Winder Ton (BSc Msc) was born and raised in the Brazilian countryside, where he fostered a deep love for the relationship between nature, people and health. Receiving a first class in Nutrition and Dietetics at Universidade Federal de Viçosa, he went on to make academic contributions within the realms of holistic health, before founding one of the first gender-fluid fragrance concepts: Urania’s Children & The Heavenly Garden. A poetic journey through art, identity and the magic of the senses, the brand beautifully celebrates unity in diversity, unabashed self-expression and experimentation, and a pioneering approach to paradigm-shifts in a non-binary world.
Could you tell us a little more about your background and your journey towards founding Urania’s Children?
My journey started in nutrition science as a dietitian and lecturer. My interest in fragrances grew exponentially when I started to work with essential oils and study the impact of scents on our behaviour. I decided to create Urania’s Children as a safe space for self-expression. I’m tired of white cis-men telling me what to do, how to dress, how to smell, what to read…. My life is my own – I make my own decisions!
Where does the inspiration for the name come from?
The inspiration came from the Greek mythology. When I created the concept, I wanted a name that would reflect the ethos of the brand: merging a little fantasy with reality. I discovered that Aphrodite had 2 epithets, Aphrodite Urania and Aphrodite Pandemos.
A. Pandemos is the one we know – it’s all about sex, lust and beauty, the more carnal aspects; A. Urania has a more celestial side and it was interesting to read that her temple was also used to support the misfits of the time. It was a safe space for people to congregate and brought community to those that needed it.
How would you explain the concept of a gender-fluid spectrum to those locked into a binary perspective?
Being gender-fluid means you can navigate through different aspects of yourself. We are often told how to behave and what to be, and sometimes you just don’t fit the mould! And if you decided to cross the bridge, that’s totally fine.
Being gender fluid, means you have free reign to cross back and forth along that bridge, and you can be and express yourself in so many ways. We all have multiple sides to ourselves. We can’t simply reduce our being to a yes or no situation, life is so much more than that.
Why is there still so much controversy and taboo around sexuality in general in our society?
The human race is afraid of the unknown. Our brain was programmed to set ups ways of thinking that are more comfortable for us, in order to avoid the stress of overthinking everything. Living or heading into the unknown is a stress, so the immediate reaction is to deny the change.
But we must move forward. Meaning that a way of living that is new for many – and not new for so many! – can be a stress. Because you don’t know what changes it will bring. Well, in that sense Christianity came to silence people, to tell them to stick with what they know and make people obey.
Tell us a little more about each of the fragrances
I wanted to create something unique and wearable. The ingredients were carefully selected according to their properties – some are relaxing, some are aphrodisiacs, each promotes and evokes a unique feeling.
Lance is woody with some green notes, its about confidence and empowerment. The woods such as sandalwood and cedar have calming properties due to its terpene content. You also have aphrodisiac Iris alongside spices to stimulate the brain and create that sense of energy, courage and confidence.
Queer Magic is about self-expression so you have some sexy spices, woods and aphrodisiacs like Vanilla, Fig Leaves and Oud. When you wear it you feel sexy, the best version of yourself.
Mandorla is vivacious but calming. It has some earthy, floral and musky elements. It’s about the natural sensuality of the body. You have some aphrodisiacs including Ylang Ylang, Jasmin, Vanila and animalistic Musks alongside calming and grounding oils like Bay leaves, Vetiver and Oakmoss.
They were created to be used as enough on their own, but you can also layer them to create unique new combinations. Lance makes for a powerful base, Queer opens up the heart and Mandorla is a deliciously light topping.
When you layer them, you create a mystical blend without interfering in their defining properties too much, it works really well. Personally I love using Lance as a base and combining it with either Queer or Mandorla to finish.
What other tools and lifestyle changes have you found that both have, and have not worked for you on your holistic health journey?
Most things I have tried have worked, but as we change our tastes and choices I think some practices can be seasonal. Meditation with sound baths is something I’m really into lately – very soothing and I can feel it working on a subconscious level.
What is your opinion on plant medicines as tools for living in alignment?
I love using natural solutions for my body. Mainly to keep me healthy, I’m all about preventing over-treating and the cascade of intervention. Something that always amuses me are bees! They produce a fantastic anti-inflammatory compound called propolis and it’s something I highly recommend. Raw honey is a nectar of the gods.
What does ‘spirituality’ mean to you?
I don’t know yet. It’s an answer that I’m still searching for… :)! I have always been very connected but I think I’m in a transition time where structures are a little unstable at the moment. So, I don’t have a definitive answer for that at this present moment.
What difficulties have you faced and how did you get around them?
There are a lot of difficulties emerging all the time. But the secret is not to feel defeated. Never give up or lose energy. We always find a way – we are adaptive and reactive, but if the feeling of defeat gets into our head, then you are defeated.
What social challenges have arisen and what sacrifices have been made?
Well recently the social distancing has been pretty excruciating for me. I’m a social butterfly Gemini, so being alone for a really long time isn’t for me!
What unforeseen opportunities have arisen?
Just being able to launch this beautiful brand that’s all about the wholeness of the body, identity confidence and sexual exploration, it was a great opportunity.
When you first launched, what brought the most traction and momentum for you?
I think the reaction from people when they were trying the perfumes and listening to the message, ethos and purpose of the brand. It made me confident about what I’m delivering.
What motivates you?
I’m a gemini, so I’m always on the search for something, the sense of belonging and rooting. These are things I occasionally struggle with, so it motivates me to find solutions.
What has been your biggest lesson, fear, or failure?
My biggest lesson is to be more confident and not to second guess myself so much.
Do you have a mentor or people you ask for advice?
Yes, Brendan (founder of Anatomē) is a kind person who supports me a lot.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
My strengths are social aspects / communication and creativity and my weaknesses – I would say my biggest one is focus, classic gemini.
How has what you do changed you as a person?
I love connecting with people, so seeing that other people go through the same things and having the opportunity to help them in many ways gives me the strength to keep spreading my message and educating people.
If time and money were no object – what would be on your to do and to see list?
Well, I would probably live somewhere different every 3 months. I love culture and people, so learning and exchanging experiences across the globe would be a dream!