I first started experimenting with making my own skincare and fragrances when I couldn't find the products I was looking for in the market.
I've always had sensitive skin, prone to breakouts and rashes, and hadn't been able to find any products that really worked. Those that did help were very utilitarian, sometimes unpleasant to use, so I decided I'd try to make my own skin remedies.
I'd been buying essential and perfume oils in India for years, so I started experimenting by using these ingredients to make skincare and candles. I was first focused on reducing inflammation and breakouts.
Soon, friends and family were requesting products for their own skin issues - psoriasis, hyperpigmentation, eczema, scars. Bit by bit, my skincare experiments grew into a business, and Guna was born.
Around the same time, I was trying to reduce the synthetic fragrances in my life, but it was impossible to find natural perfumes and candles that had complex, unique and evocative scents.
I started learning more about Indian perfume cultures, distillation techniques, and the affective qualities of perfume materials, and sharing these stories and practices with my customers.
In the last few years I've also started visiting farms and distilleries in India, cultivating relationships with perfumers, and engaging with as many texts as possible, in order to document this heritage and bring it to a contemporary audience.
Guna has evolved into a project that brings together many different interests and skills. I'm an anthropologist, long-time yoga and meditation practitioner, holistic health enthusiast, lover of material culture and activist, focused on contributing to positive social change in as many ways as possible.
I'm building a business that respects cultural lineage and complexity, ethical business practices (from supply chains to language and marketing), while bringing rare and precious ingredients into people’s lives and supporting small-scale, artisanal industries in India.
Ancient Wisdom | Modern Luxury
Guna embodies elements of history, mythology, culture, Ayurveda, adornment, kama, decolonisation and more.
I hope Guna brings pleasure, nourishment and a sense of wonder to people who experience it.