See that sign? It stinks.

When it comes to marketing stuff smell is a pretty powerful persuader with its ability to touch the parts of us that colour, fancy writing and feel can’t reach. It ‘talks’ our language, set’s us off dreaming and feels like home so  I was not surprised to find smell popping up on  bill boards all over the USA when browsing through my Sunday paper!

Well all of this got me very excited until I read that the first ‘smelly sign’ depicts a great big steak on a fork………mmmmm the smell of dead animal. OK so I do LIKE steak but I must say that seeing a ‘bite sized chunk’ as big as a cow on a giant fork made me want to throw up my coco pops. THEN I saw that the sign and attached odour was placed in an urban area ensuring that everyone got the benefit of this megga meaty treat!  Oh I do hope that the people in this town can stomach it.  Suddenly this piece of marketing genius started to turn a little sour for me as I imagined fishy smells emanating from a giant prawn shop,  cigar smoke from the tobacconist and cabbage from the greengrocer all competing for my mighty dollars.

Smell is powerful but it can also be polarizing – one mans meat is another mans maggot.

So, reading on I am reminded that smell has been used to persuade us into a whole range of situations – there is beer infused darts, lavender tyres (who smells tyres), Waffle scented ice cream stores and aromatherapy infused seminar rooms.  Our senses have been getting assaulted for quite some time, indeed some shopping malls even use scent to make us spend more, relax us or help us to […]

What are Natural Fragrances?

Lately I have been immersed in the wonderful world of natural fragrances – a logical transition for those looking for a lock, stock and barrel approach to their cosmetics. However, while I take this world for granted it seems that many of you are completely bamboozled by the whole thing.  So, what on earth ARE natural fragrances?

They can be one of two things.

 The most common way to make a natural fragrance is to blend pure essential oils together using perfumery skills to balance the top, middle and base characteristics of each oil. This approach is a little different to that taken by an aromatherapist who is mostly interested in blending oils for maximum therapeutic effect.  This is no easy feat to acomplish as each individual essential oil contains a plethora of naturally occuring aroma chemicals, each with their own distinctive smells. However, with careful blending based and selection it is possible to form a series of fragrance accords (like a smelly bouquet) that compliment rather than contradict each other. Beautiful!

These ‘fragrances’ are technically still only essential oils and as such would be listed as essential oils on the back of the product. The word ‘fragrance’ is not legally required!

The other way to make natural fragrances  is to do the above but then build on certain smell characteristics by adding in selected aroma chemicals that have been naturally extracted.  This technique can be used to make the fragrances more complex, longer lasting or just a little fuller and it gives the perfumer endless opportunities for creativity and play!

As you would be aware essential oils are complex mixtures containing what can be hundreds of naturally occuring aroma chemicals, some examples of which are Linalool and Linalyl Acetate – the key components in Lavender […]

What Is Natural In Cosmetics?

This weekend Salon Melbourne rolled into town  setting it alight with an array of products and services for the Hairdressing and Spa industries.  I spent quite a bit of my time talking to people about  fragrance trends while finding out what’s new in the world of Spa products.  With such a variety of brands and promises jostling for attention in the natural space I wanted to know exactly what  “Natural” means to people! 


The team at Natural Compatibles explained that they have been using the word “Natural” for over 18 years, long before it became fashionable. However, to this brand ‘natural compatibles’ refers to their range of colour cosmetics that compliment your skin to give it a natural look.  Here’s me with the team after my make-over! 

Celebrity Make-up artist Natasha Severino and Hairdresser Kenneth Stoddart showed that ‘natural’ was all about the look as they wowed the audiences with their sexy ‘ratty’ hair and smokey eyed make-up.  I sure was surprised at how much product it takes to look so natural but just loved the end results.   


On the spa-brand side of things I was captivated by the “Natural Botox” stand and had to stop by for a closer look.  La Purete has decided to adopt the Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists definition of Natural and choose  ingredients that are natural and sustainably sourced, have gone through a minimal amount of processing and are biodegradable where possible. 


As for the perfumes, well these existed ‘naturally’ long before the chemical revolution worked out how to re-create nature.  All Natural Perfumes can be made by blending essential oils with naturally extracted and purified aroma chemicals to create complex and exciting aromas that excite the senses and boost our moods. This artisan approach to perfumery is available to […]