Where have we gone?

Hello there! You may be thinking we’re not blogging anymore, but don’t be sad – we’ve just moved to another platform!

If you’re looking for more about ONE SEED, our perfume process, natural and organic perfume generally or anything else related, you’ll find us blogging from our website now:

https://oneseedperfumes.com/blogs/news

See you there soon!

Liz

x

Why oil can change your life (or, at least your skin)

If you are like me, and have spent years and years trying to find that one solution for your skin, then you probably want to read on.

Don’t worry – this is not a gimmick story. I hate gimmicks. No, this is a tale about how simple is almost always best. And about how giving your skin the best treatment it deserves does not cost $335 a bottle.

 

crem

image borrowed from mybeautybinge.com

 

My skin story

As a child I had beautiful skin. People told me that all the time. Even as a teenager I was never prone to acne breakouts, thanks to good genes. But womanhood in all its glory did not bring out the best in my skin, and by the time I was in my mid 20s, what I saw in the mirror was usually oily, blotchy, spotty, and, well, just not sparkly anymore.

I spent years trying every natural product that promised to give me my sparkle back, but nothing did the trick. So I wore daily foundation (natural products, of course), and just thought it was my tough luck. First world problems, right?

image borrowed from seenox.org

image borrowed from seenox.org

Fast forward to 12 months ago. I ran out of moisturiser one fine morning, and out of desperation, I began to use olive oil day and night for a week. Yes, olive oil, as in, from the pantry. And what do you know, by the end of the week, no more spots! And 12 months later, still no spots! No oil slick. Less wrinkles around my eyes (honestly), and I’m even going makeup free a few days a week. It’s safe to say I am now a complete advocate of pure plant oils for skin care, even for the oiliest of skins like mine.

Olive oil is fantastic, but I do sometimes smell like bruschetta in the morning, so it was time to return to my roots and formulate an oil-based product that would be simple, effective, smell amazing and maybe even rejuvenating for my (cough, two weeks from 40) skin. And so the One Seed Organic Multipurpose Elixir was born.

BOTANICAL MUSK ELIXIR CROP 2

About the Elixir

I spent 6 months working on this formula. I wanted it to be rich in nutrients, but not greasy. I wanted it to feed the deepest layers of the skin, but still leave a silky finish. Most of all, I wanted it to replace everything else I had been using. One product for face, body, hair, bath… And it had to smell amazing.

The Elixir is 100% natural, and contains at least 90% organic ingredients which have been specifically chosen (and tested) to meet these criteria. They provide your skin with an unbelievable multivitamin and mineral boost, tonnes of antioxidants, and the youthful-ageing benefits of sea buckthorn and pomegranate extracts. We use virgin oils (ie those that haven’t been refined) to keep the true nature and potency of the plant in tact and provide the highest possible benefits for your skin. We just havent seen anything else on the market like it.

The scents we’ve chosen are designed to ‘bloom’ on the skin over 30 minutes or so, but they are subtle so they don’t interfere with your perfume (or your perfume-free office!). And so far the feedback has been amazing.

elixir trio crop

So that’s the story about how oil changed my life (nope, but it definitely did change my skin). We’d love you to try it and let us know what you think!

 

Liz

xx

 

 

 

 

 

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.

dsc_1047

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

The magic happened…

 

Liz

xo

 

Scent Bar launch today!

We are thrilled to be launching our  Scent Bar online today!

scent bar trio banner space text

Scent Bar is an exciting way to create your own custom-fragrance using natural extracts and accords from our collection.
How does it work? Simply choose your favourite top, middle and base notes from those listed, and we will expertly blend them into an 8ml atomiser for only $29.95. 

scent bar banner 1

We first launched Scent Bar at the Bowerbird Bazaar back in November, and where overwhelmed with positive and excited responses from our customers. So now you can have the Scent Bar experience whenever you like!

We’ve started with a collection of 25 of the most asked-for notes (tinctured in 100% natural grape ethanol), and will be adding new notes every month. You can choose from some ready-made accords (blends of 2 or more notes to create a harmonious scent), such as a triple rose accord (with 3 different rose extracts and a geranium extract), and single extracts such as ylang ylang, coriander & blood orange.

scent bar oils leaf

Scent Bar is a great way to be able to explore the world of natural perfumery using your own creativity and personal preferences. But if it all seems a bit complicated, you can stick with our ready-to-wear collection, or even have a bespoke fragrance made for you!

Ready to have a look? You can try Scent Bar here

Happy blending! (Oh, and happy new year everyone! )

x

Liz

My strange addiction

Hello. My name is Liz and I’m an aromaholic.

Its not just a problem with perfume. I have to smell everything.

dog

Last week I was working with a crew doing a cooking demonstration for a charity, and, after all the samples had been dished out, I snuck over to the pan which once housed a delectable orange pudding, and inhaled deeply. Pretty sure my eyes were even closed. One of the other team spotted me and offered me the remains of her sample, assuming I was wanting a taste, but I declined. All I really wanted was to inhale and get a sense of the subtle nuances that exist between lashing of brown sugar, creamy butter and orange rind. Did you know there are actually subtle nuances in a pudding? Neither did I. Until I became an aromaholic.

pudding

I have to smell everything. And not always by choice. I just do smell everything. From the smell of caulking on my husband’s work shirt, the timber dust that might still remain on his skin at the end of the day, to coloured pencils in my daughters bedroom, freshly printed magazines (one odour I detest BTW), every leaf and petal I walk past on the street, the smell of my neighbours’ dinner, new floorboards, old furniture, cotton clothing, nail salons, rubber on shoes, laundry powder, sparks from power tools….Did you know that everything has a smell?

cat

Since I officially became a perfumer in 2009, my nose has become increasingly more sensitive and more aware of the world around me. It’s as if I can now ‘read’ the world by how it smells. Like I need to smell something to know it. For me, it’s as if the true character of an object or place is now defined by how it smells.

image: winonlips.com

image: wineonlips.com

Being a perfumer that works only with naturals, and a self-confessed organic/chemical-free junkie in all regards, these days I can smell a synthetic smell a block away. And they hit me hard; give me migrane-type headaches and change my mood (and not in a good way). So my preference is always for the smells that exist in nature.  But good, or bad, I am addicted to aroma.

It’s as if the world has opened up to me a fourth dimension which I knew existed and had even experienced previously, being a person with a nose and all. But now I am adicted. I simply must, with an almost canine-like instinct, understand the world by it’s aromas.

Any other aromaholics out there? Or is this just my strange addiction?

Liz

x

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 …

________________________________

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

Why business is more than business for me

I had the pleasure of spending some time with Norma Osborne of Australia Hope International yesterday. She is in the process of creating a beautiful cafe as part of their fundraising. So committed are they to the cause that every single cent of profit from the cafe (& every other project they’re involved in) goes straight back to Uganda & The Congo.

Norma Osborne

They don’t draw a wage. They don’t have paid staff (everyone on the team is a volunteer). And they rely on donations and support from the general public, churches & fundraising activities to help them with their mission of “Helping Others Possess Empowerment”.

Such is their dedication & vision that they manage to maintain an admin budget of just 3% (meaning that if you donate $100, $97 of it will go directly to the people who need it most).

One Seed was created not as a means to buying myself a bigger house or expensive shoes, or sending my kids to a posh school, but with the bigger vision of doing something that draws attention to the needs of those around us.

My hope is that you will love my fragrances and catch a glimpse of the bigger picture that is woven throughout the brand: that life is beautiful, that every single person is uniquely special and worth our time, that life is about more than being sexy or rich or perfect, and that there are needs out there greater than yours or mine.

Today we launch our first annual “Hope for Hope Day” in which all profits from sales in our Hope range will go directly to Australia Hope International (one of the two amazing causes we support). If you’d like to get involved and do something doubly amazing this Christmas, simply make a purchase of a Hope perfume or Organic Double Cream today, or make a donation directly to Australia Hope International.

Thanks so much for joining with me in this amazing opportunity.

Liz

x

Something stinks…perfume for little girls

Making a recent clothing purchase for my daughter, I noticed at the sales desk a sweet little box with a sketch of  a fairy-tale princess on the front. I was very curious and thought it was adorable until I peeked inside the box. It was perfume for little girls.

Gumboots Petals perfume

A lovely concept, to be sure. But, of course, being who I am, I can’t help but read the label (on the back, I mean – that one that actually matters!!), and I was not at all surprised, but oh-so-disappointed to read that is was a cocktail of synthetics.

Many girls grow up wanting to be just like mama, wearing sparkly dresses and high-heeled shoes and lipstick, and smelling as sweet as roses. It’s a fantasy world and a childhood experience they should be a part of.

Image by © Angela Coppola/Solus-Veer/Corbis

But shame on those manufacturers who manipulate this experince with cheap toxic fragrances, and characters children love and have an affinity for.

Hello Kitty perfume

In a recent Washington Toxics Coalition report Something Smells: What Tween Perfume Makers Should Tell You, But Don’t, new testing of many perfumes used by tweens contain undisclosed hormone-disrupting ingredients that should have been reported under state law, yet these companies aren’t complying with the state law that requires them to report the presence of these chemicals to the Department of Ecology and the public.

Nine of 20 children’s fragrance products tested (see the full list here) contained hormone-disrupting chemicals called phthalates.  Of the nine products, seven products contained over 5 ppm of the phthalate commonly called DEP and were made by companies with annual gross sales over 1 billion dollars.

Scientists are concerned about phthalates in personal care products because the products are applied directly to the skin and may be a significant source of exposure. (Phthalates are classified as hormone-disruptors and have been shown to affect reproductive development in children.  They are also linked to asthma and obesity) 

In my online research of children’s fragrances, I discovered that almost all children’s fragrances available for sale online  (Beauty Encounter has 112 for sale) did not even list the ingredients for the product, many of them were linked to much-loved cartoon characters and/ or to popular perfume companies such as Burberry and Bvalgari, and that price (which ranged from $12 to $200 per bottle) was no indicator of the nature of the ingredients. I found only one article relating to the toxicity of commercial children’s fragrances, and no natural perfume for children. Startling.

(On a positive note, I did find several websites on how to make your own perfume for kids using flowers and herbs. Here’s our favourite)

It’s a worrying issue. And one that parents, grandparent, aunts and uncles need to be pro-active on. Yes, it may look sweet and pretty, and even smell like lilacs and rosebuds, but the potential (and I would go so far as to say actual) side-effects of exposure to these aroma-chemicals and other synthetics is simply not worth the risk.

When I Fell in Love…(a NPG Blogging Event)

Do you remember the first time you fell in love? Not with someone, but with a smell or a taste or a sound? Like my little girl who yesterday tried pomegranate from our tree for the first time, and loved them so much she put a plate of them on the dinner table with the chicken schnitzel. Pretty sure she won’t forget her first taste.

image from sallyandbella.com

I fall in love all the time, so its hard to remember some of those moments, but I remember when I first fell in love with natural perfumery, and it was all because of magnolia…

michelia alba

At the time, I owned an organic aromatherapy and skincare store, and custom-blended for clients all the time. Back then, around 2004, we were mainly using the better-known essential oils, like peppermint, orange, patchouli and so on, but as my interest in blending grew, my pallette for scent expanded and I started to yearn for something more.

Then I discovered a boutique natural extract supplier, and spent a whole weekend pouring over every item in their catalogue, making a mile-long list of everything I wanted for the store.

With my first order came, among others, boronia, blood orange and my sweet, sweet magnolia. I was smitten from the first drop. (as a side note, I am also near-obsessed with boronia, but magnolia was my first love).

image from myfirsttimesa.com

I blended it into everything, and launched a best-selling body cream, Mandarin & Magnolia Shimmer Lotion. 

Fast forward a few years, and now, as a perfumer, I still love magnolia. It features heavily in One Seed’s Courage eau de parfum as a voluptious yet playful sweet, floral heart, and as a sherberty support to rose maroc in our Freedom eau de parfum. I love magnolia for its curves, its divine sweetness with a sour and herby edge, its playful candiness and its floral strength. It serves me well and I will love it forever (can you tell?)

You can read about other first fragrance loves from my fellow Natural Perfumers Guild members by clicking the links below.

http://perfumebynature.blogspot.com
http://anyasgarden.blogspot.com
http://www.providenceperfume.com/blogs/news
http://www.matriarch.biz/blog.html
bellyflowers.blogspot.com
http://www.roseenbos.com/category/blog
www.lesparfumsisabelle.co.uk
http://joannebassett.com/natural_perfumes
www.oneseedcompany.com
http://ellenoire.blogspot.ca
http://africanaromatics.com/int/


A Story About Sillage (a stinky tale)

‘Twas a sun-filled Thursday afternoon as I set about my daily jog in Perfumeville.I hadn’t ventured far when, coming to a rail crossing, my path met that of a stranger. As we passed eachother by, I was suddenly overcome by a cloud of scent so thick that my knees fairly buckled, and I was forced to hold my breath for what seemed like hours as she passed me out of sight. I let out a “pahhhhhh” as I released my breath, expectantly grateful for the fresh cleansing of autumn air, when I realised her sillage had followed me! Horrified, I spun around to see if she, perhaps, had altered her course, and headed back in my direction with her perfume monster, but she was at least half a block away, barely visible in the suburban distance. What was this beast that had entrapped me in its horrific scent? My guesses cannot be repeated here for fear of retribution, but all I can be sure of was that its tail was at least twenty-five metres long, and clearly capable of destruction as much as its head.

The moral of this story is clear – sillage is capable of both good and evil.  Therefore, choose your fragrance with wisdom and careful consideration. You may feel your sillage is your best friend, but it can hasten to make enemies of those around about you. And your sillage speaks when you may not: intimate and open, strong and showy, broody, sensitive or just plain loud.

And, on a final note, remember this fact that altered history: Marie Antoinette was caught by her captors as a result of the scent trail she left behind.

Enough said.