Suzinn Weiss is a fellow Portlander, and I am so excited to have finally experienced her perfumes and body oils that are inspired by the rich and fragrant gardens of the Pacific Northwest. Suzinn is a fine artist and garden designer whose work led her to natural perfumery. She uses tinctures of leaves and petals from her own garden as well as fine essences from around the world. Additionally, Suzinn does not use any synthetics and her entire line is cruelty-free. I have enjoyed playing with all of her fragrances over the past month, and highly recommend looking into her sample packs if you have an interest in exploring all natural perfumes. My one challenge was to try to pick a favorite, which I simply cannot do! But I have managed to narrow it down to two of her fragrances that are particularly compelling.
Hello! Please check out my very first YouTube video. The February Beauty Box by Boxwalla was out of this world. I am loving everything in it! It includes: Lalun Naturals Winter Rose Toner and Moon Butter, CocoaPink Amber Orange Body Lotion, and RMS Lip2Cheek in Smile as well as their blush brush. It is a fabulous box!
They are sold out, but please do check out the review as you can purchase the items individually and sign up for the April Box! I hope you enjoy and please leave me feedback. Thanks!
As many beautiful ideas often are, Osmia Organics was born out of a challenging time for its founder, Sarah Villafranco. She explains on her website that after her mother passed away she felt the need to scale back her hours as an Emergency Department physician to explore other areas of her life (like soap making) and to spend more time with her family. Encouragement from a friend who was also starting a company, provided additional inspiration to help Sarah take the leap and establish Osmia as her career. Sarah views her new path as an evolution of her medical career as she states, “I am practicing broader medicine now – helping people choose natural and organic skin care products, encouraging them to nourish themselves physically and spiritually, and detoxifying their medicine cabinets all the while.”
It was a sad day leaving Maui after such a gloriously sun soaked vacation there this past December, but on our way to the airport I made a dash into a little gourmet market as we made one last pit stop. There, I found these beautiful handmade soaps on display, and decided to bring their aloha home with me. Rosemary and Sweet Orange Castile Soap with French Gray Salt, and Soothing Lavender with Buttermilk caught my eye and I am so glad I bought them. They are some of the best soaps I have ever used. But before I start in on how wonderful they smell and what a lovely lather they create, I would like to say that they are just so cute! Each bar comes in its own pouch and a card that provides a list of ingredients. (Everything is 100% natural!)
Where to begin with this trio of redolent treats? Each one is a unique creation of Mandy Aftel’s, who is probably well known to you if you frequent perfume blogs or have an interest in *natural perfumes. You might also be familiar with her book, Essence and Alchemy, which has influenced me a great deal in my blogging and personal love of perfume. Her evocative way with words and firm grasp of history makes it an incredibly inspiring and educational read. I believe she was able to write so poetically about the history of fragrance because she has an innate talent in creating fragrance herself. This expertise is exemplified quite remarkably in the gems pictured above.
Everything about the Laurel Whole Plant Organics line exudes love for nature and total commitment to the nurturing of our skin and selves through the power of flowers and herbs. Laurel WPO’s namesake and owner fully believes in the extraordinary efficacy of whole plants in skincare and is devoted to using only organic and farm sourced ingredients. Laurel goes even further to ensure the ingredients are as unprocessed as possible in order at reap the benefits the raw plants have to offer. The Laurel WPO website goes into great detail regarding the purity of their products, and I highly encourage you to read their “about our ingredients” page to really get a sense of the integrity of this line.
Travels to the Far East inspired Lina Hanson to create Satori. Notes of yuzu, ginger, and sandalwood were chosen to evoke the landscape and culture of China, Japan and Thailand. While I have never travelled to these countries, Satori feels as relaxing and restorative as a Japanese Garden. (If you ever come to Portland, you must visit our traditional and gorgeous Japanese Garden). Yuzu is one of my favorite uplifting, citrusy scents so I was anxious to try this immediately after opening the package Lina Hanson sent. Yuzu is a lot like grapefruit essential oil, with a similar sharpness, but also has the vaguely spicy quality of bergamot. I think it was a brilliant choice to pair yuzu with ginger, since ginger too is spicy resulting in a piquant citrus aroma.
Since this blog focuses on natural perfumes, you can imagine that I have a pretty big perfume collection. I have amassed fragrances that I’ve swapped for, been sent, bought, and gifted. I have a lot of perfume (natural and otherwise), and have smelled hundreds and hundreds more. As a result, I am thoroughly impressed with perfumes that are interesting and a little different, while still being beautiful. Gâteaux is one such perfume.
While I was in Maui, I was on the lookout for all natural, small batch skincare and found a gold mine in the adorable town of Paia. There I rediscovered Mana Foods, a crazy haven for all things natural, like your local health food store on steroids. There’s an alcove off to the side that is full of natural beauty items. When I happened upon Queen Bee I knew I would buy something from their line, it was just a matter of deciding what! I also stumbled into Wings, which is the cutest beachy boutique with a well edited selection of clothes, accessories, jewelry and skincare. I left Wings with a necklace, two hats and the Mahina skincare you see above.
Hiram Green is an all natural perfumer based in the Netherlands whose newest creation, Voyage, harkens back to vintage perfumes while maintaining a modern sensibility. The opening is the most classic part of Voyage’s journey with an almost aldehydic citrusy rush that belies what is to come. The evolution begins quickly and I get a sense of jasmine and sandalwood commingling with spices that might be cardamom and coriander. None of these notes are mentioned as having been used in Voyage, but this strikes me as a floriental perfume with tropical leanings.