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Sag Harbor Store Offers Fragrances Crafted by Hand

Posted on 06 June 2014


Anne Sanford in her new Sag Harbor store, LURK. Genevieve Kotz

By Genevieve Kotz

Good things come in small packages.

And LURK, which recently relocated from Manhattan to a small space at 28 West Water Street in Sag Harbor, is no exception to that rule.

Created by Anne Sanford in 2009, LURK produces five original scents, which are designed, blended, and hand-poured by Ms. Sanford herself, and made of environmentally friendly ingredients.

Ms. Sanford, who owned one of the first green apothecaries in Florida, said she was first introduced to essential oils in 2001 when she began selling them and experimenting with blending them. Her hobby soon turned into a passion.

At first, she sold her essential oils to the friends and clients she had met—having been in the beauty business for 15 years—but soon a business took root.

“I wanted to kind of bridge that gap between how people viewed the green market and how people viewed the luxury and fragrance market,” Ms. Sanford said. “My feeling is that it can live in both places, and fragrances have so many toxic chemicals in them that you should be able to get that sophisticated luxury feeling… and not have to compromise your health.”

Ms. Sanford said she uses all natural ingredients in her fragrances. She blends and hand-pours the oils and diffuses them into jojoba. The process takes 10 to 14 days, with fragrances made fresh to order. She also said her fragrances do not have the chemicals that are found in synthetic products. They are also free of pesticides and hexane, a solvent used in the fragrance industry to extract oils from plants.

They also are as unassuming as possible. No fragrance has a name – every title is just letters and numbers—and even though her products are all organic and natural, Ms. Sanford does not want to push any sort of political belief or agenda on her clients. Rather, she just wants to offer a choice for green beauty without giving up a sense of style or edge. Ms. Sanford said she wanted to make fragrances that are all natural but did not fall into the stereotype of patchouli.

To achieve this, Ms. Sanford often mixes scents that are polar opposites and uses ingredients that are not found in traditional perfumes.

“The scent actually has a living quality to it that you don’t get from a traditional, synthetic fragrance,” she said. “The scent compounds are totally different in how people experience them and how they react on your skin, but it still functions just as a perfume.”

Ms. Sanford said she takes great care to make sure the products she sells in her store are as pure as possible, yet are still well made. The Joshi bags she sells, for example, are handmade to order in the United States, and are as “low-impact” as possible.

Not only are the products eco-friendly, but the store is too. All the materials used, from the paint on the walls to the wood on the floor, are reclaimed or recycled materials. The floor mats were even made from recycled tires.

Ms. Sanford strives to offer products made by small businesses in her store.  Many of her suppliers are women-owned business or small “mom and pop” types, she said.

She has exclusive arrangements on Long Island, and even New York, with many of her suppliers. She is also the only store in the entire northeast carrying products by Marie Veronique Organics and Wild Honey Apothecary.

Ms. Sanford’s 8-ounce fragrances sell for $55 each, with each bottle lasting four to six months. While some of the products sold are higher end, there are affordable options as well. Products can range from about $20 to $250 for higher end treatments.

“You can get something incredible without having to compromise or sacrifice in whatever price range you’re interested in depending on what your skin care needs,” Ms. Sanford said.

She also offers many samples, to make sure that the customer is 100-percent satisfied with the product before buying it.

“We’re not here for just summer people,” she also noted, “We love New Yorkers… but this is community.”

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