I am very picky when it comes to personal scents. I prefer simple scented oils over expensive, toxic perfumes. In fact, I rarely wear a scent at all as I find most of them overpowering and artificial smelling.
When I recently discovered GIVESCENT I was blown away at how quickly I became enamored of this irresistible, delicious scent made from pure oils. I have not been able to stop wearing it (and smelling myself)!
Created by yoga guru Elena Brower in collaboration with Alexandra Lyon Perelmon GIVESCENT combines notes of citrus, vanilla and almond into a hard to resist concoction. Free of alcohol, formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates and sulfates I feel safe dabbing it onto my skin every day. My favorite part about GIVESCENT is that a portion of the proceeds from each bottle are donated to Women for Women International. Nothing feels better than knowing you are giving back while pampering yourself.
Knowing how much I love GIVESCENT, Elena and Alexandra were kind enough to answer a few questions for me for this most recent installment of my "In The Spotlight" series. Enjoy!
What lead you to create GIVESCENT ?
I'd been mixing my own oil blends for years. We wanted to create sensual, grounding oil blends that everyone would love. Our first was inspired by my time spent teaching during the first sultry summer days on the island of Sicily. Alexandra smelled my Italian-inspired creation and loved the citrus sexiness of it. This blend became GIVESCENT Signature. She committed to making this happen and it was a privilege to watch her build this project.
I'd always noticed how amazing Elena smelled as she taught her yoga classes. While pregnant with my second son, I begged her to make me a bottle of her sweet almond oil blend that she often wore during class. I wanted a scent that was captivating AND clean - a cleaner alternative to the perfume I'd worn in the past, one free of alcohol and other toxic chemicals. Soon after she gave me my first bottle, I started mixing the blend myself. Everywhere I wore the scent, people would stop to ask me what I was wearing. I soon realized we should bottle the scent and share it with others.
What makes GIVESCENT your ideal/ signature scent?
Our irresistible signature scent reminds me of my favorite place: Italy, and helps us GIVE to others.
This was my first distinct blend that I actually recorded and was able to replicate, and everyone who smells it finds it - in Alexandra's words - captivating.
Scents can really transport us. When you put on GIVESCENT where are you transported to?
When I teach in Sicily, I stay at the Becchina estate in Castelvetrano, where Olio Verde is produced, amongst other treats. For me, GIVESCENT is reminiscent of the smell of the orchards, where you can find lemon trees, green grass, fig trees and of course, olive trees. A magical part of the world. I'm hoping to go back in July 2013.
Some of my favorite memories are from summers spent on the Italian coast. I specifically recall the fragrant scent of Sardegna: a mix of the warm, rich earth, the salty Mediterranean, and sweet, sun-ripened fruit.
How did you decide to partner with Women for Women International on GIVESCENT?
When Elena and I decided to share the beauty of GIVESCENT, it was important to us that others benefit from the project as well. Both of us are mothers, teachers and activists; for us, giving to WFW seemed like the perfect mission. We are honored to contribute to such a meaningful cause, and help women survivors of war rebuild their lives. As GIVESCENT evolves, we look forward to sharing our proceeds with other charities that support women worldwide.
Elena, is there a connection for you between your work as a yoga teacher and GIVESCENT?
Through my work as a teacher, I meet many innovators and creatives, so I've been educated about toxicity in our cosmetic products by Joshua Onysko, founder of Pangea Organics, and a dear friend. He taught me to be more selective about the ingredients in the products I put on my skin. With GIVESCENT, we aimed to create something cleaner than other fragrances and to keep toxicity out of our bodies. I also want to wear something delicious as I share space with hundreds of people each week.
Do you have additional scents or products in the works?
We have GIVESCENT orange in the works-a warm, sensuous blend of neroli, bergamot, cedarwood and jasmine absolut. This blend will benefit Christy Tulrington's organization, Every Mother Counts, a wonderful charity that raises awareness for global maternal health. GIVESCENT orange will be released this spring in time for Mother's Day.
Finally, if you could go on a fantasy holiday vacation where would you go and what five essentials would you pack?
I would go directly to the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur to practice yoga and hike every single day. I'd take my boyfriend, a bunch of Nadia Narain's candles, body oils from Pangea and redflower, a great book, and my favorite crystals.
I would go right back to Italy with my husband Jonathan and take long long walks, and spend as much time in the water as possible. This is where we have spent some very meaningful moments together. I would take:
A stack of books (Edith Wharton & Zora Neale Hurston are my favorite authors)
My vintage Pucci caftan;)
And of course, GIVESCENT signature