Why perfumes today have to be more than fragrant scents

Nullpunkt founder Amanda Mai on the needs of a modern society and functional fragrances as the engine of wellbeing and balance

Interview with Amanda Mai, founder of Nullpunkt Functional Fragrances

Zero point
Source & Copyright by Nullpunkt

Zero point

Author: House of Eden

Zero point stands for a new generation of sensual fragrances. Rather than making shape and trend oriented perfumes, the mission actually revolves around people's senses - their emotions and needs. As a holistically oriented wellbeing brand, Nullpunkt therefore stands for four functional fragrances that bring balance to today's complex everyday life and regulate moods. In an interview, founder Amanda Mai reveals what exactly is behind her approach, why balance is so important today and why fragrances have the potential to influence trends such as mindfulness, health and neo-work.

Zero Amanda

Source & Copyright by Chihiro Lia Ottsu / Nullpunkt Functional Fragrances Founder Amanda Mai

Nowadays, mindfulness is more than a trend, but a lifestyle that has to be viewed holistically: sustainability, inclusion and wellbeing cannot be excluded.

What inspired you to start Nullpunkt?

Zero point is due less to a specific moment than to a process. The concept was developed during the Corona pandemic developed as stress and anxiety became more pervasive. In addition to the media presence of these topics, I also like to deal with research papers from various areas - for example about mental health and wellbeing. So when these factors came together, I thought to myself: How can you counteract these negative feelings and imbalance and instead create something that creates balance?

If you deal more with the topic, you quickly realize that balance is enormously important nowadays anyway. We live in a society in which one feels constantly torn between different poles. For example, between security and autonomy or career goals and the desire to switch off. I got to know it myself in my old job as a management consultant and started to compensate Yoga to practice. In the process of this knowledge and the social developments, zero point finally emerged. Simply because I believe that such a product can do our society good. In this sense, Nullpunkt is a brand for wellbeing and mindfulness, which nowadays also goes under lifestyle can be clustered - I think that captures the zeitgeist.

What exactly is behind the name Nullpunkt?

My inspiration for the name is actually scientific. When reading various research papers, my team and I noticed that there are ultimately four states of mind that primarily exist and with which we all always live - whether consciously or subliminally. These are tiredness, absent-mindedness or focus difficulties, Stress and Anxiety. This means that there are two poles of positive and negative energy, which is why we decided that two scents should be more grounding (stress and anxiety) and two scents should be more energizing (tiredness and distraction).

Zero point NP Range-2

Source & Copyright by Nullpunkt Functional Fragrances

In order to make this graphically understandable, there is a coordinate system whose zero point should be reached because it represents the inner center. If you find this middle and center yourself, you can draw strength to continue or to achieve new things. And that's exactly what our philosophy sums up, which is why I'm really proud of the name. At the same time, it didn't have to be an international name for me. I speak German, most of my team speaks German, we are based in Hamburg and are registered here in the commercial register - I think we can be proud of our German heritage.

What distinguishes Nullpunkt from conventional perfume brands?

The name Nullpunkt has the addition "Functional Fragrances" because the function is in the foreground for us. Of course, perfumes always have a certain aesthetics or beauty - for us, however, the function is even more important. I spent a long time philosophizing with my perfumer about the fact that fragrances are primarily for ourselves and should therefore also work. It's even said that you wear a fragrance, even though you often quickly and especially not notice it first. Then it only has an effect on our environment, which is nice and a pity at the same time. Nullpunkt questions this and focuses entirely on the added value of a fragrance, so that its wearers also get more out of it.

Why are brand philosophies around the balance between body and mind becoming increasingly important?

For me, zero point is an absolute zeitgeist topic - in the here and now. Studies show that wellness and mindfulness are trends that are constantly growing. And I believe that these are fueled by megatrends that are affecting our global society. through connectivity, Mobility, globalization and digitization. Ultimately, all these developments mean that everything is and happens much faster. To make this clearer, a little reality check with yourself always helps: How many messages do you answer today, in one day, on how many different channels and on how many devices?

It's just a lot - sensory overload. So I think we need something to counteract that. This is how trends like neo-ecology or NeoWork, while topics like health come into focus. Ultimately, it's again about playing opposite poles in such a way that we balance them out and find a balance. Because we are completely with ourselves. Especially with regard to all the processes of change that permeate our lives, nowadays people can only be their own and only constant variable. What he has to know first though: Who are you? And that's exactly why you have to deal with the balance between Body and Mind as well as engage your own senses.

zero point HE

Source & Copyright by Nullpunkt Functional Fragrances

An example I like very much relates to the safety information on airplanes. In the event of an emergency, passengers should first put on their masks and then help others. The learning: If I am powerless, have no strength of my own or neglect my own well-being, I can no longer help other people either.

How would you summarize your values ​​in 3 sentences?

  1. We believe in a more mindful society
  2. We believe that our collective well-being is built on the peace of mind of every individual
  3. A state of calm where outside influences have no effect on our performance in life and work

How does the sourcing of the ingredients work?

In my previous jobs, I had already had a few touchpoints with fragrance, which is why, once the concept was ready, I specifically looked for partners who corresponded to my values. That's how I came across the perfumer I work with. I immediately had the feeling that she understood me and could implement my vision of fragrance. After she, Marie, studied in Paris, she opened her own lab in Berlin and has an incredibly good network due to her long industrial experience.

They put us in touch with our boutique manufactory in Grasse. This has many years of experience and sources globally - with a lot of knowledge as to where which ingredients come from and whether they are organically grown. I visited the manufactory together with Marie and was able to establish close cooperation with my partners. In short: My happiness is trust and collaboration - with my expert and her network of experts.

Nullpunkt uses 100% natural, vegan ingredients, each of which contributes to the effectiveness of the fragrances. How did it develop?

All of our ingredients are 100% natural essential oils that are mixed in Grasse and then mixed with jojoba oil in Brandenburg. In terms of developing the fragrances, it was super helpful to work with Marie. The composition of perfumes is based on a three-layer structure - top note, heart note and base note - which unfolds differently depending on the length of time. A perfume can smell different in the morning than in the evening. This know-how is extremely important to create complex fragrances that are both fragrant and effective. Based on this knowledge, we first experimented to define our key ingredients.

zero point HER

Source & Copyright by Nullpunkt Functional Fragrances

Another source of inspiration: The Nature. Trees, grasses, flowers and fruits each have a different nature. This can often be directly linked to a state of mind. For our Functional Fragrance Nullpunkt 0.1, for example, we were looking for an ingredient that calms and grounds. And so they came across vetiver, a sweet grass whose essential oil is extracted from the root - i.e. from the earth. On the other hand, for Nullpunk 0.4 we needed something uplifting and sparkling, which is why the scent is based on various citrus fruits. A plant's heritage says a lot about its effects.

Why did you decide to produce unisex fragrances?

For us, it has never been an active decision to make a women's, men's, or unisex fragrance. We simply never thought in these drawers - either woman or man. Rather, we were concerned with what human needs are and how someone would like to feel. So we had to decide which emotions the fragrances should trigger in order to fulfill a certain function for their wearer. To put it simply: the well-being of a person is gender-neutral.

What is your forecast for the development of the perfume and wellbeing market and for Nullpunkt?

Everyone is currently longing for well-being, wellness and moments of rest. As a result, I see a great deal of potential for fragrances and aromatherapy. Scents are the fastest way to influence our emotions, while the sense of smell is still totally underestimated. If this connection is recognized and mobilized, we can develop holistic concepts for more balance that can be easily integrated into everyday life. I am also convinced that issues such as sustainability and Inclusion cannot be ignored when it comes to the well-being of our society and future generations. Generational justice, transparent communication and collectivity are imperatives for the functioning of our society.

As far as zero point goes, I have a lot of ideas. I am simply convinced that we are zero point, make functional fragrances and stand for wellbeing and mindfulness. And it is precisely this mission that we want to carry out, integrate it into other people's everyday lives and make it a routine. In the Big Picture, this mindfulness is a lifestyle that you pursue and live. Personally, I am therefore very curious to see how the market will develop and what products and services will be available. How we want to live as a society must be viewed holistically, which is why wellbeing - hopefully - will permeate many more areas than currently imaginable.

Thank you for the interview, dear Amanda! 

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