Disillusioned with the range of perfumes containing chemicals and synthetics on the market, good friends and business partners Joan Woods and June Housden have put three years of research and passion into creating a sensual range of certified organic perfumes. Now available all over Ireland, waters + wild perfumes are handmade by Joan and June in a stone barn in West Cork, using exotic ingredients such as oud, vetiver, myrrh and frankincense sourced from countries all over the world. Where possible, local ingredients such as gorse, seaweed, rosemary and lavender are also used.
June and Joan went to study the art of perfumery in Grasse, France, the world’s capital of perfume, and on returning they were even more determined to only use pure and organic ingredients. They make their organic range using the age-old traditions of perfume-making and have sourced only the finest, sustainable raw materials from around the world. Their efforts have been rewarded, as waters + wild is now the only certified organic perfume in Ireland and the UK. “We really took the art of perfumery back to basics in order to create something beautiful and organic,” explains June. “The perfume is aimed at anyone concerned about what they put on their skin.”
The first three fragrances to be launched include ‘Rose and Oud’, ‘Tuberose and Frankincense’ and ‘Cedarwood and Cognac’.
‘Rose and Oud’ combines the sweetness of rose petals handpicked at dawn in Bulgaria with the deep and earthy scent of oud, also known as ‘liquid gold’ because of its rarity and expense.
‘Tuberose and Frankincense’ is a blend of the heady exotic white flower tuberose and the robust scent of frankincense. “Apparently in Victorian times, women were banned from smelling tuberose, as it was claimed they might suffer from a spontaneous orgasm,” says June smiling.
The Cedarwood and Cognac fragrance smells good on both women and men. “It’s a fun one,” says June “an almost naughty deep scent with a hint of alcohol.”
Originally from Dublin, June lived for many years in Australia before returning to Ireland with her family in 1999 and settling in Clonakilty. She studied law in Australia, has a degree in Spanish and has also studied health and nutrition.
From Co. Down, Joan’s background is in fashion retail. She founded independent fashion shops, Platform and Platform Eile, two successful shops in Dublin before moving to West Cork.
Both women have thrown their talents and time into this exciting new business venture, travelling the length and breadth of the country to get it off the ground. “It was nerve-wracking to start with,” says June “but we’ve had such a great reaction that it’s made all the research and hard work worthwhile. We’ve also had great support from the Local Enterprise Office in getting our business off the ground.”
Retailing at €95 for a 50ml bottle, waters + wild perfumes are available at a number of West Cork outlets including The Olive Branch, Clonakilty, The Old Mill Stores, Connonagh, The Good Things Cáfe, Skibbereen, Glebe Gardens, Baltimore and Granny’s Bottom Drawer, Kinsale.
You can also purchase online at www.watersandwild.com.