Here’s How Two Austin Makers Won the Art and Olfaction Award in Independent Perfume

Skive is an internationally recognized fragrance reminiscent of leather working and outdoor adventure.

The unisex scent is the result of a collaboration between Natalie Davis of Canoe leather goods and natural perfumer Jessica Hannah of J. Hannah Co.

Love at First Scent

Davis has always loved perfume. Whether it was her mother’s numerous bottles neatly ordered on a bathroom tray or her father’s many earthy scents, she admired the way fragrance was part of their everyday routine.

“Having a perfume has been a goal of mine, a secret goal.”
-Natalie Davis, owner of Canoe

“For me, perfume has been something that is part of my memory, my childhood and part of my present and my future.” Davis had always wanted to create her own fragrance which is why when J. Hannah Co. popped up on her radar she got excited. “Having a perfume has been a goal of mine, a secret goal.”

Hannah blends bespoke perfumes using fine natural materials on top of leading hands-on workshops and private blending sessions. The unique fragrances she creates are crafted in small batches and hand bottled in her Austin studio.

Natalie Davis uses her background as an artist and educator to inspire the unique look of her leather goods brand, Canoe.

Natalie Davis uses her background as an artist and educator to inspire the unique look of her leather goods brand, Canoe.

Jessica Hannah blends bespoke perfumes using fine natural materials on top of leading hands-on workshops and private blending sessions.

Jessica Hannah blends bespoke perfumes using fine natural materials on top of leading hands-on workshops and private blending sessions.

Davis reached out about a private blending session and Hannah helped her create her own signature scent. The two makers quickly became friends and even discussed the possibility of a collaboration. The task, creating a fragrance that would capture the essence of Davis’ modern leather working studio, Canoe.

Meet Skive

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“We didn’t want to be just another leather perfume,” says Hannah. “We really wanted to do something that was like Natalie and that’s not just leather.” After months of blending sessions and a few mixing adjustments later, Skive was born.

The earthly unisex fragrance contains notes of Ambrette, Atlas Cedarwood, Castorium, Choya Loban, Clary Sage, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Saffron, Tobacco and Vetiver and captures the essence of Davis’ leather studio while hinting at notes of fresh turned earth, campfires, wooden cabinets and dried tea leaves.

The name Skive came naturally to Davis when she thought about branding her product. Skiving is the process of thinning the backside of a piece of leather releasing the fibers and natural es-sence of the leather. “It spoke to the process but it was also evocative.”

Skive captures the essence of Davis’ leather studio while hinting at notes of fresh turned earth, campfires, wooden cabinets and dried tea leaves.

Davis built on the concept of Skive and created a simple black, pebbled leather wrap to contain and protect the elegant bottle. “It was something that would give a tactile quality, speak to what happens in the studio and the materials that we use.”

The leather wrap also adds another element of interaction between the user and the scent. “You have to actually stop and experience it and feel the different textures,” said Davis. “That experi-ence is really important in telling the story of the Canoe studio.”

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Skive made its Debut last November at the Feliz Pop-Up sale and has gotten a lot of great feedback. What Davis really enjoys is hearing what people have to say about her fragrance. “I’ve had people come in and smell it and then just sit there and riff about what it reminds them of.. everyone has their own experience with it.”

Men and women of all ages are attracted to Skive and have truly embraced Davis and Hannah’s fragrance. This is why Hannah decided to submit Skive to the International Arts and Olfaction Awards.

International Recognition

The Art and Olfaction Award is a highly competitive and selective award designed to raise interest and awareness for perfumers and generate support for independent perfumery.

Hundreds of perfumes from all over the world entered in the running, where nine highly respected industry professionals blind judged the entries with only the scent and the perfumers intention to base their decisions on.

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On April 17th, Skive won the award for best perfume in the independent category against perfumes from Paris, Amsterdam, New York and Italy. “The idea that we represented Austin, Texas and makers that are here was really important and we’re excited about that,” said Hannah.

To celebrate Skive’s victory the two makers are throwing a Skive Perfume Party on Friday, May 1st at Mass Gallery in East Austin. The golden pear award will be on display alongside bottles of Skive for sniffing and purchasing while you sip on handcrafted cocktails.

For Davis and Hannah Skive has not just been about business. It has been about an exchange between friends and the connections between the community of makers in Austin. “What’s so exciting is that the best collaborations come organically,” says Hannah.

Skive is available for purchase through Canoe’s website and local pop-up sales only. Keeping the fragrance sales in house was just another way for Davis to personally connect curious consumers with Skive and help them experience Canoe in an innovative, new way.


Celebrate with Skive

Skive Perfume Party

Fri. May 1

The golden pear award will be on display alongside bottles of Skive for sniffing and purchasing while you sip on handcrafted cocktails.


Written by Katelyn Orlowski
Lead image and Skive product photography by Daniel Brock
Body photography by Chris Perez
Art & Olfaction award image courtesy of Art & Olfaction


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