Breaking News

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Ban on Plastic Straws in Malaysia

The ban on plastic straws will start on 1st of January in 2019 in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan.

The decision in implementing this ban is yet another move from the Malaysian government as a continuing effort to reduce the overall nationwide usage of plastic. With that said, Malaysians are steadily becoming more plastic conscious as the adoption of plastic ban policies in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Melaka have been enacted as well as Penang’s plan to ban single-use plastics on January 2019.

To ensure the success of the bar on plastic, the Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Adnan Mohd Ikhsan has taken further steps by having businesses’ licensees risk being terminated if they’re found to be using plastic straws in 2019. "Business owners may also be fined, lose their deposits, have their trading items confiscated or even be imprisoned. The ban on plastic straws is in addition to the ban on plastics bags and polystyrene food packaging, which started in September last year (2017).” 

He declared. “The requirements are clearly stated in their business licences, so there is no excuse for the business owners to claim ignorance, local authorities will not hesitate to take action according to its by-laws.” He adds.

Marine bioligists in Costa Rica were horrified to discover an endangered
sea turtle with a plastic straw lodged in its nostril.

It’s unbelievable to think how something so small and harmless such as plastic straws could have far-reaching implications on our environment and marine life. It takes up to 200 years for a plastic straw to decompose and they can’t be recycled in most places. Its negative impact is evident in the 100,000 marine life and the 1,000 000 seabirds that die from ingesting plastic each year. 

Still want to use straws after the ban? No problem! There are dozens of other alternatives such as metal, bamboo and even shatter-resistant glass straws in a variety of styles and color. Let’s all do our bit for the greater good of the environment. 

Written by Eve Bandusena | Writer at Parents Avenue

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Sabah's Homegrown Perfumer: Natasha Sharena Idris

Exclusive DUTCH & DUTCHESS - A homegrown fragrance created by Natasha Sharena Idris, local Sabahan mom will set your mood to relax, calm, confidence and beautiful interview.

Q: Nobody would have crossed their mind to be a perfumer. Tell us how this all came to reality.

A: To be honest, me, myself never expect or think I would be one. (ahahaha) And I don’t call myself a perfumer yet as I still in the learning process and need to improve my skills and method. Lucky me, I was choose to be the perfumer R&D team in one of this big factory which supply most of the EO, FO & AO. Here is where my journey started.

Q: Do you have a particular style or method to create fragrance?

A: Our sense of smell is so emotional, so that we need to understand the difference between the fragrance families. Usually I will refer to the fragrance wheel families whenever I want to create new fragrance.

Finding the right fragrance combination is not as easy as mixing your favourite ice cream flavor. For me to create a good smells, I need to “feel” the smells. I preferred to do it when it’s “me time” or when my princesses not around. In that way, I can be more relax and calm in creating new fragrance.

Q: Who are your favourite perfumers and what do you like about their work?

A: My old time favourite perfume is the 5th Avenue by Elizabeth Arden. Lilac as one of the top notes, Ylang Ylang and Jasmine as one of the heart notes, and base notes is composed of Amber. Nose behind this luxurious smells is Ann Gottlieb and she is one of my favourite perfumist. Ann Gottlieb is one of major contributor to the perfume industry with over one billion US dollars worth in perfumes sold annually.

She also has exceptional creative marketing skills that rate her among the top perfumers worldwide. Ann also the nose behind Marc Jacobs range of perfume besides Avon and Calvin Clien.

Q: Describe your brand to us. Tell us about the types of perfumes that you make as well as your brand’s philosophy.

A: I love to create a combination of fruity and floral fragrances as the soft and calm smells makes me feel relax , calm and soft. Every each combination of flowers and fruity oil have their own meaning of smells. My first creation are combination of strawberry, jasmine and green apple which represent of sweet, stress relieve, purity, sensuality and beauty.

As a local Sabahan, I would love to expand my business, where others will come to know or notice that we also have our own ‘style’ and own luxurious smells of fragrance range with an affordable prices and amazing Borneo style of packaging.

Q: The current challenges you face as a perfumer, both creatively and in regard to manufacturing, distributing & marketing your perfume.

A: I preferred to be call ‘Perfume Lover’ instead of perfumer as I still consider myself as a ‘baby’ in this industry. To be honest, with the economic down trend now, it is a bit hard for me. I need to be more ‘outstanding’ as there are a lot of company doing ‘Inspired Perfume’ business which become my main competitor. Some do misunderstand that my perfume range, also an inspired perfume.There you go my biggest challenges is to explain to them that my fragrance range is not an Inspired Perfume by those big names brand, but it is a HOMEMADE FORMULA which I created. Home made with LOVE, Pack with HOPE and deliver it with FAITH. Frankly speaking, I am not a creative person or good in marketing job as well, which make it a bit harder for me also. In terms of manufacturing and distributing, it is quite challenging though since I’m doing it ‘alone’ and ‘hands on’. Times to times, I try to improve in every aspect.

Q: What is the purpose of perfume?

A: Purpose of perfume? Of course to smells good! Women that use seductive perfumes stimulate greater sexual desire in men, and have better self-esteem.

Perfumes emit scents that evoke memories, trigger senses, boost your confidence and make you happy. We all have a favorite perfume that reminds us to something special or special occasion. The best part is perfume relieve stress in people where it have the power to take you in places of calm and serenity. Some women use perfumes to express their seductive and feminine side, elegance and class.

Others use designer perfume for women or men to show class. Regardless of the reasons, for me, perfumes say a lot about who you truly are.

Q: How do you see your perfume brand in 10 years from now?

A: Argh..this is a tough question. :D 10 years from now?? Hurrrmm… with God’s willing, and blessed with a long life, I would like to see my perfume range ‘stand still’ together with the international brand and people know about Borneo Scent Dutch & Dutchess by Avanus Empire is something rare, unique and classy.

Q: How has your work as a perfumer affected your perception on everyday smells?

A: I become more sensitive. Especially to myself, I will make sure I will smell good before I step out from my house. Other than that, if my daughters sweat and smell weird, I will ask them to put perfume which I create for them.

Q: What exciting things can we expect from you in the future?

A: I might resize my packaging and the price of the perfume but not confirm yet. Some perfume scents, I might make it as ‘Limited Edition’ or ‘limited stocks’ and the rest of the plan, let it be a surprise. Hoping that year 2018 will bring more luck and good news.

As featured in Parents Avenue Magazine | Issue No.10 (January to March 2018)
Interview by Stella Matilda | Photo by Nur Aleep