The History of Dolma by April Farnath

JAMES PAYNE (known as Jim)

August 1928 – November 2017 (Aged 89)

After leaving Sheffield University, Jim worked as an Industrial Chemist followed by teaching Chemistry, Maths and Music. He also obtained the London College of Music diploma in Composition. Before he retired, he worked as a Lecturer.

In his thirties, he became a Buddhist. He was a Vegan for around 55 years and a member of the Vegan Society. Jim believed we could all survive fine on a Vegan diet. Suffering feels the same, whether it is inflicted on an animal or a person.

Jim played the bass clarinet, saxophone, piano and organ and enjoyed writing music. Over his lifetime he formed four Bands, which often performed local Concerts. He particularly liked Jazz. He also enjoyed formulating cruelty-free (Vegan) perfumes and toiletries. A lot of the perfume names were related to music. He was very interested in animal welfare and supported various animal charities.

Jim was an industrial chemist until he was in his forties. He was very interested in blending essential oils, and at that time there were hardly any perfumes available which were completely vegan, so along with further research and his previous knowledge, he started experimenting. Eventually, he created a few perfumes which he asked friends and family to test. The feedback was good so around 1982, he occasionally advertised in the Vegan Magazine. He received regular orders from about 25 loyal Vegans. He did this as a hobby; he was not a businessman. The money he received from the Sales was used to buy more ingredients for further experiments. He never went on to promote the perfumes elsewhere.

His first perfume could have been Sarabande (which was previously called ‘Niamh’) or ‘Cushie B’. Some of his early ones were called Tara, Mambo, Lavendula & Early Autumn. When I became involved, he was selling six perfumes which were Cushie B, Opus in Pastels, Prelude, Raga, Rondo & Sarabande. The labels were photocopied on different coloured papers. Over the years, new perfumes were gradually introduced. These included Quintet, Sonata, Anahita, Calista, Vegamusk, Amethyst Mist, Compassion and Andromeda. ‘Quintet’ was initially sold as a unisex perfume. The formulae were revised, and the finished product was changed to the aftershave now called Freedom. Sirius aftershave followed shortly after.

It was a lot harder in those days as everything had to be done by post, fax or phone. I don’t think the internet and emails started until the early nineties, and not many businesses or individuals were online until years later. After a while, I got in touch with the BUAV, Dr Hadwen Trust, Animal Aid and Naturewatch and eventually got them to sell perfume alongside their other products. Unfortunately, Dr Hadwen and The BUAV finally stopped selling merchandise. I also got Honesty Cosmetics on board. Around that time we decided to go for a website on the Vegan Village. With this and the various charities promoting our perfumes, we reached the stage where the fragrances were selling well.

We did not have any problems, at the start, getting accreditation from the various animal charities we dealt with. The hardest part was getting all the information together from multiple suppliers to prove we did not use any animal-derived and animal-tested substances in our products.

Some of the big challenges we had over the years was keeping on top of the Cosmetics regulations and Trading Standards labelling regulations. The ethical difficulties we came across were sustainable sourcing ingredients such as Sandalwood but were successful in sourcing ingredients that fitted our ideals. We sold the business in August 2015 when I was 60. I knew in the right hands it would prosper.