For Nina's Nature it has been a difficult winter.
Now, with the spring sun peeking in, I'm ready to draw conclusions and to share them with you.
I - or anyone else making or selling cosmetic products within the EU - am not allowed to sell my products before they've gone through various tests in labs (EU law).
The tests are (very) expensive and I've had trouble in finding the right 'match' in order to get them done. I started with local companies, looked abroad, cut down the collection (to reduce costs of the tests) and searched the options of universities and organisations. I got a lot of turn-downs, because "the perfumes are too complex".
At last I had found a possible match, a freelance toxicologist, who might be the one to help me lift Nina's Nature back on track again - I was so excited!
But then I encountered this blog article. To summarize: natural perfumery is endangered by this law. Because 1-3% of the EU-residents have ever had, or might get an allergic reaction from some of the essential oils used in natural perfumery, many essential oils would be severely restricted. The law is being stricter through time, and it looks like this trend is only going to continue.
To make things more absurd, "the data used to determine the allergen potential of these molecules is scientifically and statistically unsound".
I have been angry, frustrated, and am VERY angry still.
This adventure in legislation-land has opened my eyes to how politics can be lobby-driven (read: greedy financial profit hunters are behind the 'advices'), illogical and absurd.
Natural ingredients - we're talking plants here - have been in use for food and medicine throughout human history, and they have been used for cosmetics and perfumery for thousands of years.
And now suddenly we should all buy man-made synthetic stuff, just because it fills the pockets of the hotshot at the top of the ladder? No thank you.
So, I'm not allowed to sell my stuff, because I won't invest all my savings into lab tests, with an uncertain outcome of the law-developments in the future (and I would probably have to compromise the 100% natural-promise at some point in the future - that would go against the very founding principles of Nina's Nature!) - it doesn't seem like a good plan to me.
Sadness. It's my creation I'm letting go of, built from scratch and it bloomed. Unfair.
What comes next?
I have an idea of the direction I want to go in, but am not yet clear about the route. The transition will probably be a bit of a rough ride, but it's going to be an adventurous journey!
Please take some time to read the gratitude-list here below, there are a lot of bright souls I'm grateful to - and you can visit the websites of the majority of them through the links.
Let me point you to the direction of the wishscrolls.
I'm brooding on the idea of a book about natural perfumery, with recepies of Nina's Nature scents. And more...
Thank you for reading!
GratitudeThank you, dear customers, for having been a customer of Nina's Nature!! Without you there would have been no business, and you have been so very inspiring - a true joy to communicate and develop new things together!
A list of names follows...fantastic, kind people who have helped me in this challenging time (some of them have businesses, in which case there's a link to them). Whole-hearted thanks to everyone, and also to those whom I've now accidentally forgotten to mention - I will add you to the list as soon as I notice!
...Annemarie, Asseia, Désiree, Edith, Evelien, Frank, Giel, Hafid, Ingrid, Job, Karin, Mariëlla, Mia, Michael, Mirjam, Rachel, Saskia, meneer Schouten, Sita, Sophia en The Nose, and also all the closed doors, people who scared me out of my wits with their doomscenario's, ignorers and absurd quotes for pushing me into a new direction.
I was determined to leave no stone unturned in the search for a good way out, with my perfumes. But sometimes even the most stubborn ones (i.e. me) awaken to the realization that perhaps I can spend my time, energy and money better.
In hoping for a beautiful adventure.