Nomaterra has been working closely with Michelle Kiela, who has been wholeheartedly involved in the redesign of our packaging, and is behind the gorgeously-detailed illustrations of some of America's greatest cities for Nomaterra's newest scents. Our task at hand was to marry the authenticity of the city-scents inside the box, with artwork representing the locations themselves, to create a cohesive movement from packaging to scent. Above, you see photos and our collaborative imagination and memories of these places turned into authentic sketches that engulf you and make you feel like you are there. (Right now we're staring at the Oahu landscape, wishing we could escape this Brooklyn rain!) Michelle is first and foremost an artist, with a Masters in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts, but also an incredibly talented graphic designer (She received her Bachelor's in Graphic Design from St. John's University). I would highly suggest checking out her work here: http://metalwor56.wix.com/ocdlayouts#!fine-arts/c1yaj and if you're looking to have artwork or graphic design done for a current or future project of yours, reach out to Michelle at email@example.com
Following last week's ingredient spotlight on the Oahu Gardenia, I bring you a personal photo of my trip to the island from 1998. This was before I actually learned a thing or two about photography, so apologies if the photo isn't of the highest quality.
I remember the trip started with a bought of food poisoning (eating a pineapple pizza from a dingy restaurant wasn't the best idea)...but the rest of the trip made up for it. The island of Oahu is beautiful, quaint, and peaceful, and the land is overall respected by its inhabitants. One of the highlights of our trip was getting to visit the Polynesia Cultural Center in Laia, Oahu, which is a center for authentic polynesian traditions and activities—a day of educational shows, activities, and feasts ends in one of the best luau's of the island (though I've heard in recent year's the center has gone a bit downhill and has become a tourist trap). Not surprisingly, I remember really enjoying learning about the usage of herbs and plants in Polynesia for treatment purposes at the medicinal hut also known as "Hale Hana." (Fun Fact: Indian Mulberry, aka "Noni" used to be one of the most popular plants for healing of various ailments and disease.)
One of the others things I found most fascinating about Hawaii, was the landscape, particularly seeing the spontaneous-looking rock formations created by lava eruptions that slowly flowed and solidified in the surrounding waters. The idea that new land is and can still be created in this over exposed planet is exciting... and hopeful. While all the volcanoes on Oahu island are now extinct, the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has been continuously erupting lava since 1983, adding more than 500 acres of lava rock to the island's topography with no signs of stopping. I never got around the visiting the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, where you can get up close to an active volcano, but I certainly have plans to return there.
What Hawaiian islands have you visited? What would you recommend as the top sites/activities?
We ALREADY have winter vacation on our minds, and what better place to escape than Hawaii!? My trip to Hawaii in 1995 inspired our creation of the Nomaterra Oahu Gardenia perfume oil. I still remember very vividly being able to smell the pungently sweet and balsamic aroma of the exotic nanu gardenia, found in gardens and random locations on the island of Oahu. I also received a leis upon arriving at the airport in Oahu, which was made of mostly plumeria (also found in our Oahu fragrance).
In Hawaii, the gardenia was often used for corsages or leis, particularly traditionally during weddings. It has a romantic meaning, “You are lovely,” and is also a symbol for secret love. The nanu was prized by ancient Hawaiians for its fruit, which was used to produce fade-resistant dyes for kapa (a traditional cloth made of pounded tree bark).
The natural, organic gardenia found in Nomaterra’s Oahu fragrance is extracted through the ancient process of enfleurage, using only organic palm oil and organic alcohol derived from organic sugar cane. This fragile flower exudes a sweet and succulent smell that encapsulates the energy, spirit, and beauty of Hawaii. The rare species of gardenia, Gardenia Manii, also known as “Nanu” in Hawaii, is native to the island of Oahu and can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
We've been hard at work all summer on new city-inspired scents, traveling to these great American cities, and finding out what makes them unique. We've done our research too. Did you know that Gardenia Manii, is a type of gardenia that can only be found on the island of Oahu? Gardenia is a succulently rich, jasmine and vanilla-like scent, and it is found as the key ingredient in one of our newest fragrances, Oahu Gardenia. Plumeria, an exotic Hawaiian tropical flower used to create leis can also be found in the Oahu fragrance. In addition, we are excited to also debut Boston Tobacco Leaf, Savannah Magnolia, and Malibu Honeysuckle (our favorite to wear right now in this beautiful autumn weather). Each of these new scents come in 10ml perfume oil roll-ons. What do you think these great cities should smell like?
You can try out all our scents in the Nomaterra adventure set.
Perhaps they will remind you of your hometown, a place you've been to, or a place you dream of going to.