Behind the scents – an interview with Sana Jardin founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed
How did you decide to start an eau de parfum line?
Sana Jardin was created primarily as a vehicle for social change. Our objective is to fundamentally shift the way business is done and modernize it by embedding social impact initiatives and human centric values into the business model. I believe that each of us can be an agent of change. With Sana Jardin, I wanted to demonstrate that it is possible to offer both a luxury product and a powerful consumer choice, to economically empower the local communities involved in its creation. We do this by sharing the supply chain value with the women who harvest the flowers that go into our products. I want to create a true flower revolution.
What was the inspiration behind the name SanaJardin?
Sana means dazzling and radiant from the Arabic, and Jardin is garden from the French.
Sana Jardin stands for luxury beauty & lifestyle, sustainability & social change, female empowerment, transparency & integrity.
We create fragrances to transport and seduce, but to give the wearer a role in this cycle of change. Empowering all women in this unique circle from harvester to consumer.
Why did you decide Morocco was the country where you would harvest the flowers for your perfume?
My fascination with fragrance led me to research the history of scent and I became infatuated by the rituals, traditions and myths through time and how it had the continual link with the sacred power of the feminine spirit. It was on a trip to Morocco that my passion for fragrance and socially responsible entrepreneurship collided. It magically unfolded. I always knew I wanted to help Moroccan women, as it is a country I spend a lot of time in and is very dear to my heart. I realized I could utilise my experience in implementing innovative solutions to social problems, alongside these enchanting, natural scents as a powerful tool to create social change.
How does the charity component work for your company work with the women of Morocco?
My grandmother, Mary Pomeroy, was a pioneering visionary in the 1960’s who co-founded The United States Delegation for Friendship Among Women. Her work took her to emerging economies across the globe with the aim to increase communication between women from the US and developing countries and provide long term, economic solutions for their families and communities.
She gifted me with the desire to work towards social justice and empowering women economically. Sana Jardin was created with the belief that this bottle of perfume can transform lives and change the way business is done.
Beyond Sustainability; a groundbreaking initiative that empowers the female flower harvesters of Morocco, new social enterprise skills which enable the women to up-cycle floral waste from perfume production, into their own line of hand crafted candles and orange blossom water for sale through their own cooperative, retaining 100% of the revenue.
A Beyond Sustainability enterprise in particular for the women of The Orange Blossom Project in Morocco who harvest the floral raw materials for Sana Jardin perfume, this enables social development in their community and is an essential yet often invisible role at the origin of perfume creation.
Sana Jardin's Beyond Sustainability model is to produce economic empowerment tools from the land the women live on, with the by-product of commercial perfume production, for the women's own economic benefit and create multiplier effects for their families and communities. This by-product in usual fragrance manufacturing is wasted.
In collaboration with Nest and Les Aromes de Maroc, Sana Jardin commissioned the creation of 2 micro enterprises – the production of Orange Blossom candles and Orange Blossom water; a self-governing cooperative (who receive 100% of the revenue) to economically empower these women as entrepreneurs and the agents of change in their communities.
Sana Jardin recognises the importance of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, and is proud to support three of these goals: empowering women (5), promoting sustainable economic growth (8), and ensuring sustainable production practices (12).
We have gotten a lot of interest for the Berber Blonde scent. Can you tell us the inspiration behind that scent?
I have always loved the natural scent of orange blossom from my travels around the globe but could never find anything that smelled pure and like a balmy orange blossom filled night in a bottle.
I searched high and low – from the souks of Damascus to Barneys in LA and everything smelled too sweet, too mass, too spicy. I thought I would try making my own since I could never find what I felt was an authentic and a simple single note orange blossom on the market.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about Sana Jardin and your company?
Sana Jardin is unique in that it is the first socially conscious luxury fragrance house. We are unique due to our Beyond Sustainability Movement and in driving social impact and change in the lives of our female flower harvesters in Morocco.
We were so lucky to work with legendary nose, Carlos Benaim. Carlos is a Master Perfumer at IFF having created some of the world’s most iconic perfumes over his 40 year career. He is a legend in the industry and I feel very blessed to work with him.
Sana Jardin is a collection of seven Eau de Parfums single notes scents that exude nature’s most exotic scents. Each fragrance harnessing the healing life force of plants, with a high concentration of naturally perfumed essential oils.
Sana Jardin is ethical in as many touchpoints as possible including recycled bottle and cap and all our fragrances are free of artificial colorants, parabens and formaldehydes, with no animal derived ingredients or animal testing used.