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Above: Jacqueline Steele, perfumer and Darren Criss, partner

An interview with Jacqueline Steele, perfumer

What inspired the direction of the
Palo Santo 5th Anniversary fragrance?
We were looking to create a scent that was based in wood since wood is the traditional 5th anniversary gift, but we also wanted this scent to be bold and sensual which is how we ended up going for a smoky fragrance.

What makes this new fragrance unique?
Palo santo is a unique wood - it has natural, mellow, fresh sides to it, but also a really creamy, sensuous sweet quality. The rendering of palo santo smoke in this fragrance reflects the real thing, which is spiritual and purifying like incense, without being drab or dusty at all.

Can you explain the fragrance notes and
how they work together?
The cool freshness of the hops and the dry tea help to temper the depths of the wood notes so the fragrance ends up both deep and smoky but also extremely natural, bright and smooth. The foody, milky aspects are also balanced with a refined suede base note so the fragrance ends up somehow delicious, but not quite edible.

How would you suggest wearing Palo Santo?
I picture the ideal scenario for wearing this as under a white shirt during the evening. I suggest wearing on the neck, in the hair and on the torso – not just wrists. For anyone who is looking for a scent with authentic wearable smokiness and soft mellowness, this is going to be a great discovery.

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