A 'Sanctuary' for Red Pandas
We're restoring habitat and fighting illegal wildlife trade in the PIT Red Panda Protected Forest and Scentbird is helping us with a unique partnership.
In 2021, Scentbird announced a new fragrance brand called Sanctuary and announced it would donate 20% of all proceeds to organizations dedicated to protecting animals, including the Red Panda Network (RPN). We talked with Mariya Nurislamova, Scentbird’s CEO and Founder, to learn more about Sanctuary, and the fragrance industry’s challenges with sustainability.
RPN: Hi Mariya, can you explain what “Sanctuary” is to our supporters?
MN: Sanctuary is a clean, conscious, sustainability-minded fragrance brand. We’re on a mission to create an ecosystem for change, championing good stewardship of our planet that will not only sustain, but truly nourish our environment, our wildlife, and each other.
RPN: What was the motivation or inspiration behind the Sanctuary line of fragrances?
MN: We wanted to create a brand that would make a difference and lead by example. We had the privilege of working with the Scentbird community (the largest fragrance subscription in the world) to determine what cause speaks to them the most. We were delighted when the people felt most inspired to help preserve wildlife. I love animals and feel extremely passionate about preserving their habitats as well as preserving the beauty of our planet, so this hit straight home.
RPN: What can you tell me about the fragrance industry’s challenges with sustainability? How is Sanctuary looking to change some of these issues?
MN: Most consumers don’t realize that the empty glass bottles of their favorite fragrance that they discard are not recyclable due to how fragrance packaging is generally designed. We engineered our bottle in a way that the pump is fully removable and the glass can be easily recycled. We have also designed our secondary packaging as a tray made of mushrooms which is a lot more sustainable than cutting down trees. We care about the sustainability of every single item of packaging that goes into Sanctuary orders and have taken great care to design it in the most sustainable way possible.
RPN: How did you first learn about the Red Panda Network? How did you decide to support RPN as one of the organizations? (Scentbird is donating 20% of proceeds from the sale of the Red Panda fragrance to RPN)
MN: We discovered the Red Panda Network in our research on leading global organizations dedicated to the protection of the Red Panda. Red Panda Network came to the top of the list because of the organization’s direct involvement and conservation of the Red Panda and their habitat at the source. We choose the other organizations we partner with based on this same criteria — direct conservation and protection at the source.
Local man planting a tree in red panda habitat in eastern Nepal as part of RPN's Plant A Red Panda Home campaign. © RPN
Participants of an education workshop on illegal wildlife trade for enforcement officials in eastern Nepal. Education and enforcement are an important part of RPN's No Panda Poaching campaign. © RPN
RPN: Finally, is there anything you can share about the Red Panda scent?
MN: “Red Panda” opens with an energetic blend of blackcurrant and bamboo. Its soft, cuddly nature is mirrored by warm elements like vanilla orchid and sandalwood, while jasmine petals give the fragrance a spirited vibe. We wanted the fragrance to be “evergreen” so you could wear it throughout the year. It is fresh and has a touch of sweetness that our customers love so much.
A wild red panda in the PIT corridor. © RPN
The Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung (PIT) corridor is part of the Kangchenjunga Singhalila Complex which has been identified as one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. The PIT corridor is a belt of forest that connects protected areas in Nepal and India, is home to 25% of Nepal’s red panda population and has Nepal's densest population of this endangered species. This is where we are establishing the PIT Red Panda Protected Forest which will be the world's first protected forest dedicated to red pandas!
Writing and Communications Volunteer
Red Panda Network