Former fashion magazine editor Katherine Growney grew up on the picturesque island of Hawaii, eventually landing writing jobs in New York City, roughly 5,000 miles east of her hometown. It wasn't until she began working as a beauty editor at Elle that a chat with a fellow staffer began the sparks that eventually would lead to the start of her own business. "I started talking about Tiare Gardenia, Plumeria, Pakalana, and she just gave me a blank stare. I realized the flowers that I had grown up with, that were commonplace to me, most people had never seen, smelled, or even heard of," said Growney.
Thus, the idea for Saffron James Parfums, a line of Hawaiian-inspired scents, was born. (Saffron, being Gowney's nom de plume from her magazine days, and James, her father's name). The current collection includes four tropical scents, with plans to add a candle and body oils in the near future. Interestingly, Gowney is also a trained chef, drawing inspiration for her newfound career in perfumery from her experience with the delicate balances of food flavors and aromas. Find out more about the notes in her perfumes after the break.
The Saffron James Parfums collection includes the following four scents:
- Le'a ($85) — Pink and white plumeria, pineapple leaf, passionflower, and hibiscus.
- 'Ume ($85) — Ginger absolute, waterlily, gardenia, yuzu, and mousse de chene.
- Pūnono ($85) — Ylang ylang, pikake, carnation, vanilla, and Tunisian opium.
- Nani ($110) — This scent, an homage to the Pîkake flower, pays tribute to the last crown princess of Hawaii, Princess Ka’iulani.