Created using 100% natural ingredients, the Abel Odor fragrance evolves on your skin, working with your natural body chemistry to create your own personal and unique scent. Abel uses fairtrade and sustainable farming practices to create their unique unisex fragrances and is a firm believer of natural ingredients, high quality, and clean aesthetics. It is a small privately owned company, founded in Amsterdam in 2013 by New Zealand-born and former winemaker, Frances Shoemack, and the man behind the exquisite scents is Abel’s master perfumer, Isaac Sinclair.
MEET THE FOUNDER - ABEL VITA ODOR
HOW DID IT ALL START?
Not long after moving from New Zealand to Amsterdam in 2011, I was looking for a natural perfume and couldn't find one I loved. I have always loved fragrance and as my appreciation for artisan perfume grew, so too did my frustration in the wide use of synthetic fragrance compounds. My mum is a yoga teacher, I grew up on a farm and studied viticulture and oenology (winemaking), so I had been very absorbed in the world of natural products and holistic living. Once I have had the idea to marry these worlds in creating natural perfume, I couldn't get it out of my mind.
WHAT IS THE PHILOSOPHY OF YOUR BRAND?
We strive to make the best natural perfume, full stop. We work with a master perfumer, Isaac Sinclair and the best of natural science to ensure our perfume is chic, modern and long lasting. We source our materials from the best suppliers around the world and are on a continual journey of improvement. Whether it is finding more sustainable packaging or more beautiful ways to communicate. We want Abel to be a pleasure at every step of the journey, for everyone involved (up and down the food chain).
WHAT DOES BEAUTY MEANS TO YOU?
Beauty in sound, beauty in motion, beauty in scent, beauty in being and mindfulness. Exceptional beauty is when these elements can all come together simultaneously. I find a lot of inspiration in Japanese culture, in particular the idea of Wabi Sabi resonates with me - beauty in imperfection, simplicity and constant evolution (or transience). There's something freeing about striving not for perfection, but for finding pleasure in what you have, knowing that it is momentary.
WHAT IS YOUR PASSION / OBSESSION?
My family and my business. I feel incredibly lucky to have two such giant forces in my life. I'm constantly challenged, inspired and kept very fulfilled. Work is forever introducing me to wonderful new people, places and ideas. My husband and sons are constantly forcing me to look inside myself, focus on the now and value what is genuinely important.
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
As a young mother trying to balance my role in the home, business and community, I've been thinking a lot about women's role in the world. I believe women need to play a pivotal role in global affairs and the way forward is in recognising the power of the feminine psyche, and the value of traditionally feminine traits (i.e. empathy, patience and desire to collaborate) in a society dominated by traditionally masculine traits (confidence, independence and courage). So I've been looking a lot to the female thought-leaders and heroines of today and the past - Ada Lovelace, Emmeline Pankhurst, Frida Kahlo, Jane Goodall, Sheryl Sandberg, Vivienne Westwood.
WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED (THE HARD WAY)?
To trust yourself and your own instinct! Starting (and growing) a business can be riddled with self doubt, and in a tough situation it can feel safer to listen to an expert rather than take a punt on your own instinct. I do not believe it is often (if ever!) the right decision. The path more trodden can often be the most risky, especially if you're trying to do things differently.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU WANT THE CONSUMER TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND?
I think that we are a genuine business, on a genuine journey and that everything we do comes from a real place. I want our customers to feel that.
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST BEAUTY TRICKS?
Hydration, sleep, nutrition and yoga... No special tricks here, ha! They are not my sole beauty routine, but they are the only things that I genuinely know make a difference! I'm pretty religious about all four.