Perfumer Tessa Sakhi’s inspiration for her first fragrance collection came, quite literally, from her roots. The Lebanese-Polish brand owner was born and raised in Lebanon, and it was here that the seed for her nature-inspired fragrance was planted.
“At an early age, I loved playing and getting lost in the wilderness of our glorious mountains of ancient cedar forests, our blooming valleys of wildflowers and our bursting waterfalls of vibrant rivers,” she explains. “It came naturally to create a tailored and timeless perfume collection rooted by my passion and rich Middle Eastern heritage – the cradle of the invention and use of perfumery – while focusing on the value of craftsmanship and Mother Nature,” she says. Her resulting Tessa Sakhi collection is produced in Grasse and consists of four perfumes. Naturally tinted from clear to amber by the concentration of essential oils and extracts like cedar wood, patchouli, geranium, rosemary, and resins, each bottle of juice combines elements from Lebanon’s forests. “I want to achieve a restorative escape into the wilderness of our forests in Lebanon through dreaminess and nostalgia,” Sakhi shares. “The fragrances are inspired by the four seasons and capture the purest and most evocative notes of the forest’s diversity, ingredients, and its magical healing wonders.”
Already known as a regional creative for the T Sakhi design studio she co-founded with sister Tara in 2016, Sakhi sought to trigger the five senses when it came to her first fragrance drop, to illustrate a specific time and place in each bottle. “I work closely with my nose, and I write elaborate descriptions of what I would like the fragrance to smell like,” she explains. “It is quite challenging to describe scents through words, though it becomes a poem of sorts, which I accompany with an artistic mood board of colors, textures, music, and all kinds of inspirations, to interpret the olfactive sense through the ones of sight, sound, and taste.” Using notes like pine needles, juniper berries, ambers, vetiver, and, of course, cedar wood, each fragrance captures a moment, from “a cold winter evening deep into the snowy coniferous forest, specifically the cedars of God Forest located in the Qadisha Valley of Bcharre in the north of Lebanon,” to “mountain-climbing beneath a breezy sunrise in the Tannourine mountains and its famed Baatara gorge waterfall.”
The environmental message continues with Sakhi’s collaboration with TheOtherForest, an eco-project by Adib Dada that utilizes the Miyawaki technique of urban afforestation to support ecological and social regeneration in Lebanon’s cities. “As I want Tessa Sakhi perfumes to be deeply rooted in what I love most – our forests – there’s a responsibility to give back to Mother Nature,” she reflects.
Visit Tessasakhi.com for more.
Originally published in the May 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia