Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Perfume has always been my only vice. As a child growing up, my father crowned every present with a perfume that led to a growing collection dotted with exquisite little vials of samples from here and there. 

With my recent "conscious uncoupling" of sorts with my curated perfumes, I have turned to the subtly scented yet cellularly transformative line of sprays + oils from Vitruvi. A few spritz aprés shower, a dap to initiate meditation, and a roll on my wrists to roll into bed dreaming of skipping around the 21 countries Vitruvi sources their ingredients from. Here is Sara on refining sourcing through the senses . . . 

S A R A   P A N T O N  |  V I T R U V I    

Q: Tell us a little bit about you and what inspired you + Sean to start Vitruvi.
Vitruvi was born out of a fascination with scent that developed when I was in medical school learning about the olfactory cranial nerve and the power that scent has on the brain and body. I became inspired by the potential to use scent strategically throughout the day to trigger different changes my cognitive functioning and emotion and started experimenting with blending my own oils.

Sean (my brother, and now cofounder) and I started a simple website that shared ways to use scent as well as articles that highlighted the rituals and ways botanicals have been used for hundreds of years in cultures around the world. We worked on the website every evening from 9pm to 1am for close to a year, it was our passion project. We joke that the company grew from my bathtub as I would regularly send emails and designed products that set the groundwork for the collection from the bath each evening after a long day in school.

We quickly gained a following and launched our first collection when we saw a need and interest that our community had for a product collection that would allow them to weave the benefit of aromatherapy throughout their days. There wasn't another company making aromatherapy and essential oil products for the needs of the people we related to and so the 'Rituals' Collection was designed and launched as a way to take traditional botanicals and help weave them into the rituals of a modern day.

Interest in the concepts and collection began to grow quickly and I decided to take the leap out of school and focus 100% of my time and energy on the company. Sean left his job and we have been working together and growing our team and collections ever since. 

Q: What inspired the name + what is the meaning behind it?
Sean and I began researching the history of design and started learning about the first Roman architect Vitruvius who came up with the first design principles. These principles stated that everything designed should have: Utilitas, Firmitas and Venustas; that is, it must have utility, functionality, and beauty. Vitruvius later found mathematical equations for symmetry in plants and flowers that were also reflected in the human body -- This finding resulted in Leonardo da vinci naming the historic 'Vitruvian Man' after Vitruvius.

Inspired by thoughtful design and the connection between plants and people we aim to apply that same attention to detail in the creation all Vitruvi products being cognitive to our design principles and that every product we formulate is intended to be as useful and functional as it is beautiful. 

Q: Where do you source your ingredients from? Tell us about your dedication to high-quality essential oils, preservation of culture, + dedication to building healthcare.
First and foremost we are a company focused on design and innovation formulating, we take a huge amount of pride in how we create our products and how they are intended to be used. All oils used in Vitruvi products are sourced from over 21 countries around the world. We use only the highest grade essential oils and combine them in small batches that are then blended by hand with traditional perfume formulating techniques. All Vitruvi products are hand blended in small batches from our studio in Vancouver B.C., Canada. Our packaging is recyclable and our iconic triangle shaped boxes represent the 'change' symbol used in physics and mathematics, an ode to the creating change in our lives when we go throughout our days with intention. 

Q: Tell us about what sets Vitruvi fragrances apart from others. What are some of your favourite scents?
First and foremost Vitruvi is about designing your life with intention. Our oils and products are built to act as reminders to mindfully move through the routines and rituals of your day with intention.
Focus: Made with botanical oils including Rosemary and Lemongrass to help with memory retention and alertness this 'sophisticated life hacking oil' is designed to be stay on your desk and be applied before working to help promote focus and productivity regardless of where in the world your laptop takes you.

Sleep: Created with smoky vetiver, lavender, frankincense and chamomile this blend was inspired by recreating the scent of warm cashmere. To create a grounding bedtime ritual applied to the palms, rubbed together and breathed in before falling asleep.

Q: What is so special about fragrance for you?
I first fell in love with scent growing up, and would buy myself a perfume every year for my birthday -- That scent would then represent that year for me, to this day I still have memories tied to those scents and years embodied in different smells. It wasn't until medical school that I realized just how incredible the science of scent is and that it is our most powerful, yet under-utilized senses.

Q: How long did it take for you to craft your products to the state it is in now? What was that experience like for you?
The Rituals Collection took about 9 months for us to create. Each of the blends is created like a traditional fragrance, with top notes, middle notes and base notes. Sean and I worked with a perfume and aromatherapy formulators and wanted to create a unique aromatherapy experience, one that hadn't been experienced before.

The experience was incredible, and we gained an incredible education in the complexity of creating scents and the quality of fragrance making. A year later it resulted in us having a collection of aromatherapy products that are different than anything else on the market. We take a lot of pride in our formulation process an the quality of the ingredients we use.