One Big Sugar Bowl was a women's fashion business started by Virginia after leaving Auckland to return to her hometown, Christchurch, at the beginning of 2001. Eleven years later the building was rendered 'unfit for legal entry' after a 6.5 earthquake shook the city to the ground and everything Virginia had built during that decade came crashing down in a heap of rubble in just a few seconds.
Also on that day one of Christchurch's iconic heritage buildings, restored from the ground up three years earlier by Virginia and her sister, was also 'red stickered'. Within 48 hours, Virginia, her sister, her sister's family and their 92-year-old mother booked Air New Zealand cheap flights out of Christchurch to start a new life in Auckland.
Suffice to say, during the four year limbo period, as the Earthquake Commission and insurance companies worked out settlement figures, the plaguing question of 'how do I want the next chapter of my life to look?' played over and over in Virginia's mind.
Deciding how to reinvent yourself after an event of such magnitude affects everything in your known world; it is a challenging task.
She searched the internet daily trying to imagine what a reinvented Virginia might look like.
Then one day, while with her family, the idea of a bespoke pure perfume brand was brainstormed around the dining table together.
Six hours later they had the company name. The Olfactory would become a bespoke pure perfume brand servicing clients looking for an extraordinary experience and exclusive signature scent uniquely their own, whether for a wedding, special birthday or as the ultimate gift to oneself, this was an opportunity that resonated completely and a new journey path revealed.
A trip to Italy later that year in 2015 taught her how to detect the difference between natural and synthetic ingredients and how to make tinctures. Then back to New Zealand to search for the more than 200 pure perfume ingredients for The Olfactory perfume organ.
Months later Aroha, Virginia's daughter-in-law, expressed an interest in the business, and the next three years were spent crafting their bespoke consultation experience for clients and designing a profiling questionnaire with which to conduct bespoke consultations so they could better service their clients.
"If you're a conscious unisex human wanting to experience how differently pure perfume wears on skin, we'd love you to join our tribe. It may be a Bespoke signature scent you're after or the experience of testing one of our pure perfume Limited Edition scents on your skin, but we know wearing pure perfume makes a subtle, yet effective difference to your life."