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Boy Smells x GANNI

BRING THE OUTSIDE IN—The Boy Smells x GANNI collaboration, PARK LIFE, is an aromatic recreational experience at home. Made using fully recyclable and responsibly sourced ingredients, the brands are thrilled to discuss their shared values of making products that do not jeopardize our futures. Boy Smells Co-Founder Matthew Herman and GANNI Creative Director Ditte Reffstrup sit down to discuss the inspiration behind this exclusive limited edition candle. And why PARK LIFE is more important than ever.

Matthew Herman

Why is this partnership so meaningful to you?

Both GANNI and SPACE at NORDSTROM are committed to working towards a more sustainable future in fashion and beauty—a shared core value of Boy Smells. That, and the love for design and artistic elements made co-creating with them incredibly exciting for us as a brand. 


And, what is the meaning behind PARK LIFE?

The PARK LIFE candle was conceived between Boy Smells, GANNI and the creative team that operates SPACE at Nordstrom.  It has been a truly collaborative journey that highlights each of our brand’s love of style and scent. PARK LIFE encompasses not only the whimsical spirit of our brands, but is also an homage to the beauty of nature and park culture, something we’ve observed having a renaissance, as socializing indoors has been impossible.  During these challenging times, PARK LIFE is all about finding sanctitude in nature.


How do you style the limited edition PARK LIFE candle in your own home?

With the pop color of the glassware, I like to juxtapose the candle against the many neutral and wood tones in my home.  Whether it be next to our beige Vico Magistretti sofa, next to one of our terracotta ceramics, or on our cinder block coffee table, it offers the perfect pop of color. 


What drew you to partner with GANNI?

I come from the fashion industry, having been a designer for many years, and I deeply admire GANNI’s irreverent approach to style, as well as their deep commitment to sustainability.  Our hope is that the PARK LIFE collaboration will ignite conversation at the intersection of fashion and decor,  inspiring people to create sensorial sanctuaries at home by bringing the scent of outdoors in.


What was the inspiration behind this transporting scent and the stunning packaging?  What was the creative process like?

PARK LIFE is a brand new and exclusive scent, created collaboratively, culminating in a composition of notes that is simultaneously invigorating and comforting. The shared love of design made co-creating a breeze.  Housed in an electroplated glass in a bright mint colorway, we incorporated iconic GANNI floral prints and an inviting smiley face that graces the packaging’s front.  Each aspect of the PARK LIFE candle, from ingredients to glassware to packaging, are fully recyclable using only responsibly-sourced materials. 


What are the scent notes of the PARK LIFE candle and how do those evoke the feelings of bringing the outdoors in, this holiday season? What drew you to create this special scent together?

The PARK LIFE candle weaves together an abundance of fresh green notes such as basil, bright fig and soothing sage, we incorporate grounding spice accords of ginger and whole clove, and finish it all off with a warm base of earthly tonka bean and sandalwood. The scent is simultaneously invigorating and comforting, a very multidimensional scent that transports the mind to an amber toned memory of nature.


How will this holiday season be different for you this year? 

This year we will be spending the holidays away from the usual big parties and festive outfits, in exchange for something more intimate and homier.  Only convening with a small group of family, we will be spending time by the fireplace, playing games and cooking.  Although it will be different, I expect it to be exceedingly special.  I am excited to establish new traditions.


With travel and socializing less accessible this holiday season, why is important to you that PARK LIFE be a transportive experience?  

Given the state of the world and although the holidays may not be quite the same, we have small comforts like scent to provide us with momentary escapes. If we have to be home, I like knowing it will smell divine!

Ditte Reffstrup

Why is this partnership so meaningful to you?

When the opportunity came up to work with Boy Smells, I was really excited. I love how we care about the same things,  we share a lot of values in terms of creating responsible products and I really enjoy working with niche brands that are experts in their field, so we can learn something new. We love experimenting with new products and in these times, when we are all more at home than ever before, it felt so natural to create something for the home. It’s also our first step into the world of scent.


And, what is the meaning behind PARK LIFE?

We named it after one of my favorite Blur albums from 1994. I am a huge britpop fan! 


How do you style the limited edition PARK LIFE candle in your own home?

To relax, I love being surrounded by some of my favorite things. Like Apartamento coffee table books and my Royal Copenhagen blue candlestick I picked up in The Apartment—a lifestyle and concept store in Copenhagen. And wrapping myself up in a Tekla blanket to make things more hygge.


Why is sustainability so important to you as a brand, and why was it important to withhold that same standard when curating the PARK LIFE candle with Boy Smells?

We have this dogma when working on collabs, if it’s not a responsible project we just won’t do it.  Earlier this year we launched our Responsibility Gameplan. We set ourselves more than 44 goals for the next 3 years, so we can focus on doing better and stay on track in our journey in becoming the most responsible version of ourselves . One of our goals is reaching 100% traceability in our supply chain, so having the RSPO certification on the traceability side of the candle was super impressive. The candle wax is made from all natural ingredients—a blend of beeswax and organic coconut wax—right down to the FSC certified packaging and is hand poured in Los Angeles. I love the idea of keeping the candle jars and reusing around the house. 


How did you bring GANNI’s signature style to the world of scent?

I love the scent because it’s so fresh and light, but with a playful warm side and something a little unexpected with the ginger and sandalwood coming through. I think that’s very much like us and captures the GANNI spirit. When we started out, we wanted to create our version of Scandi-style—what we call Scandi 2.0. It's a more playful and effortless approach to dressing. Without strict dogmas or rules, but with room for personality, contrasts and experimentation. It’s been such a fun process working with candles, as it’s completely different from clothing. It’s about using your senses in a different way. We chose the scent and worked on the packaging to make it super GANNI. Much like how I work on our collections, it was all pretty much gut, all feeling.


How will this holiday season be different for you this year? 

We would usually always go big on the Christmas party to really bring our team together, celebrate them and say thanks for all their hard work. But with things as they are, we can’t do that. So I think this year, it’s going to be different and more about taking a moment out to relax. We’re going to be spending more time with family in the comfort of our own homes.


How will you be incorporating the PARK LIFE candle into your holiday celebrations?

I've always loved lighting candles around the house. We have such dark winters, so candles are perfect for creating some hygge at this time of year. In Denmark, it’s tradition to light candles every Sunday in December for advent leading up to Christmas Eve.


What is your take on the PARK LIFE candle’s intrinsic ability to bring the outside in?

I think it’s so important after this year. During this pandemic it has really resonated with me to enjoy the simple things in life and taking time out to feel good. In Copenhagen, we’re lucky to have lots of open spaces—you're never far from a park or the seaside. Falling in love again with my hometown and spending more time outside in nature with our three kids, dressing up to feel good or taking a moment to relax and enjoy a candle really kept me sane.

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