A former winemaker, with a penchant for scent and a holistic philosophy, Frances Shoemack was looking for a modern natural perfume. Unable to find one, she decided to take matters into her own hands.

Transfixed when she saw a video of Master Perfumer and fellow New Zealander Isaac Sinclair waxing lyrical about the similarities between perfume and wine, Frances knew she’d found her Nose.

Their collaborative vision is Abel’s Vita Odor (Living Fragrance) collection of five natural Eau de Parfums combining 21st century technology with mother nature’s finest ingredients.

To create the very best natural perfume, ‘Abel’ discovered a new formula through an intensive period of research and development. Each fragrance is composed of a highly concentrated mixture of natural (certified organic where possible) oils and isolates. The addition of natural isolates to Abel’s formula mean access to ingredients previously unavailable in a natural perfumers’ palette.


Red Santal - A spicy clove and pepper opening softens on the skin when the shimmer of Calabrian bergamot meets the warmth and elegance of classic East Indian sandalwood.

top: clove bud, black pepper | heart: bergamot, ginger, thyme | base: East Indian sandalwood

White Vetiver - A cool fresh Haitian vetiver that opens with a creamy lime and mint bouquet and closes with a subtle caramelised wood dry down.

top: lime, peppermint | heart: ginger, palmarosa | base: vetiver, vanilla

Golden Neroli - A luscious soft floral that opens with a harmonious neroli and matcha tea accord, a rich jasmine sambac, petitgrain and ylang ylang heart and a soft sandalwood base.

top: neroli, matcha tea | heart: petitgrain, ylang ylang | base: East Indian sandalwood

Cobalt Amber - A sophisticated oriental, where bright pink pepper and juniper berry give this classic amber a modern twist.

top: pink pepper, cardamom | heart: cacao, tonka bean | base: amber

Grey Labdanum - A hint of grapefruit and violet open this cool labdanum rich fragrance where dark incense and ambergris collide with warm patchouli in a harmonious clash.

top: grapefruit, violet | heart: patchouli, clary sage | base: labdanum


In collaboration with Amsterdam Atelier Joachim Baan, the bottles and packaging for the new Vita Odor collection are an exercise in understated luxury. Sleek modern design that pays homage to Abel’s commitment to natural materials.

Frances Shoemack – Founder

Frances grew up in rural South Island, New Zealand with a farmer father and a yoga teacher mother. A large family (six children), her parents fostered an interesting balance of “free range” and “high expectations”. Frances always had an interest in perfume and remembers making perfume with flowers from the garden as a very young child and in secondary school did a final year project on creating and launching her own fragrance.

This passion for the olfactory lead to a career in the NZ Wine industry and Frances studied Viticulture and Oenology on a scholarship at Lincoln University. On graduating, she was awarded the “winemaking cadetship” (a graduate role and one of its kind) at Villa Maria Estate - NZ’s most awarded wine company. Frances’s career in the industry took her from winemaking through distribution and retail trade, to wine media, legal and funding and in her final position at the NZ Winegrowers Frances was responsible for the brand and communications for NZW global team.

When Frances and her husband relocated to Amsterdam she decided that with a fresh start should come a fresh challenge. “I wanted to again find something I was truly passionate about. At the same time, I was frustrated I couldn’t find a natural perfume I loved. I was already living a very holistic lifestyle, and knew my passion for niche perfume was at odds with my enthusiasm for clean beauty products and food. It was here that Abel was born.”

As an interesting side note, Isaac, Abel’s perfumer, is also very interested in wine and it was his ‘fall back’ career option if perfume fell through. “When I first ‘discovered’ Isaac, I found a video of him online talking about the similarities of wine and perfume... and knew I’d found my guy.”

Isaac Sinclair – Master Perfumer

Raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Sinclair was under the spell of fragrance from an early age. A childhood curiosity led him to a part time job at the fragrance counter of Auckland’s top department store during secondary school. When Sinclair heard fragrance expert Michael Edwards was travelling to New Zealand, he found a way to pass a message on to him asking for advice on how to become a perfumer. Edwards’ advice was simple and presented in person when he sought out Sinclair at the fragrance counter: get yourself to Grasse and from there the industry conference in Paris. Three months later and Sinclair was tapping Edwards on the shoulder. An astounded and impressed Edwards became Sinclair’s mentor – sponsoring his training and giving him his first job in Paris. From there, Sinclair studied at the prestigious Universita dell’Immagine (School of the Five Senses) in Milan, and trained alongside world-renowned perfumer Maurice Roucel at Symrise, developing fragrances for international powerhouses including Guerlain, DKNY, Lancôme, L’Oréal and Natura.

Sinclair is now based in Sao Paulo (the world’s largest perfume market) and is making a name for himself as one of the next young noses and the only one from the Australasia region

Shop the Vita Odor collection by Abel here.


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