Our New Favorite Cologne Inspired by Great American Landscapes – Source Adage

source adage

We get a lot of pitches for fragrances.

But when we found out our friend Christopher Draghi (along with his partner Robert Dobay) were launching their own line, we were intrigued. Based in the small, historic town of Hudson in upstate New York, source adage is far from the scent capital of Paris. When we saw the onyx bottles and candles and unusual font, these colognes really stood out among the usual clutter of the fragrance world.

Of course you can’t write about fragrance without trying them out, so Christopher sent us a box and we were instantly hooked. While we are greedily keeping the colognes close at hand, we gave the ambient fragrances (read room spray) testers to friends over the holidays and won many gift points. The Southwest candle is seriously one of the best we have used as it still gives off a faint scent of precious dried wood, black peppercorn, fennel seeds and vetiver even when it’s not lit.

The colognes are called aka’ula and c’i’aan and each is destination-driven, like the collection of ambient fragrances. The island spice and volcanic aka’ula was inspired by Hawaii and the resin, wood, and fresh arctic notes of c’i’aan were inspired by Alaska. The name given to each of the fragrances is derived from the native languages of the regions that inspired them.

While we find these scents very manly, they are indeed unisex so you may want to hide these before they mysteriously move to your ladies side of the sink.

We spoke to Christopher to hear a bit more about the brand:

What is your background in fragrance?

Our background is as creative directors/branding designers with the addition of photography to my resume. Over the years we have worked with fragrance and hospitality companies that gave us an introduction to fragrances from a creative angle. Our own personal interest matured because of it and, from it, we were fortunate to meet professionals in the industry who helped us execute our own point of view for a fragrance line.

Why Hudson?

Hudson wasn’t planned. We visited once, by chance, on an upstate weekend in the Catskills and immediately felt at home. We were impressed by the high level, curated retail and lively atmosphere in a picturesque setting. On the same day we went on a walk through tour of a building that was for sale on the main commercial street. The realization that we could launch the fragrances and brand in a retail setting vs. wholesale was compelling. We moved on buying the building, sold our place in Brooklyn and renovated what now is not only our flagship store but also our house.

Why focus on American scents and places?

The American landscape/region inspired fragrances concept came to us immediately. We were excited by the broad inspiration we could draw from with varying landscapes, vegetation, cultures, climates etc. within the US. It gave us a deep well to draw from to individualize the scents themselves. The American states have no lack of awe inspiring nature even today, but there was always an underlying desire to imagine, through scent, the landscapes unspoiled. We wanted to honor a “true” nature in a respectful tone, stripped of a modern lens. The name, “source adage,” being a derivative, albeit conceptually, of that respect; “source of a common truth (adage).”

What’s next? 

We have recently created two new signature ambient fragrances for interior designers and gallerists that fit in to our candle collection. We enjoy the creative process and collaboration with these “special edition” products. In 2017 we’ll introduce more of these collaborations.

Our newest creations are the first two eau de parfums, aka’ula and c’i’aan, in a collection that maintain adage’s destination inspired theme. We have applied the same approach as our initial room scents focusing on quality and process to create truly unique fragrances that make statements. We don’t want “nice.” Our third, but not last, eau de parfum is in the final stage of development with a launch in early spring!

With the introduction of the personal fragrances underway, we are looking towards the potential of a mens/unisex fragrance + skin care line – from adage’s unique point of view, of course. Somewhere in there will be more travel for inspiration!

Check out the brand here and if you happen to find yourself in beautiful Hudson, go check out the flagship on the main thoroughfare at 314 Warren Street.