“Inhale the good sh*t, exhale the bullsh&t.” Who doesn’t need to do that from time to time? So, when I see this written on a bottle of aromatherapy spray at Dubai’s ARTE market one day, I’m drawn in. On closer examination, I see they are created by ‘Mr. Fox’ (also quite a selling point.) There’s a potion for everything from tackling PMT (‘Lady Fox’ – I needed this one) to boosting energy (‘Kickstarter’), the natural aphrodisiac, ‘Fox Me’ and much more. The creations are natural, quirky and above all, smell really, really good. (And while I’m not getting paid for writing this, Mr. Fox is just one of those lovely little yogic finds that caught my eye and I wanted to share!) I’m curious to find out the story behind them…
So, I get chatting to ‘Mr. Fox’ himself – a really down to earth Belgian guy, Vincent Bruno. After a 10 year stint as a freelance director and editor, Vincent moved to Bali to dedicate himself to instructing freediving – an underwater sport where you try to dive as deep as possible on a single breath. Then last year a chance meeting with a lady who was visiting Bali from Dubai turned into love. The rest, as they say, is history.
“I moved to Dubai in January to be with her, and launched Mr. Fox in April / May. The name for my brand ‘Mr. Fox’ came to me intuitively,” Vincent explains. “I was looking for a name related to nature and animals and I love what the fox represents in different cultures around the world. In native shamanic traditions, the fox is associated with the image of a cunning master, who can lead the way out of any delicate situation. The fox is the hunter of the physical healing path. He asks us to learn how to remain ourselves and to express what we are feeling deeply – to no longer act according to what our mind dictates, but to listen to our heart and our intuition.”
I have visions of Vincent back in his Dubai apartment, test tube in hand, dropper in the other, dexterously mixing essential oils. It is one thing, say, to be a good cook – but quite another to be able to whip up something that can help to alleviate everything from anxiety and irritability to migraines. “I have been using essential oils as a medicine for myself for 10 years. I don’t take any medicine that is not natural now, so I know the awesome ability that nature has to heal us,” he says.
Vincent is clearly passionate about what he does. For him, it is a mindful practice, one that brings him back to the moment, back to nature. “Through Mr. Fox I’m really mixing what I love. Freedom, creativity, nature, independence. I’m connecting with people. Being able to help others feel better is a true blessing and, of course, being your own boss is a lovely feeling.”
So what is Mr. Fox’s personal go to scent? “Yin Yang, the product I designed to balance your mind and your energy. I use it almost every day. I love the smell of course, like all the scents I have created,” he says with a smile. “I love the balancing effect it has on me, and in the ingredients, there are five of my favourite essential oils: lavender, bergamot, laurel, fragonia, frankincense.
When Vincent is not conjuring up some fantastic smelling natural remedy, he loves to cook, eat, read, travel and spend time in the water. Any pet hates? “Alarm clocks. Seriously. I hate that concept. I love to let my body decide when I “have to” wake up. So I’ve tried to do it as much as possible for many years. My body and my feelings make me get out of bed…it’s a great feeling.”
So where would he like to see Mr. Fox in five year’s time? Any plans for world domination? A celebrity endorsement perhaps? “I’m not a greedy guy, money for me has a very different value, so I would say that I’d like to see Mr Fox in every house, helping people to feel better and look better without intoxifying themselves with chemicals anymore. For me it is crucial that my brand expands organically and in keeping with these values: natural, fair, eco friendly, healthy, creative, independent and something that never changes.”
I’m sold. My Mr. Fox ‘Breathe’ bottle now comes with me to yoga class. It’s sprayed on my hands for adjustments and for that nice shoulder squash in savasana, and many people have asked me, “What is that lovely smell?” My yoga mat (in all its 10 year glory) is also thanking me for actually spraying it down now and again with Mr. Fox’s “Refresh Your Mat.” (I’ve heard it’s also a good remedy for smelly shoes.) So just get your hands on a bottle or two – there’s one to suit every mood, or the mood you want to create. And have a little chat to Vincent while you do – he’s a really nice guy. Check out www.mrfox.ae, follow him on Facebook, or shop online at www.littlemajlis.com/shop/mrfox. You can also find the full range at Dubai’s sustainable store, The Change Initiative.
“Always trust the Universe. It’s logical and magical. All the solutions are in nature.”
(‘Mr. Fox’ creator, Vincent Bruno)