ABOUT ADIRONDACK FRAGRANCE & FLAVOR FARM
It's been said that the sense of smell creates the most lasting impression. In the way a certain perfume can immediately remind you of your grandmother, the smell of pine almost surely transports you to a lush forest.
With just a whiff of the balsam fir soaps, lotions and sprays made by Adirondack Fragrance & Flavor Farm, suddenly we're hiking to the top of Mt. Marcy in our New York state of mind.
The smells are genuine because they are grown in the area: balsam fir tree needles are pulverized into the soap bars as a natural exfoliant, the body wash and moisturizers contain soothing white cedar oil, and the cologne and room spray are infused with Adirondack grape spirits.
Sandy Maine is the company's founder and product developer, and also a botanical perfumery specialist at SunFeather Natural Soap Company. Her success story is as homegrown as her products. In the late-1970s, armed with a SUNY Potsdam degree, a $15 investment, and a love of gardening and natural healing, Sandy embarked upon founding a soap company that has become one of the most successful all-natural soap producers in America; she sold the company in 2011, and still manages it with the help of 15 New York employees.
She and her husband live on an Adirondack farm along the St. Regis River that once supplied the food for both logging camps and the Sylvan Falls Hotel, a wilderness resort. Of tending and renovating the farm, Sandy says frankly, "Some years were easier than others, but as is often the case, one thing led to another and now I know that the work I have done has well-prepared me for the work I am doing, and the work that I plan to do until I can work no more."
Until that day comes, Sandy is ushering in what she calls "The Age of Perfume," by creating products from materials that can be sustainably grown and harvested in partnership with local producers, that create jobs locally, that are beautiful, that hopefully encourage outsiders to visit and tour the Adirondacks, and (with the perspective of an author of many books and a small business lecturer at Potsdam's Clarkson University) spur people to educate themselves. Can't you just smell the success?