Alli Sim is a modern-day beauty alchemist, tinkering with the right essential oils and natural ingredients to create heavenly skincare products that “benefit the skin and psyche.” Passionate about the art of aromatherapy and DIY skincare since her days in Australia, she successfully finds a gentle way to caress the body and mind.
As a writer and former beauty editor of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore, Alli has spent hours researching and testing different beauty products that helped shape her own product standards. The result of that experience is her bespoke, apothecary-style brand, Mmerci Encore, based out of Singapore. The purity of her hand-made products is subtle at first, but eventually their rich, potent aromas leave you with a deeper appreciation for your personal care rituals.
And while I always mention the importance of self-love on this blog, Alli actually creates tangible, natural products for the acts of self-love. Meet the woman who bridged these ideas and acts the right way… Meet Alli.
I create artisanal aromatherapy preparations – from raw, handpoured beeswax candles to all-natural essential oil perfumes, soaps and home spa products. Everything is formulated in very small batches from ingredients sourced from primarily France and Australia, and when I’m in the happiest mood possible.
I surround myself with some of the most wonderfully kind and talented people and thought that if I’m going to have a voice, then it’s going to be positive and one that is about bringing others good energy.
My mission is about blending amazing aromatherapy goods that are pure, high quality, and a joy to use every day.
2. How did you jump from being a beauty editor of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore to creating Mmerci Encore?
I thought I would be writing beauty forever – it’s a beat I’m still in love with to this day. But perhaps I was too in love – being a total workaholic, there was a point where I had no sense of work/life balance. When that happens, everything is out of whack – you’re cranky, lethargic, negative. I became a ‘hater’ because there was nothing to ground me.
A doctor also ran a few blood tests and found the presence of a lot of toxins and heavy chemicals which we suspect could be due to me overzealously roadtesting every serum and product that landed on my desk. This made me explore a lot more organic and green beauty products and at the same time, return to my roots preparing things with food-grade ingredients that I could pronounce and source myself. Creating these blends brings me such joy, it’s so therapeutic. I passed the love on to friends who started ordering them for themselves and friends.
Because my inside also needed work, I wanted to make the idea of gratitude and appreciating the little things a daily habit again. I won’t lie – somewhere along the way, I think I became entitled and lost my sense of wonder.
Being a writer, the best forum to express myself was a blog – mmerciencore.com. It’s lovely to know that people enjoy reading it but it’s really a soul journal of sorts… a way for me to inspire myself and count my blessings whether through a poem, amazing visual or cool song. And to always be appreciating of the little things because they are significant and this could all go in an instant.
Creating these blends brings me such joy, it’s so therapeutic. I passed the love on to friends who started ordering them for themselves and friends.
3. Off the top of your head, what are the last 5 things you’re grateful for?
- My partner.
- Wifi. (I’ve just come off the back of a 12 day work trip where the wifi in the hotel was non-existent. It’s true what they say: home is where the wifi connects instantly).
- The chance to travel and be inspired by new things.
- Bees. It’s random but they’re amazing underrated creatures. (I’m also multitasking and melting some wax as we speak).
- This interview! Great – challenging questions – are causing me to really reflect on things.
4. Were you always interested in aromatherapy and DIY concoctions? How did you learn how to create these products?
Absolutely, I love aromatherapy and think it’s so magical how scent has the power to unlock memory or instantly give you that sense of calm or perk you up.
I grew up in Australia – reading books in a tent in the backyard, feeding horses and checking out local farms, markets and fairs where I was first introduced to aromatherapy and DIY beauty. When I look back, it was an enchanted childhood. I learned to respect nature and take time to marvel at the beauty of small, humble things.
All my pocket money would go to DIY beauty books (sad but true) and I’d spend hours in the bathroom concocting beauty recipes from whatever was available in the fridge. I honestly think the reason why I love creating candles so much is because visiting the bee farms every summer with my family brings back cherished memories.
Also, my exposure as Beauty Editor for BAZAAR really meant that I had constant access to the movers and shakers of the industry. It makes me realize that nothing, no experience is ever wasted. You’re on the path you’re on for a reason.
- Waking up in the morning- peppermint and eucalyptus. Try the Mint Eucalyptus Soap Slice.
- De-stressing after a long day at work- I have taken to blending bergamot and sweet orange essential oils in a spritzer and misting that around. Bergamot which features in Earl Grey Tea connects me to the idea that I’m cosying up with a cup of tea. Bliss!
- A romantic date- Our Glow Elixir features rose geranium, which always gets pulses racing. There’s just something about it which is so moreish. Good enough to eat.
- A home-cooked dinner party with close friends- A blend of black pepper and lime essential oils. I love the energy of that combination plus there’s a gourmand aspect to the blend which won’t overpower the food.
- A quiet meditation session- I’d burn either rosewood or a mélange of oud based essential oils like sandalwood and pine with patchouli.
6. Travel also plays a big part in the creation of the product as you source your ingredients from around the world. What are your favorite places to hunt for ingredients and what is one ingredient that you discovered that pleasantly surprised you?
I try to take classes and source for raw materials wherever I travel. Being a history/culture geek, I love learning about the history of a place and with it comes their traditional spa culture and the plants they’ve grown and worked with for sometimes centuries. When I’m in Istanbul, I hamam. In Indonesia, I lulur. In Tokyo, it’s the kodo (incense) ceremony with old, precious woods. Inspiration is everywhere.
You can look at life as being either routine or take the smallest of acts as a ritual. Not everybody can spa every week for 2 hours at a time but taking 10 minutes to celebrate even the ritual of taking the bath is sublime…
7. Describe a work day in your atelier… What do you eat/drink? What time do you start? What do you listen to?
- Drink: Kusmi Earl Grey/Anastasia tea. I’d been searching for the perfect cup of tea for awhile and drinking Kusmi turned my day around.
- When I create: Early morning or late at night, depending on my mood and energy that day. If it’s not fun, I move onto something else I’m interested in like blogging or watching Big Bang Theory or something uncool lol.
- Currently playing: XO, Beyonce as well as John Mayer’s cover of XO.
8. You cherish the small luxuries of life, especially the bath and bedtime rituals. Why do you think it’s important for people today to pay attention to these acts of self-love and gentleness?
You can look at life as being either routine or take the smallest of acts as a ritual. Not everybody can spa every week for 2 hours at a time but taking 10 minutes to celebrate even the ritual of taking the bath is sublime – you light a candle, pour yourself a glass of wine, run a bath and breathe essential oils in as you unwind. It’s not just another thing you have to do to get clean, it’s a way to pamper yourself and treat your senses.
Also, when you’re running on empty you tend to take things out on others so it’s important for everyone that you take good care of your wellbeing.
Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre will always beat them all.
10. Who are some of your role models?
11. In an age where everyone is constantly trying to speed up and rush through life, what tips can you give to slow down and appreciate the little things?
- Detox from social media, even if just for a day. Get reconnected to the tangible things that matter, have real conversations with people face to face. Likes don’t necessarily equal love.
- Keep a journal. If you’re antsy or anxious, write a to do list before bed and be done with it. If you’re ecstatic and in love with life that moment, write down why.
- Take inspiration from the ancient Indian breathing practice called pranayama. Learn how to breathe properly – it clears the head and promotes blood circulation.
- Switch it up. When you’re creatively blocked or having a case of the blahs, go for a walk. Visit the beach. Check out the in-season flowers at the local nursery. Have a coffee and don’t Instagram it! If you can afford it, go on a mini vacation or staycation and disconnect.
- Be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you really love.
- Snail mail. I love buying gorgeous letter press cards and taking the time to write to a friend.
Be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you really love.
12. Your blog is so authentically honest, effortlessly light, visually inspiring, with a hint of spirituality ( I appreciate and resonate with that.) Do you have a daily, personal prayer that you can leave us with?
Sometimes ‘thank you’ is a prayer in itself, but I’ve always loved St. Teresa of Avila’s grounding words: “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, All things are passing away: God never changes. Patience all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”
Also, when feeling down or negative I remind myself: “All that is not of love, return to its source.”
Interview by Victoria Herrera// Photos Courtesy of Alli Sim