Molly Brennan: Alchemist of Sacred Scents
Molly Brennan is the Founder and Creatrix for Sacred Scents and CEO of House of Sacred Scents. She is also a co-founder of the Coalition of Sustainable Perfumery. She was inspired to found Sacred Scents as a synthesis of her love for plants, the art of perfumery, and the necessity of personal transformation in relation to a societal shift toward sustainable behavior in business and our personal lives. Molly’s love affair with scent began as a small child with her hands in the dirt, cultivating herbs and flowers in her mother’s garden. Her deep reverence for the natural world led her on a journey through environmental and social justice culminating in the belief that our sensory connection with plants helps build respect for the earth and improves sustainable decision making. As a city dweller based out of San Francisco, CA natural scent has also provided a way to connect with the natural world from inside the urban jungle.
Molly’s love of scent and natural perfumery stems from a love of the plants themselves and the ecosystems in which they live. She received her reverence and love for plants, animals, and the earth from her parents. Her father taught her to stop, listen, and look at the world around her. Always stop and say hello to pine and yew, to the crows, to the geese as they fly by. To always look and see strawberry and mushroom, owl, hawk, newt, and mole. To listen to loon even if it scares the crap out of you because it sounds like a wolf. To always look up at the stars and down at the earth. From her mother she learned to love to have her hands in the dirt and enjoy the smell of earth and growing things. Some of her earliest memories are of planting geraniums, eating fresh peas off the vine, and rubbing oregano and thyme between her fingers to learn to identify them by smell. She learned what it is to plant a seed and care for it before you can see any growth. To nurture it from the time it is placed in the earth until it flowers and bears fruit. To understand what it means to let something grow in its own time.
Molly’s vision for her offerings through Sacred Scents, and for House of Sacred Scents as a space for offerings from multiple alchemists, is to use the beauty of scent as a gateway to connect people with the wonders of the natural world and to build empathy and reverence for the plant life that exists on this planet and to see how our fate is entwined with theirs. Human beings are not something that is separate from the rest of the earth, but an integrated part of a whole and dependent upon it for survival. The earth and all of the life upon it are not something to be taken and utilized for the sole benefit of humanity, but something to be respected, nurtured, and cared for the sake of the whole.