Their luxury perfumes are built around a distinctive, rare raw ingredient that is representative of the communities they collaborate with, such as premium Haitian vetiver and Australian sandalwood. It’s important to highlight that the brand sources all of the natural ingredients in a sustainable manner, thus offering economical support to the world’s most marginalized communities all the while respectfully sharing their tales, values, and culture.
Scentbird is proud to share Raw Spirit’s vision. We are featuring three perfumes that we feel exemplify the artistry of Raw Spirit and the international diversity of the people they work with. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
The Citadelle Laferrière is a fortress in the mountains of northern Haiti and a symbol of strength and perseverance for the Haitian people. Raw Spirit’s Citadelle is a clean, refreshing vetiver fragrance with a spicy, bold twist– an aromatic blend of premium Haitian vetiver, marigold, pear, bergamot, lemon, cinnamon, nutmeg, amberwood, musk, and cedarwood that feels and smells absolutely invigorating on both men and women.
Raw Spirit’s Bijou Vert, which translates as the Green Jewel in French is a tribute to Haiti, also known as the “Jewel of the Antilles”.
Right from the start, we can sense that the initial blast of grapefruit and mandarin is uplifting, followed by a heatwave of pepper, cedarwood, and premium sourced vetiver, adding plenty of warmth and sensuality to the finish.
A fresh, earthy creation with a spicy backdrop, Bijou Vert is a brilliantly versatile number.
“Inspired by walking the oak-lined trails of the Chumash Lands of California on cool winter mornings, when crushed oak leaves and twigs release their rich scent”, reads the brand’s note, and we can smell that sense is successfully channeled by blending smooth, creamy notes of aged American oak along with layers of suede, saffron, premium Haitian vetiver, and musk.
An Exclusive Interview with Joyce Lanigan, Founder of Raw Spirit
In order to convey all the passion behind the Raw Spirit’s story, we are bringing you an exclusive interview with Joyce Lanigan of Raw Spirit Fragrances on how sustainable business practices can open up wondrous new worlds for ethical perfume consumers to explore.
- Raw Spirit has made direct collaboration with some of the oldest communities on Earth a major part of your mission. What are some of the greatest lessons or experiences you’ve had working this way?
There have been SO many amazing experiences, I could write a book! If I was to narrow it down, I’d say that both the most amazing experience and the greatest learning have come from understanding how most indigenous people view the world. They don’t believe in the ownership of land—they believe in custodianship. We are nothing more than caretakers for the planet for future generations. They also take a very long-term view of the world so it can sometimes be a challenge to try and fit that approach into a commercial business, but what we’ve found is if everyone can do what they are good at, and we are respectful of that, then it all works out.
- How does the idea of “perfume triggering memory” effect working with some of the world’s oldest communities?
The indigenous people that we partner with have all introduced me to the importance of scent as part of rituals. In fact, it was from experiencing scents used for rituals that inspired Raw Spirit. To give you some examples – Fire tree being burnt in Western Australia for the Nyoogar people’s Welcome to Country ceremony, or Sage being used by Native American’s to clear the air of unwelcome energy. These experiences made me realize that my own life had been peppered with scents associated with ritual. I could be immediately be transported time or place when I smelled them again. You can time travel with fragrance!
- What are the biggest challenges in establishing a strong connection between sustainability and commercial success? What advice would you give other entrepreneurs in pursuing a similar path?
I strongly believe that commercial success and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I believe that it will become the norm and that consumers will demand it! It is not an easy path and we are still not where I’d like to be – we are a work in progress. The advice that I’d give other entrepreneurs is to accept that you may not be able to start with the “gold standard” of sustainability, but make that your goal and then plan for it.
- How are you able to work directly with marginalized communities to source your materials?
We are still a small company, so I personally maintain direct relationships with most of the communities that we work with. In some cases, our fragrance house does the purchasing, but we have the guarantee that it is being sourced from our partners. I then double-check back with the community to make sure that is the case. As we grow, this will get more challenging so we are looking at external accreditations and audits that we can put in place to ensure that we are being true to our mission. However, my favorite part of my job is being out in the field with our indigenous partners, so I’ll be reluctant to give that up any time soon!
- What’s next for Raw Spirit?
We have a brand new fragrance line under development for Raw Spirit. I’m really excited about what we are doing, but I can’t say much more just yet except for – watch this space!! Lots of good stuff is coming!
Scentbird features several sustainable fragrances from the Raw Spirit line, each with its own unique and unmistakable character from around the world – check them out on Scentbird.com.
Follow @Scentbird on Instagram for more scent launches and newness throughout 2022, behind-the-scenes news, products, and offers.
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