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Club Member | Anna Adams

Anna Adams, Perfume Playground Club Member.
1. Tell us about yourself Anna!

Aside from being a perfume enthusiast I keep busy working for an amazing iNGO and being Mamma to two young(ish) boys. I was born and bred in NZ but moved to Europe in 2005, living in Dublin and then Stockholm, until returning to NZ with my family in Dec 2018.

2. How did you discover Perfume Playground?

It might have been Google, I’m not sure anymore. I have always loved fragrances & started my natural fragrance journey about a year & a half ago and one thing led to another and I became hooked on the playground!

3.2020 was a tough year  for many of us, how did you manage and cope with that turbulent time? (It could be in regards to your personal life, career, wellness, personal journey, anything!)

It could have been worse, for many it was. There was a lot of pressure, socially, economically & the uncertainty created a lot of anxiety. Our bubble was struggling to manage staying balanced, at times it was exhausting. We tried very hard to keep routines & enjoyed the little things like riding bikes in the street & enjoyed the peaceful hum of our usually busy city.


4. What are some exciting plans you have for 2021 and beyond?

We’ve booked a flight, this would not have been so novel 2 years ago! We are renovating (who isn’t) and we have exciting projects kicking off at work. I also hope to create more fragrances too 🙂

5. What scents do you usually enjoy? (e.g. at your home, office space, to wear etc.)

I love scents, period. I ride my bike to work and get a nose full of goodness daily; anything from the coffees brewing in cafes to the wild & changeable scents of Papatūānuku. Scents I like to wear vary, depending on the season, my mood, the occasion. My tastes have also changed over time…it’s never static. Scents evoke memories and alter moods, they are powerful as well as playful!



6. Do you use natural products/fragrances yourself, if so why?

I’ve been replacing products with more natural/sustainable alternatives for a while. In the early days, it often meant compromising, but I find it so much easier to get high-performance and/or luxury goods that hit the mark for being sustainable and/or natural. The sustainable journey began for me many years ago, there were a number of factors bringing me to this place, but they all converged at a point of living & consuming more consciously.

7. Anything else you would like to share with us that might inspire others (you could even tell us your life’s motto!)?

Dream big, have a toolbox to manage disappointment or setbacks, be resilient and open. Love & enjoy your people and look after Papatūānuku.


Club Members | Nadia Els

Nadia Els, Marketing & Brand Development Manager of Syrene Skincare shares with us her work journey and using natural products for her skin.

  1. Nadia, tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m the Marketing Lead at Syrene Skincare for the NZ, AU and UK markets and have loved working on and growing this brand with my team over the past two years. I’m obsessed with skincare and love finding new, innovative ingredients to improve skin health. My PR background means I’m licensed to chat people up over coffee or drinks and I’m a firm believer of a good outfit on a bad day. If I’m not advocating skincare, I’m either on a Reformer Pilates machine, reading books on the modern woman or escaping to the beach.

  1. Share a few things about Syrene Skincare and your journey with them so far!

Syrene is a luxury, New Zealand made skincare brand and was recently the first Kiwi business to launch into Australasian beauty giant MECCA, across NZ and AU. Syrene has a light-weight, gel based formula packed with marine extracts rich in antioxidants combined with natural, hydrating and soothing properties. I helped launch the brand into the NZ market back in 2017 when I worked in a PR agency and then moved in-house a couple of years ago because I adored the team and brand so much. 

  1. What do you love about Syrene and why are you drawn to the brand/company?

I love our tight-knit team and how hard we all work to grow the business. Syrene’s products are absolutely beautiful. There is so much attention to detail that goes into making the products and developing the brand; from the packaging design, the ingredients chosen, to the story. Seeing the lovely customer responses we receive about our products, makes me love working for the brand more each day. It’s truly a really well-thought out skincare range that gives your skin so many benefits. My skin drinks it up and always looks super dewy and plump – especially after applying the best-selling Aqua Hydrating Masque. 

  1. Syrene Skincare is about the ocean, serenity, and using natural essences. Tell us more! What natural essences/extracts are added into your products and why?

    Syrene is an oceanic skincare brand, set out to remind you to find moments in your day to relax, be mindful and look after your skin. Syrene is suffused with natural extracts including Manuka Honey, Black Fern, Kawakawa, Pohutukawa and Seaweed that embody the purity of the New Zealand Pacific Ocean. Our formulas not only feel amazing on your skin, but have so many benefits for a dewy, hydrated and glowing complexion. 

  1. Do you use natural products/fragrances yourself, if so why? 

Yes, I use the full Syrene range. It’s the only natural product range that works for my skin. I then mix in other brands to incorporate oils and serums. We currently don’t have these in the Aqua range but watch this space!

  1. What scents do you enjoy?

I never get sick of the Syrene natural fragrance. It’s just beautiful. The team worked with a French nose to create a custom scent for the Aqua range, reminiscent of a seabreeze – I think they nailed it. Other scents that lure me in are Rose, Geranium, Freesia, Honeysuckle and Gardenia. 

  1. Perfume Playground did a collaboration with Syrene Skincare in Sydney. Why did you choose us?

Because Syrene’s essence is about finding moments in your day to relax and be mindful, we wanted to bring this to life and host an event where attendees would have an hour to complete a mindful workshop while learning more about Syrene. Perfume Playground’s fragrance workshop was perfect for this and we know our guests felt relaxed, while learning and creating. It was a moment all for themselves.

  1. We’re so excited for our next collaboration “Fragrance and Flowers Roadshow”! Tell us about your involvement and why did you choose to collaborate with us on this project.

    I love community events and this concept was genius and very on brand for Syrene’s essence. We gifted products for Perfume Playground’s lovely guests to take home and use as a mindful beauty ritual.

read more

If you’d like to know more about Syrene Skincare, check out their  Instagram  and visit their website

Club Members | Natasha Mason

As we get through 2020, many of us may wrestle with thoughts about starting your own business, and what success looks like. We understand the struggle, so we decided to chat with the owner of Nourish Melbourne and meditation teacher, Natasha Mason! Natasha also shares a ‘Perfectly Centred’ meditation with us that you can enjoy.


1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a mother, entrepreneur, meditation teacher, passionate meditator, self-love advocate, educator, healer, connection and creator! Loyal as hell, always thinking about my next meal, and obsessed with self-care. I also love a good LOL!


2. How did you become an entrepreneur and what is it that motivates and drives you?

I always knew deep down I wasn’t made for the office. I now know the feeling of my truth, and with that comes the responsibility to create in order to deliver my heart’s work! My motivation is witnessing the flame of self-compassion be ignited within another, one that drives the incessant need for well being to be their no.1 priority.


3. How did you start Nourish Melbourne and why?

Nourish Melbourne started as a very basic blog following my departure from the corporate world. I continued work in the marketing and communications space as a freelancer, working on projects in the health and well being sector. The initial reason for starting NM was to spread knowledge and educate the public on the various types of holistic health services, products and experiences they could find in Melbourne. After a while (about 2 years), my contacts began to grow, events organically started and gained popularity, and with that came the idea for the Nourish Melbourne Membership program. A reward program for individuals who seek out trusted wellness products, stores, services and experiences to best support their well being.


4. What are some of the key elements in running your own business and maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

As a sole trader and/or sole director of a business, you are your business. Every decision comes from either a balanced and stable level of self-awareness, or one that is distressed, fatigued, and not able to connect with the heart in order to deliver what your audience and customers need the most. This is why self-care and knowing when you are beginning to become over-stressed and fatigue, requires immediate response.

When I started NM I was under the false impression that harder and faster = more successful. Now I understand that when I am most relaxed, I am most successful. I do less, and achieve more. This requires diligence and devotion to self…because no one else will tell you to do things like eat well, move, sleep well, and have a meditation practice!


5. I’ve heard you started meditation teaching! Tell us more!

Meditation has been life-changing for me, and life-changing is not a label I use lightly. It has changed everything – how I take my role as a mother, a woman, a business owner and a leader in the wellbeing space. I simply couldn’t ignore my intuition telling me after 4 years of daily meditation, I now needed to further embody these learnings and teach others how to meditate! I have been teaching my 3-day Learn to Meditate course for approximately 9 months and there is no looking back. While 2020 has meant more online teaching than face-to-face, it has been an honour to sit in the teacher’s seat and witness a just as profound experience from the students no matter which way they learn. And with the world changing and evolving at such a rapid pace, there really has been no better time for any human being to introduce a daily meditation practice into their life.

6. Do you use fragrance/scents during your meditations, if so what combinations do you use?

To be honest I don’t use any scents during meditation but I most definitely use them and have complete reverence for scent and fragrance in every other part of my life! When teaching my meditation course in person I will use incense in the space. My favourite one is a blend of calming lavender, clary sage and rosewood.


7. How does your fragrance affect your wellbeing?

I believe fragrance and scent 100% affects our vibration and energy. When I use fragrance, I feel like a goddess. If you feel like a goddess, you can only make the best possible choices that support your wellbeing! Fragrance gives an experience that provides a ripple effect of positive attention, and intention.


6. You came to our Scent Design workshop and designed a fragrance with Western Australia Sandalwood, Black Pepper, Peach and Peru Balsam. Why these ingredients?

Ever since I had my first experience with Sandalwood, it stole my heart. I guess I walked into the workshop knowing I would most definitely be using Sandalwood! Black pepper reminds me of my late father. Growing up, pepper was cracked onto everything we ate, and not lightly! So I guess black pepper has my heart in more of a nostalgic way. As for Peach and Peru Balsam, they are sweet and sexy! I had never experienced Peru Balsam before the workshop and as I allowed myself to surrender to the experience and let my intuition guide me, these two blended with the Sandalwood and Black Pepper in an intriguing and surprising way.


7. What advice would you give to someone thinking about joining our workshops?

If you’ve thought about it, then life is simply waiting for you to click ‘confirm’! Perfume Playground workshops are a joyous experience where you can truly let go, have fun, learn and even have a childlike experience of flow and innocence as you try something new. You might even learn something new about yourself.


8. Share with us what fragrance you plan to design next with Perfume Playground! Would you use similar ingredients or something completely different?

I think Sandalwood is a keeper for me! I do also have a fond connection to floral scents and in particular I adore jasmine and damask rose. May Chang is another scent that has caught my attention over the years, so that could well make an appearance.


9. Anything else you would like to share with us that might inspire others (you could even tell us your life’s motto!)?

The way you do one thing, is the way you do everything!



There’s no perfect moment in the future. Perfect is here, right now. You are perfect, right at this moment. This meditation serves to uplift and centre you at the same time. It will dissolve doubt and external negative influences that are affecting the ability for your true essence to shine. It’s a reminder that you and your life are perfect and sacred, in every single way. Click here to access a guided meditation with Natasha.

Check out more of Natasha’s journey on her personal Instagram  and visit Nourish Melbourne 


Upcoming Clubs

  • 31 October. Wellington. Wine Sentience. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful
  • 12 November. Auckland. Perfume Playground NZ. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful
  • 14 November. Melbourne. Perfume Playground AU. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful

Click here for more details.

Club Members | Bex and Carena West of Clique Fitness

We hosted a conversation with the co-founders of Clique Fitness Bex and Carena West, sharing experiences of how they started their own brand and perspectives on fitness, wellbeing and fragrances.


1. Tell me about yourself!

We are Bex and Carena West – sisters and besties who co-founded Clique Fitness. CLIQUE is a size inclusive high-performance compression wear brand for women who want to benefit from compression, whether they’re an athlete or partake in casual fitness. Our tights are renowned for their high waistband and strategically placed seams, keeping you feeling comfortable and confident no matter the activity.

Bex: I’m a dog and plant loving creative living in the city. I really enjoy Sunday markets, painting, interior design and a cocktail now and again. I’m originally from Auckland but our parents and I moved to Bahrain, in the Middle East, when I was 14 and spent my teens and early twenties there. I’m a qualified product designer and practised marketer and enjoyed working in both Bali and Wellington until CLIQUE brought me back to Auckland in 2018.

Carena: I’m a creative designer with a background in garment design. I’m a mother to a 4 month old little girl called Emily and a 2 year old horse called Chunky and we live on a farm in Clevedon. When Bex and my parents moved to Bahrain I stayed in NZ as I had just started university. I’m a pretty busy person, and I’m a bit of a magpie.


2. What made you and Carena West start Clique Fitness? And How? 

CLIQUE started when we were both experiencing sub-par activewear and had been struggling to find a solution that was already on the market. Carena came to visit me in Wellington and pitched the idea of high performance compression tights for all women. Athletes, new mums, those who love HIIT training and women who catch up with friends to stroll over coffee. We wanted to create activewear for everyone at every stage. I immediately agreed and moved to Auckland a few months later to start on CLIQUE full time. We take pride in all of the products we design together and ensure that they are the perfect mix of function and fashion with an affordable price tag.


3. With the current Coronavirus pandemic, how do you both like to relieve stress and go about your daily life? Do you have any advice for our readers during this season? 

Bex: I’ve been interested in yoga, meditation and pranayama for a few years now, however, when NZ went into lockdown I found myself extremely hesitant to practice any of the things I preached. It’s a turbulent time and so what I found to be the best for me was to accept that it’s OK not to be productive all the time. I gave myself permission to eat lots of nourishing foods and rest, and I found that once I did this, productivity was able to flourish. I spent most of my lockdown alone, but Carena and I talk all day and so being able to communicate with her and Emily was awesome. I’m so thankful for technology!

Carena: I had Emily two weeks before lockdown, so as well as navigating Coronavirus and the effect it had on our business, I was also learning how to be a mum. My approach to stress is to switch off and think about something else for a little bit, usually when my brain is busy doing something else I come up with solutions to any problems I have. It’s quite difficult when something is completely out of your control such as Covid-19, so I just made the most of the time I had with my family, went for walks and brainstormed what Clique’s future might look like.


4. As a young mother, do you prefer to use Natural Perfume or Essential oils? When did you consider changing from synthetic to natural fragrances?

Carena: I have a very strong sense of smell so I enjoy both natural perfume and essential oils, but I have to dial it back a bit when it’s in the house so it doesn’t stress me out! I love a subtle, natural perfume.


5. How does your fragrance affect your performance in fitness and wellbeing or everyday life?

Bex: A scent can change my mood and affect my mental performance for sure. A scent I love for my every day is Mandarin – it’s light and has an energy about it that makes me feel incredibly productive.

Carena: When I’m wearing scent I usually have something to accomplish, as it makes me feel more confident and feels much more “put together” when I’m wearing a scent. Around the house, I enjoy Lemon, peppermint and tuberose and I feel they are fresh and lively and lift the mood of the (very small!) space


6. What is your most favourite perfume note to wear in Winter?

Bex: I tend to reach for heavier fragrances in winter – sandalwood is a favourite for me but I would love to come in and learn more about seasonal fragrances

Carena: I’m not a particularly seasonal person when it comes to fragrances, I just tend to wear what makes me feel good at the time!


Bex: When you came to our workshop, you created a fragrance with Clove, Star Anise, Agarwood and Nutmeg – what made you choose these ingredients?

The combination of these ingredients made me feel empowered! The fragrance I created was heavy on the clove and stronger in intensity than I would usually opt for. When we began I didn’t have a scent I was aiming for in mind, so this is really where my nose took me!


Carena: When you came to our workshop, you created a fragrance with Poplar Bud Peru Balsam Rear Clove Bergamot – what made you choose these ingredients?

I didn’t come into Perfume Playground with any expectation- I was actually a bit nervous that my nose might deceive me! I chose the above notes because I feel it made my fragrance full-bodied with a bit of spice. It’s really interesting to see what I liked and what I didn’t and how those notes came together to form the end result, I shouldn’t have been nervous at all!


7. What advice would you give to someone thinking about joining our Club?

Bex: I’d say, if you have a scent in mind then that’s great, but try not to be too rigid. Have a play and see what sticks – I think you’ll be surprised at just how many scents you end up loving, all of them completely different!

Carena: My advice is to go in with no expectations of what you plan to create, and enjoy the ride!


8. Share with us what fragrance you plan to design next with Perfume Playground!

Bex: I would like to try create a light, flowery scent for summer – something light but not too sweet

Carena: My last fragrance was quite heavy and full bodied, so I’d love to try and make something fresh!

Upcoming Clubs

  • 10 September. Auckland. Perfume Playground NZ. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful – SOLD OUT

  • 19 September. Wellington. Wine Sentience. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful – SOLD OUT

  • 24 September. Auckland. Perfume Playground NZ. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful – 1 ticket available

  • 8 October. Auckland. Perfume Playground NZ. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful – 1 ticket available

  • 17 October. Wellington. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful – tickets just announced

Click here for more details.



Our sense of smell involves a process of communication between sensory organs, nerves and the brain. The olfactory system is responsible for this process.  

The architecture of the nose is fascinating. When you breathe in through the nostrils, the air travels to the olfactory epithelium (a type of tissue). This area holds many chemical receptors which detect odours. These receptors send messages to the olfactory bulbs. The message is then forwarded to the olfactory cortex of the brain. Once the information has been relayed, the olfactory cortex, which is a component of the limbic system (processing emotions and memory), organises the sensory information.

The system is so beautifully complex that scientists cannot fully grasp the way in which the receptor neurons process and distinguish between trillions of scents.

What we do know, is that the olfactory cortex communicates with other limbic system structures such as the amygdala and the hippocampus. The amygdala is involved in the formation of emotional responses and memories. The hippocampus helps regulate emotional responses. Therefore, the limbic system directly connects odour to emotion and memory. This is why specific smells can provoke emotions based on the memory they are connected to. Take peppermint as an example. One person may be reminded of a sipping on a Mojito in Fiji. Another might recoil at the memory of a heavy breathing smoker covering up their bad breath with peppermint chewing gum.

This information is exciting for perfumer designers and perfume wearers as it creates space for playful storytelling. At Perfume Playground we love experimenting with emotion and memory during the scent design process, adding a layer of depth to our fragrance.

Smell is an overlooked element of wellbeing. Scent impacts emotion. Use this knowledge to draw on your essential oil allies whenever you need a mood boost. We recommend lemon for its invigorating properties. Although, it is entirely subjective based on your scent associations!

What smells do you associate with positive memories?

Would you like to incorporate your ‘happy’ smells into a natural fragrance?

Have a go at our upcoming Perfume Playground workshops. You will sense the difference.

Upcoming Clubs

  • 10 November. Auckland. Auckland Art Gallery. Our seasonal series themed around Spring peppermint. 2.5 hours of sensory exploration with founder Samantha Copland. We cover more technical elements of hero botanicals and scent evolution. 

  • 15 November. Auckland. Studio One, Toi Tu. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful

  • 22 November. Melbourne. Work Club Global. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful 

  • 13 December. Auckland. Studio One. Toi Tu. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful

“You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than you can from a lifetime of conversation” – Plato

At Perfume Playground we believe in the importance of ‘serious play.’ Whilst it may sound contradictory, what if we were to tell you that serious play enhances creativity, innovation and engagement.

Simply put, serious play is play with a purpose.

When was the last time you had a good play?

This means to apply an open minded, non-judgemental mindset whilst engaging in playful activities to complete a task or problem solve.

When Julie enters the Perfume Playground, she reclaims her creative freedom. She is free to roam, smell and take risks. We do not enforce strict guidelines or encourage a serious atmosphere, instead it’s all about providing a safe space for people to develop their own methods. When Julie engages with her intuition and imagination in this way, Julie produces a fragrance which tells a personal story. She explores the role of fragrance designer, without judgement.  

Working a high-profile job has Remi strung out and longing for playful release. She attends the Perfume Playground club to reconnect with joyful creativity. There is no pressure to be ‘perfect’ in this space, only to do what feels right. She realises at the Perfume Playground it’s about enjoying the process as well as the product. The emotional benefits of ‘letting go’ of inhibitions at our club, aids her on her spiritual journey.

Serious play appeals to Alex, due to the way he can translate what he experiences at the Perfume Playground into his innovative business practices. Drawing on the imagination, all senses and getting out of one’s analytical head creates a mental space from which great ideas bloom. Alex fosters his mind-body connection through playful experimentation when designing a natural fragrance. When a serious play approach is applied to his work, through modelling and sensory exploration he has noticed profound shifts in his creativity and the quality of his designs.

The concept has received increasing attention recently, due to its proven benefits in fostering engagement. When engaging in serious play, one is said to lose track of time and self-consciousness which creates a state of flow.

Join our club to incorporate serious play into your life! 

Upcoming Clubs:

  • 11 October. Auckland Our Classic Club, with the only rule being there are no rules.

  • 18 October. Melbourne. Work Club Global. Our Classic Club returns after a year long hiatus.

  • 10 November. Auckland Art Gallery. Our seasonal series themed around Spring and hero botanical Peppermint. 2 hours of sensory exploration with Samantha Copland

  • 22 November. Melbourne. Work Club Global. Our seasonal series, this time our hero botanical Rose is explored


With David Apel, a fragrance hero. Designer of Tom Ford, Black Orchid

In June, I was in Europe to discover the Future of Fragrance at the World Perfumery Congress in Nice, France. Here are 5 things I discovered on my trip to the heart of the industry.

  1. Handcrafted is the new luxury movement – having your own personal scent is a new subtle form of exclusivity.
  2. The new ‘it’ raw fragrance materials are Sustainable, Renewable and Natural ingredients. There’s a number of new beautiful complex materials to discover such as Oakwood, Geranium Bourbon, Lavandin Absolute, Pepper Sichuan Absolute CO2 extract, Four Corners, and Gnidia Flower.
  3. Fragrance & Flavour – Master Perfumer Jean Claude Ellena’s spontaneous conversation about the diversity of peppers with top chef Olivier Roellinger’s led to him to distill Timut Pepper oil. This era of experimentation and collaboration will lead the next generation of designers from flower to fragrance, seed to scent, plant to perfume etc.
  4. The Aura of Aroma – seemingly superstitious during attempts to fight the plague in 1347 it was incredible to learn how how Carlos Benaim (IFF) and others have been applying the work of Dr. Broja Mookerjee, studying the aura of aroma and perfume construction to create fragrance with memorable sillage (a scent trail that lasts and is recognisable). In terms of techniques, advances in the understanding of scent perception as well as the development of non-linear modeling methods (AI), may allow us to better predict fragrance behaviour (impact, diffusion, tenacity, volume). We just hope science doesn’t take the mystery away from the alchemy of fragrance design.
  5. Macro-cultural trends influence global olfactory experiences. Interesting shifts, desires and scent remedies that show how scent can play a part in wellbeing and healing the mind-body at a collective level.
Definitive Shift Corresponding Desire Scent Remedy
Terrorist Attacks Comfort and Familiarity Vanilla / Gourmand
Communication proliferation (smart phones) Boundaries and Mindfulness Lavender
Political upsets Reassurance & Authentic sweetness Manuka Honey
Human right victories Individuality and cultural exposure Yuzu, Ginger, Tumeric
Crises and scandals Transparency & Purity White Strawberry
Non Toxicity (J&J Baby powder) Safety & Tried and True Ginger, Lemongrass, Lavender, Rose

The trip convinced me that Australasia has an opportunity to contribute to the world of perfumery. With a growing Asian market, we are perfectly positioned to innovate simply in brand and formulation, in addition to reducing impact on the environment. With our progressive stance to gender equality we can set the tone for empowerment and become leaders in an accelerating premium unisex fragrance market. Finally, we’re young in terms of our cultivation and supply of native botanicals with therapeutic value.

As a New Zealand startup, Perfume Playground is excited to be living the trends talked about on the international stage. Both ethical and empowering, with a focus on Naturals we interpret your brands essence using Scent, Soul and Science into fragrance that invigorates your retail store, home or body with wellbeing. If you’d like to give a gift to yourself or a loved one you can take your opportunity to build a Natural Fragrance yourself at our Sensory Clubs held in Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne and Sydney.

The Smellarium: Interview with Ping Ang

An Introduction to Olfactory Architecture

Interview with Ping Ang

What made you interested in smells and perfumery?
The women I admired first, my mother and Nanna. My Nanna used to wear Red Door by Elizabeth Arden and my mum introduced me to Anais Anais, both of these perfumes are rich, elegant florals. I loved the way scent transformed my mum’s mood before she’d go out for the evening. When I was in my teens I studied chemistry and was always drawn to pharmacies to smell the perfumes on the way home. My mum also bought me a number of my earliest perfumes as presents e.g. Sunflowers, Davidoff Cool Water, Clinique Happy, Tommy Girl, Kenso Flower, CK One. My first job was at CS Company, the largest distributor of cosmetics and fragrance (acquired by Trilogy International Group 2015). I worked in the Prestige Fragrance division and was exposed to campaigns of global luxury brands so was surrounded by perfume all day long; it’s been a love affair ever since. However now I’m obsessed with the natural world. I no longer use synthetic fragrance, preferring to understand where ingredients come from and the ritual of applying scent more often.

How do you feel about smell and the way people interact with it?
I’m constantly seduced and challenged by how things smell. I often begin my interactions through smell. I feel there is a movement towards exploring our sense of smell and experimentation as a society more than ever before. Smell can function as a warning, for pleasure and has so many meanings to people, to memories and endless possibilities.

Is there enough interaction with scent from people? (please elaborate on why you think there is or isn’t)
I think the movement is here now and am so excited that people are interested and want to learn more and play with smell. The Perfume Playground is set up for people to have fun and is a very approachable platform for people who’re new to the world of smell or people who’re real scent lovers, such as wine connoisseurs and coffee baristas. I hope through the work we’re doing with the Auckland Art Gallery and Lululemon internationally, that we can connect art, science and the natural world together more.

Do you believe there is a benefit in perfume or smell for human experience or wellbeing? (if so why)
yes, I believe there is a strong connection. We come into the world as babies and before we see our sense of smell is at work, breathing, the start of life. We’re constantly taking in information about our surroundings through our nose and I believe we can alter our state using smell purposefully.

How do you feel you used scent to affect people’s experiences and is this important to you? (if so why)

It’s easier to explain my work through the words of my clients.

“OMG the fragrance, I feel like I am home every time I roll it on. I am not one to wear perfume daily (really not at all really except special occasions) but everyday I need to roll my perfume on. I feel a sense of energy but also calmness and it just feels right. I absolutely love love love it. Its a bit like a fix for me to put it on, I actually need it!!
Even my hubby who worked in perfumery in London for a while really liked it and he had a nose for smells :-)” Christina Leon, Reveal Yourself

“Thank goodness for my absolutely beautiful perfume. I wear it every day and every time I put it on I breathe deeply and feel alive, empowered, and sexy! I am actually attracted to my own scent, haha. My husband loves it too so that’s another win.” Tui Flemming, Dear Mummy

I’m absolutely loving my perfume. It calms me as soon as I smell it. I’m always drawn to put it on my throat charka and wrists. When I wear it to bed, I sleep peacefully. Tracy Manu, Blossom

Life means something when you get notes above about your art.

Do you believe in such things as good smells or bad smells?
I appreciate all materials for what they are. You might hear me say something is aromatic, but I usually avoid the good/ bad conversation. I lean towards everything having purpose even if it’s a warning function to leave the room!

Could you give me an instance or memory that you have tied to a specific smell and place, building or location?
I find the art of flavour and food hard to separate, so will say the intoxicating smell of simmering mince, garlic, onion and tomatoes reminds me of the warmth of family dinner when we were younger. Nowadays, this smell has been replaced by the musty yet fresh combination of ‘pink fish’ (coined by my nephews, Max and Archie) and soy-sauce. However, if we need to tie to a place, building or location I believe everyone relates to the smell of melting butter on popcorn at the movies!

From your experience in Perfume Playground, is there a specific demographic or occupation of people that attend your workshops or ask for a custom scent? (if so, who and why do you think that is?)
Smell is like music and food, it’s universal, so this means we get a diverse range of people coming along for custom-made perfumes and our olfactory workshops. Most of our workshop guests like to explore the unknown, design, create and celebrate their individual style. It’s a great way to have fun, forget about rules, connecting to yourself and others.
For our custom work, we specifically work with people who want to reduce the toxic load on their bodies, co-design a perfume for managing new levels of productivity and efficiency, rest and stress; essentially using scent as a new medium to enhance their wellbeing. We find people discover, experience, remember, understand and act differently through exploring their sense of smell combined with technology.

(I noticed in my workshop there were 6 of us who had background in architecture and was curious as to why and if this happened often?) Perhaps FB algorithm ?!

Lastly, is there anything you wanted to comment about perfume or scent and the significance of it within human lives?
Keep on smelling and interacting with it. We don’t know where the technological advances that are blurring the lines of reality with virtual and augmented worlds, so enjoy the moment, smell and breathe in what’s going around you now. Through exploring more of your senses you make more sense of your world.