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Heaven Scent
YeYe's Pandora Votive

         by Saxon Henry 

The path from industrial engineer to perfumer may not seem a likely one on the surface, but for YeYe Fragrances’ co-founder Ernesto Sanchez-Bujanda, the mathematical aspects of his education as an engineer are perfectly aligned with his ability to create sensual home fragrances. When he speaks of base notes, heart notes and top notes—the stages of evaporation, and the nine essential oils that intermingle to create each fragrance, the analytical side of creating olfactory delights emerges.

What may be less obvious to the untrained nose is Sanchez-Bujanda’s commitment to quality. “I only use essential oils, even though they are one-thousand percent more expensive than synthetics,” he explains, adding that even some essential oils are better than others. “The trick is to know from what part of the world to find the best sandalwood and from where to order the finest jasmine, for example. I only buy vanilla from Madagascar because of its quality.”

Sanchez-Bujanda, a native of Venezuela, moved to New York City at the age of twenty-one to become a makeup artist. Tiring of the frenetic pace, he moved to Miami Beach in 2005 to open a high-end perfumery that sold hard-to-find European lines. “My life-partner, Ryan York, inspired me to take the next step,” he explains. “We decided to create home fragrances first.”

There are two YeYe collections: basic and complex. Basic fragrances include White Garden, Bosque Imperial and Orrant. The complex scents are Opulence, Phantom and Paradox. Within each collection, there are candles, diffusers and votives, called Pandora. The complex collection also includes natural resin-crystal potpourri.

York, who is vice president of YeYe, designed the packaging—elegantly detailed eggplant and earthy brown canisters, and playfully wrapped votives in chartreuse. “We wanted the diffusers to have an old apothecary feel to them, but one that has a clean touch of the modern,” says Sanchez-Bujanda. Bamboo sticks for the diffusers and the seal on the diffusers themselves are artfully wrapped in leather cord, and rectangular plates that hold the potpourri are handmade in Thailand from palm wood. A diffuser will last from three to four months, depending upon the temperature, and candles will burn for about sixty hours. The natural wax candles range in price from $45 to $55 and the diffusers from $78 to $94. A pound of the potpourri sells for $54, the palm-wood trays run $30 and the votives, which are available in all six fragrances, cost $15.

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