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Club Members | Abigail Ryburn

Abigail Ryburn shares with us her story of moving from New Zealand to Melbourne, how she spends her time during the pandemic, and her journey from synthetic to natural products.

 

1. Tell me about yourself!

I’m from New Zealand, I moved to Melbourne 9 years ago to expand my knowledge in nursing. I work at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in theatre as the ANUM for Orthopaedics and one day, I would love to take  my knowledge back to New Zealand.  

2. How are you spending your time during lockdown in Melbourne?

 I’m always trying to learn different things! I’m currently learning French and trying to start German soon. Also, I learnt the violin when I was around 6 years old for a number of years, though I haven’t played for most of my adult years. I decided to buy a new violin and am in the process of teaching myself how to play again. 

 

3. I would love to hear about your fragrance journey! How did you transition to using natural fragrances?

 I grew up at an organic blueberry orchard in New Zealand. It was the first organic blueberry farm in New Zealand! My journey of moving away from synthetic fragrances to natural fragrances was affected by how I was brought up. If I had the choice of chemicals vs non chemical, I would always find my way back to the non chemicals. 

My mum was also quite herbalistic and she was always using home creams. All of the products I use now have no synthetic ingredients in them.

Even with my background, I never seemed to be deterred from synthetic fragrance. I suppose I felt as though they were okay given the perceived minimalist amount that might be absorbed? However, one day my Mum told me not to spray it on my neck. For years and years my Mum & Aunty sprayed perfume on their necks. Now they both have brown marks on either side of their neck, from the combination of synthetics and sun exposure. Ever since then, I sprayed my synthetic perfume either on my clothes and hair. Slowly, I’ve started to discard my synthetic perfumes altogether, as I’ve started to really dislike the chemically laced scents.

I like natural fragrances because they’re not toxic with the bonus of just smelling great! I know people say it doesn’t last as long, but the smell of it is so much better and I feel so much better for it. 

 

4. How does your fragrance affect your wellbeing?

One thing I really liked when I went to the Perfume Playground Club workshop were the flower essences! At the end of creating your perfume, you can add flower essences to your creation if they’re there to use. You can add as many types which resonate with you as you like, because they don’t alter the scent. The ones I’ve added focused on strength and immunity and it was very uplifting.

 I find all of the citrus based scents to be very uplifting, which is important for wellbeing. I’m fairly certain my favourite is grapefruit, they just make you feel so good.  

5. Do you have any scent obsessions?

I’ve always had an obsession with scent, I’ll go into the shops and smell all the soaps and room diffusers, perfumes etc. The last time I was in Italy, I found this store tucked away on a side street in Florence where you can see the whole process of creating essential oils before they make them into their perfumes. This was quite important to me as it wasn’t made in a lab and I could see the entire natural processes evolving before me. Ever since then, I haven’t used any synthetic fragrance. Monna Lisa Aua Flor was one of the first natural perfumes that I bought.

6. When you came to our workshop, you created a fragrance with Mandarin, Honey Myrtle, Manuka and Peru Balsam – what made you choose these ingredients? 

I chose Mandarin because I wanted something uplifting though also fresh. The Honey Myrtle added a similar freshness to the design and the Peru Balsam was a warm base to ground it. I chose Manuka because I was experimenting and that’s why I enjoy the workshops so much, because I get to test all the ingredients and create my own fragrance.

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

In some of the workshops, I found people second guessing themselves, unsure with what ingredients to choose. But at the end of the workshop, we get to smell each other’s creations and I have always been astounded at how they’ve turned out! The workshop is all about experimentation, trust yourselves, and Samantha is fantastic at guiding you if you feel unsure.

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

 I would like to try something quite different next time. I’ve noticed that I use Cedarwood and Sandalwood a lot, and Citrus oils because of their uplifting effects. I know what I like now, so I want to see what I can create and still like! Perhaps Bergamot, Thyme & Musk (the vegan derivative that is).

In this lockdown period, I’m actually trying to make something by myself at home with the few oils I’ve purchased from Perfume Playground. 

9. Anything else you would like to share with us that might inspire others? 

Experimentation is fun, that’s why I like going to the workshops. I get to tap into my creative side and it’s quite meditative. The whole process of making something is very calming. If you’re somebody that goes 100 mile a minute, everything is left at the door when you walk inside, & your phone is definitely on silent. 

As a nurse and being busy all of the time, it’s lovely to take a moment for yourself and just enjoy the process.

 

Upcoming Clubs

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

  • 24 September. Auckland. Perfume Playground NZ. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful

  • 30 September. Auckland. Perfume Playground NZ. Kids Exclusive Club. Fun and experimental

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.

 

PERFUME & CHAMPAGNE

Perfumes and champagnes are the ornament of sophistication and sensuality. Enjoy our musings on the history, composition and their similarities! 

History Of Perfume
Maverice Roucel is quoted as saying, ”Your fragrance is your message, your scented slogan”. Perfumes are something we are all familiar with, and in the absence of we often won’t leave the house. We wear perfume to please others, to leave a good impression on them, and to surround ourselves with a pleasing and lasting scent. The use of perfume is mainly associated with fantasy, enigma, and imagination. Although fragrances do have a long history, it has not always carried a hint of romance. So, where does this word ‘perfume’ originate? 

The English word Perfume comes from the Latin phrase Perfumare, which means to smoke through. Perfume is thousands of years old, with evidence of the first perfumes dating back to Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Cyprus. Initially, it had a religious purpose, but now it’s become an ornament of sophistication and elegance for both men and women. The Egyptians were the first to use perfumes for personal enjoyment. The first modern perfume, which was made of scented oils blended in an alcohol solution, was created in 1370 at the command of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary and was known as Hungary Water. All public places were scented during Elizabeth’s rule because she could not tolerate the lousy odor. Just as the art of perfumery progressed through the centuries, so did the art of the perfume bottle. The earliest specimens of perfume bottles date back to about 1000 B.C. In ancient Egypt, glass bottles were made chiefly to hold perfumes. Eau De Bc is known as the oldest perfume in the world.

Composition

Fragrance is mainly composed of three things; essential oils, fixatives, and solvents. Essential oils are derived from natural aromatic plant extracts or synthetic aromatic chemicals (Perfume Playground use Naturals only). Fixatives are natural or artificial substances used to control the rate of evaporation and a solvent is  the liquid in which the perfume oil is dissolved, which is usually 98%ethanol and 2%water. 

History of Champagne
Just like perfumes, champagne is also considered as a symbol of elegance and sophistication. French author Guy de Maupassant succinctly declared, “Champagne…the wine of kings, the king of wines.” Champagne is a reputed and protected wine which is both globally recognized and rooted in centuries-old traditions. Champagne is a sparkling white wine that comes from the Champagne region of northeastern France. If it’s a bubbly wine from another area than northeastern France, then it is sparkling wine and not champagne. While many people use the term “champagne” for any sparkling wine, the French have maintained their legal right to call their wines champagne for over a century now. The Treaty of Madrid, signed in 1891 established this rule, and the Treaty of Versailles reasserted it.

Composition:
The grapes, pinot Noir, pinot Meunier, and chardonnay are used in the production of almost all champagne. But a tiny amount of pinot blanc, pinot gris, arbane, and petit mesleirare are used as well. 


Similarities between the two:
There is more than one similarity between two of life’s greatest sensory pleasures, Champagne and Perfume. Both of these are recognized for their elite status and are widely known to be as luxury goods. But they also share similarities in how they have been constructed and how they can evoke memories and enjoyment through smell.  

The sense of smell is very closely linked with memory due to the setting of the olfactory bulb in the brain. A scent can bring back a flood of memories and even affect a person’s mood. The olfactory bulb is a part of the brain’s limbic system which is sometimes called the emotional brain. And the limbic system is an area which is closely associated with feelings and memories. So because of this reason, the sense of smell can call up memories and robust responses almost instantaneously. The aroma of champagne has this effect as well. 

Another link between the two products is the careful construction of the finished piece. Champagne is all about the art of blending. In Champagne, not one but three grapes are assorted so that the wine is more composite and more consistent in quality. However, the mixing of the three grapes that are (chardonnay, pinot noir, and meunier) is essential for dynamic and regular champagne. Perfume is also about the art of blending with a careful selection and skilled mixing of flavors and unique aromas.

Blending is where the skills needed of the perfumer and the chef de cave (winemaker). The profession of a champagne maker is very similar to the perfumer. They both should have the necessary skills and practice to know to the aromas and flavors. The production of both these things is a complicated art and requires years of training or practice. Both of these are created with memory and sensory skill rather than a formula or recipe. 

When we taste champagne or any wine, it is multi-sensory. We admire the champagne with our eyes, then with our nose and finally with our palate. But it is our nose, which can pick not few but thousands of scents. If the wine doesn’t have the sensual aroma coming through, we won’t have the same enjoyment or pleasure of the wine that we would do with the palate. Both champagne and perfume can shift us to another place in time, to another moment or another feeling. No doubt one of happiness which may give us pleasure. 

We will conclude with a quote by Mireille Guiliano, ‘French women know one can get far with a great haircut, a bottle of champagne, and a divine perfume.’ 

TICKETS

Join us for a Champagne and Perfume Masterclass

Tickets are now on sale for the all new Champagne & Perfume Masterclass, taking place
2-4pm, Sunday August 25th at Work Club, Level 2 287 Collins St Melbourne.

Book here

Kids Fragrant Fun

“It is a happy talent to know how to play” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

When it comes to learning, let’s not forget about fun – especially for kids.

Nowadays, kids are ‘scheduled’ – that is to say, they carry around the responsibilities of being in school. The more commitments and expectations they have to carry, the more their bodies and mind are affected – which can be overwhelming and manifests in the form behaviour issues, academically, stress or anxiety.

Why is it important for kids to learn through play?

Social play allows kids to be creative. They become more confident when experimenting and absorb lessons quicker. Play is not just something children like to do but something they need to do. It is important for their well-being. When left alone or with peers, kids instinctively organise their own little games and activities, launching into their imagination inventing stories and characters.

In our urbanised world, kids often spend more time indoors – with television, computers and video games. There’s growing evidence that children are more disconnected from the natural world, lacking knowledge of biodiversity and awareness of its importance. When exposed to nature, kids become more hands-on picking things up such as rocks, leaves, sticks or flowers, jumping in puddles, climbing rocks or swinging from trees. Nature provokes endless possibilities for play and imagination as kids wonder how to use the materials they picked up, what they are, what can they do with it, how do they feel and so on. The exposure can be as simple as going for a walk, hiking or playing in the yard. It encourage them to learn to observe, describe their observation and giving them opportunity to discover nature on their own.

Many studies have shown the benefits of kids playing and being one with nature. They show how play and nature enables children to gain an abilities that help them learn and engage with others, becoming more cooperative. This is a form of exercise for children minds and their creativity. Play prepares kids for how to work together and, at the same time, how to be alone. It teaches how to be human.

Having the right balance between work and play is essential. Initially, play is the method and learning is the outcome. While adults may think that play is just a waste of time, it’s an opportunity for kids to learn and demonstrate what they’ve learned. These social competencies get transferred to children’s everyday behaviour.

Join our Kids Exclusive, 13 October, 10am-2pm
Suitable for 7-14 years.

NATIVE & WILD SOLID PERFUME DESIGN

Perfume is like a new dress, it make you quite simply marvellous – Estee Lauder

Humans are emotional beings with a “desire” or passion for life on earth. We’re chasing the desire for love, for a frame, for beauty, for wellbeing. We’ve an inherent motivation for our lives to be a unique, enjoyable journey. Fragrance stimulates the five senses and is able to activate this desire. Alongside, eau de toilette and colognes, solid perfume also stands up in the fragrance wonderland.

What is a solid perfume – we use jojoba oil and beeswax
Solid perfume as a fragrance is the texture of a lip balm. Instead of spraying, solid perfume is applied to your body to make you smell fantastic.
Solid perfume requires you to grate and melt beeswax, which has a softly sweet honey-like fragrance. The melted beeswax, and we use a simple hotplate, is combined with organic jojoba oil. We use jojoba as it’s an excellent moisturiser as it’s very close to human sebum and have a longer shelf-life than other carrier oils.

New Zealand or the lungs of the earth, has 10%-15% of the total land area covered by the native plants, 80% of our trees, ferns and flowering plants are endemic.
Coprosma propinqua, New Zealand owning 45 species of coprosma. It can grow up to 4m tall, the leaves are similar to the culinary rosemary. Also, its stems covered with blueberries.

WHAT ARE FLOWER ESSENCES?

A flower essence is a liquid infusion of fresh flowers.

Recent studies have shown that bees are attracted to the energy in flowers, rather than their colours or fragrance. The research, completed at University of Bristol, showed that flowers emit electrical impulses. Bees are then able to detect the vibrations of different flowers. For instance, if a flower is full of nectar, it emits a different vibration compared to if it is empty.

Flower essences capture this bioenergetic imprint of a flower, which positively interacts with your bodies energy field. The effect? Depending on their purpose, flower essences can restore balance, encourage flow, inspire creativity or invoke kindness. Incorporating flower essences into your functional fragrance is a gentle form of natural healing. Katie Hess in ‘Flower Evolution’ states that flower essences, “travel through the acupuncture meridians, like an acupuncture treatment without the needles.” The deep healing is generally subtle at first, but after consistent use, results are astounding. Unlike essential oils, they do not have a scent.

Bach flower essences may sound familiar. The most well-known Bach flower essence is Rescue Remedy, a natural stress reliever. At Perfume Playground, we have a full range of Bach flower essences, Heart2Shine vibrational essences, Australian Bush Flower Essences and NZ First Light Essences

We have joined forces with Heart2Shine vibrational essences in the past, to create a powerful fragrance incorporating their ‘Peace’ vibrational essence. Zoe Alexander, creates her essences in collaboration with nature and spiritual forces. By adding peace essence into the fragrance, it became a biodynamic companion to personal relaxation rituals. To be applied before yoga, listening to music or meditation.

Whether the idea of positive vibrations and flower essences resonates with you or not, setting an intention with a fragrance by adding a flower essence is a beautiful way to enhance its function.

MOTHER’S DAY

In our first year of business we created a space for play for a week. We celebrated Mother’s, Woman, Females – the entire sisterhood and family.

Over five days we hosted over 500 people. We guided each person how to design their very own Natural Fragrance from single aroma molecules, total transparency,

THE SCIENCE OF SMELL

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

WORLD PERFUMERY CONGRESS

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.