Joseph August & The Cresote

A working musician/producer who co-owns One Half Records, Joseph August is also an Airbnb entrepreneur. He’s part of the trio that launched Joshua Tree Acres – a chic desert compound that features a main club house with 5 vintage, fabulously refurbished Airstreams scattered around the property that can be rented individually for getaways or as a whole property for group retreats and events. Here’s his scent story:

What is the story of your earliest memory strongly associated with a particular smell or fragrance?

One of my earliest memories of scent goes back to visiting my grandparents home in Palm Springs during the winter months. Most winters in the Coachella valley bring rainstorms to the dry desert. There’s a native bush in the valley called the Cresote. The bush thrives in the southwestern deserts and has for millions of years. Indigenous people used its oils for many medical purposes such as fevers, influenza, sinusitis, colds, upset stomachs, arthritis, anemia, and fungal infections and so much more! 

Whenever it rains in the desert the leaves release a scent that you can’t escape. It’s polarizing scent has citrus, pine & rosemary like notes. To this day, when it rains in Joshua Tree, it immediately transports me back to being at my grandparents.

What fragrances have you been wearing recently?

Tam Dao by Diptyque

This one is all about sandalwood with a touch of cedar. Very woodsy but fairly light so can be worn whenever/wherever.

Kobe by Xerjoff

A perfect citrus scent that has a rich base so it doesn’t smell like a cleaning agent, like many strong 43citrus scents do.

They have an outdoor creosote tub at Joshua Tree Acres and have this to say about it:

We’ve always admired the Creosote bush for its medicinal and healing properties. It was used by Native Americans for arthritis, cancer treatments, nausea and other bodily ailments. We also noticed that some groups of Creosotes grow in rings and found out that each ring was related to one family. Inside the Creosote ring there is a feeling of protection & privacy as light beams through the leaves. It’s a peaceful, serene experience that is one of a kind. As the tub fills with water, you can pinch a small amount off the bush and enjoy your own creosote tub. As you soak you can smell the scent of the desert while staring at the stark mojave landscape. The tub is purposely directed to view the nearby Barlett mountains. The draining water from the tub directly feeds into the ground, feeding the creosote ring that surrounds the tub and connecting the circle of desert life. 

How did you become interested in fragrances?

I became interested in fragrance during the time when everyone was starting to date in high school. I found out the girl I really liked loved Issey Miyake cologne. I was a broke high schooler but saved my allowance and hunted for the the best deal in town. I ended up buying it for $100 at a Macy’s. That was a lot of money for a high schooler back then. She of course loved it and we stayed together for 3 months (a long time if you remember high school dating). 

Do you have a favorite fragrance note or essential oil and why?

In recent years, I’ve found some essential oils to be very beneficial to my heath. Young Living makes a peppermint oil that is so amazing if you rub it into your hands and breath in to your sinuses for 3-5 seconds. I find that whenever I need a little pick me up throughout the day, it also helps to boost my energy levels. They also make a product called Thieves Oil which I love when i’m touring. It’s an essential oil blend composed of clove, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary oils and has anti-infectious, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties. It can stop a sore throat in it’s tracks and really helps to kill airborn virsuses. It also provides a great scent for others in the touring van!

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