Meet Tonia Walker, Owner and Founder of IME Natural Perfumes.
Re-imagine Yourself. Fragrance to enhance mind, body and soul – naturally.
IME Natural Perfume creates a luxurious range of 100% Certified Natural fragrances made from pure botanical essential oils, absolutes and balsams sourced from around the world. Designed with nature, you won’t find a toxic ingredient in sight—just purely transformative aromas that awaken your senses and enhance your mood.
When did you start your brand? And Why?
About 10 years ago, I was working in television as a Production Manager and at the time I could feel a change was happening, and not in a good way. I’d just finished working on a production feeling deflated and uninspired. My husband and I had a 3 month European holiday of a lifetime planned, and it was.
The idea for IME was sparked when we were walking through the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence. I realised that all the beautiful paintings on the walls were of women that had itty bitty titties, pot bellies and curvy hips - these were the Muses for the most famous and when I thought about the best way to inspire a change, the Muse idea just came from that.
The best way to execute this was to capture the essence of each muse and use that, but in what way? The holiday ended (I actually cried on the plane on the way home) & life resumed back as normal, no room for life outside of TV land.
Fast Forward 5yrs (to 2012) skipping a burnout/nervous breakdown, leaving TV, becoming a reflexologist, moving to the Illawarra & the birth of our first bub. The idea surprisingly bubbled to the surface again. Having been a natural therapist for most of this time now, I knew the impact that sensory stimulation can have on people’s lives. The sense of smell (via the olfactory nerve) is directly linked to the part of the brain that stores our memories & emotions, therefore stimulating an emotional response can affect moods. By changing your mood you can change your thoughts and in turn change the way you live – BAM, I needed to capture the essence of each muse, using essence - the birth of a natural perfume range was born (and yes, it was like giving birth to another baby, HUGE). Officially launch August, 2013.
What is your signature scent; your favourite perfume and the one that people say is "yours"?
I don’t have one. I think because of what I do, most people expect I’ll be wearing something different each time they see me and I usually am. I created this range because I wanted to enhance how I felt or be able to bring about a change in my mood when I needed it, so I mix up my fragrances quite regularly.
But my favourite go-to’s from our perfumes are kleio [elegant] & Euterpe [cool]. I do love erato [naughty] at the moment in these cooler months and ourania [intuitive] when I’m loving life to the max. I guess you could say I love them all!
Share with us a memory you have that is linked to smell, and takes you back to that memory when you smell it.
Sun showers. In Summer when the rain hits the road and the steam rises it instantly reminds me of childhood playing tennis on our street with all our neighbours. Reminds me of school holidays and how much fun they were.
How do you love to use perfume? Any secrets you can share that helps them to last longer?
I like to spray my perfume all around my neck, front, back and sides so it surrounds me. Usually if you spray perfume on your clothes and hair it will last longer too.
What are you learning about/reading/listening to at the moment that is inspiring you?
I wish I had an answer to this, but I just don’t have time to read or listen to anything outside work and kids. I have spotify on while I work and usually mix things up depending on my mood too, so anything from pop to rock (love the 70’s) to dance and roots. I’ve even been known to play a few show tunes!
Going for walks along the beach and doing yoga keeps me grounded. I’m inspired and motivated by the possibilities and opportunities the business is heading in which keeps me going. It is tough to stay inspired, but I’ve learnt to go with the flow of each day/week, the flat/down days and the high vibing goal smashing productive days. It’s a ride and somehow it all gets done.
Apart from Natural Perfume, what other things are you passionate about?
Reducing the toxic footprint on our beautiful mother earth. Doing our bit, no matter how big or small it’s all going to help. My daughter keeps asking if we can go and see the Great Barrier Reef, and I pray it is still there when we actually get the chance to.
Finish this line: To smell is…
“To smell is to feel alive within that moment.”