Hello and Namaste! I am Anjali Vandemark.
( anjali_vandemark on instagram)
I am an independent perfumer. I handcraft perfumes in small batches from my workshop on Bainbridge Island, WA in the U.S. I perform all aspects of perfumery, including formulating, compounding, bottling, and packaging.
I was born and raised in India. One of my earliest memories is being around my grandmother. She owned a small block of real Mysore Sandalwood. For special ceremonies, she'd give me the very important task of making Sandalwood paste called gandh―a word that means scent.
I would grind that precious block of wood on a sahan―a special stone meant for just this purpose. For days afterwards my fingers would stay perfumed. My soul is forever imbued with the divine scent of Sandalwood.
In my perfumery, I want to explore not just my memories and experiences, I also want to experiment with and embrace new and unique juxtapositions of aromas from around the world, to spread joy and to elevate the experience of our passions.
In my family, we gave special attention to fragrances on various festive occasions.
Every year, my father and I would go to a small, artisan perfumer in an old part of town. We'd buy expensive attars for our guests. Attars are handcrafted, artisanal perfumes made by centuries-old process and sold mostly as soliflore extraits.
Mom would call the aggarbatti-wallah at home. He would bring two bags full of the various brands of incense from all parts of India. Mom and I would spend a long time smelling and evaluating them to select the very best. Mom would burn guggul & raal―resins from the local Sal trees and perfume the house.
The best part for me was going to the flower market. We'd buy Jasmine garlands that we wore in our hair. Kewada flower was a luxury afforded only once a year. Mostly we would buy marigolds that I strung into garlands.
Like a garland string that holds the flowers together, perfume binds our breathing, our body and our memories together.
With perfume, we experience being.
This is what I try to achieve with my creations. To connect the wearer with people, places, memories, nature, and mostly with oneself.
I am reminded of one of my favorite poems:
"I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts;
a sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused,
whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
and the round ocean, and the living air, and the blue sky,
and in the mind of man...”
― William Wordsworth, Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey
Namaste, and thank you for visiting.
I hope you find as much joy in wearing the perfumes, as I have found in creating them.