Sana Jardin: A True Flower Revolution
An interview with founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed on starting the world’s first socially conscious luxury fragrance house
There are many lifestyle brands that talk about “ethics,” “sustainability,” and “giving back,” but few do it with the revolutionary authenticity of new luxury fragrance house Sana Jardin. Here, founder Amy Christinasen Si-Ahmed talks to BWB about shaking up an entire industry.
Why did you decide to launch Sana Jardin?
Sana Jardin was created primarily as a vehicle for social change. Our objective is to fundamentally shift the way business is done and modernize it by embedding social impact initiatives and human centric values into a business model.
I believe that each of us can be an agent of change. With Sana Jardin, I wanted to demonstrate that it is possible to offer a luxury product that also reflects a powerful consumer choice, and we are economically empowering the local communities involved in each product’s creation. We do this by sharing the supply chain value with the women who harvest the flowers that go into our products. I want to create a true flower revolution.
Where did the inspiration come from to launch a perfume house in particular?
My desire to launch a perfume house came from my love of fashion and observing how so many strides had been made to make the supply chain more ethical. I sit on the Advisory Board of Nest (an NYC based non-profit dedicated to alleviating poverty, empowering women, and promoting peace through the successful creation of artisan businesses) and I felt like if this can be done in fashion, why not try to do it in fragrance?
The women who harvest the Moroccan flowers in Sana Jardin’s perfumes still chant while they harvest the flowers.
I have always loved Morocco and the sacred rituals that are associated with floral harvest. For example, historically the women who harvested the dew of the orange blossom flower needed to be wearing all white and be calm as they believed the soul of the flower was being extracted when they collected the dew. I found this so enchanting and romantic. The women who harvest the Moroccan flowers in Sana Jardin’s perfumes still chant while they harvest the flowers.
What has been the biggest hurdle that you’ve had to overcome in order to launch your company?
For me, the biggest hurdle was learning an entirely new industry. It was relatively easy for me to transfer my skills in the non-profit sector to luxury as I have been working in the field of social impact for 20 years. The very challenging part was learning about branding, marketing, digital strategy, PR and production in the luxury sector. I still learn something new every hour!
How does your groundbreaking Beyond Sustainability™ model work, and what you are hoping it will become over the next few years?
I wanted to create positive change for women through commerce, not charity. I am happy there has been a shift in consumer consciousness and a desire to make the supply chain ethical and sustainable in industries like fashion, coffee, and food.
I wanted to build upon this ethos with our Beyond Sustainability™ platform, which is a movement to power tangible and measurable social change for low-income women through commerce. We provide financial opportunity and business skills to enable wage increases, waste reduction, and transparent, sustainable business practices, creating female entrepreneurs that are agents of change in their community.
We are proud to support three of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030: empowering women, promoting sustainable economic growth, and ensuring sustainable production practices. We hope to scale this model to other communities around the world and work with the flower harvesters in India and Indonesia, for example.
The perfumes all have wonderful names. What is the story behind them?
I had so much fun creating the names. Our best seller, Berber Blonde is named after my two sons who are ¼ Berber and very blonde. Sandalwood Temple refers to the fact that Sandalwood has been used for centuries in Indian cultures to open the third eye and connect to the spiritual realm. Revolution de la Fleur is a reference to the collective action taken by women in 2017 to unite and empower each other.
Sana Jardin is a trailblazer when it comes to sustainable beauty. Are there any other beauty brands whose work you admire?
Yes, I love Drunk Elephant skincare as I find their products effective, their branding refreshing, and their founder very creative and true to her core vision.
What are your go-to beauty products?
For the evening, my secret weapon is MAC Cockney red lipstick mixed with a peachy nude colour from Tom Ford. I also mix L’Oreal Double Extend mascara with L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes mascara for thick lashes.
What is your daily beauty routine?
My daily beauty routine consists of the miraculous Clarisonic and Neo Strata Glycolic Exfoliating Face Wash, Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum, loads of black cat eyeliner, Tom Ford eyebrow pencil, and sleep.
You’ve lived and travelled all over the world, what are your favourite wellbeing spots?
Nothing stops me from going to the Ashram in LA annually for a week to hike, meditate, exercise, and do yoga. It takes 10 years off my life every time I visit. I also love the hammam at Amanjena in Marrakech and I have been desperate to visit Vana in India for spiritual growth and balance.
You’re now based in London – What is your favourite place:
Francesca Giacomini is the best personal pilates trainer on the planet. She combines a lengthening training method with positive female energy that is so uplifting.
To get pampered?
I am loyal to Josh Wood and his incredible team at Josh Wood Atelier in Notting Hill for all my beauty upkeep. He does the best blondes, everyone on staff is so talented and efficient – it is a little slice of heaven. When I need spontaneous home treatments, I love the Ruuby app for at home services like massages, blow dries, manicures, and all things beauty related!