Meet the Maker - AYU
AYU perfume oils are a firm favourite amongst the ladies in the studio, we adore these delicate scents. We sat down with one half of the AYU duo, Madeleine Whitter to find out a little more about the brand and the wonderful world of blending oils.
Tell us a little bit about your background, about the conception of AYU and how did you get into it?
I completed studies in Ayurveda in 2006, Ayurveda always made perfect sense to me and I was naturally drawn to it. I had my own practise for a few years “The art of Ayurveda” and I also worked in a beautiful day spa on Sydney’s northern beaches and spent time as a colonic hydro therapist. So I have always been drawn to helping others achieve balance in health via natural therapies.
It all started with AYU, whilst travelling with my now business partner Alanna Quin. We came across some exquisite perfumes and incredible scents made by traditional artisans from beautiful family flower farms and we saw the flowers and spices being cultivated through all stages from growth through to being harvested and distilled. After that first trip we came home and started blending different combinations of essential oils and attars. We blended them with Ayurvedic herbs and natural carriers to create our own Ayurvedic blends. It was when we shared a particular combination (known as Souq), we would constantly get compliments from strangers and people wanting to know what was that perfume. We decided to go into production and this was how AYU was born.
Where are you based? What influences and inspires you?
I live in Sydney on the northern beaches. There are so many influences and inspirations. Always India, its sights, smells and sounds inspire each blend. We are inspired by the beautiful teachings of the veda’s and living in harmony and balance with nature.
What does your process look like and how important is the process itself in what you do?
The process of blending oils is completely dependant on emotion, I pour a lot of love into each bottle. If I’m feeling stressed or out of balance I will not blend or pour - this is the most important part of the process. Both Alanna and myself are devoted to finding the most delicate and finest blends and we ensure that every element we use comes from an ethical source. This is very important to us. There is a lot of trial and error, when it comes to discovering a perfect scent. The process can never be rushed.
What are your favourite aspects of your work?
My favourite aspect is the fact that I love doing this work. It is very fulfilling be able to do what you love.
What does a typical day look like to you?
I am a mum of three children 12, 10 and a brand new 5 month old. So a lot of my day is dedicated to my family, and the juggling act of running a business, family life, and me time!
At NMJ we love to celebrate handmade artisans, which is why we love your work so much. What does it mean to you to have your oils become a part of peoples every day lives?
Its incredible and such an honour. We love reading beautiful emails from people who love our oils. Hearing compliments on our work always makes our day. We are so lucky that handmade artisan produce is appreciated these days and slow living and caring the environment is high up on people’s priority list. We know that people who appreciate our product have the same ethical values and it makes us happy to know so many like minded people are out there.
Shop AYU Body oils, perfumes and face mists here