Juniper Ridge transforms the intangible wilderness into perfume. I work in our Oakland workshop distillery among a sharp group of fragrant women and men. Jungmaven is a hemp knitwear brand based in Los Angeles working to promote industrial hemp production that would reduce cotton growth that’s detrimental to the environment.
Jungmaven founder, Rob Jungmann and Juniper Ridge founder, Hall Newbegin, have been friends for a while. Two parts of a small network of west coast sustainable apparel and fragrance brands. I wouldn’t be surprised to find either one comfortably asleep on the beach or under a California redwood. They travel light and feel at home when they’re on the road, outdoors and sharing ideas.
We spent 3 days together in February at Desert & Denim where I discovered the potent dye potential of one of our perfume ingredients, Creosote Bush. I used it in my dye workshops during the show to the delight of the crowd.
It was Jessica Arkenstone, Juniper Ridge Marketing Director, and Jordan Vouga, our Art Director, who dreamt up the High Desert Tee. The project was underway with the return of the wildcrafting team with bushels of Creosote Bush. I transformed the Juniper Ridge loading bay into a small dye house for 2 weeks, sampling prototypes with various mordants. We settled on a worn desert green and celebrated the painted dye pattern.
The project is featured in Trail Notes, Juniper Ridge’s blog. Here’s an excerpt from my interview with chief storyteller, Obi Kaufmann.
When asked about the relationship between wilderness perfume and natural plant dyes, Celine says, “I remember talking to Joshua Tree locals – people who grew up there. They explained that the scent of Creosote is their memory of rain. When it rains, the steam carries creosote oils into the wind creating a potent musk. Only after experiencing rain in another landscape did their memory of Joshua Tree rain become meaningful. Scent doesn’t come in a singular form. It exists in the air, in perfume and (now) the fibers of our clothing.
“Scent doesn’t come in a singular form. It exists in the air, in perfume and (now) the fibers of our clothing.”
There’s no way to ensure consistency with natural plant dyes without chemicals. That’s why they’re so lovely. Each bath is the discovery of a plant’s life cycle and subsequently a new journey. Isn’t that what we’re all striving for? Carving out a unique story with plant dyes is exactly what Juniper Ridge does with harvest stories. No two batches are the same, each reflects a specific time and place.
Wanna check out the High Desert Tee? Click here to shop Juniper Ridge Field Labs.