Skin Deep

ABOUT FACE: Carina Chaz

by Julia Gibson

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Skin Deep

ABOUT FACE: Carina Chaz

DedCool’s founder Carina Chaz is starting conversations, one clean fragrance at a time.


Instagram:
@carinachaz
Location:
Los Angeles
Astrological Sign: Aquarius
Book that changed your life: The Alchemist
Podcast you can’t stop listening to: Goop
Instagram account you love to follow: @ritualofme
Beauty product (or treatment) that changed your skin: Using a gua sha tool with MARA Beauty Universal Face Oil, and retinol for hormonal breakouts
Bucket list travel destination: Japan

Carina Chaz isn’t your typical beauty founder. “I never was into beauty or hair, and I’m still not really into it,” she says. “I don’t wear makeup. I don’t do anything to my hair other than wash it and brush it right out of the shower. Fragrance has always been pretty much the only thing in beauty I care about.”

That passion for fragrance led her to create DedCool, an impossibly chic fragrance brand with a line of complex, non-toxic, and unisex scents that are at once accessible and edgy. Basically, Chaz is just as her brand’s name suggests: she’s cool af.

JG

What was it like to launch DedCool?

CC

I never was into beauty or hair, and I’m still not really into it. I don’t wear makeup. I don’t do anything to my hair other than wash it and brush it right out of the shower. Fragrance has always been pretty much the only thing in beauty I care about, up until recently. DedCool really started as a passion project. I never had any intention of turning it into a business. Our growth is something I had never really anticipated. It’s pretty crazy. When I started the brand, I wanted to make fragrance for myself and to share with my friends or to share with people around me. I wanted to find a fragrance that I could be proud to wear. Fragrance is so personal and it speaks about who you are as an individual, and how you come off to the world as a part of your aesthetic and your style. Growing up, I was never allowed to wear the traditional fragrances, so I was like, “Okay, it’s up to me to make my own.” So I’ve been making fragrances since I was 13, just for fun. I don’t have any real training; I’m very self-taught, and I think that helps me stand apart from traditional fragrances. I love being that forefront because I’m a young individual and people, I think, appreciate that I have something to say that isn’t necessarily being talked about. Of course DedCool was built on being non-toxic and clean; it wasn’t just something that we started doing because it became a fad. People wanted to see transparency and they want to understand where the products come from.

JG

What was the first product that you launched?

CC

We initially launched with Fragrance 1 and Fragrance 2.  We were supposed to be a fragrance company, but at the same time, I didn’t necessarily know how to compete with the Le Labos and Byredos of the world, so I wanted to offer something minimal and attainable. I walked into random stores, cold-called people and said, “Hey, my name is Carina. I’m 22. I started this fragrance brand. It’s all unisex, vegan, and non-toxic, which is something you really don’t see in fragrance, but they’re really beautiful, complicated scents.” I offered to sell it on consignment and a few stores were nice enough to give me the chance, and I would go in on the weekends and introduce it to customers. At that time, I was extremely, extremely shy because I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t go to business school; I went to art school. I didn’t really have an idea of where the path would lead me, but it was pretty cool to see some people’s responses. A few stores gave me the opportunity, and from there, I think it kind of gave me that confidence to really start creating more. I remember one of the stores reached out to me, this was like six months in. I probably had like five stores carrying my brand, if that, and I didn’t even have a working website. They said, “People love this. Maybe make more.” Then I created Fragrance 3, 4, and 5. Three-and-a-half years later, we have 10 fragrances. We have six chapsticks. We just launched our candles and our Milk layering oil. There’s so many things, and with every product that I launch, there has to be intention. Of course with that, it’s either education or sustainability, or just really speaking about what it means to use clean products and switch your regiment to be something a little more conscious.

JG

Where do you find inspiration for your fragrances?

CC

All of the fragrances are made for myself. As I’ve evolved, the fragrances have evolved, but I would never create something that wasn’t personal to me. Everything I create, I have to be 100% proud of and on board with. All of the scents I have worn myself at some point in time.

JG

What fueled your decision to offer only unisex fragrances? 

CC

I’ve always been a little bit of an outcast within my friend group, and I’ve always been a little bit more mature. In the seventh grade, all my friends were wearing the Pink Sugar fragrance and I was like, “I can’t.” I hate that scent. It’s fine for whoever was wearing it, but I was like, “I do not want to wear this.” 

I had more of a passion for masculine ranges. As I grew older and had a different appreciation for fragrance, I found myself a little bit disappointed by colognes because they were extremely strong, and I could never find something that had a happy medium. I was like, “I want women to be able to smell more masculine if they want. I want men to smell more feminine if they want.” There shouldn’t be a divide, and I know it’s all about consumerism and advertising, but there are so many ways to blend traditional notes that may be more feminine and traditional notes that may be on the more masculine scale to create this beautiful range of scent that’s, I would say, genderless and fluid.

Fragrance is so personal…it speaks about who you are as an individual.”

dedcool3
dedcool4

JG

Along with your fragrances and Chazsticks, DedCool now offers a sex-positive massage candle featuring one of your signature scents. How did you develop that product?

CC

It was really our way of just creating some type of conversation around the idea of wearing a fragrance, and around enjoying a candle by using it to scent both your home and your skin. Everything is about conversation. How are you going to use it? Are you going to use it for yourself? Are you going to use it with your partner? Your friend? People want to share their fragrance with their partner. I don’t think there’s anything more intimate than having the same scent as your partner, whoever it may be. The scent, Fragrance 1, was one that I created when I was 13 and it’s the bestseller. It’s not necessarily something I would wear today, but it’s so funny because the candle kind of gives it a new light.

JG

What’s your signature scent?

CC

My go-to is now, like I’m dedicated, and is Madonna Lily. Madonna Lily’s an extremely light, really beautiful scent. We also just recently launched our Milk layering scent. It’s our secret ingredient that comes in all of our fragrances because of course, we want to create a unity between them. Right now, I’m either wearing Milk standalone or I’m wearing Madonna Lily.

JG

What is your go-to method for applying scent?

CC

I spray it near my neck, and then I kind of just spray it into the air and walk through it. I think that’s the best because it kind of lands wherever it’s supposed to land. When people rub their wrists together, it fades out the top notes, so I always tell people to put on your neck and let it dry. That’s really just my preferred method. When people are wearing traditional fragrances, I would always say spray it on your clothes as opposed to spraying it on your skin because we absorb 60% of it.

JG

What would you think is the biggest beauty myth?

CC

I don’t believe in trying new products all the time. Your skin is sensitive. It needs to be used to what you’re using on your skin day-to-day. When you try this acid and you use this product, it disrupts your skin. I’ve learned my lesson on trying different products. Each one is not necessarily for my skin type or for the benefit of my health, so I definitely have some regret when it comes to that.

JG

What is your self-care power move?

CC

There was a time in my life where I was very much struggling with mental health and trying to figure out who I am and what I can bring to the world. So now, I’m very focused on whatever I need to do to be the best version of myself, whether that means turning my phone off or not answering emails for a bit to really focus on how I can put out my best work and be my best self. I take a bath every single day. I reflect, and I manifest what I need to happen for the week or the day. It’s not a religious thing; it’s more like a spiritual thing, but I always have a prayer and focus on gratitude. It’s important to be self-aware, that and to drink water.

JG

In a few words, describe beauty as you see it.

CC

To me, it just means how you feel about yourself and how you want to project who you are into the world. It’s how you can affect people, whether that’s just smiling here and there, or what.

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