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      In Case You Were Wondering: Business Edition with Sophie Marcoux of Ficifolia

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      Sophie Marcoux is a multi-hyphenate juggler – deftly spinning many plates with an artistic flair. As the founder of Melbourne-based (and -inspired) Ficifolia Fragrances, her days are certainly sweet-smelling and stimulating, drawing on scents that evoke the Australian memory and experience. We chat with the budding entrepreneur about all things business, fragrance and style – with a side of classic pearls. 

      Let's hear the Sophie Marcoux elevator pitch.

      My name is Sophie, I'm 24 and I own Ficifolia, a perfume brand inspired by Melbourne. 

      Originally from sunny WA, I've lived in Melbourne for the last six years. Ficifolia started as a passion project, combining my love for fragrance, branding, and craving for comfort scents during the Melbourne lockdown. The brand is technically my side hustle, as I still work full-time in Product Development and freelance as a creative consultant. I thrive in chaos and the response to Ficifolia has been so surreal since its launch in January.

      Top 3 aspects of having your own business:

      1. Doing something you're passionate about. I am a born creative and being able to bring to life a brand that is so authentically me and embodies everything I love is such a privilege. Scent is such a beautiful human experience, and I think it's so cool that it's a topic that everyone can contribute to. Everyone has a nose and scent memories, and can tell you if they like or dislike a smell.

      2. Endless creativity. Perfumery is an art form and I love facilitating the start-to-end process of creating a fragrance. Everything from the packaging to selecting the scent itself, to creating content and bringing it to market. It pushes me to explore myself creatively and learn from new challenges.

      3. It is incredibly rewarding. Paving your own path is no easy feat, making it an even more rewarding journey. Seeing a finished product and then having such a positive response is such a validating experience!

      Top 3 things you wish you knew before starting:

      1. How to avoid burn-out. When I first started Ficifolia, I was working 60+ hour weeks, juggling my FT job, freelance work and starting a business. Figuring out the balance of all my responsibilities was insane and I ultimately got burnt out. This is still a WIP, but I've found having a daily, monthly and weekly to-do list to work through helps make things more manageable.

      When I need to de-stress, you'll catch me in a sauna. Something about sweating it out always helps to reinstate my clarity of mind.

      2. It's okay to outsource, even if it's a task you're capable of doing. This is a big one for me. I consider myself a jack-of-all-trades, but I can't do everything and that's okay. It's easy to get too close to things and lose sight of the original vision. I've learned it's better to get someone in who can bring a new perspective and offer assistance where needed, which ultimately results in a more considered outcome. 

      3. Success is subjective, and always celebrate your wins. My version and metrics of success will always be different from someone else's. This is why it is so important to stay in your own lane and set out to achieve your own goals. When you do achieve a goal, take a moment to celebrate and reflect, and then continue on to the next. Don't rush through and lose sight of what you set out to do.

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      Top 3 scent-evoked memories:

      1. The smell of Denmark, WA. A place so close to my heart. Denmark is situated 5 hours south of Perth and is actually the inspiration behind the name Ficifolia (derived from the scientific name of the red-flowering gum native to the area). Driving on the picturesque Scottsdale Road with your windows down, there is the most beautiful smell best described as clean and woody with wafts of eucalyptus. 

      2. My Dad's hair mud. When I was a kid, my dad used this particular hair mud to style his hair in a tousled-yet-slick-back kind of way. The hair mud had, what I now know as, an aldehydic, earthy and slight aniseed scent. He doesn't use it anymore, but I can still remember the smell and sometimes I'll get a random waft, which brings back lovely memories.

      3. Jasmin Parfum by Fragonard. I did an exchange to the South of France when I was in high school and my host family took me to Grasse, where I toured Fragonard, one of the oldest perfumeries in the region. This was where I first learned about the world of perfumery and I've been obsessed ever since. I purchased a perfume called 'Jasmin', and I treasure the little bit I have left.

      Top 3 things you won't leave home without:

      1. Little vials of all three Ficifolia perfumes so I can either give them to people I meet to try or top up myself.

      2. Sunglasses.

      3. Some type of hair accessory – hair tie, clip or headband. I can't stand having hair in my face!

      Top 3 sources of inspiration/motivation:

      1. Wes Anderson

      2. My life! The perfumes are all inspired by Melbourne, and my experiences informed the creation of all three scents.

      3. Fragrance podcasts. Perfume Room by Emma Vernon is my go-to. There is always so much to learn about perfume and I love hearing new perspectives.

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      Top 3 outfit/accessory essentials:

      1. My vintage watch. An heirloom gift from my parents that I was given for my birthday this year. I love mixing metals and it's two-toned with white and yellow gold.

      2. Midi/maxi skirt. An all-year-round staple.

      3. A good black coat. Can't go wrong with a chic, classic black coat.

      Top 3 things that keep you going on the toughest days:

      1. My boyfriend and family. Despite my family being on the other side of the country, the outpour of support from them has always kept me grounded and confident in everything I do.

      2. The kindest messages in my DMs. I have the best customers and I get so many lovely messages. It truly means the world to me when people take the time to let me know they love the brand.

      3. Other female founders I've met on this journey. It's been amazing to connect with so many other women in business.

      Running a business on your own can get lonely, and it's so helpful to get advice from people who understand what it's like!

      Top 3 top-secret Melbourne haunts:

      Not sure if I'd call these top-secret, but these are my current go-tos:

      1. Bar Margaux in the CBD. Such a cute underground bistro with great service and a fabulous cocktail menu.

      2. Frederic in Cremorne. Frederic holds the title for the best French food in Melbourne (in my humble opinion).

      3. La Tortilleria in Kensington. I'm a sucker for Mexican food and this place is so authentic. Their tacos are to die for.

      Honourable mention for Mali Bakes – I love their new Fitzroy location, and their cakes are actually insane. Not overly sweet and their flavour pairings are always perfect. So lush!

      More: Ficifolia Fragrances

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