Caswell-Massey is proud to support Yellowstone Forever in celebrating the flowers and fauna that are part of the unique heritage of Yellowstone National Park through our Yellowstone Forever Collection. Purchase of these products supports Yellowstone Forever’s mission of engagement and support through education and fundraising for the park, to ensure Yellowstone remains an incredible resource for generations to come.
The Collection includes Fragrance Tonics and Multi-Purpose Moisturizing Oils, all made with Living Florals from Yellowstone National Park. Scroll down to learn more about how these incredible fragrances were created.
About Yellowstone Forever
Yellowstone Forever is the park’s official education and fundraising nonprofit partner, operating eleven educational Park Stores, the Yellowstone Forever Institute, and a worldwide community of Yellowstone enthusiasts who have made a financial commitment to fund visitor education and park preservation.
The Yellowstone Forever Institute introduces thousands of students to the park’s natural wonders. Programs range from one day to three weeks in length, and highlight the park’s amazing wildlife, geothermal areas, rich history, and awe-inspiring wilderness. Visit www.yellowstone.org.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The Yellowstone Living Floral project was developed over five years, starting under a scientific research permit granted to International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) in 2014 to study selected plant species unique to Yellowstone National Park.
Applying the Living Floral technique, the scent signature of sixteen quintessential Yellowstone plant species were identified, enabling the team to recreate “nature identical” scent molecules using sustainably sourced materials, without damaging or harming the rare botanical species. These nature-identical molecules were then refined by perfumers for the collection.
Caswell-Massey visited Yellowstone with IFF and the Yellowstone National Park botanist for the development of the project with the Yellowstone Forever Team. “This partnership is a great example of corporate stewardship and research that will strengthen education and preservation efforts in Yellowstone for years to come,” said Yellowstone Forever President & CEO Heather White. “We’re delighted that this unique new collection of products will introduce many people to this wonderful park and help share the treasures found within it.” The collection features five scents developed from five separate regions of the Park, each available in a 100ml Fragrance Tonic and a 30ml Aroma-therapeutic Moisturizing Oil.
Each one of the fragrance blends has a combination of nature-identical Living Floral absolutes reflecting the region of the park where these species grow. Some plants grow in wide regions of the park, while others are very sensitive to microclimates, geothermal features, and seasonal fluctuations, and grow only in very specific areas. Some species are also affected by climate dynamics that are changing conditions at Yellowstone, making these plants rare or endangered.
After our initial expedition, we spoke with Heidi Anderson, the Yellowstone Park Botanist, to reflect on some of the botanical species at Yellowstone, and the meaning of these Living Florals to her, in her experience at the Park. The species on her descriptions are just a few of the species included in the blended fragrance formulations.
We start at Lake Yellowstone, which is at the heart of the Park, and some of the plants that grow across larger regions. Shrubby Goldenweed is specific to higher elevations and areas around Lake Yellowstone. The smell is similar to another common species found in the park, Curly Cup Gumweed, and it is one of the unsung heros of the native plant community. Shrubby Goldenweed is able to compete with nonnative (invasive) species, and has held on well in the park, growing cheek and jowl with Knapweed. Curly Cup Gumweed is also prevalent in Mammoth, away from the large geothermal features, and in the open range towards Tower Fall. Silky Crazy Weed and Mountain Forget-me-Not are specific to high elevations above nine thousand feet, found in these high elevation areas near Lake, Canyon and Tower.
Tower Fall (also known as Devil’s Den) is characterized by large pine forests with tall trees. The region has nice woodsy pine needle scent, and you can often find Sagebrush, Phlox, Wax Currant, and Yellowstone varieties of Rose. There are also amazing blooms of Balsamroot in early June near Tower Fall. The Tower Fall region is known for the prevalence of Black Bears and ‘Chuck Wagon Rides’ out to Yancy’s Hole, where visitors can enjoy a steak dinner, recite poetry and play guitar. It has the feel of the old Yellowstone days. East of Tower Fall towards the Lamar Valley is a region known for Wolves, Grizzly Bears, Elk, and Bison. It is sometimes called the Serengeti of North America.
Mammoth is known best for its spectacular Terraced Thermal features of course. Besides the thermal sulfur smell, there is a beautiful fresh water smell in the region and a scent of hay grass in the summer. Even though it is farther north, the flora in Mammoth generally bloom early since it is the first part in the park to lose snow.
Flora in Mammoth is characterized by gorgeous Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) blooms in June. Early in the season, Desert Primrose (Oenothera cespitosa) blooms at night so very fragrant for night pollinators. It has an amazing smell. Similarly, Evening Star (Mentzelia decapetala) blooms around Mammoth at night and is very floral. Those plants are not really found in other places at the park. Of course there is lots of sagebrush in Mammoth and later on in the season, it tends to feel really hot, especially walking around the terraces, and you start to really relish the cool evenings. The terraces have beautiful blooms of Larkspur (Delphinium nuttalianum). Historically it was the army headquarters with youthful, social feel.
Canyon is at the highest elevation with lots of mountain fresh air. It typically gets the most snow of the developed areas in the park, lots of water throughout the year, and has really good skiing. The vegetation is characterized by Lodgepole Pine forests and wet meadows with blooms of Blue Lupine, Yampah (an interesting turpentine smell that bears love), Indian paintbrush, and Biscuitroot (another bear food). There are lots of grizzly bears at Canyon.
Old Faithful is quintessential Yellowstone: What’s not to love about geysers, the Old Faithful Inn and rare plants? Old Faithful is also where the most impressive lodge was built and where the most well-heeled visitors would stay, because in the 1920s and 1930s, it was the most difficult place to get to, and expensive to stay.
At Old Faithful, there are primal, magical events occuring: Bison own the geyser basin, and geysers go off regularly every day, sometimes spontaneously. In the spring, you can get glimpses of grizzly bears strolling the geyser basins looking for winter kill and wolves passing through. It is a place where anything can happen, where you can at any moment, if you are observant, glimpse a bit of nature that you would otherwise never see.
Old Faithful has a wide range of flora. An abundance of Sagebrush, Blue Lupine, Buckwheat; and gorgeous early season blooms of Larkspur (Delphinium nuttalianum), Monkeyflowers (Mimulus guttatus & Mimulus nanus), Steershead (Dicentra), Sierra uniflora sanicula graveolans, Lomatium triternatum (Biscuitroot). Old Faithful is another area of the park known for early season blooms thanks to the thermal features warming the ground.
In addition to the amazing terrestrial plants, the Firehole River is a major feature contributing to Old Faithful so the smell of water is always permeating the air. In the river grows an aquatic hybrid only found in that river and in one other place in the world: a non-thermal water in Michigan! The aquatic hybrid has no scent of course but they add to the allure of the area being iconic for “primal moments you can only see here”.
And this brings us back home to Yellowstone Lake. The Lake is known for Sand Verbena which is a type of Verbena that does not grow anywhere else in the world. It is threatened by a range of issues that are putting this rare species at risk of extinction. Yellowstone Lake is an incredibly large body of water in the interior of the park, and a major destination for visitors in the Summer months. There are lots of grizzly bears in the region around the Lake chomping on native plants including Camas, Yampah, and Sedges. Due to it’s interior location and high elevation, it’s generally cooler and feels very alpine with mountain fresh air and undertones of water. There’s always a breeze - it’s where you go to cool off on really hot days.