Abel Vita Odor Fragrance Spray

Fragrance fans take note – cult brand Abel has arrived in New Zealand! Editor Trudi Brewer gets the lowdown on the natural perfume house with a Kiwi connection.


You might love natural ingredients in your makeup and skincare but there's probably one part of your beauty routine that remains resoundingly synthetic: your fragrance. Well, that might be about to change, thanks to natural fragrance house Abel. Founded by New Zealander (and former winemaker) Frances Shoemack, Abel boasts a range of unique, modern fragrances that really last. Here's what you need to know...

What is it?
Abel was founded in Amsterdam by Kiwi expat Frances Shoemack, who named the brand after Abel Tasman, the Dutch explorer and first European to discover New Zealand. As is so often the case, necessity was the mother of invention, and Shoemack was inspired to create the brand after consistently trying (and failing) to find great-smelling, chic natural fragrances. She teamed up with master perfumer Isaac Sinclair (another expat Kiwi, this time-based in Brazil) to create what is today a burgeoning global brand. Happily, you no longer have to jump on a plane to get your hands on one of Abel's beautiful fragrances, as they are now available from selected department stores on these shores.

What's in it?
It might be better to ask, "what's not in it?" There are no petrochemicals (aroma compounds synthesised from crude oil), no parabens or phthalates (used as preservatives in synthetic fragrances), and the products are not tested on animals. Abel uses only 100 per cent natural, plant-derived ingredients in its fragrances combined with cutting-edge science to ensure the scent really lasts on the skin – one of the biggest challenges where natural perfume is concerned. Each fragrance is composed of a highly concentrated mixture of natural oils and absolutes for a dynamic scent that lingers all day.

Why we like it
In Abel, Shoemack has certainly succeeded in her mission to create a modern brand, from the minimalist packaging and natural ethos to the unique scents themselves. There are six fragrances in the vita odor (or 'living fragrance') collection, all of which are unisex and can be layered to create a unique personal signature or mixed up for an evening out. The latest release, Green Cedar, develops into a deliciously rich, velvety scent on the skin. There's even a new scent, Nurture, created for expectant and new mums, who might be wary of using synthetic fragrances around babies. If you care about what you put on your skin or just want a chic perfume that stands out from the crowd, look no further than Abel. 

Editor Trudi Brewer's favourite fragrance


Abel White Vetiver Vita Odor Fragrance Spray, $85.

My pick from the vita odor range is White Vetiver. Instantly fresh thanks to Haitian vetiver, lime, mint and ginger with subtle, caramelised vanilla and woody notes to help is last.


Abel fragrances are available at Ballantynes and Smith & Caughey's