Saffron James Perfume – Nani

It makes complete sense that Kate Grownley, a native Hawaiian and former ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar and Lucky beauty editor would be passionate about fragrance. It makes even more sense that she would develop her own line of fragrances inspired by the rare floral varieties of her homeland.

With names devised from the native tongue and inspired and developed in homage to the islands’ “beauty, mystery and humor,” Saffron James honors the Hawaiian approach to tradition.

A sample of Nani (pronounced na-Knee) is no exception (30 ml, $85, also available as a mini oil for $38). The scent is encased in a red box, beautifully decorated with the enticing Saffron James floral motif. Inside, consumers will find the story of the particular fragrance, which in this case was inspired by Kalaninuiahilapalapa Ka’iulani Cleghorn, otherwise known as the “Peacock Princess,” due to her love of birds. Legend has it (that is, per the story on the box and as confirmed by Wikipedia) that as this Princess failed to reinstate the monarchy through her efforts on the United States’ mainland, she returned to Hawaii and died an early death, possibly of heartache. Apparently, the peacocks she left behind were, in turn, similarly devastated by her death.

Nani, much like Ms. Grownley’s other offerings, ties in notes of native Hawaiian flowers, including Pikake, Pink Plumeria, Mimosa, Lily and Ylang Ylang. The scent is a tad strong, and a little goes quite a long way. Though it is slightly reminiscent for me of scents enjoyed by my late grandmother (read: florals are strong), it also possesses a crispness that need not necessarily associate it with moth balls and espadrilles (though those are back in fashion as well).

In its power to evoke memories – be they of the tropical or grandmother variety, the outer and inner beauty offered in Saffron James’ eau de parfum is worth a whiff. To do so, should you be located closer to New York City than, say, the luxurious Hawaiian islands, head to your nearest Anthropologie, Apothia at Fred Segal, or Nordstrom (though only at select locations).

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About Jessica Stein

Jessica Stein is a writer and lawyer originally from Philadelphia, PA who has lived in New York City for the last six years. She has been a shortandsweetnyc contributor since 2008 for the books, health/beauty and food features (including restaurant reviews and chef profiles).
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