Photos courtesy of será
With its curated collection of essential oils and perfumes, será may just be the best-smelling store in the Hudson Valley.
Finding the perfect perfume is a rarity. More involved than simply spraying a sweet-smelling bottle of something at the mall, it’s a back-and-forth experiment of testing scents to see how they alter, develop, and stand the test of time. The process is a highly individualistic one and, since perfumes vary so much from one person to the next, the only thing to do is to test one and see how it wears.
For when that elusive fragrance is finally found, it’s a partnership that can last for life…or at least until the perfume bottle empties.
Será understands the power of scent. With its custom collection of aromatherapy fragrances, incense, and mists, the Woodstock storefront makes its name on the sweetest sniffs in the region. They’re not just any scents, either. Forgoing artificial, chemical-laden products, the store stocks only the cleanest ingredients and handcrafts every single perfumed product inside its shop on Tinker Street.
“We care very deeply about the ingredients and the process we use to create our clean, natural products,” note co-owners Christine Ferrante and Nolan Zimmerman. Both Woodstock residents, they moved to Ulster County with their respective partners after falling in love with the charm and quietude of the region. After realizing that Zimmerman’s background in corporate retail and Ferrante’s love of aromatherapy would make a perfect partnership, the two knew it was time for será to come to be.
Inspired by the notion of being (será means “will be” in Spanish), será centers upon the evocative, everchanging power of scent upon an individual.
“Scent has the power to shift and change the way we feel both physically and emotionally,” they explain. “Each blend was created to capture a moment, evoke a memory…’to be’ in that space.”
With fragrances centered around natural elements like lavender, pine, and cedarwood, será’s mists and perfumes draw forth memories just as much as they forge a thread between the wearers and the world around them. Nature figures prominently into the core of the store’s concept, since each of the ingredients used in the essential oil blends, body fragrances, candles, incense, mists, and salves are 100-percent natural and sustainably sourced.
Depending on the ingredient, Ferrante and Zimmerman look to distillers, distributors, and growers across the globe for clean, high quality ingredients to use as bases for their blends. Speaking of those blends, they run the gamut between the breezy Summer in the Woods and the vibrant Scattered Light to the nostalgic Winged Air and the warm Fading Embers.
While preferred scents vary by mood and personality, the Summer in the Woods mist and candle, the calendula salve, and the Kyoto botanical fragrance shine as community favorites. To create each, Ferrante and Zimmerman draw inspiration from past experiences and combine ingredients in a thoughtful way so as to allow the natural notes to shine. With the calendula salve, for instance, the duo source dried, organic calendula flowers from a small farm in Vermont, then add them to organic extra virgin olive oil.
After letting the mixture sit for a few months to allow the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties time to infuse into the oil, they filter out the flowers and add beeswax that’s sustainably harvested from a small family farm in East Branch.
“Our goal is to nurture our innate connection to nature, so we developed our blends, crafted our collections, and created a space that represents our vision and our products, as well as those of like-minded makers and artists,” they say.
In addition to stocking their handcrafted scents, Ferrante and Zimmerman make a point to highlight independent, sustainably minded artisans. Through the homegoods component of será, they stock handmade, small-batch wares that vary from buttery throw blankets to eco-chic ceramics. As with everything at the store, the duo maintains a deep respect for nature with sustainable initiatives. They offer a ten-percent discount on product refills and encourage customers to return empty bottles to be sanitized for reuse.
For the product packaging, they prioritized reusable containers like candle jars that can be converted to drinking glasses and salve tins that can live second lives as at-home organizers.
Although será is relatively new to the Hudson Valley – it opened in July 2019 – it’s already found its niche in Woodstock.
“It has been so humbling to see how well our products have been received, especially with all of the love and time we put into hand-making them,” they say. “We are beginning to get to know our returning customers, which is exciting as we have always envisioned será being a space to learn and grow, [to] gather and connect as individuals and as a community.”
54A Tinker St, Woodstock