The Perfumer, the Teacher & the Writer
“She walks softly and carries a big scent strip.”
The photo above: Justine Crane is the author of the book "Perfumaria Botânica", a book published in Brazil and Portugal by Editora Laszlo. She was in 2018 at CIAROMA III and gave a lecture on the topic of her book.
Justine Crane has more than 20 years of experience as a natural perfumer. In 1997, Justine founded a company called Sierra Soapourri, a small soap and skincare company, inspired by her experiences growing up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central California and its unique flora. Justine’s business became a local fixture, with its banner popping up at craft shows, exhibitions, and soon, as a teaching facility. Traveling from one rural town to another, Justine taught others how to formulate natural soap and oil-based perfumes, inspiring her students to wander the scented path. In 2005, she opened a storefront with an equity partner in the trendy Tower District of Fresno, California called ‘Delicia Skincare’. Delicia Skincare allowed Justine to delve deeper into natural perfumery, which had by now become an obsession. The perfumes created under the Delicia logo were creatively and romantically inspired; the sweet and delicate Bianche Fiore made with notes of neroli, vanilla, and magnolia; lusty Amare Mezzanote with jasmine grandiflorum absolute, a natural amber accord, oakmoss, bergamot, and clove bud, and the divinely earthy and sensual Celestiale made with sandalwood, vetiver, oakmoss, jasmine sambac, Bulgarian rose otto, neroli, bergamot, and galbanum.
Justine Crane is the Natural Perfume Academy English language course developer and instructor, and owner of The Scented Djinn Parfum Apothecary & Thurificorum, both of which were founded in 2008. She has authored two natural perfumery books in the Working the Bench series. In 2018, both books were translated and combined by Ane Walsh, Portuguese language course developer and teacher at the Natural Perfume Academy, and the two books became the beautifully bound and illustrated Parfumaria Botanica published by and available from Editora Laszlo in Brazil.
Influences & Inspiration
Justine’s greatest influence has been people. From her grandmother, a closeted green witch, who grew fragrant flowers and plants with magical ease and abundance, to an early introduction creating naturally aromatic incense at the hands of a wise woman who lived in the mountain logging camp where Justine spent many of her childhood summers. These rudimentary incense were made from materials gathered in the forest: pine resin, cedar bark, oakmoss, and manzanita berries, and they have been a part of her aromatic biosphere ever since.
Justine also gets her influence and inspiration from the aromatics themselves, be they sourced from some far away, exotic landscape, or grown in her own perfumer’s garden.
“I don’t think perfumery, as an art form, can be quantified. The approach is as individual as the perfumer. As such, I think our course offers unique aspects such as my deeply personal experience with natural aromatics and overall understanding of the materials themselves”.
Justine strives to teach in an all-inclusive manner in which everyone can feel comfortable, everyone can learn, and she encourages peer networking and a lively and joyful community spirit amongst her students.
Justine believes that as natural perfumers, we must support each other, our art and craft, and lift one another up rather than compete.
Site notification: this material was originally recorded in part by The Winged Seed Blog owned by Samara Botane in an interview with Justine Crane