Marie Aoun: The natural perfumist
Updated: May 13, 2019
Marie Aoun @marielaoun is the founder of Saint d’Ici @saintdici , a locally produced, unisex, natural perfume brand which ethically sources the natural ingredients that it uses. Marie’s career originated in the corporate retail fashion industry but on a work trip to Mauritius she reached an inflection point where she realised that the work she did was not a reflection of who she was. While renovating their new home, Marie discovered a deep love for gardening, an activity that she had never explored before. She contemplated landscape design as an alternative career before settling on natural perfumery, viewing it as a halfway point between the creative fashion world that she knew so well and landscaping. The general perfume industry is driven by synthetic ingredients and requires a really good understanding of chemistry, whereas natural perfumery is more alchemy and about getting to know the personalities of the natural ingredients and how they will react with each other.
Marie pursued a course in natural perfumery in Italy, where her key learning was the need to source from suppliers who can provide a product with consistent quality. She sources all her ingredients from small scale farmers and chooses to produce limited edition perfumes which allows for both greater creativity and also overcomes any natural ingredient consistency concerns. Saint d’Ici was launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2016, and has been growing slowly and sustainably, providing a niche product to a niche customer. Some of the challenges have been around re-educating the customer about natural perfumes and continuing to understand who the customer is and how best to reach them. The brand has also successfully collaborated with @janesews and @trenery . Marie says that if it had not been for social media platforms like @instagram, her brand would not have survived. We are inspired by how Marie has successfully combined two of her passions to create a brand that reflects what she believes in. When Marie isn’t dreaming up ways to please olfactory cells, she indulges in Agatha Christie novels.
Featured artist: Liza Lombard @liza_lombard