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Juniper Ridge: This Isn’t Your Grandfather’s Cologne

juniper ridge this isnt your grandfathers cologne
When Hall Newbegin, the founder of the California-based fragrance company Juniper Ridge, develops a scent, he asks himself, “Does it really smell like that place?” An avid outdoorsman who has hiked many miles in the West Coast’s prime hiking destinations like Big Sur, the Cascades and the Sierra Nevadas, Newbegin wanted to bottle their scents so people didn’t have to venture into nature to experience them. “My whole thing was bringing the fragrance of the outdoors into people’s homes,” Newbegin told The Manual. So Newbegin started his operation in 1998 with a stall at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market selling handmade soaps and incense.

From there, Newbegin set out with a lofty goal: to craft fragrances that didn’t smell like the traditional scents that originate in the French school of perfumery, nixing the favored vetiver- and Bergamot-based scents that we’ve become all too used to. Instead of procuring components from the Grasse region in France, Newbegin combed the mountains, forests and deserts of the West Coast to harvest wild plant trimmings. The natural fragrances are then distilled and formed into Juniper Ridge’s product line, which includes colognes, incense, soap and room spray in seven different scents that include Cascade Glacier, Yuba River and San Jacinto. “It’s a new way to wear fragrance,” explained Newbegin.

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That it is. Juniper Ridge isn’t the cutting-edge stuff that uses synthetic materials, nor is it the high-end strong stuff that old men wear. Newbegin works with state parks to harvest the trimming in a sustainable manner. It is all natural — the true scent of nature — taken from the very place where it originates. “You take the trees that grow in the Sierra Nevada and you take those plants that grow in a one or two mile area and you put them together in a fragrance, and have something magical, it smells just like that place,” said Newbegin.

Juniper Ridge is indeed magical and we’re glad that we discovered it. “I work on the premise that if I can capture a place and make it real and make it to the point that it smells like that place, that people will respond to it,” said Newbegin. We certainly responded to it. You should too.

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