Sun-showers and a-ha moments

We had a sun-shower yesterday.

It was the most glorious, delicate sprinkling of rain I’ve ever experienced. A beautiful, warm twenty-five degrees (Celsius), sun shining brightly, when out of nowhere came a drop of rain on my foot, then on my nose, and before I knew it, thousands of delicate droplets, glistening in the sun, falling like the softest of snowflakes. It was as if I was standing under a blossoming almond tree, the petals floating down around me, and all the world like it was breathing in the softest, sweetest harmony. I’ve really never seen a sun-shower like it before.

sunshower

Yesterday I officially began work on a new fragrance; one to represent summer and freshness and new beginnings. But as I sat there in my studio surrounded by bottles of single notes all vying for my attention, I didn’t feel like a perfumer at all. The thought crossed my mind (and hovered there for some time), maybe I don’t know how to do this anymore.

 

It’s been nearly eighteen months since we launched (or worked on) a new fragrance, and, if you’ve been following our adventures, you would recall that I have since been through a period of burnout. During that time, I simply could not find my creativity, and I decided that I would wait, heal, recover and come back when I was good and ready. So it’s almost a rebirth for me. And I well and truly felt like a baby yesterday.

SURRENDER

I spent a few hours in the studio, not getting anywhere at all. Then suddenly it occurred to me -I work best as an intellectual perfumer; I need to research, to write, to make lists, to group and ungroup on paper before I even enter the studio. It’s the innate research-driven side of me and it’s how I seem to do everything these days. I feel the need to get down the basest details and understand completely before I put things into practice, and that is now the case even in the perfumery.

And that’s OK.

I used to feel uncomfortable with people calling me ‘arty’ or ‘creative’ and now I know why. I don’t feel like an artist. I feel like a researcher. And I feel like my research culminates in a burst of creativity at the end. It’s as if I’ve found a story, located the characters, understood the scene, the context, the motivations and the emotions behind the story, and then been able to put the story together in scent.

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So today I came to the studio armed with hours of research from last night, and, guess what?

The magic happened…

 

Liz

xo

 

Bowerbird Wrap-up

Well, the Bowerbird Bazaar is done, and it’s time to reflect and put my feet up for a few days (and by put my feet up, I mean sort out my tax, organise paperwork, pack and ship orders, check my emails, do some banking…)

One Seed stall at Bowerbird Bazaar

One Seed stall at Bowerbird Bazaar

I love the opportunity to showcase One Seed directly to potential customers, where people can talk to me directly about our products and what they love, or what they are looking for. And the opportunity to work alongside other amazing designers and creatives can never be underestimated.

One Seed perfumer, Liz Cook, Bowerbird Bazaar May 2013

One Seed perfumer, Liz Cook, Bowerbird Bazaar May 2013

I always meet so many lovely, open-hearted stallholders at these events, and find several businesses that I become a die-hard fans of. This time was no different, so allow me to introduce you to these guys whom I love…

Kitty Came Home

Mr and Mrs Kitty (aka Katrina & Farley) are what I would call market carnies- they take their wares on the road 12 times a year, and have tonnes of market experience. Their stall set-up is precision (pretty sure they had it all done in under and hour), and they are two of the nicest people to boot (evidenced by the coming & going & kisses of dozens of friends all weekend).

Kitty Came Home handcraft delightful wallets, purses & clutches from vintage and recycled fabrics within a clear PVC case.

Kitty Came Home button clutch

Kitty Came Home button clutch

Their products evidently last for years, so I can’t wait to challenge my new purse to its most difficult client (me, that is. I am a purse-slayer).

Potted Thoughts

“Potted Thoughts have created a living gift by selecting long living plants presented in beautiful pots to suit any decor. Give the gift that keeps on living.”

Potted Thoughts colour burst

Potted Thoughts colour burst

These guys are fabulous at what they do. It’s one of those amazing businesses that makes you think, “Why didn’t I think of that!” They’re range and quality is superb, and they are just a lovely bunch of people. This little family-owned-and-operated business delivers beautiful plants in stunning pots within Adelaide, and is guaranteed to be loved by whomever you choose to bless with your ‘living gift’.

From Scratch Patisserie

Now I know you’ve heard me blog on Facebook and Tweet about these guys before. And there’s a good reason for that. I’m not alone in declaring that From Scratch is hands-down the BEST patisseries in all of Australia (except maybe Canberra – I havent been there yet) – followed closely by my other favourite, Red Door Bakery.

I had the pleasure of meeting co-owner and pastry chef, Edwina, at last weekends’ Bowerbird, and I confessed my undying devotion for her wares. (Incidentally, I have recently been diagnosed as gluten sensitive, so I now both bless and curse her).

Ugly Raspbetty From Scratch Patisserie

Ugly Raspbetty From Scratch Patisserie

If you’re anywhere near Adelaide, or planning to visit, make sure you find their pop-up store, or visit them at the Adelaide Farmers Market on a Sunday morning.

Stonemen

Whats not to love about undies. Especially these ones. There will be no confusing where you got your unmentionables when you buy a pair of Stonemen.

Stonemen Creative Briefs

Stonemen Creative Briefs

Fantastic modern designs, great cuts, and at a decent price point. Stonemen is a Sydney brand that is definitely going places. (And, yes, I did buy a couple to take home for myself and my man. But, no, I won’t be Instagraming our pair of buttocks as directed).

Namoi Designs

Kalila Stewart Davis is a little lady going big places. Don’t be surprised if you see her gorgeous designs on international catwalks in the near future. Namoi’s designs are feminine with a modern edge, designed and handmade by Kalila using beautiful fabrics and flowing designs.

Namoi Designs

Namoi Designs

I cant wait to see what the future holds for Namoi!

Among The Trees

This sweet little home fragrance business is run by an absolutely delightful mother-and-daughter team, Linda and Ashley. Their products are handcrafted in their leafy home in the Adelaide foothills, and their range is lovely and well-priced.

Among the Trees Fig & Cassis candle

Among the Trees Fig & Cassis candle

It was such a pleasure to see these guys do so well at this market. They are such a delight and I look forward to seeing what they come up next!

I truly love being part of The Bowerbird Bazaar and all it has to offer. I always come home so inspired and with a clearer direction for the future of One Seed. Don’t be surprised if the perfume you’ve asked for and we don’t yet have becomes part of our range in the near future! We listen to all your feedback, ideas and requests.

Liz

xx

2013 – Year of the Ticture

Seems 2013 has started off in a slow “I’m-a-dozy-hippie” kinda way for me. But that’s OK. I think I’m not quite over 2012 yet (or, perhaps it’s not quite over me??).

image from nurhudahalim.blogspot.com.au

image from nurhudahalim.blogspot.com.au

Although my head is not yet in the game, my olfactory senses are off on their own little journey, and I find myself sniffing anything that doesn’t move (and some things that do) just to get a sense of them, and how I might extract their essences. (Tincture o’ fence, anyone??)

So while my head is still on vacation, my nose is writing this article for the love of all things odiferous.

It’s starting out with tincture of roasted basmati rice (I’ll be writing about that journey in specific detail soon), and then I found myself surrounded by giant peppercorn trees with their pink little berries of glory crying out for baptism in alcohol. Then, in our little veggie patch a few days ago, I realised I might be a little bit obsessed with the tomato plants (perhaps why they’re yielding so well this time around), and I think it’s more to do with the scent of the leaves than the fruit itself! (Ohhh…the smell of that green, earthy, bitter, salady, dewinesss…)

But, alas, Google wants to kill my joy with articles about the toxicity of tomato leaf, so that one might be a pipe dream.

And then there’s calendula.

DSC_0498

Like the nerdy little school girl who no-one pays attention to until suddenly one day she takes off her glasses and everyone gasps in shock and wonder, asking “Whoa! When did she become so hot??!” (And she always was BTW).

nerd

Calendula is my ugly duckling. Planted in place of insecticides, it was purely functional. And then I smelt it…And now I must have it in a bottle.

So it would appear that 2013 is going to be the year of the tincture for me. I can’t wait to  see what other goodies join the artisan ranks of mandarin peel & vanilla pod tinctures in my perfume kit …

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Are you a tincturer? Or hoping to become one? What have you successfully tinctured, or got your eye (or nose) on?

It’s the little things…

Yesterday was such a glorious day in Adelaide; the first truly spring day in a long time. It was also my Mama’s birthday (happy birthday, Mama!), so I took her for breakfast by the sea, followed by a massage at my favourite, Endota day spa. It was such a beautiful day, so I wandered the shopping strip waiting for my mother, finding my way to my favourite teeny-tiny store, Little Bird.

Little Bird is one of those stores that’s hard to find, but when you find it, you swear you will never leave it. Or at least you will come back often.

But somehow I forgot it was there until yesterday…

It’s not a big store –  in fact, it’s teeny-tiny – and somehow it’s not even cluttered. They just know how to find exactly the right things for their customers, and display them in such a way that inspires (and makes me salivate). From teeny tiny treasures, like seeds in the tiniest amber bottle, to pencils with inspiring reminders, notebooks, candles, hand-woven baskets , cushions and much more.

I don’t know about you, but I am really over department store/mall shopping; nothing inspires me. It’s all the same, with no story, no heart, and no service.

For me, it’s the little things that count these days. Yes, I’m talking about the sales person really engaging and enjoying your company, but it’s mostly the heart of the product that speaks to me. Why else would I pay $4 for a single lead pencil, when I can buy a pack of ten for the same price?

This is why I chose a hand-woven seagrass basket for my daughter’s teddies, and why I would happily wait and save up for an Armadillo rug, than have one right now for $99. It’s the attention to detail, the patience of the artisan, the creativity, the history, and, yes it’s cliche, but the love, darn it. And, if you’re really lucky, the product you choose may even help to change someone’s life.

What little things make the difference to you? What have you found or bought lately because of the little things?