A pop-up fragrance shop is aiming to make Brooklynites smell less like the city and more like a mountain range.
Juniper Ridge, a California-based wild fragrance company, does not so much create scents as it picks them up and moves them to Brooklyn. The company claims its odors have the distinctive aromas of the places they are named after — so even if you have not been to Big Sur, the Yuba River, or Carruthers Canyon, you can still smell like you just got back.
“We hike up the mountain and grab plants like cedar, spurs, pine and dogwood and distill them into a scent,: said founder Hall Newbegin. “We try to capture a whole place and put it in a bottle.”
From now until January, the company will run a pop-up show inside of the Fellows Barbershop on N. Eighth Street between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street.
Newbegin came up with the idea for the company 15 years ago while on a hike through the Cascade Mountains.
“I crushed fresh cedar under my nose and wondered ‘Why isn’t anyone doing this?’ ” said Newbegin. “I just wanted to make something that smelled as good as the outdoors.”
He started selling his scents at a farmers’ market in San Francisco and eventually began moving them in small retail shops.
Newbegin says he hates what he calls modern chemicals-in-a-bottle perfumes and instead subscribes to the ancient methods of distilling plants into oils.
“All the perfumes in stores come from the same four factories,” said Newbegin. “I’m not from that world.”
Most of the company’s customers share that aesthetic.
“I’m very much into natural scents,” said longtime customer Victoria Kray. “I literally can’t stand fake perfume. I can’t walk into a department store because it makes me sick.”
Juniper Ridge sells a line of “backpacker cologne” for the body, as well as “cabin spray,” “trail soap,” and “campfire incense.”
The pop up shop features not only all the scents from the left coast, but also a small distillery where customers can watch the process in action.
A two ounce bottle of Juniper Ridge scents retail from between $100 for the regular collection to $150 for special collection scents.
Newbegin said he is considering opening a permanent store in Brooklyn at some time in the future, but that he has no plans to offer fragrances such as Gowanus Canal or Newtown Creek.
Juniper Ridge at 101 N. Eighth St. between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, open daily from noon to 7 pm. juniperridge.com