This post was originally shared in our email newsletter on September 1, 2023.
What does it mean to have a regenerative vision?
Simply put, it’s the ambition for the social and ecological systems that we touch to experience an uplifting effect from our involvement. It’s an extremely high bar in the context of an extractive economy—but it gives us a North Star and allows us to explore social and environmental questions that go beyond business-as-usual.
This vision extends beyond what's in our products, but fragrance is a good place to start, as it's the most complex of our inputs (in case you missed it, we shared a wax update recently).
So let’s jump to one of the most frequently asked questions in the Keaper survey:
When will Keap start working on a new scent?
Since launching Canyons in Spring 2021, we had not worked on new scents. But all that changed this past week when we kicked off development for our next scent! This one will mark a big shift in how we design, source, and produce our fragrances.
Our first formulas were akin to symphonies: Using a wide palette of ingredients, our “nose”, Christophe, was crafting complex recipes—with up to 80 individual scent notes—to achieve a highly specific artistic vision. Each molecule in these recipes helped to provide color, contrast, balance, precision, and wholeness—and allowed us to bring to life an idea that was living inside our heads.
If those were symphonies, our new scents will be more akin to birdsongs. We start with what nature gives us. In practice, this means researching and identifying one stunningly beautiful botanical extract. I mean “beautiful” in a broader sense that considers both the olfactive profile and considerations for the land, people, and processes involved. From there, we may blend this extract with up to three other plant extracts, if needed, to ensure the recipe is balanced and works well in our candles.
This shift will allow us to create beautiful, unique scents while allowing the following (and more) exciting benefits:
- By radically shrinking the number of ingredients, we can gain a deeper understanding of and connection with the sources of our materials. We'll be able to share a deeper sense of wonder for the olfactive miracles that occur in the natural world, and can push for higher environmental and social standards for our fragrances.
- We will be able to explore pathways to compostability/biodegradability in a way that we couldn’t with highly complex formulas. (Compostability is tricky and nuanced with fragrance oils. For example, many essential oils have anti-microbial or insecticidal properties making them potentially problematic for a compost pile.)
While exploring these new ways of working fragrance involves some risks, it allows us to push new boundaries towards our regenerative vision.
In the next update, we’ll look at packaging and circularity, where you all shared some exciting feedback!
— Harry from Keap, Steward-Owner
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