BEAUTY – 100% natural ingredients, wonderful scents and a sight for sore eyes. Those are the perfumes of Abel Odor. I interviewed Elise Tijssen, brand and e-commerce manager of this inspiring brand. We talked about the brand, synthetic perfume, sustainable solutions, personal favorites and the power to have a positive impact on climate change.
How did Abel Odor start?
Abel Odor was founded in 2012 in Amsterdam by the New Zealand former winemaker, Frances Shoemack. From day one we had a clear mission: to inspire positive change by creating the world’s best natural perfumes, without compromising design or quality. To create this perfumes, we work together with the New Zealand Master Perfumer Isaac Sinclair. We use the best that nature and nature science have to offer. We think it’s important for our brand to balance between sustainability and minimalistic luxury: two things that normally don’t go together.
Witch steps have you already taken in the field of sustainability?
We continuously try to involve as a brand. Especially in the area of packaging there is a lot to be gained. The steps we’ve already taken are:
– Last year we made the switch to plantbased dyes and soy-based inks.
– We solely use FSC certified paper, paper that comes from responsibly managed forests.
– 100% recycled packages. Where previously a piece of foam was used to hold the product in place, this is now done through a smart cardboard solution.
– The use of organic degradable cellofan. This is required for selling in the stores and therefore the best alternative for plastic film.
At Abel you believe that together we have the power to do something about the climate crisis. Therefore you collaborate with ‘1% for the planet’. What does that mean?
We donate 1% of our total revenue to non-profit organisations that focus on improving the environment. For every scent in the collection, we choose a non-profit organization with a direct impact on the environment and the society where the perfume ingredients are extracted. For our citrus floral fragrance Golden Neroli, we choose Pollinator Partnership, who’s remit to conserve and protect the global pollinator species (bees, birds, bats). And for our White Vetiver perfume we choose SOIL Haiti, an organisation that focuses on transforming waste into raw materials in Haiti, where our vetiver oil is extracted. (Spot all the non-profit organisations on the website of Abel Odor)
Most people don’t really think about whether perfume is natural or not. Are there many synthetic and environmental pollutants in regular perfume?
Sure! All reguar perfume mainly consist of synthetic ingredients. This is because it’s just so cheap to make. In addition, there is little transparency in the perfume industry, because there are no legal requirements to include joint perfume ingredients as something other than just the word “perfume”.
(An article about the perfume industry will soon appear on the blog with more information, click here for more information why Abel Odor avoids synthetic ingredients.)
Abel Odor is already well known! What is your strategy to stand out in the perfume industry?
We are not nearly where we want to be! The most important thing is focus. We have a small team, there are 100 ideas or possibilities that present themselves every day and the challenge lies in consciously choosing what we will and will not focus on.
Witch factors do you think are very important in the field of sustainable production?
We find it very important to continue to develop ourselves in this field. That we, the product, continue to improve in terms of sustainability. There is always room for improvement, but it can never all be done at the same time. The most important thing is to set high standards and continue to develop.
What is your favorite scent of Abel Odor?
Oh, that’s like asking you to choose between your kids haha, because I wear them all! My first love was Cobalt Amber. However, since the launch of Pink Iris, it has been my favorite. And I use Golden Neroli on top of all the other perfumes, so Pink Iris with Golden Neroli are currently my favotites.
What do you do in the area of sustainable living? Do you have tips?
I think it starts with becoming aware, working on it and thinking about it. That is also my tip. And adding small things step by step into your life, such as separating your waste, eating less meat and consuming more consciously. I think it is very important not just to “buy”, but to think a little longer before you consciously purchase something. I prefer to spend a little more for something that I can really enjoy for a long time, is made from natural materials and is produced in an honest way. But I still don’t always succeed, and that’s also okay. Nobody is perfect, but everyone can do their best 🙂