What Is Slow Perfume?

As I was learning natural perfumery and skin care a few years ago, I stumbled upon many other different definitions related not only to beauty products but also to certain lifestyles. Minimalism, slow living and zero waste were among them. And although they are meant to teach us to improve and change our lives, there is one thing in common they have: they teach us to change the world around us too.

Why slow and what does it mean? Slow means conscious, mindful, close to traditional methods as opposed to our fast and hectic life. Slow perfumes are made and worn in a different way.

To give more details: as you may have noticed I do not use the very well known perfume ingredients, I do not try to blend the well recognized (= well sold) names of certain botanicals. Rather I choose those which find some response in my mind and heart. Very often I see standard natural perfume materials. One of the reasons I decided to make different perfumes is my own personality, I strive for uniqueness and exclusiveness. It is also reflected in my personal taste for books, art, etc. As it is well known perfumes need stories and for me, it is not enough to give general words about how sensual and nice a certan scent is. I need a story which would captivate, maybe partly because I am constantly looking for similar enchanting stories in my life. My perfumes are multilayered both chemically and philosophically.

As slow perfumes are dynamic, so is the process. Formulas may slightly change due to many reasons, it is normal to adjust certain perfumes to avoid harshness of some oils (a new batch from another supplier), to add new notes based on the feedback from customers. But there is one truth I try to stick to: if I use rose, I mean to use it without trying to extend it with subsitutes and reduce costs by all means. That could be a reply to your question why my perfumes are on the more expensive side. There is a difference between natural isolate and real oils, the former ones may help reduce costs but isolates are materials which I do not use that much, they are only additional notes in my palette, oils and absolutes are the essential ones.

Slow perfumes are savoured, drop by drop. They are not to be used excessively, but rather more knowingly. It is not only about the price of natural oils and the amount of botanicals used to extract each drop but rather the respect you pay to each of the manufacturing and the final hand made process steps, as well as a slow approach in your beauty regimen: sometimes perfumes can be applied just for yourself, not for people around you, sometimes it is worth to stop and enjoy the perfume and the intimate meditative moment.

Slow perfumery teaches us to choose more sustainable and transparent methods, something I talk about a lot on my blog and on social media. I do not only want to show how nice and eco-friendly my perfumes are, I know that successful stories teach other like minded people and I believe one of my duties is to teach other perfumers and consumers to know how important it is to think about the planet but not simply for marketing purposes (please avoid greenwashing!) but for our own conscience.

Minimalism and zero waste go hand in hand with slow living. Minimalism has taught me not only to get rid of unnecessary physical stuff at home, people I do not need in my life but also other consequences which our hectic consumerism and busyness cause. By minimizing your beauty products and leaving the essentials and most cherished ones, you will appreciate the moments you spend to apply skin care and perfumes.

Zero waste helped understand how much waste we have from each bottle we have in our bathroom and perfumes are no exception. This all led me to understand the importance of possible changes I can make by simply switching to another supplier, or changing perfume bottles. But, honestly, it is not so easy as it may seem. Avoiding waste for a small eco-friendly business is hard work. It may hurt first to get so much plastic in one order of glass bottles but some things cannot be avoided. And this is what I learnt and am still learning: zero waste is not about being radical, it is about small but regular steps for positive changes, it is about spreading the word.

2019 will see many changes in my perfume line, one of the important reasons is my purpose to reduce waste and make botanical perfumes more affordable. For me slow perfume is not having twenty bottles on my shelf, it is about enjoying the ones I really love and wear. For me, it is going for the planet, not for my personal comfort and habits (eau de parfum vs extrait de parfum bottles). Slow perfume is about the connection between a perfumer and the one who wears the perfume.

Kamila AubreComment