HOOHAA x THE 5TH Meet Your Maker Questions with Hannah and George
We’re so excited to be sharing DŪMBO with our subscribers this month. Can you take us right back to the beginning of your fragrance journey? When did your love for fragrance first start?
As someone with grapheme-colour synesthesia, I have always had a heightened awareness of involuntary sensory associations. However it wasn’t until an early morning in 2019 on the London Underground that I truly understood the power of scent.
Just a brief moment passing a perfumed stranger sent me right back to the lobby of a Brooklyn hotel I had visited the year prior, whilst living with Hannah in New York. It was a time filled with bliss, introspection and energy. These emotions hit me again in that instant, sitting on the tube, all before my conscious thoughts could catch up and comprehend the rush.
I had always loved exploring fragrances to wear but that is when we really started our fragrance journey.
I moved back to live with Hannah again in New York shortly after, and we both spent a lot of our free time talking about that moment and the phenomenon of scent memories, visiting independent perfume stores and we also each bought a copy of The Secret of Scent by Luca Turin.
After that we began our journey to create THE 5TH together.
Did you ever encounter any fragrances that changed the way you thought about scent as a vehicle for self-expression, and if so, what were they?
It would have to be Santal 33 because at the time, when santal was not so commonly used, it was disarming yet empowering - and it's use not just as a personal scent, but one to fill spaces, introduced us to how scent can go beyond a personal accessory, and allow one’s identity to flow into the spaces we inhabit too - scent is an extension of self.
How would you describe THE 5TH to your friends and family?
Transportive and visceral. It opens with an earthiness and cardamom-spice, later developing with an addictive woody warm and subtle sweetness.
“THE STARK BUSTLE OF A BIG CITY, THE UNEXPECTED BLENDING OF RAW INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS WITH THE REFINED FRAGRANCE OF LUXURY HOTEL LOBBIES; A CELEBRATION OF THE CONTRAST THAT CAN BE FOUND WITHIN THESE ARTIFICIAL CITIES AND THE CALM NATURAL WATERS THAT PROVIDE THEM WITH LIFE.”
Do you have a favourite from your collection?
Yes, DŪMBO not only because it’s our first, but because it is currently the only one in our collection!
What do you feel sets THE 5TH apart from other niche perfume brands? What do you hope your customers get from your work?
The unique perspective that comes with having synesthesia allows us to have fun and push boundaries - all whilst staying true to our values, creative intent and brand vision. THE 5TH fragrances play with the idea that associations can be far more subjective than literal and we strive for people to enjoy our products in a way that’s true to their own outlook and experiences.
We also try to set ourselves apart from the mainstream narrative that you cannot create safe fragrances using synthetic ingredients. We can, and we should be doing so. Providing the synthetics do not include chemicals proven to be harmful such as parabens, phthalates and formaldehyde, they can often be safer not just for our skin but also for the environment.
We have also tried our very best to be a responsible brand from inception, despite the cost. We are paraben free, phthalate free, formaldehyde free, cruelty free, vegan and all of our product and packaging is either, recyclable, compostable, biodegradable or re-usable.