Behind the Scenes with Pour Le Monde All Natural Perfumes
Sometimes it’s Spa Heroes that discovers other hard-working, mission-minded companies, but it’s always fun when they discover us. Wendi found Spa Heroes and was initially attracted to our clearly defined position on toxic ingredients. As I got to know her, every single time we communicated, be it in writing or on the phone I could hear her passion for sharing her 100% natural perfumes with the world. While I loved her product from the start, Spa Heroes delivers products for hair, skin and sun. But perfume certainly speaks to beauty so we made an exception to the rule (and birthed Beauty Heroes along the way), offering Empower as a special limited release Mother’s Day gift. Wendi and I both have 5 year-old sons and feel that adding the honor and experience of being a mom to our lives has been nothing short of empowering, so this partnership just made sense. I have learned how much effort it takes to craft and formulate a truly safe, chemical-free perfume from Wendi. To me, she is nothing short of heroic.
JJ: What first inspired you to develop a non-toxic fragrance line?
WB: My doctor had recommended when I was pregnant to refrain from wearing chemical free perfumes. Searching for natural alternatives, all I found were oily roller balls or single noted fragrances that didn’t smell as beautiful and sophisticated as the synthetic fragrances I was used to wearing. I saw a hole in the market place and went for it!
JJ: How did you learn the art of formulating?
WB: I learned that it is practically impossible to create complex and amazing 100% natural perfumes! Every fragrance house I sought out to make the Pour le Monde collection told me that the closest they could get to creating an all natural perfume was less than was 40%.
And it would be super costly. Finally I found a small company who took on the challenge. Working with a chemist (who does all our formulation), it was a tedious process and took many, many months. We have two fragrances in development and we laugh about how we now know what we’re doing versus when we first started working together.
JJ: What’s your process for creating a natural fragrance? Do you begin with a top note, a word, an ingredient or an objective? Please tell all!
WB: Fragrances are all about how they make you feel; how they evoke your mood, your style and memory. I seek notes that incorporate those attributes in our all natural ingredient library, which can be a challenge since it is very limited. It can take us several months to create a fragrance that is “fine” or as everyone at Pour le Monde calls it, “Wendi Worthy.” If one of our natural creations doesn’t make me feel like I am wearing a new story, is lacking complexity or isn’t long lasting, it won’t make it to the collection.
I also think about the category I want to add because I believe in diversity and giving our fans options. Right now we have a citrus, an oriental and a floral. Everyone thinks we can duplicate a synthetic fragrances and make it natural, but that just can’t happen. There are thousands of synthetic perfume notes available versus the 300 that are certified 100% natural. I consider what we have accomplished totally monumental in the world of natural perfumery.
JJ: What was it like to create Empower and what about that experience inspired the name?
WB: Empower was actually difficult to produce; while we had delicious notes in the juice, once you add the alcohol (we use grain), they take on a new life. During our focus groups everyone kept saying it reminded them of Lemon Pledge! So we had to do several mods and now we have this amazing, refreshing and spirited gem of a citrus fragrance. Men and women love to wear it.
The Empower name not only came from the energy of the scent but Guiding Eyes’ mission of their organization. Their dogs ‘empower’ independent lives of the visually impaired, blind and children with autism. All of our fragrance names really play off of the spirit of each charity’s objective and of course, the notes in their correlating perfume.
JJ: What’s your workspace like? What about it inspires you?
WB: I love our workspace. We’re in a building that has a lot of young, growing companies. It’s a very collaborative and enterprising environment and having that input really helps you see new opportunities within your own structure.
JJ: Can we expect any new fragrances from Pour Le Monde?
WB: Right now we are working on a sweet and sassy perfume that is beyond yummy and totally eco-chic. I can’t wait until we launch it!
JJ: Do you have a favorite scent in the collection?
WB: Like a mom with three children, I love them all equally!
JJ: You named your company Pour Le Monde. What does that mean to you?
WB: My friend Lisa, who has been living with MS, was the one who inspired me to give back a portion of all sales of our natural perfumes to a different non-profit. She even named my company Pour le Monde (“For the World”) as well as our scent Envision, which benefits the National MS Society… naturally!
JJ: Do you have a muse?
WB: Definitely Lisa and now my five year old. He was born with momma’s nose.
JJ: What’s been the biggest discovery for you lately in terms of the creative process – or in creating a specific new product?
WB: Knowing when to stop. Sometimes the essential oils that I would love to have in our natural perfumes just won’t work, like trying to put a square peg into a round hole.
JJ: Now that we know a little bit about how you work, at the end of day — how do you relax?
WB: Relaxing is very difficult for me; I’m a pretty high strung individual! I have to be really off the grid and unplugged. In the summer time, I’d say hanging around a pool or playing golf. It’s been a very long winter and I’m due!
TAGS: all natural perfume, giving back, natural fragrance, pour le monde