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the lab

Elizabeth Gaynes, Christophe Laudamiel, and Helena Christensen


Step into
The Lab


Some of you have inquired about what really makes strangelove’s line of perfumes so special. Or more specifically: What makes strangelove so premium? 

strangelove has created this page to “pull back the veil,” so to speak—and better inform you about the jewels that comprise our creations. We want to show you what happens behind the scenes because we truly feel like you're on this journey with us. 


We take pride in using the most exquisite ingredients in our creations. Working directly with sustainable suppliers is integral to our mission. Agarwood and sandalwood trees, in particular, have come close to extinction due to logging and exploitation. . We work exclusively with sustainable tree farms to ensure that we are not contributing to further deforestation. 


Our perfume concentrations range from 20% to 30% oil-based pure perfumes, which makes our parfums “extraits de parfum.” Our perfume oils are 100% pure perfume, gluten free, and cruelty free. We do not use parabens or phthalates in any of our products. We emphasize product development over marketing; to that end, we use the finest quality French glass for our bottles; our caps are custom-made with 24-karat gold plating. We genuinely appreciate our customers, and take the time to get to know them and answer any questions they may have. We find this to be one of the most rewarding aspects of what we do, and we hold our relationships with our customers close to our hearts.


OUD

We use two kinds of sustainable, natural ouds in each of our perfumes, which we source directly from farms in India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. Because of oud’s luxurious connotation and rapidly increasing scarcity of the agarwood tree, the rainforests in south east Asia have been deleted in the search for the precious resin that creates oud.

We only source our genuine ouds from farms that are 100% sustainable. 


Oud is a delicate substance that improves with age. This mirrors a larger process of ours: we work with natural ingredients that are highly sensitive to their environment, and whose availability is constantly evolving. This requires us to test our natural ingredients each time they are sourced to perfect our perfumes and ensure that every batch meets our standards. 


Our technique is similar to spirit-making in that we select and dose our different harvests of oud. Most fragrance houses use just one type of oud—and certainly only one oud per fragrance. In many of these cases, only synthetic oud is used. The price of sustainable, natural oud ranges from $15,000 to $150,000 plus per kilo. Christophe Laudamiel, our talented master perfumer, has made clever use of two types of natural ouds in higher concentrations in each of our five scents. He also tweaks each batch individually as needed. 


SANDALWOOD - deadofnight 

When you smell deadofnight, sandalwood is immediately evident. The reason sandalwood essential oils have become so expensive is because the source is rapidly becoming more scarce. Demand is high and the highest quality oils can only be attained once the trees reach maturity. Commercially, Australian sandalwood trees are harvested at maturity, which has a minimum age of 15 years. 


AMBERGRIS - silencethesea 

Ambergris, which features in silencethesea, is derived from whale waste. Despite some misconceptions, whales are not harmed in the quest for ambergris; it is a naturally occurring—though rare—substance. Sourcing ambergris requires the work of a private ambergris hunter, who combs desolate beaches in search of ambergris stones. The prime ambergris hunting season in Somalia, a prime location for sourcing, is from November to May. The price of ambergris is directly correlated with the fact that just one percent of a total of 350,000 sperm whales worldwide produce this treasured substance. In 2016, one 80 kg ambergris stone, found in Oman, sold for $3,000,000.


ORRIS BUTTER - meltmyheart

A subtle but key ingredient in meltmyheart, orris butter originates from the root of the iris flower, and is harvested primarily in Italy. It takes about two years to produce orris butter from fresh iris flowers. The difference between the price of orris and the price of orris butter is vast. Our process requires that we purchase our orris butter in bulk, at $150,000 per kilo.


GARDENIA ENFLEURAGE - lostinflowers

Prominent in lostinflowers, gardenia enfleurage can cost up to $25,000 per kilo. Originating in 19th century France, the enfleurage process entails flower petals being painted with oil repeatedly to most effectively capture the petals’ fragrant compounds. In our enfleurage process, we substitute animal fat with vegetable oil, resulting in what we believe to be a better and more durable lostinflowers. We researched extensively to find the right supplier who sustainably employs this process. Enfleurage is an extremely time-consuming and expensive craft that is rarely employed today. 


RED CHAMPACA - lostinflowers 

Considered to be one of the most enticing, exotic floral scents imaginable, red champaca, is also also known as " the joy oil " This main ingredient in lostinflowers, is precious in perfumery. It is similar to champaca but with noticeably deeper, richer, more intense sultry floral notes layered beneath suave fruit and earthy tea-like tonalities; a faint minty/herbal note lingers in the background. The drydown presents a veritable symphony of scents: hay, dried fruits, and hints of tobacco provide the underlying aromatics of this extraordinary absolute.

ROSEWOOD - fallintostars 

Rosewood : The Aniba rosaeodora is a tropical tree with a reddish bark and yellow or pink flowers, belonging to the Laurelids, which occurs in Mexico and Guyana and is the supplier of the so-called lemon wood (bois de rose). Due to excessive felling, the old tree trees in the Amazon region have almost disappeared. In Peru, sustainable farms have been laid out for the production of essential oil, but the wood can only be used after 40 years for the production of oil. The essential oil is extracted by distilling wood chips. 100 kilos of wood provides 1 kilo of oil. 

 

We hope this page was informative for all our fragrance lovers. It's important for us to be transparent so we invite you to always reach out with questions or concerns. We have a special place in our hearts for all of our strangeloves and will always deliver quality and care to our customers.