Vintner’s Daughter’s New Fragrance Understory Joins Her Cult Skincare Range
If you’ve been around long enough, you know I’m obsessed with Vintner’s Daughter and its Active Botanical Serum, an award-winning facial oil formulated with 22 nutrient-dense botanicals for nourishing, restorative hydration. With this serum as a base, my makeup glides on beautifully and I’m left with a discreet hydrating glow that stays with me all day. Very few, if any, other facial oils come close.
So you can imagine my delight when I found out that the brand, founded by a pioneer in the sustainable skincare philosophy, less is more, April Gargiulo, is launching its first fragrance, Understory. The philosophy behind Vintner’s Daughter is slow, measured skincare formulations that take years to perfect, so it’s not every day that the team creates a new product. I sat down with April to understand the inspiration behind Understory as well as how it gets back to the very essence of Vintner’s Daughter.
Understory. I love the name. What is the meaning behind this?
Understory is the botanical world under the canopy of a forest. The inspiration for our understory is a magical redwood forest where vibrant moss, lush blooms and deep earth meet.
Can you describe the desire to launch a perfume? I would have thought you would add another product to your skincare arsenal.
Our community has been asking for a scent for as long as I can remember, so it’s something I’ve always been interested in. The stars aligned when my friend Lauren Harwell Godfrey introduced me to perfumer Loreto Remsing. When I spoke to Loreto about his approach to perfume, I felt a kindred spirit. She talks about it much the same way I talk about our skincare. The reverence we both share for the botanical world was palpable.
What makes Understory different from what’s on the market?
Understory was developed as a way to create a deeper connection with nature and with yourself through 100% natural fragrance. We chose an oil so that it becomes even more personal when applied to pulse points, warming and sinking into the skin rather than dispersing through the air. Understory is not a fragrance announcement to others, but rather a thoughtful and celebratory moment with oneself.
How does Understory reflect a similar philosophy to your skincare?
Like everything we formulate, Understory serves and is inspired by the harmony and elegance of botanical life, connecting with nature in an intimate and deeply resonant way. Our customers have always loved the fragrance of Active Plant Serum. So, creating a standalone whole-plant fragrance was a natural progression and fits our Less, Better sensibility. Our mission is to have an incredibly positive impact on the skin and lives of our customers. Understory continues this mission in a beautiful way.
What was the process of creating the perfume like?
I described the idea of a magical redwood forest in Loreto as a starting point for inspiration. Even as vague as it sounds, she understood exactly what I wanted to capture. After a few dozen variations, we landed on the current mix. It’s so beautifully clever, captivating, down to earth and forgiving. I love him so much. Lorette is a genius.
What surprised you about creating a perfume compared to what you have done in the past?
We have never focused on fragrance when formulating skincare. Perfume has always been a happy by-product of a very performance-driven formulation process. Both processes express the power of the botanical world, but in very different ways. So even though it was a completely different process, there are also very similar aspects to the development.