eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Perfume Palate: A Matter of Taste [Jennifer Lee Segale]

Jennifer Lee Segale's story is an atypical love story of sorts. Girl meets dirt, girl falls in love with dirt... and it only gets more interesting from here (spoiler alert: yes, there might be dirt babies). She is an accomplished horticulturist and the proprietor of a few businesses, including one of my new favorite places to grab essential skin care items: Garden Apothecary.

I cannot exist on this mortal coil without the organic H20 and essential oil sprays that I use on my face every day. The peppermint spray pretty much saved me during times when I was nauseous while recovering from surgery earlier this year, and whenever I have a headache or just feel ICK, it's just the thing. I am currently obsessing over Evening Aphrodesiac (neroli and jasmine). Jenn also makes beautiful organic sugar scrubs, oils, bath salts, teas and more, and one of her products actually makes  my husband excited to have spa days with me: her cute single-use French green clay facial masques.

Jenn also is the owner of Dirty Girl Gardening, she's written numerous articles for gardening and horticulture publications for a cool decade. The approach to everything she does honors nature while bringing very modern elements and ideas to her work.

Her latest passion is a project called Sacred Plants:

"Sacred Plants is a book about the connection between plants and a small group of plant Shamans and farmers in the jungle of Belize."

I don't know about you guys, but I love me some plants, pretty pictures, and moving stories of how humans connect with the gifts of nature. Do you love the PBS special "The Botany of Desire"? Then you will want to read this. Jenn needs all of our help to make this fascinating project come to fruition, so I hope you'll click, take a look at the Sacred Plants page on Kickstarter.com and make a donation if you can.

Now, let's find out how she feels about fragrance...

First of all, please state your name and occupation:

Hello, I'm Jenn Segale- owner, mad scientist and dirty girl behind Garden Apothecary. My background is in farming and horticulture on the California coast, and one of my companies is Garden Apothecary, an organic skin + body care product line. 

What is your favorite perfume at the moment?

The jasmine is in full bloom in my garden right now...so brushing up against that every morning has proven to be my fav perfume at the moment.

What is your favorite fragrance house or brand of perfume?

Of course mine! But other than Garden Apothecary, I adore In Fiore, a SF based company that is incredible.

[ed: Julie, if you're reading this, I swear I did not feed her that line!]

How often do you wear perfume, and under what circumstances do you wear it?

Rarely. I am covered in a menagerie of botanicals when I craft my products, and when I'm not, I'm outside in the garden. My garden is next to my bee hive, which is home to over 10,000 honey bees who prefer no scent. 

Is it important to you to know who the perfumer or creator is behind the perfumes you wear?

It's important for me to know what the perfumer stands for...what they know about botanicals. 

Do you follow the work of certain perfumers, and if so, who?

I'm much too self-absorbed for that.

Think of an iconic perfume bottle design from the past. What is it?

When I was about 10 years old, I bought a bottle of violet  perfume from a store in San Francisco. It took all the money I had, and I never opened it once- but just fell in love with the bottle design. It was a slender, vase-shaped bottle resembling a fine liqueur bottle. Just gorgeous- with a silver and purple foil label. Lovely.

How many times a day do you estimate that you think about perfume?

Rarely, but I think about botanical scents all the time. I think about why scents change, how they develop, and how the rest of nature "thinks" and interacts with them. I think about that constantly.

Think of the last time you complimented someone on the fragrance they were wearing. Did you ask them what it was, and if so, did they tell you?

Yes, not perfume exactly but Dr. Bronner's Almond Soap.

In just three words, describe your ideal fragrance:

Deep, floral, moss.


  1. Deep, floral, moss; great choice! :)
    Great interview as well. I was eyeing the Garden Apothecary on Etsy for some time now, but I think this was the sign for me to finally order some stuff! :)

  2. Thank you for the awesome write up, doll! Had I known you were loving the peppermint so much I would have sent it in a bigger bottle! xo Jenn

  3. 10,000 bees! Yikes! I bet the honey is wonderful but I don't think I'd want all of them in my back yard. I wouldn't wear perfume around them either.
    I'm going to have to check out Garden Apothecary.