At Sensoriam we are serious about ensuring we uncover the very best natural perfume brands the world has to offer. When we discovered the sophisticated and intoxicatingly mesmerising scents by Váhy, we knew we had uncovered a very special brand.
We spend a few moments catching up with founders Kate MacDonald and Anna Weatherlake, as they share the inspiration behind launching Váhy.
1. What inspired you to launch a range of natural perfumes?
There were a couple of pivotal moments that led to the creation of Váhy. Early on in Kate’s career as a corporate lawyer, she was providing a skin care client labelling advice and discovered that perfumes did not need to disclose their ingredients in most jurisdictions. That then set her on a wormhole of investigation as to why this was, and what was actually in commercial perfumes. What she found was not pretty, with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducting research on this point and finding on average 14 ‘secret’ ingredients are used in fragrances and sometimes more than double that number. These secret ingredients have been associated with allergies, irritation, hormone disruption and, as importantly, have not been tested for safety in personal care products.
We then made it our priority to find a natural fragrance alternative which was transparent about what was in their products and used premium quality ingredients. We searched high and low and when we couldn’t find anything we could substitute for our commercial fragrances without compromising on sophistication of scent and style, Váhy was born.
2. What is your process to create your artisanal range?
We start with a concept, a place, a feeling or a moment in time then develop a brief based on this for our master perfumer. For example, for Neon Neroli this scent was developed on the back of a trip Anna and I took to Capri. It transports us back to sunbathed lounging at La Fontelina, rosé in hand and Italian joie de vivre in the air. Our brilliant master perfumer then encapsulates this feeling in a scent composition for us and we begin the iteration process, refining and refining until the scents are just perfect.
As a part of this brief our perfumer knows our very, very long list of no nasties to avoid (including the two most common ingredients in commercial fragrance, denatured alcohol and synthetics) so we ensure the formulations comply with IFRA guidelines and our even more stringent internal guidelines right from the start.
3. Where do you draw your creativity from?
Nature, travel and seeking a balanced life. Balance is core to our ethos - Váhy means balance in Czech. While we are both Australian, Kate’s family heritage is Czech. Balance was chosen as we are all seeking balance in many facets of our lives, whether this be balancing work and life; giving to your family and also working on self-care; or protecting the environment and also making consumption decisions. We think that purchasing products these days is voting with your feet on the kind of world and environment you want to see in the future. We wanted to give our tribe an alternative to commercial synthetic fragrances which are made without harmful chemicals, without animal by-products and with only pure, natural ingredients. In a way, you balance the decision to buy a consumable against ethos of buying one that is good as possible for the environment, animals and your body.
4. What is unique about your fragrances?
Váhy fragrances allow you to substitute your synthetic fragrance for one that is natural, transparent and does not compromise on style, quality, longevity or sophistication of scent. At Váhy, we are committed to providing only the finest quality products using only premium natural ingredients. Our scents are PETA-approved cruelty-free, vegan friendly and made transparently. In addition, our scents are 100% natural and greater than 80% organic in composition. We have a long list of prohibited ingredients which we do not work with. We come from a place of radical transparency and honest, clean practices.
We trust our consumers, they know what works for them and what does not and we simply want to give them the opportunity to choose what they wear in an informed way.
5. What are your most popular scents?
Ember Haze (amber and woods) and Neon Neroli (white floral neroli) have been stand outs. We’ve sold out of Ember Haze three times since it launched!
6. What do you believe is the future for natural fragrances?
We think that there is a bright future for natural fragrances. We have seen a lot of really innovative ingredients starting to be developed and there is certainly the demand for clean and natural personal care products. It’s just been a little slower coming to fragrances.
We hope that everyone as they become more aware of what they’re putting on their bodies, starts to demand ingredient transparency. We’re proud of our premium, natural ingredients and think that the transparency allows people to make informed decisions about what they want to put on their bodies.
7. Anna - tell us how you like to wear your fragrance.
Anna – love to spray my scarves and clothes so the scent not only blooms from my skin but also gets a slower release from my clothes.
8. Kate - tells us which scent you would choose for a night out to dinner
Kate – my favourite night time scent is Ember Haze. It’s genderless, warm and spicy. The perfect evening adornment! Although sometimes I have to fight my husband over who gets to wear it!
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