11.17.14 Naturally Beautiful
Suzinn took time to answer a few of my fragrance-related questions:
Do you take a seasonal approach to perfume?
I know perfume lovers who take an hourly approach to perfume! Personally I just go with my mood but, if it’s a warm day, I’ll be drawn to cool, dry scents. Last spring I started formulating REFRESH in preparation for a July visit to the east coast. Since I hadn’t experienced anything close to that kind of humidity in years, I wanted to have something to cool off with.
Do you think people should have a signature fragrance or change it up according to mood, weather, etc?
I think a signature fragrance can get old and if you wear the same thing all the time you will become impervious to your favorite scent. So change it up to suit your mood as well as your environment. Many people have to forgo perfume in the workplace or play it safe with something soft and subdued, so they might want to wear a more interesting scent in their free time.
Do you believe in layering scents?
I don't believe in rules when it comes to your personal style, but why not be as creative with scent as you are with clothes? With natural perfumes there are head, heart and base notes, and they come and go accordingly, so there is some layering built in. Many modern commercial perfumes tend to be more linear in structure, meaning the notes don’t change much. (After you asked me this question I started playing around with layering my own scents and am finding some interesting combinations. Thanks!)
What is the best way to choose fragrance as a gift?
For me, skin is the last ingredient added to any fragrance, so I am a strong believer in trying on a perfume before purchase. As your skin warms up, it changes everything about a scent and there’s really no telling how your chemistry will take hold. Trying on perfume with someone else can be a very sensual experience since you are getting closer and closer to the essence of the person as well as the fragrance. You can always give a sample first.
Can you suggest products/scents for certain personality types?
Romantics would enjoy scented body oils because, even if you are alone, there is something loving and exquisite about applying oil to the skin. Mavericks might like a niche perfume that defies expectation. Maybe something containing dark, mysterious oud. Perfumery is an ancient art form and, though it seems cliché, certain “types” can be drawn to certain scents. However, I like to gently coax people out of their comfort zones and explore the whole realm of possibilities, especially when it comes to a natural perfume. They are more complex than just dabbing some lavender to the wrist.
Do you have any new products for the holiday season?
I am working on Forest Garden in honor of Portland’s beautiful, wild park. It's a mix of citrus, conifers and resins with a touch of flowers. It will come as an oil-based eau de parfum roll-on as well as a body oil. I’ll also have a new body oil featuring geranium and lavender, because those are always favorites.
What are your thoughts on aromatherapy? Can you recommend a few simple ways to use it on a daily basis?
I love aromatherapy and believe it can be as simple as stopping to inhale the lovely fragrances of plants around you. In general, our sense of smell is underused in our busy lives. Inhaling deeply isn’t practiced much unless one is in a yoga class.
One of the simplest and least expensive ways of getting aroma in your life is by using hydrosols, also known as floral waters. They are a by-product of the steam distillation process and contain tiny particles of essential oil. Spray these directly onto your skin or a fabric that you keep close to your body, like your pillow. Rose water is wonderful for your skin as well as being an aphrodisiac. Mint can help lift depression. Lavender has a calming effect. Try using a diffuser to waft a few drops of essential oil or perfume into your environment.