no. 8 Amberleigh Carson
Tell us about yourself? What do you do, and what’s your biggest passion in life?
I live and work in Auckland, with my husband and two children. I run a small business called Art.Work (art ‘dot’ work). We run professional development workshops for artists and creatives. We cover various topics including; tax for artists, self promotion, proposal writing and building your own website. I also work as operations support for Connect the Dots Charitable Trust, an organisation that does wonderful work, using creativity as a tool to improve the health and wellbeing of the elderly in New Zealand. My background is in visual arts, having studied at Elam School of Fine Arts here in Auckland, and I’ve continued to pursue a career in this field ever since.
How did your path cross with Perfume Playgrounds?
I worked for Artists Alliance for ten years, a fantastic organisation led by Maggie Gresson. Artists Alliance existed to advocate for and advance the careers of visual artists in New Zealand. Our offices were located in a building on Ponsonby Road, which originally housed police barracks – we shared our section of the building with several creative businesses and individuals. It was a great atmosphere. When Samantha moved Perfume Playground into the building and took up a room above our offices, we were of course, intrigued to hear all about her business and enjoyed taking part in impromptu scent moments!
The fragrance you created at one of our Auckland Club Workshops combined notes of yellow mandarin, phenyl ethyl alcohol with natural musk on the base. What inspired this scent selection?
I was led entirely by my initial reaction to the scents, knowing I’m drawn to clean, uplifting scents without too much sweetness. Being my first time at a Perfume Playground event I was a little nervous as I am notoriously picky about scent! However, I was happy with the result of the session and afterwards, genuinely enjoyed wearing the fragrance I’d created!
You brought your sister in law, Belinda, along to the workshop. What was it like sharing this experience with a loved one?
We enjoyed taking part in the experience together. It was great to be there with someone who knows me well and vice versa – we were able to give genuine feedback on our decisions in the workshop and I found that helpful. Also, it was just a fun experience to partake in together. I now know others who want to come and do it with us next time!
Can you share one of your favourite scents or scent memories with us?
I have a strong connection between scent and memory, I find it happens unexpectedly, and will take me right to a specific moment in childhood or a location. A certain soap scent always takes me straight back to my grandparents’ house and the scent of freesia will always make me think of visiting family in Mount Maunganui.
Nothing excites us more than scent’s ability to positively impact mind, body and soul. How does fragrance affect you?
It’s essential to me. I recently planted my first rose (I’m a beginner gardener), and when deciding which kind to buy, I asked for the one with the strongest scent, over the prettiest to look at. It’s flowering now, and the scent is amazing. We have a hammock seat next to it, and I’m at my most relaxed there.
Do you have any wellbeing rituals?
Like everyone, I find things pretty busy at the moment. Still I try to balance that with some time outside every day with the kids and (when we’re not locked down, as we currently are) my husband and I make time twice a week for a long walk stopping for coffee and pastry halfway – completely undoing our exercise but totally worthwhile!
What advice would you give to others thinking about getting creative with scent alongside Perfume Playground?
I would say it’s an excellent experience worth trying, and I highly recommend taking part as a group with friends or family.