Mauricio Garcia: Alchemist of Herbcraft Perfumery
Mauricio Garcia is a designer, perfumer and certified aromatherapist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His fascination with the botanical world began in his Abuelita’s small garden in foggy South San Francisco—the fruit trees and the roses, the yerba buena and other herbs that grew in clay pots, the wall of fragrant Jasminum polyanthum that seemed to always be blooming.
Mauricio believes his purpose is to create beauty that inspires the celebration of the spirits of the botanical, natural and ancestral worlds. Through Herbcraft Perfumery, he designs scents that conjure spirits and serve as portals through which we can shift our energies and realities.
The inspirations for Herbcraft Perfumery scents are born of communication with the elements and spirits of place, by his time spent among the coastal redwoods and his adoration of flowers, as well as his family’s close connection to their ancestors.
Because the purpose of Herbcraft Perfumery is to honor the natural world, Herbcraft Perfumery is committed only using materials that are not from plants listed as vulnerable, near-threatened, endangered, critically-endangered or extinct in the wild by The International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species™, CITES or other organizations.
Mauricio uses alternatives or more sustainable reconstructions and accords made of natural and man-made materials for essences like agarwood, frankincense, rosewood, sandalwood, vanilla and other threatened plant species. These blends are designed using modern perfumery techniques with the application of the laws of sympathetic magic.
Mauricio is co-founder of the Coalition of Sustainable Perfumery, a group of makers and industry experts coming together to promote sustainable, renewable and ethical practices around materials sourcing, packaging and education. He is also a founding team member for the Ministry of Scent, a boutique fragrance studio and brand. Through Herbcraft Perfumery, Mauricio teaches classes and workshops on perfumery, aromatherapy, botanical folklore and fragrant witchcraft.
“I had a dream about inheriting an old witch’s magic.
Ancient, glittering perfume bottles whirled around me, and, in the way of dreams, I knew that sealed within each jewel-colored vessel was a powerful spirit: beings of desire and nostalgia, of hope and loss and memory. In order to learn the spells that compelled the spirits to enchant the blends into bewitching perfumes, I had to devote myself to learning their secrets. The union of the material and spirit worlds is the heart of Herbcraft— a crossroads of alchemy and spirit work. Scent is a powerful sense, with a lifetime of experiences from which to draw. It is the biochemical interaction between aromatic molecules and sensory neurons, igniting a cosmic lightning strike of electrical signals and invoking decades of recollection and association. When one takes into consideration the spirits of the plants with which we work, and the intelligences they imbue into their precious, fragrant essences, one cannot help but wonder what else these botanical spirits might conjure within and around us as we ritualistically anoint our wrists, neck, hair and space with perfume, filling the air with rose and musk, sweet resin and jasmine, black pine and damp moss. Such wonder lies at the heart of beauty, and such supernatural beauty is the essence of Herbcraft Perfumery.” — Mauricio Garcia
Learn more in the interview.