No. 34 Fiona Fraser
NO. 34 Fiona Fraser
In the enchanting landscapes of Hawke’s Bay, where the beauty of nature meets the charm of a boutique PR consultancy called Contentment PR & Communications, resides Fiona Fraser. Beyond the professional accolades, Fiona is a storyteller of life’s multifaceted joys and challenges, offering us a glimpse into her world that transcends the boundaries of work.
Join us on an aromatic expedition with Fiona Fraser, as she immerses herself in the art of perfumery. In her journey, she not only tends to her physical and mental well-being but also enriches the essence of her soul. With each carefully curated scent, Fiona unveils the profound notion that self-expression transcends the boundaries of language and outward appearances. Instead, it dances through the atmosphere, weaving an intangible mosaic of identity and emotion, all through the subtle magic of fragrance.
Fiona, tell us about yourself. (This doesn’t need to be confined to what job you do – feel free to share anything that paints a picture of who you are and how you feel in this world).
I live in beautiful Hawke’s Bay, where I have a boutique PR consultancy called Contentment PR & Communications (www.contentment.co.nz)
My life is more often than not a blur of parenting (one teen and two dogs), writing, travelling (often to Auckland to see clients – but we’ve also just had a big trip to Spain, Portugal, the UK and Germany, which was heaven), cooking and eating, singing in the Hawke’s Bay Soul Choir (we’re not bad!) spending time with friends, and watching far more reality TV than is healthy.
At Perfume Playground, we’re big advocates of wellbeing. What’s your approach to wellbeing?
Maintaining wellness has become a huge priority as I’ve aged. Gone are the days where I could wing it – I really have to put the work in. My goal is to incorporate one wellness activity daily and right now, that might be a reformer Pilates class at a stunning space in Havelock North called Alma, body weight training, walking the dogs by the river, batch-prepping food that ups my plant intake for the week, or meditating. I’m quite new to a meditation practice but I undertook some training with Georgia Vavasour last year and it was magic.
We love hearing scent stories. Can you share one of your favourite scents or scent memories with us?
Those who know me and my rather prominent nose tell me I’m quite scent focused. I’m one of those people who smells things before others do – like something burning on the stove, or a nappy that needs changing! A favourite scent memory for me is also a sad one – when my father passed away, I was still a child and my Mum made sure all his clothes hung in the wardrobe for a year or two so we could go and bury our faces in them and breathe him in, even though he’d been taken from us.
Another memory is the large flowering Boronia bush we had growing outside our home in rural Southland – I loved that scent then, and still enjoy it now.
What is something you’re really passionate about or deeply care about?
Accuracy. I’m someone who would always rather hear the truth, rather than a sugarcoated version of the story. I like facts, I crave honesty, and I loathe fake news and conspiracy. It’s not lost on me that my reality TV addiction is the antithesis of accuracy – but I figure we all need some escapism too!
What motivated you to attend the perfume workshop?
I was planning a girls’ weekend with two friends – one of whom collects fragrances (she has up to 100 different perfumes at a time). It seemed like a great idea to spend the day together decoding scent and figuring out our individual scent styles. It’s also something that can be done rain or shine – and in Auckland, you often don’t know which you’re going to get!
How would you describe the fragrance you designed with us?
We each designed three fragrances during the masterclass. My first attempt was trying to harness the scent of Early Cheer (which blooms during that gorgeous first flush of Spring), but I also created a soft, Vanilla-based floral which our tutor Astrid said smelt “like expensive makeup” – I’ll take that as a win! And I experimented with Sandalwood, which was a scent I thought I disliked but actually loved.
Biggest insight or inspiration you took away from our Masterclass?
It taught me to be bolder with my fragrance choices. I tend to shy away from anything woody or fruity, but I found that the correct blend of top, middle and bottom notes, even when containing something tobacco, or apple based, for instance, was still appealing to me. I’ll widen my search next time I’m choosing a scent for myself.
What were the highlights of the workshop for you? Any memorable moments?
Seeing my friend Emma – the perfume obsessive – mixing scents reminiscent of “a bonfire burning far away”, “hot bodies on the beach in summer” and “the sappy inside of a tree”. She’s so creative.
Would you recommend this experience to others?
I would! I loved the small group vibe and opportunity to deep-dive into the world of fragrance.
Join us in celebrating Almira’s exploration of self-expression through scent, and discover how Perfume Playground workshops serves as a canvas for her olfactory narratives. Let her story inspire you to embark on your own fragrant journey of self-discovery! Take that first step towards your fragrant journey of self-expression today. Discover the infinite possibilities that lie within a single drop of perfume.