Growing up in the wine world, wearing fragrance was looked down upon because it interfered with the ability to analyze wine. “Any kind of scent, whether it was actual fragrance or your lotion or soap, was not encouraged,” said April Gargiulo, founder of Vintner’s Daughter. “With that said, what was encouraged was your appreciation and analysis of natural scent, whether it was in the wine, a flower outside o,r the dirt. All of that, from a natural perspective, was something that helped you build your nose and skills of analysis.”

As April was developing Vintner’s Daughter’s two signature skin care products, Active Botanical Serum and Active Treatment Essence, fragrance wasn’t at the forefront of the formulas—it was all about performance. “It’s about how those ingredients come together over the long formulation processes we go through,” April said. “Scent was not something I was thinking about other than the natural byproduct of the extraordinary raw materials we were using. But year after year, people had this euphoric reaction to the scent of the Active Botanical Serum, though nothing was added for scent.”

That sparked April to think about formulating fragrance with the same approach as skin care, using only natural ingredients sourced from whole plants and working with growers dedicated to using the highest quality raw materials. April’s good friend, Lauren Harwell Godfrey, a jewelry designer who had worked with a friend of hers, Loreto Remsing, who exclusively creates natural fragrance, connected them. Loreto went on to create Vintner’s Daughter’s 100 percent natural perfume oil, Understory.

“We spoke each other’s language,” April said. “I was speaking about it through a skincare lens and she was speaking about her formulations through a fragrance lens, but we were both approaching it with the same integrity of honoring the natural botanical world. We fell into lockstep with each other from a philosophical standpoint and so I felt really comfortable working with her.”

The goal was to create a complex representation of an imaginary botanical forest, which took more than 50 iterations. After all that back and forth, they landed on a unisex blend of Redwood Forest accord (conifers, bay, moss, and violet) and Blue Flag Accord (jasmine, violet leaf, and soft petals). “It was about creating this intimacy with yourself, having this moment of connection with the botanicals,” April said.

“It was always about creating this green fairy tale forest that’s lush, deep and beautiful,” April said. “It’s gorgeous trees and an incredible abundance of florals—a northern California forest meets a tropical rainforest. We called it Understory because it’s everything that’s happening below the canopy of a forest, from the dirt to the bushes to the brush to everything underneath. We felt that was such a beautiful representation of the scent we had created.”

Each Understory Perfume Oil ($245 for a 10 ml bottle) will come in a drawstring bag crafted from vegan leather so that you can carry it with you throughout the day. “The bag is something that allows you to keep the product literally close to you,” April said. “I believe that a connection to nature is a connection to yourself. Being in nature is almost like a conduit to yourself. It was about furthering that and making that even more accessible, whether you wear it around your neck or tie it around your waist. This energy and connection of being able to carry it with you is really important to us.”

Using an oil format, as opposed to a spray, was essential to the vibe of the fragrance. “It wasn’t about announcing yourself to the world—we wanted it to have this very intimate level of application,” April said. “Also, oils are able to have a deeper integration with your body.”

Each perfume will be handmade in small batches and is a limited edition, lasting until it sells out. “It’s a moment,” April said. “The scent is so complex, but not one thing stands out. It’s almost as if it’s this fully formed thing in nature; it’s just so cohesive and beautiful.”