When perfumer Linda Sivrican and gardener Ron Finley struck up a friendship, she wanted to immerse him in her sensory world.
“Want to get out of what you do and into a different environment?,” she recalls asking the self-described Gangsta Gardener, who’s known for his TED Talk and activism work in L.A. around improving access to gardening and nutrition in under-served communities. “You might enjoy it for an afternoon,” Sivrican suggested.
In a sense, she was returning a favor. Despite her personal aversion to gardening, “I saw his MasterClass, and he inspired me to garden again,” she says. It made sense to share her expertise with Finley, given the overlapping experiential natures of scent crafting and gardening. Inviting him to her Capsule Parfumerie boutique and workshop on Melrose Avenue eventually led to a benefit collaboration under Capsule’s Fiele Fragrances label. It’s not the first time Sivrican embraced the opportunity to translate the spirit and character of other unorthodox professionals into the medium, given her past work with figures such as chef Jordan Kahn of Vespertine and Richard Christensen of the Flamingo Estate.
A Flower for You is the latest fragrance that incorporates these two multi-disciplinary creatives’ skills and sensibilities. Finley has a background in fashion design and Sivrican also operates Sesame superette store in L.A.’s historic Chinatown, offering goods that range from locally grown produce to her favorite Vietnamese sauces and imports, and is opening a restaurant in Long Beach. The perfume reflects his olfactory favorites from near and afar, and proceeds go to support the Ron Finley Project nonprofit organization.
After Finley conveyed his love of rose and vanilla with Sivrican, she was insistent on coming up with a blend that does “not smell like a typical rose” fragrance. So, she opted for a “deeper, richer” Madagascar vanilla and Egyptian rose. Vetiver from India adds “a little bit of a smokey note,” and rose geranium balances out the scent with “a bit of green and freshness” along with Hawaiian sandalwood. The overall result suggests a stroll through a garden that’s as dimensional and surprisingly unique as its namesake’s L.A. home base.