Favourite Things: Fragrance Artist Samantha Copland

Fragrance artist and founder of Perfume Playground Samantha Copland shares her favourite things

Fragrance artist and founder of Perfume Playground Samantha Copland. Picture / Babiche Martens

Samantha Copland is well and truly tapping into the power of scent — an often overlooked component of health — with her venture Perfume Playground. The unique approach to fragrance design centres around a personal “scent story” that aligns with one’s wellbeing motivations.

“We say no to synthetics, so it’s all very wholesome, but you can be as daring as you like with your scent choices,” says Copland. “It’s a new approach to fragrance design, using the power of scent and technology to help you feel more present and alive.”

Her Ponsonby studio space, with its high ceilings and brick walls, dates back to 1906 when it was built as a sergeants’ flat. She hosts her regular Perfume Playground club nights next door at Studio One, Toi Tu, in the building’s former cell blocks. Its onsite sensory garden created by Auckland artists Richard Orjis and A.D. Schierning, makes for a full-circle experience.


Portchie cushion; Himalayan salt lamp; Recipe book. Pictures / Babiche Martens

1. Portchie cushion
Hula hoops are a good reminder to be playful. I bought this cushion in India when travelling with my friend in 2014. We had so many good times and so much laughter. India is full of noise and colour. Looking at this cushion always puts things into perspective after a long day.

2. Himalayan salt lamp
People often comment as they come up the stairs how amazing it smells as you come into the studio. We use the Himalayan salt lamp to purify the air. The increased concentrations of negative ions also help to increase energy levels.

3. Aroma: The Magic of Essential Oils in Food & Fragrance
Mandy Aftel is considered the world’s most dedicated all-natural perfumer by The New York Times. I head to the US every six months to learn from her, but in my down-time I love making and sharing some of the recipes in this book. It combines my love of food and fragrance.

Cuban movie posters; Minimalux candle holder. Pictures / Babiche Martens

4. Cuban movie posters
When Fidel Castro seized control of Cuba 50 years ago, time stopped for Havana’s movie theatres. Only 40 cinemas remain open now. They’re the classic, big-screen movie theatres of a bygone era. When I was in Havana I picked up a few vintage posters from the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art & Industry and this is my favourite. La Ultima Palabra means ‘the final word, the last say’.

5. Minimalux candle holder
I love the simple, elegant design of this candle holder. I burn this when I make a bespoke fragrance, which I often do in the evenings, accompanied by some relaxing classical music.

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New Zealand Herald

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