Current news can leave us all feeling a little worried about the collapse of many of the systems that we have long taken for granted—from the civic institutions that make up our democracy to the natural environment we call home.
Amid all this unraveling, we wanted to share with you this month a re-birth, a metaphorical and inspirational springtime—through scent and through the eyes of two generations of environmentalists that have taken the time to research, analyze and share their constructive solutions to our planet's ills.
But first... an announcement
In this month’s subscriber shipment there will be something quite extraordinary: a sample of a new Keap scent! The full size candle will be shipping to subscribers next month (April). This scent was in the works for a year, with the working name "Library", and you’re the first on Earth to smell it. We won't say much more about it for now except that it smells phenomenal! We look forward to hearing your impressions.
Steve enjoying a sniff of cashmeran oil at our master perfumer Christophe's lab last year.
The ancient and mysterious Magnolia oil
Our scent of the month is Cotton Magnolia; it has many levels to it but arguably the most fascinating individual note in it is the magnolia essential oil. Now rarely used due to the high price (of the really good stuff), it's an ingredient whose history could be the object of several volumes of books.
Thought to be one of the most ancient of any flowering plant—one of its claims to fame is to have lived through the age of dinosaurs—, different sub-species of magnolia were native to Japan, China and the Southeastern United States, before being brought to Europe by French and British botanists in the 18th century.
Charles Plumier, the French botanist who likely first classified the magnolia flower. Fun fact: his high school classmates named him "most likely to metamorphose into a beautiful butterfly".
When it comes to smell, that is when it gets truly exciting. It is arguably the most complex and multi-faceted floral in existence. You could smell magnolia oil for hours and keep identifying new components, new facets that it contains. Steve and I find it to be floral, but also citrus-ey, woody, aromatic, and even somewhat chocolatey.
In designing Cotton Magnolia, beyond riffing off of this remarkable ingredient, we sought to create a space for restful sloth (the sin, not the animal). It is the scent of sleeping in, with a warm breeze making the curtains billow peacefully in front of a ray of midday sunlight. We hope the scent inspires you to take that moment for yourself, recharge, take on the world and bring it your own best aspirations for change.
March Ignite Series Interview
Photo: Kyle Calian, courtesy of The Regeneration
We're riffing slightly on the format this month by featuring two people we find inspiring, by hosting an interview of environmentalist Paul Hawken by up-and-coming magazine The Regeneration.
We met Kyle Calian, the young founder of the Regeneration at a sustainability event in New York last year; we picked up the second issue of his magazine and a few days later had read it cover to cover. We were smitten by the tone of the publication: constructive, idealistic, inspiring and practical all at the same time. The publication highlights key people who are taking action to reverse climate change and to regenerate our society and our planet—and when you read it I guarantee you will feel inspired by seeing that the movement is already happening.
The featured interview for the Ignite Series this month is a discussion between Kyle and Paul Hawken, one of the veterans of the environmental movement and editor of the New York Times bestseller Drawdown, which chronicles the top 100 solutions to reverse climate change. The two discuss the history of the environmental movement and where they think it's headed.
It's a great read and I highly recommend then picking up a copy of Drawdown—and after that, you can come help us figure out how we implement some of the solutions in our candle company!
In-house artist Dan Abary is back with yet another beautiful matchbox in honor of this feature.
As usual, scroll down for logistical info about your candle subscription. We hope you enjoy this month's scent, and as usual please feel free to get in touch, via email or Instagram.
Keep the fire burning,