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Sedona Sweetgrass – Grassy, airy and heavenly


Sedona Sweet Grass


Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I groan when I see the names of new perfumes that are launched. It’s my gut response to the degree of self-absorbed irrelevance or shameless pretension that these whacko names convey. I like simple names that draw me in, that tell me what I’m going to smell or at least give me a few hints, stir some memories and start my brain buzzing with anticipation. 

Sedona Sweetgrass has a name that does just that. I read about this 100% natural perfume on the Providence Perfume Company site, and in a flash I was there. Memories of driving in Arizona through Sedona with my husband on a beautiful spring day. I see the ancient awe-inspiring Red Rocks on the horizon and smell the scented dry desert air rushing in through the open windows… 

Red Rock State Park near Sedona, Arizona

Charna Ethier, the very-talented artisanal perfumer and owner of Providence Perfume, says her unisex EdT was inspired by the red rocks of Sedona. Piñon pine, sweet grass, sage, vetiver, and mezcal by the sparks of a campfire are the notes she lists. Slightly outdoorsy, she says, but Sedona Sweetgrass is so much more than that.

It seems that the main ingredient, sweet grass, has deep cultural importance and a history that spans millennia…

From Wikipedia…”Hierochloe odorata , commonly known as sweet grassmanna grassMary’s grass or vanilla grass, and as holy grass in the UK, bison grass in Europe,  is an aromatic herb native to northern Eurasia and North America. It owes its distinctive sweet scent to the presence of coumarin[ notes of hay and vanilla]…Sweet grass is widely used by North American indigenous peoples from many different Nations. Among many of the Plains Indians it is considered one of the "four sacred medicines". Though being used for many purposes, its main purpose for many tribes is to attract good spirits…”

From…”Burned to promote happiness, open heartedness and harmony, sweetgrass is a sacred plant like sage that has long been used in …smudging ceremonies… …sage clears negativity and sweetgrass brings positivity. To many noses, sweetgrass has a distinct, vanilla-like scent, although to others, the aroma is more like that of a freshly mown lawn or a bale of freshly cut hay. 

The opening note is resinous piñon pine, from the pine tree family unique to the southwest United States, aromatic and green and woody and outdoorsy. Here it’s edged with burning sage and vetiver, slightly bitter and green. And then the sweet grass floats in over these opening notes, its rich aromas of fresh-cut grass and hay and vanilla blending with the aromatics into a deeply relaxing accord that is lightly sweet, soft and comforting. I can feel the negativity leaving, the positivity moving in. 

And with the familiar notes of incense and wood smoke emerging and smoldering quietly through the dry-down, Sedona Sweetgrass reaches a sweet spot. The fragrance smells familiar, it feels earthy and real, but at the same time is airy and light, a scent from a heavenly place.This is not a fantasy scent, it is a very real natural scent that is soft, calming, meditative. 

I think Charna Ethier has perfectly translated the olfactory experience of the ancient smudge ceremony into the language of scent. All the same ingredients are there. And it is the sweet grass, the sacred medicine of North America’s First Nation people, that gives Sedona Sweetgrass its fluid transcendent beauty.

I was wearing the fragrance a few days ago when a friend dropped by for a visit. She never wears fragrance but as we hugged hello, she blurted, “Omigod, what are you wearing? It smells so grassy and GOOD. It reminds me of home.” She grew up in the Southwest. When I told her about it, that it was called Sedona Sweetgrass, she said, “No wonder I love it. Perfect name! Sweet grass always smells heavenly!.” 

A perfect name for a perfect perfume.

Sedona Sweetgrass  is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $7.00 for 1 ml. - Red Rock State Park - Sedona Sweetgrass 30ml. bottle -