Inspiration Series : Frances Shoemack of Abel Odor

Today we meet with Frances, founder of plant derived natural perfume line Abel Odor, who has successfully filled a gap between the world of big house perfume & natural perfume alternatives. We talk full circle sustainability, finding the elusive work/life balance & we get a sneak peek at what the future holds for this innovative New Zealand brand. 

What inspired you to create Abel?  

10 years ago, not long after moving to Amsterdam (from Auckland), I fell in love with the emerging independent perfumery scene. When I couldn’t find a perfume within this category that was made with only Plant derived ingredients and with an eye to the full lifecycle, the idea for Abel was born. I came from a background in the wine industry, so the first step was finding a master perfumer and other experts to create a natural perfume line without the compromise.

Tell us more about the ethos around your brand? 

We are a modern plant derived fragrance house, fixated on a better future. This means everything we do is with one eye trained on long term sustainability and mobilising positive change. From continual improvements to our packaging, to our team organising beach cleans and planting trees. It’s what gets us up in the morning!

Rituals for self care amongst the busy-ness of life? 

Finding moments to pause and reflect. The smallest of pauses can make such a difference... 10 minutes meditation before bed, a coffee in silence before starting emails, a quick walk in the sun at lunchtime. There’s always time to breath deeply. And yoga. 

Where do you draw inspiration? 

For a long time I consistently answered “travel” in response to this question. While the destination and influence has changed a little (it’s now nature in the Queen Charlotte, not culture in Tokyo!) the act of getting outside of my day to day, having new experiences and surroundings is definitely when I feel most inspired. There’s something about leaving your daily routine behind and getting on the road (be it on foot, bike, car or plane!) that gives perspective, clears the mind. 

What can we expect to see in the future with Abel? 

We’ve just begun the very fulfilling phase of putting down roots in Wellington, since moving home from Amsterdam over a year ago. We’re building a state of the art Micro Fabriek (little perfume factory!), where we’ll really focus on R&D and the full lifecycle of our products and future launches. A lot of exciting things to come!

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