no. 13 Caterina Cavallaro
Caterina Cavallaro will meet you in the boardroom, but chances are she’ll do so with the biggest smile. Sydneysider, lawyer, wellbeing columnist and nature lover with a penchant for natural perfume, Caterina reflects on her Perfume Playground journey and what passions light her up!
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m a lawyer and a writer focusing on wellbeing and positive psychology tips for lawyers (or anyone really!). I have a passion for wellbeing and positivity. I love being creative and living as sustainably as I can, so I love vintage glassware (particularly Murano) and vintage Dinosaur Design jewellery.
A little birdie tells me that you first met our founder Samantha at a course. What do you remember about that day?
Yes! It was a Dr Libby Weaver wellness weekend at the church hall in Mosman a few years ago. I vividly remember sitting next to Samantha and being struck by her positivity, story and meaning behind Perfume Playground and how scent changes a space and a person for the better. She also gifted me some gorgeous perfume, and I have been coming down to Melbourne ever since to make my own!
You then attended our online Native & Wild workshop – what was your favourite part?
I enjoyed mixing and creating something in solid form, which I had never done before. I also loved smelling scents I have never smelt before but that have an Australian feel and are part of our own special nature here.
More recently, you attended our Melbourne Classic Club – what was the vibe like?
It was fun and creative! Something light and positive at the end of heavier times over the past year. I loved using my instincts to create something just for me, something that reflects me. The people I met all had their own reasons for coming, and I was struck by how every scent was so different but resonated when the individual told their story about why they created their scent.
At the Classic Club, you created a fragrance blending Bergamot Mint, Geranium, Labdanum & Oakmoss. How did it turn out?
I loved it! I knew I wanted to use Geranium as an essential oil and really enjoyed creating something that felt balanced and something I love to wear. It was also great to get guidance to help make the slightest changes, but they made a big difference.
What has been the best thing about 2022 so far?
For me, this year, it has been starting to venture out again and travel (I used my weekend in Melbourne to do the class and see some creative works, including the Chanel, Disney and Flinders Street Station exhibitions). I love nature and am grateful I live close to the harbour in Sydney so every day I go for a walk in nature, which in beautiful weather always feels like the best day.
Scent aside, what are you most passionate about?
I love travelling and am particularly keen on snorkelling and finding locations where I can see animals in their natural habitat. I was lucky to have swum with whale sharks at Ningaloo, hiked to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda and see turtles in Australia both lay their eggs and hatch. I love combining my passion for travel, nature and hiking or snorkelling when I can.
It’s fair to say it’s been a tough 2021. What are your favourite wellbeing rituals or self-care practices?
I meditate daily (mostly!) and walk around the lower north shore in Sydney every day. My favourite walks include crossing the bridge into the Royal Botanical Gardens and walking to Cremorne Point or Taronga Zoo. The mix of water, trees and flowers together with the movement of walking and listening to podcasts helps me to relax and stay positive and happy.
You write a regular wellness column. What’s your top tip to anyone who may be struggling to stay positive during such uncertain times?
Book things to look forward to in your diary. If possible, every 90 days try to leave your home and go somewhere – if you can travel then book that in, if you can just go away for the weekend (especially in nature somewhere to get away from your usual living and working space) then do that. In between, try to find something nice to get you out of the house every week – try going to the markets if they are open again, or catch up with a friend for a walk (or go alone with some airpods and a podcast or music), go to a new museum or theatre or movie. It doesn’t have to be big or even expensive, just in the diary and something you look forward to that gives you a sense of adventure or gets you outside of your everyday routine.
Most exciting item on your bucket list?
I’m hoping to go on a whale swim this year in Australia as I have always had swimming with whales on my list!