Who Makes Firn?
Who Makes Firn?
I love being outside; I think it comes with the territory of being a native to the Northwest. I love being outside so much that years ago, my older sister (who grew up in Texas) nicknamed me "Creepy Nature Girl" during a family reunion. For me, this was a fantastic compliment and a badge to wear proudly!
As a student of Anthropology, one of my favorite subjects was ethnobotany, or the study of plants and people. I was especially interested in plant uses: medicinal (e.g. fertility control), recreational and spiritual (e.g. ritual aids), household (e.g. indigo and plant roots for dying textiles), and what I call "personal enhancement" (e.g. beauty products, like henna/mehndi).
Ten years out of college, I still think about the topic of plants and people, though the daydreaming has taken a slightly different path. Now, I think about all the opportunities we miss to experience the botanical world using our most animal sense: that of smell. Nothing sends us to another time or place like scent can!
Our relationship to outside has become sooo detached. How unnatural it is that the majority of us exist almost exclusively indoors. Think: how many hours per day do you spend inhaling sterile, windless air in a climate controlled environment? Conversely, how often do you get to sniff at the fresh breeze of a forest, prairie, beach, or desert, in turn titillating the brain's receptors to trigger otherworldly, distant memories?
The typical creative process of Firn goes something like this: I go somewhere wild to connect with the outdoors, smell something beautiful, my mind tries to catalog it for safe keeping later, and then after I've returned home, I embark on a dang near obsessive journey to replicate the scent itself, or at least the feeling or memory it inspires, using the plant materials I have on hand. If I'm able to ethically harvest some of the plant matter in that area for distillation later... Well, bonus! Sometimes I'm able to exactly mimic the scent, and other times the end product is more of a personal interpretation.
It's my hope that these fragrances strengthen your personal relationship to the natural world and inspire you to venture outside so that you, also, can re-connect with your animal subconscious.