LOOKING FOR A GENDER-NEUTRAL PERFUME THAT'S HANDMADE FROM ETHICALLY AND SUSTAINABLY SOURCED PLANT-BASED INGREDIENTS?
Avenoir Perfumery makes original vegan fragrances inspired by the real world, not the brands. Despite their secret formulas, mass-market fragrances are formulated from just a handful of notes. Our perfumes are different because they are made entirely from natural ingredients – Inspired by personal memory.
ETHICAL PERFUMES FOR THE MODERN WORLD
Our perfumes are all formulated with ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients and packaged in eco-friendly materials. Vegan and gender-neutral, you can be safe in the knowledge that our perfumes won't harm the planet.
During my time in London, at the age of 17, I was also diagnosed as Dyslexic and Dyspraxic.
I knew I interpreted the world around me differently from others from a young age. Other children didn’t understand when I said that sound had colour and scent had emotion. Finally having a name for this felt liberating. Synesthesia – experiencing and associating one sense, such as sound, as an entirely different sense, such as visualising a colour, is part of Dyslexia and Dyspraxia (and many other neuro-diversities too). For some, this may be a hindrance. But for me, it’s been a source of inspiration. That creative streak led me to study for a music degree.
WHEN MY DAUGHTER WAS BORN, I FELT A PULL TOWARDS MAKING A CONCERTED EFFORT TOWARDS MAKING MY LIFE MORE SUSTAINABLE
BUT I WASN’T READY TO GIVE UP ALL OF MY LUXURIES, FRAGRANCES BEING ONE OF THOSE. ONCE AGAIN, I FOUND IT CHALLENGING TO FIND A SINGLE BRAND THAT MET ALL OF MY VALUES. I FOUND ONE COMPANY THAT SOLD VEGAN PERFUMES BUT MADE WITH SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES. ANOTHER BRAND MADE NATURAL PERFUMES, BUT ITS PARENT COMPANY HAD A POOR ETHICAL TRACK RECORD. I REALISED THAT IF I WANTED A TRULY ETHICAL, SUSTAINABLE, VEGAN, NATURAL AND GENDER-NEUTRAL PERFUME, I HAD TO MAKE MY OWN FRAGRANCE.
FAST FORWARD TO 2018. AFTER A TRAUMATIC EVENT, I FELT LOST. I WAS A NEW MUM, A NEWLY SINGLE PARENT, AND DIDN’T FEEL LIKE I KNEW WHO I WAS ANYMORE. I WAS STRUGGLING TO FIND MY FEET AND NEEDED DIRECTION.
In a world of grey and monotony, there is a need for more.
Whether you need respite from the distractions of modern life or to step back into your sense of self, we believe that our fragrances and multi-sensory experiences can enable this. Our philosophy of self-care plus sustainability drives every decision we make. Our perfumes are all formulated with ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients and packaged in eco-friendly materials. Vegan and gender-neutral, you can be safe in the knowledge that our perfumes won’t harm the planet.
GROWING UP, I WAS RAISED WITH AN ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE MINDSET BEFORE IT WAS "COOL"
We bought fair trade and secondhand. As a family, we grew our vegetables, holidayed in the UK and ate a primarily vegetarian diet. We reused, reduced and recycled. My mother and I were seen as “crunchie hippies” 20/25 years ago by having a sustainable lifestyle. It makes me laugh looking back, when a sustainable lifestyle is a mainstream goal for many today! When I left home to live in London, I lived on a shoestring budget. I attempted to continue living the sustainable life I had grown up with, but 15 years ago, inner-city living made it difficult. I had to make many not-so-sustainable choices. It took until I had my daughter before I felt that I now had a duty towards the planet and my daughter to put this right.
As a student, I time rich and cash poor. In my ample spare time, I perused the fragrance counters of London’s flagship department stores. I have had a passion for fragrance ever since I was old enough to choose essential oils for bath time. Suddenly having access to such a vast array of perfumes at first felt like heaven. But, as a young adult, finding a signature scent that represented the essence of who I was, became a challenge. Heavy-handed gatekeeping of gendered fragrance sections had me yearning for a genuinely gender-neutral fragrance, not just some bland, middle of the road “unisex” one. A growing awareness of environmental activism urged me to seek perfumes with sustainable provenance, without excessive and unneeded packaging or animal derivatives. I wanted to know that the company was cruelty-free and had an ethical way of conducting business. Using fragrance became an integral part of my self-care routine. I wanted something that felt luxurious to wear for myself, not to impress but to express the inner me to the outside world.
From Hobby to business...
AFTER A FEW YEARS BREAK FROM MY HOBBY OF PERFUMERY, I FOUND MYSELF AGAIN MAKING FRAGRANCES, BUT THIS TIME AS A CREATIVE OUTLET DURING AN IMMENSELY STRESSFUL TIME. I THOUGHT I NEEDED ESCAPISM. INSTEAD, I FOUND A SENSE OF PURPOSE WHEN I WAS AT MY LOWEST EBB. EVERY NIGHT AFTER I SETTLED MY BABY DAUGHTER TO SLEEP, MY LITTLE WOODEN BOX OF OILS, RESINS, AND ABSOLUTES WOULD COME OUT. NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, I WORKED TIRELESSLY, REFINING WHAT BECAME THE FIRST FRAGRANCE I MADE FOR AVENOIR – PREROGATIVE.
MAKING PERFUME FOR A LIVING WASN’T SOMETHING I HAD EVER THOUGHT OF DOING BEFORE. WITHOUT ANY FORMAL PERFUMERY TRAINING AND MINIMAL PREVIOUS BUSINESS EXPERIENCE, I HAD A LOT TO LOSE. BUT AFTER MONTHS OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, MY SELF-CARE JOURNEY TURNED INTO A BUSINESS PLAN, THEN INTO FINDING SUITABLE SUPPLIERS, PACKAGING, LABELLING. AS THE MONTHS WENT BY, I FOUND MYSELF DISTILLING MORE EXPERIENCES INTO MORE PERFUMES. THIS PROCESS CREATED A RANGE OF LUXURY PERFUMES THAT ARE GENDER-NEUTRAL, VEGAN AND HANDMADE WITH ETHICALLY AND SUSTAINABLY SOURCED PLANT-BASED INGREDIENTS. IN 2020, AVENOIR PERFUMERY WAS BORN.
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Luisa Gibson is our founder and perfumer here at Avenoir Perfumery. When not making perfumes, she can be found knitting, drinking black coffee and watching Star Trek.