Hi, my name is Shalin, I am the resident flavour artisan at the Vapourium. Along with working here I enjoy spinning yarns so I thought I would give you all a little history about how I came to make e-liquid.
Back when the Vapourium was just a cunning plan in the mind of its creator, Dan, he had already started asking me to try making some flavours. My consistent incredulous response was, "I don’t even vape ow". His request came from the fact that I am trained in perfumery, aromatherapy and herbalism, I have also dabbled in cooking, bartending and other mixology. In short my first love is alchemy. Yes, alchemy, which along with meaning the ancient pursuit of turning lead into gold also means, according to Oxford “a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation or combination” or Merriam-Webster “a power or process of transforming something common into something special”. Alchemy takes many forms for me, from making an extra special cocktail or stew to blending or (encouraging others to mix ) the right music with the best people to make an event memorable.
I started working with Dan helping him and Alice gut and turn a hideously decorated hairdressers into Aotearoa”s first brick and mortar Vape Shop. Along the way I was around many different people mixing flavours. Eventually I started trying my hand at it and soon I was hooked. I quickly realised that the process of crafting a fine ejuice was far more challenging than making perfume due to the way the flavours changed so dramatically with steeping. I can’t resist a challenge.
I have changed my ideas and methods towards crafting juice a whole lot along the way but I think the thing that truly gives us an advantage when it comes to making juice is that it is never just made by me or one other person. Every good juice that we have made has been a collaborative effort. In the early days Dan fired ideas at me and I simply put them together. These days Maia’s marketing ideas have led to her making demands for me to make a flavour just so ( I think Pavs theory is as much hers as mine) Nick is ever ready to suggest a subtle addition of a concentrate to give a new flavour it’s pop. Joe has crafted 2 of our top sellers and Zach is fast becoming our flavour research extraordinaire.The whole team gets on board with trying the flavours and there are some very different palates amongst us. If I had listened to 2 of my co-workers for example we would never have released Deez Melons which is currently our top selling flavour. After I have an idea where the flavour is going I put it on the counter as a tester for our customers to try. I have tried the patience of many of our regulars by taking too long to release a flavour that they like but can’t have, while I give it some final tweaks or wait for the bulk order of concentrates to arrive.
It is one of the many reasons why I love working here so much. I am surrounded by alchemists, budding and accomplished of the first order and they make the creative process an inspiring humorous and rewarding one.