Components of Orbella Fragrant Moss kit

Orbella Fragrant Moss

Growing the Future

Orbella Fragrant Moss is a line of home fragrances cultivated in a glass terrarium. Using nature’s simplest ingredients – sunlight, CO2, and water – Orbella delivers a healthier, eco-friendly alternative to chemical-based air fresheners. No solvents. Just home fragrance the natural way.

Created by Taxa, a biotechnology startup in San Francisco, Orbella combines living moss with a beautiful fragrance that lasts longer than cut flowers. Through genetic modification, Orbella naturally expresses a range of fragrances including patchouli (earthy), linalool (floral), and geraniol (rose). Additional fragrances, such as pine and citrus, are currently under development.

But Orbella isn't just a home air freshener. It is also a symbol of a more sustainable future in which nature and science enjoy a symbiotic relationship, a future full of eco-friendly, bioengineered home plants.

“You guys rock, reading these updates about the project makes me feel way smarter than I actually am.”- Michael Valera, Kickstarter Backer 

Educational Community

Igniting Your Imagination

Taxa enjoys demystifying genetic engineering for its larger community of biotech enthusiasts. With every purchase of Orbella Fragrant Moss, customers opt to receive a membership to Taxa’s educational emails that cover topics such as:

  • Genetic Engineering 101
  • Why We Need GMOs
  • Designing DNA Constructs
  • DNA Synthesis
  • Basics of Biochemistry
  • Transformation & Selection
  • The Design-Build-Test Cycle
  • Photo-Bioreactor Design
  • Future Applications

“I've learned so much from your updates and explanations over the course of this project that I think I've received far more value than the $40 I put in for some glowing plants.” - Eric Albert, Kickstarter Backer

TAXA Scientist growing Orbella Fragrant Moss

TAXA Biotechnologies

Creating Living Apps

Taxa is creating a new era of consumer biotechnology products. We are excited to change the discourse of biological engineering, creating natural “apps” that reduce waste and tread lightly on the earth. We hope that our products positively change the public’s perception of GMOs and inspire a new generation of bioengineers to imagine the possibilities of this technology.

TAXA goal is to support a circular economy in which the waste from one generation of products provides the resources for the next. We desire a future without dependency on petroleum, and without long-lasting trash. Biotechnology is the tool through which we can realize this vision, and every purchase of Orbella Fragrant Moss funds the research that will make such a future, a reality.

On a mission to democratize biotechnology, Taxa has been funded primarily through crowd funding. TAXA was founded in 2013 through the support of 8,433 Kickstarter backers. And in 2016, Taxa launched the first Title III equity crowd funding campaign, raising $309,807 from 528 investors. TAXA was also the first biotech company to receive funding from Y Combinator, a prestigious Silicon Valley accelerator.

“Synthetic biology is our generation’s frontier. Taxa designs eco-friendly products that stimulate discourse on the positive impact of tinkering with nature and inspire a new generation of scientists. Join us in forging a new relationship between nature and science, limited only by our wildest imagination.” - Antony Evans, Taxa Founder


Elaine presents some of the moss she made


Bringing the Lab Home

Orbella is the result of a 3-year research collaboration between TAXA and Dr. Henrik Simonsen, a professor at the University of Copenhagen. Dr. Simonsen’s research focuses on the biosynthesis of small molecules using photosynthesis rather than conventional chemical synthesis. His research was initially funded by a global fragrance company as a better way to produce essential oils.

A Better Box

Growing our Packaging

Taxa is proud to go beyond recycling by making use of Ecovative's Mushroom™ Packaging in every box of Orbella Fragrant Moss. Unlike conventional plastic foams, Mushroom™ Packaging offers a fully-compostable solution to product protection. Learn more about Ecovative’s earth-friendly alternatives here.

“After opening my Orbella box, I composted the mushroom foam in my garden, and re-used the cloth bag for jewelry. It’s rare to buy a product that makes you feel creative, futuristic, and eco-friendly.” – Lucia Perez, Beta Customer

Orbella Mushroom packaging