Certain scents, like the smell of rain or a baby’s head (it’s a thing – we swear), are hard to replicate. The great outdoors tend to fall into this category. Well, at least they did, before California’s Juniper Ridge, which bills itself as 'the world’s only wilderness fragrance distillery,' came into the picture.
Founded by hiker and backpacker Hall Newbegin in 1998, Juniper Ridge distills colognes and perfumes from plants, moss, mushrooms, tree trimmings and other things you’d never think about willingly rubbing onto your body. And the production process doesn’t get any less weird. Basically, Newbegin goes camping in the California wilderness, where he “crawls around in mountain meadows and spends whiskey-fueled hours geeking out over the scent of wind off a glacier,” to identify and collect the distinct aromas he plans on bottling in Juniper’s line.
Each product is stamped with a harvest number, which reflects the variation in the plants harvesting location, rainfall, and other variables you never probably never thought about each time you splash yourself with cologne. Look up the harvest number on Juniper Ridge's blog and you can see the actual plants, along with the crew that harvested them. (Oh hey, guys.)
While natural fragrances can sometimes veer a little “patchouli-soaked hippie exploring the playa of Burning Man,” Juniper Ridge’s offerings each reflect the origin of their ingredients, for scents that are more ‘campfire’ than ‘drum circle’. Do you want to smell like “driving down the coastal highway with 500-foot ocean cliffs, through misty redwoods, with the smell of wild sage and sea mist in the air”? Opt for the aptly named Big Sur. Would you rather have a hint of desert pine sap, sagebrush and cedar? Consider yourself more of a Caruthers Canyon kind of person. For those on the hunt for more subtle scents, liquid soaps are available. There are also room sprays if for those who have long-since dreamed of tricking people into thinking their cramped loft is, in all actuality, a rustic cabin. (It’s okay, we do too.)