Ayala Moriel Parums is a world-renowned boutique purveyor of sensual and inspiring natural perfumes, “crafted with passion and integrity,” that rise above the standard read-to-wear fragrances. The concept of wearing au natural scents is gaining traction among consumers around the world, and locally in the Middle East, a region rich in botanicals and natural essences. “Recent market trends, social changes and the increase of availability of natural aromatics have lead to an increasing interest in Natural Perfumery and it is now a growing trend of artisan perfumers.”
In addition to a popular line of scents, bath and body products, extracts and oils, and edibles such as truffles and chocolates, Moriel Parfums offer Bespoke Services, in which you can be an active participant in the creation of your own Signature Perfume.
All her creations are designed and handcrafted from pure and precious botanical essences. “These are essential oils, absolutes, CO2 extractions, concretes, tinctures, infusions and at times also isolates that come from natural sources – not from petroleum. Those essences come from organic life forms such as plants – flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, bark and fruit – and occasionally animal ingredients such as beeswax, honey absolute and beach harvested ambergris tincture.”
The company is against animal cruelty, committed to maintaining sustainability by using products that are fair trade, sweatshop free and locally made. They also source as much organic and ethically wild-crafted essences as they can, and takes an active role in educating the public on the benefits of using natural fragrances.
We recently spoke with the Israeli-born Ayala, who now lives in Canada.
Greenprophet: Tell us the basics. Where in Israel did you grow up? What scents, herbs and spices from Israel do you now like to work with? Tell us about your connection to the land and the people.
AYALA MORIEL: I grew up in Clil, a small organic village in the Western Galilee of Israel. There were always beautiful smells in the air and each season has its own unique scents that brought a rush of excitement for the upcoming season. I think the most powerful smells are in fall and spring though: the first rain, hitting the dry thirsty earth is unforgettable and a scent I always miss! Also, the first tangerines and guavas and the scent of the olives during harvest in the fall.
Winter brought the obscure smell of hail, smoking chimneys from the wood-stoves and fireplaces in the village, brewing sage tea with honey for winter colds, and wonderful citrus fruit like pomelo, and the occasional narcissus flowers found among the thorny bushes will perfume the air around it but smell quite repulsively indolic when approached…
Spring covered the meadows and mountains with wild flowers so fragrant I would get a headache from intoxication… The thorny Kida Seira in particular. And the citrus groves give off the heavenly orange flower perfume!
Summer is all about the beach and the salty Mediterranean sea. And sun, of course, which bakes the earth and releases the scent of the wild herbs and bushes on the mountains – cistus (from which labdanum is obtained), sage, wild mountain thyme and white mint, etc.). At nighttime the jasmine and honeysuckle bushes give off the most heady and poetic aromas…
I work with so many of the materials I grew up with and feel blessed to have “met” them early on in my life, and many of them are my most favorite aromatics to work with: labdanum (from cistus, aka rockrose), orange blossom, jasmine and sage.
GP: People often have a ‘signature’ scent, and yet for the most part are unaware of the potential hazards in their favorite fragrance. How do you go about educating them and encouraging them to spritz with only the eco-sexy and environmentally friendly scents?
AYALA: Scare tactics in marketing revolt me, so I don’t use these, ever. I always focus on the positive aspects of using nature’s scents, obtained from fragrant plants in the forms of tinctures, essential oils, absolutes, resinoids, balsams, etc.
Also through my educational programs (workshops, events such as tea parties, as well as trade shows and retail shows) I get to interact with people face to face, answer their questions, bust myths and educate about everything I know in relation to the olfactory world and natural aromatics, including some health and environmental issues.
GP: There’s a growing awareness of the importance of greening our personal lives. Some have called this philosophy eco-sexuality, while others say it’s not likely to make a real difference to the environmental with greater things like population growth being bigger challenges. How do you address the naysayers or disenfranchised?
AYALA: I believe it’s a learning curve for us as a society how to do the transition to sustainable, more healthful lifestyle that is better for us and the planet. It’s not going to happen overnight and every little action helps to make things better. There is so much misinformation about what’s truly environmentally safe and friendly and what is not. For example: what would be better – to use an endangered species and distill it’s natural essential oil, or to use a synthetic alternative? The answers to such questions are never simple. There are some synthetic materials that might be more environmentally friendly than naturals in the sense that they won’t hurt the environment as much.
GP: What do you love about your work!? And where can people in the Middle East find your products?
AYALA: Being a natural perfumer allows me creativity and freedom and brings me much pleasure on a daily basis. But even more so – being able to share my passion with people who appreciate natural perfumes, are aware of the sensory world and find as much meaning in perfume as one would in literature, theatre, a piece of art or a melody.
I’m most thankful for the people that I’ve met through the sense of smell – perfume opens people up to tell stories that they would have never otherwise told me and it is always fascinating to me to hear people’s stories related to the sense of smell. No two scents are perceived the same.
My perfumes are available world wide through my website.
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