[Best of 2016] Soothing Smells From Locally Made Incense Will Help You Unwind

Syd Botanica’s Earthy Incense Now at Flotsam & Co.

We’re reminiscing about some of our favorite stories from 2016. After the holidays, we’re ready to Zen out with some soothing scentsations, making the incense offerings from Syd Botanica the perfect throwback. Sydney Buffman’s eye for style makes the packages irresistibly chic, the perfect complement to her well-sourced scents. Light one up, meditate and get ready to welcome 2017 with a stress-free mind.




We don’t like to stick our noses where they don’t belong, but we’re getting a whiff of something a little less than scentsational, and we’re thinking you could use a tip. Sure, the Tahitian vanilla room spray you bought covers your dude’s sock smell pretty effectively, but that canned chemical concoction can be such a whiffer-killer, am I right?


We say, ditch ’em. Instead, we’re going the au naturel route and getting our smell on with Syd Botanica incense cones from local crafter Sydney Buffman. Buffman started her career as a graphic designer, but a move to the Islands and a transition to freelance work gave her the creative space to open herself up to other avenues—and this is one girl who has a real nose for cool. Take her exotic slew of incenses, which include rose lemongrass and iris green tea, not to mention the sleek, gorgeous packaging that shows her graphic design chops. Also in her repertoire? Cones oozing scents of rich black frankincense, Hawaiian sandalwood and silver sagebrush. Just set them on a safe spot, light them, and let the soothing smell surround you.


Now, with a just a year of Syd Botanica under her belt, Buffman’s been expanding like crazy with new scents and retailers, including a just-added spot at Ward Village’s Flotsam & Co. And, look for even more developments on the horizon. She’s gearing up to make a big move to Europe this year, and that means a playground of new ingredients, apothecaries and botanicals for a smell-obsessed maker like herself. Also in the works are new skincare products, to hit the shelves later this year. They’ll join Buffman’s current lineup of pint-size pots of chapstick, housed prettily in wee shell cases.


Common scents? These are anything but.


$22–$30, sydbotanica.com and Flotsam & Co., Ward Village Shops.


Read more stories by Natalie Schack