Sensoriam had the pleasure of chatting to Belinda Everingham, founder of Australian natural perfume brand – Wyalba.
Belinda shares her passion for natural perfumes and why she felt compelled to launch her own range of perfumes featuring Australian botanicals.
1. What inspired you to launch a range of natural perfumes?
I really love fragrance and always have. I find a beautiful scent can transport you, it offers an escape, it’s intoxicating even if only momentarily.
I also react to synthetic fragrance – depending on the concentration of synthetic ingredients I get headaches and sometimes rashes from them. Once you start researching and being aware of what can be in synthetic fragrance, natural fragrances seem to be both a beautiful and a healthier alternative.
2. What is it about Australian botanicals that excites people?
Australia is a diverse, rugged and unique landscape. The flora are quite spectacular and not just visually, but in their scents and properties. The more I work with them, the more I discover. Up until recently I think people weren’t so interested in Australian natives. I love that they seem to be having a resurgence – with florists, chefs, gin makers and cosmetic chemists discovering their beauty flavour, scent and properties. They are new to many people and I think we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of their potential.
3. How did you come up with the perfume blends for Rockpool, Firetree, Wildflower?
It is a bit of a winding serendipitous story so please bear with me. For some years I worked on a range myself and just couldn’t perfect what I was after. By chance back in Easter 2016 our car broke down near Jervis Bay and we had to get buses and trains home to Sydney. I read the newspaper on the long journey home. There was an article by a journalist saying she didn’t like traditional perfumes but she smelt and then chased a young man in the street to ask him what the beautiful scent he was wearing was. The man was Samuel Gravan. He is a young perfumer and had created it himself.
I reached out to Samuel and we met and our mutual love for natural scent has created a wonderful friendship and working relationship. I created a brief for him with a range of Australian natural scents. I gave him a number of Australian natural scent experiences as the brief – with Firetree, Rockpool and Wildflower being the first three. Firetree is designed to transport you to smoky campfires and charred branches and leaves across the landscape with a backdrop of the hot, damp Australian summer. Rockpool is designed to take you to an inland rockpool – think of plunging into an isolated rock encased gorge surrounded by exposed tree roots, green moss and crisp clean deep water. Wildflower is more urban – an Australian garden on a spring evening with blossoming flowers wafting through the air – a blend of native and exotics like jasmine, boronia and citrus blossoms. Samuel worked his magic to create them for me.
4. What is unique about your fragrances?
They are sophisticated natural scents. They really do reflect the Australian natural environment – and I hope they transport people into nature. That’s what I am hoping people will take away from our scents – an intoxicating escape into nature wherever they may be.
5. What do you believe is the future for natural fragrances?
I think slowly people will shift away from synthetic perfumes. Already I know a lot of people are taking more care about what they put on their body so have stopped using synthetics. Ironically original perfume making was only ever with naturally-derived ingredients. Synthetic perfumes have only been around since about the 1920s, and because it’s a labelling loophole (companies don’t have to disclose what’s in ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’) over time what’s in them has got worse.
Natural fragrance, by their nature, do not last as long as synthetics on the skin. It’s why we have released handbag size versions and a balm to carry with you and top up during the day. The ritual of reapplying scent is in itself an experience that will take you away from the minutiae of the day. Stopping to reapply is part of the beauty of the natural scent experience.
6. Anything new on the horizon for Wyalba? What’s the big dream?
Our first ever retail space opens next week. It’s a very Australian and very natural version of a French perfumery. We worked with Sasha White from Mr & Mrs White on the design and fit-out. I’m excited to bring Wyalba to life with this retail experience. It’s at 404 Oxford St Paddington.
We have a new hero scent in development and will expand our range into some personal care options for those wanting to layer different forms of natural scent.
Wyalba has a stunning range of Australian natural perfumes available in 50ml, 10ml and a 15g balm. All available on Sensoriam.