Welcome back to our Behind the Beauty series where we give you the inside scoop on what it's like to own your very own green beauty brand. Today, we're chatting with Wendi Berger, the founder of our newest fragrance line, Pour le Monde Parfumsabout how she started her nontoxic, 100% natural perfume brand and what she's working on next. Plus, scroll all the way to the end to see how you can try all three of her beautiful blends for free. #ecodivalovesyou

How did Pour le Monde begin?

My mother loves to tell everyone how as a little girl, I would smell everything. Even before I would eat something, I’d take a whiff, which is funny because my little boy does the same thing. As I grew up, my olfactory senses evolved into fragrances where I collected an array of perfumes to fit every mood, every occasion. It wasn’t a shock to friends and family when my career started at Revlon. I then moved to beauty and fashion books like InStyle and ELLE, and worked with many fragrance and cosmetics companies. But when I was pregnant and my ob-gyn added my beloved fragrances to the no-no list consumption list, I was shocked. As I like to say, if it smells like a flower, isn’t it natural?

After reading up on perfume ingredients and the risks they may impose, I learned very quickly that many of those “natural” smells are made in a lab created from petrochemicals. That got me very angry; I felt deceived. After exploring natural scent options, because for me, going without fragrance is like walking out the door naked, I found nothing exciting. I like to spray on a fragrance, not roll oils onto my skin which are messy and faded on me quickly. Green beauty was just starting to blossom and discovered I wasn’t the only one yearning for a beautiful perfume. Thus my journey to create certified 100% natural eau de parfums began. It was a very long one indeed!!! A lot of our early mods smelled terrible and solidified why no one had done this successfully before. Once we found the right balance with one fragrance, the other two just sort of happened.

Pour le Monde has a number of impressive certifications and has won some great awards. Tell us about why it’s important to you to be cruelty-free, vegan, nontoxic and natural.

If you can find a way to be cruelty free and nontoxic, why would you want to be anything else? I think as a society we have the responsibility to respect the earth and all life on it and limit as much unnecessary waste and pollutants as possible for our health, our children’s and the environment.

Do you have a favorite scent of your three? Or at least a favorite essential oil? What is it and why?

That’s like asking a mother to say which child is her favorite! For me, I love all three Pour le Monde parfums equally. My favorite depends on my mood. Yesterday, I had business meetings all day so I wore Together, our light sophisticated floral. It’s so beautiful and signature but not overpowering. Today, I’m feeling energized so it’s an Empower day (a unisex zippy citrus). When I’m feeling bold and confident (or downright sexy), Envision is always my go to. Men love wearing that one too!

What are your top three must-have beauty products?

One would be Hynt Beauty’s Duet Perfecting Concealer. I have dark circles under my eyes. It’s that hereditary purple color I got from my dad’s side of the family that is impossible to cover up. With the under eye area being the thinnest skin on your body, (meaning ingredients get absorbed quickly into the skin), Hynt’s concealer not only covers it up naturally, it is super moisturizing and doesn’t dry up and accent the fine lines.

Since we are talking about eyes which is obviously a hot spot of mine—Bottega Organica’s Eye Illuminate Cream is amazing! A little dab before I go to bed has me waking up looking like I didn’t sleep only four hours (like last night). It’s a splurge but well worth it.

I’m a total lipstick gal and found my options for a natural lipstick were super weak until I discovered Vapour Organic Beauty’s Siren Lipstick. I love the color Courage. It’s a natural not too pinky pink that works well with my blue undertones. Lipsticks tend to dry out my lips but not this one!

What about Pour le Monde gets you excited about working on it? 

There are so many aspects but the one that stands out is really being a part of this emerging green beauty movement and in the company of so many amazing, wonderful pioneers. We all created natural brands to fill a void and give consumers alternatives to beauty products produced with synthetics. We’ve done so with integrity, transparency and using high quality ingredients. Unlike the traditional beauty industry and I can say that from experience, we all try to support each other in this tough marketplace. 

What inspires you?

For me creativity is not a light switch I can turn on and off; ideas and inspiration literally just come to me either in the shower or most of the time while I’m trying to go to sleep! (hence why I only got four hours last night). I’ve also been known to follow people on the street or in a store and ask them what they are wearing. Or I’ll smell a candle in someone’s home that will immediately give me coziness and warmth. You cannot duplicate a synthetic and turn it into a natural but I can certainly take aspects of how that synthetic made me feel and try to create a scent around it.

There are only under 400 notes we are allowed to use that are certified 100% natural (synthetics have thousands which is why a new one launches practically every week) so it’s a very limited palette. That said, I use moods and feelings as inspiration—what emotions do I want someone to evoke when they wear this? Will this bring back a memory for them? Create a new one? Make them feel empowered? Comforted? Stronger?

This is a little nit of mine, but I get personally irked when a scent is launched and the creator/designer/celebrity says it was crafted to smell just like they remember their mother from their childhood or the wavering aroma of the pines from their family’s country home in Northern Italy. I don’t want to wear your memory!! As a perfume purveyor, I’m all about what’s going to work for YOU, naturally. 

Do you have any other scents or products in the works that you can share about?

Oh yes. I have one that has tested off the charts. It’s rather girly, sweet and gooey (in a wonderful way) with a surprising lingering structure. Did you ever have a day where you just wanted to skip down the street blowing pink bubbles with bubblegum? It’s for that kind of mood. Stay tuned!

Thank you so much for sharing, Wendi! Now, EcoDivas, don't you want to try Pour le Monde? Well, how about we give you a FREE sample set of all three perfumes when you purchase one full-sized bottle? While supplies last, just add a full size of Empower, Envision or Together to your cart and we'll give you a sample set for free, no code required. 

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