Hot Takes: Henry Rose and Sana Jardin

Hey, everyone! Here are a few thoughts on a couple of fragrances I tried recently – figured I’d keep it brief(ish) since I know those of us in the US are heading into the holiday weekend. You may already be doing prep work, whether for traveling or cooking the meal – or both.

A friend gave me a bag full of fragrance samples she’d just gotten in an order from Credo, which is a purveyor of “clean” beauty products – sustainable, nontoxic, zero waste, plucked from the green, dewy earth by eco-friendly fairies at dawn, etc. I had no idea what to expect; I’d only heard of a couple of the fragrance brands and as far as I could recall I hadn’t tried any of them. I was hoping if I ran through the whole bag of 8 – 10 I’d find one or two of them interesting. The first two I randomly picked out managed to grab my attention, though, and warranted further test drives, so here we are.

Queens & Monsters by Henry Rose – I thought I remembered this company was started by a gorgeous actor/celeb (and I think named for her son) – it’s actually Michelle Pfeiffer, not Julianne Moore, but I was close. You can read their prose about toxicity, environmental and social responsibility etc. here. In Queens & Monsters “the freshness and zest of petitgrain balances the fluid sensuality of sandalwood to create a woody aroma.” Notes: Violet Leaf, Neroli, Petitgrain, Freesia, Jasmine, Vanilla, Coco Musk, Sandalwood. Perfumer: Pascal Gaurin. 50ml/$120 USD, 8ml travel spray $35.

Look, bear with me on this one, which smells deeply weird and fabulous and comforting all at the same time. There’s not a ton of development; it smells pretty much like the listed notes, in that order. But I have this crazy scent-association with familiar scents from my past, so: to me, the top smells like neroli overlaid with Icy Hot’s wintergreen / menthol, then florals (freesia?) along with a splash of sassafras from my childhood* with its lemon-root-beer smell, and then that drops out and we’re left with minty green sandalwood. It lasts all day on my skin.

I think objectively that sounds … not very appealing, and yet it is. It is wildly appealing. I don’t think I need 50ml of this (I don’t think I “need” 50ml of anything, frankly) but I’m contemplating that 8ml travel spray because I’ve worn it several times and enjoyed it so much, and now my little spray sample is almost gone. I also think I should try some others from their line.

Vanilla Nomad by Sana Jardin – inspired by the founder’s “travels through the North African desert, where vanilla incense was burned as an evening ritual … notes of jasmine absolute and soft sandalwood, grounded by a warm, earthy base of vetiver and patchouli.” 50ml/$145 USD, 10ml $30.

This is vanilla in a decidedly non-gourmand direction, a “dry” vanilla with plenty of jasmine and that woody, dusty base. It’s not anywhere as interesting as the first one but it’s quite pleasant. It reminds me vaguely of Annick Goutal’s Vanille Exquise and that warm amber-benzoin, only a lot less perfume-y and complex if that makes sense – more a “good smell” kind of perfumery. Is it shatteringly original? No, but I’m always happy to meet a vanilla scent that doesn’t smell like it came from a bakery with icing on top. Decent longevity, too. The names can get my eyes twitching a bit (Nubian Musk, anyone?) but the nose is Carlos Benaim, so … that’s a plus.

Note that both of these (and probably others) have travel sizes available which I support, per Cinnamon’s post yesterday I’m not buying much in the way of full bottles any more.

Have you tried any of these two lines?


  • Is sassafras an American thing? It’s a woody understory plant here, so familiar from my childhood summer camp days, in sassafras tea and hard candy? It’s kind of simultaneously vanillic, anise / root beer, and lemon, and I think it’s wonderful.
  • JC says:

    I just purchased a full size bottle of “Jake’s House” plus the body cream from Henry Rose. It’s the cleanest, most refreshing scent I’ve ever experienced. To be honest, the front kinda smells like my bell pepper plants in the spring….but in such a lovely way. The just wish it lasted longer! It’s so clean and light that it disappears too quickly.

  • Musette says:

    Both of these sound like you – and the ‘travels in the North African Desert) sounds like me (or wannabe me – I haven’t been out of the US in quite awhile and it’s starting to make me a bit skritchy – especially living here where ‘sameness’ is considered a plus… omg…. I’ll shut up now – but you KNOW how that chaps my cheese) – anyhoodle, I have a feeling I might like the vanilla.

    • March says:

      I think you would too — it’s a nice dry, earthy vanilla, not a cupcake. We need to go somewhere out of the US while we still have our teeth!

  • Dina C. says:

    I don’t think I’ve tried any scents from either of these lines, but those two both sound like inviting scents for the fall/winter. I missed out on sassafras, and I associate it with old timey stick candy and Laura Ingalls Wilder! Maybe I could find it in a Cracker Barrel gift shop.

    • March says:

      I bet you could! We used to get stick candy in sassafras and stick it in a lemon (the stick candy was hollow) and suck the juice out. I loved it, even though it probably wasn’t great for my teeth.

  • Maggiecat says:

    I have sampled both lines – I like Henry Rose but LOVE Sana Jardin. Their Sandalwood Temple is a favorite and my only Big Bottle purchase recently. Also worth trying is Tiger By Her Side – great cool weather scent. I enjoyed Windows Down from the HR line, and one of the others -Torn, I think. Queens and Monsters was certainly interesting, and I’ll have to revisit it now.

  • AnnieA says:

    The phrase “ plucked from the green, dewy earth by eco-friendly fairies at dawn” sums up the tweeness of eco ad copy in a nutshell.

  • cinnamon says:

    Did the Sana Jardin sample pack. Don’t recall feeling much love. The other company though, now that sounds interesting. Probably can’t get it here. Sigh. And what a name: Queens & Monsters.

    • March says:

      No idea about the Henry Rose over there … but it was good and interesting enough I may try to get some samples of the others.

  • alityke says:

    Sana Jardin seems to do well in the UK. Whilst it gently pushes eco-credentials it isn’t overtly homemade macrame sandals & lentil bran stew. Not tried them cos I’m bone idle at times & getting my sniffer on them means hauling my carcass onto a train or spending the price of a travel spray on parking!
    Interesting that Michelle Pfeiffer has a perfume range. Wasn’t she supposed to have bought up all the stock of one of the LAP vanillas?

    • cinnamon says:

      I had a SJ sample pack. Would have sent it along but it already found a new home. It does seem to do well here. Not clear why.

      • March says:

        Shoot, I wish it were the other way around and you had Henry Rose.

      • alityke says:

        SJ got into big dept stores very quickly after launching. Not really niche going on the old description of limited number of sales outlets.
        I’m guessing the market is the same as that buying PdM Delina

    • March says:

      Excellent description — not macrame sandals and lentil stew lol. Did not know that about Michelle Pfeiffer but it seems plausible, clearly she is interested in fragrance!

  • Tom says:

    I have t tried these although I’ve been meaning to try the Henry Rose scents. There’s a Credo Store on 3rd a block away from Le Labo. I’ve just been totally lazy..

  • Maya says:

    They both sound very interesting. I’m going to check them out further right now. Thanks!