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Meet Our Makers | Van Der Faun

Meet Our Makers | Van Der Faun main image

Perfume without the perfume headache? Yes please! This week we chatted to Maria, founder of organic Australian perfume label, Van Der Faun, about all things natural perfume, running a small business and chasing that elusive work-life balance. When Van Der Faun first launched their collection, organic perfume was still a largely untapped niche in the natural beauty market. Maria, a lawyer, along with her winemaker sister and their free spirited mother, saw the gap and combined their hearts and heads to create Van Der Faun. We’re grateful they did! We are proud stockists of Van Der Faun’s three bespoke scents, including the ever popular ‘Hummingbird’ (a customer favourite). We’re looking forward to the expansion of the range in the near future.

There’s a huge case for making the swap from mainstream to natural perfumes. We shed some light on the topic in a recent blog post. In short, the cosmetic industry can get away with disclosing some of the ingredients in a perfume, but are not required to disclose the contents of the ingredient listed as ‘fragrance’, which can contain anywhere up to 35 (in some cases) other ingredients, so as not to give away the trade secrets. Many of these synthetic additives and chemicals are known hazards and just as many have not be subjected to the rigorous testing that we might expect for something we’re spraying onto our skin. Thanks to the good work of brands like Van Der Faun, we now have beautiful natural alternatives at our fingertips!

Organic perfumes are a really exciting addition to the natural beauty industry, can you tell us what inspired you to start Van Der Faun?

We feel that perfume should be an absolute luxury and should make you feel just amazing. We wanted to offer women the opportunity to use perfumes that are good for their bodies and for the environment, but that still maintain every bit of luxury traditionally associated with perfumes.  

For someone just starting out on their wellness journey, what are the benefits of choosing an organic perfume over say, a commercial fragrance?

Once you familiarise yourself with the common ingredients in most commercial perfumes, it's very hard to go back to using them again! They contain so many ingredients that are really just toxic to the body. Many women decide to make the switch when they are pregnant and then never look back. An added benefit, if you have children, is that they won't be inhaling all those nasties each time they nuzzle on you (as they do!) A lot of women make the change for their own health, but then later realise that they are doing the planet a favour too.

I love that Van Der Faun is the sum total of a lawyer, a winemaker and a 'free spirit' (you, your sister and your mother)...which different skills do you each bring to the table?

My sister, who is an amazing winemaker with a chemistry degree, is the brains behind Van Der Faun. She has worked as a winemaker all over the world, including France and New Zealand, but gave up winemaking to live close to family here in sunny Queensland. She selects our high-grade, certified organic ingredients and formulates our scents. I am a lawyer and Van Der Faun's communicator. Our free-spirited mother keeps us on our toes and brings the creative skills to the table.

Running a business is a full time gig! How do you love to self-nourish?

There is nothing that makes you feel pampered like a warm bath with magnesium salts. Add a cup of tea and good book and that equals the perfect night in.

Was there a defining moment that made you swap to natural skincare and beauty products?

Not really. It was a step by step process for me. Mainstream perfumes just never 'sat well' with me. I would often get headaches from certain commercial scents. That prompted me to look for a natural alternative, and eventually led to the birth of Van Der Faun. Once I switched to natural perfumes, the rest of my beauty products changed over one by one.

What is your guiding ethos when it comes to purchasing natural skincare products? i.e cruelty free, organic.

All of us here at Van Der Faun try to buy organic products where possible over products that are simply natural. We're also an animal and nature-lovers, so where possible, we look for vegan products. Cruelty-free is a must. Waste reduction is a also very important in our decision making - we buy products that use minimal/recycled packaging etc.

Is there one natural beauty or skincare product that you cannot live without?

It's a really simple one - but just a good old bar of soap, made from 100% natural ingredients! I even pack my soaps when I travel! I find that mainstream shower gels contain all sorts of ingredients that are bad for your health. Plus avoiding liquid shower gels and hand soaps saves a lot of plastic bottle waste.

Can you run us through your daily skincare routine?

I use the daily cream cleanser from Goodness Natural Beauty Lab. It's an excellent makeup remover. And for some good hydration I'm a fan of the very popular Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate oil. I also love a weekly top to toe scrub with Frank, and then slather on pure organic coconut oil - my preferred brand at the moment is Lovingearth Raw Organic cold pressed coconut oil.  

What does living consciously mean to you?

It's impossible to buy the 'perfect' product (one that checks all the conscious living boxes) every single time. I remind myself that every purchase matters, and aim to buy the best product (whether it is natural/organic/vegan/eco-friendly, or in a perfect world all of those!) within my budget and within the range available.

words | Sophie Parslow

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