11.17.14 Naturally Beautiful

Suzinn1 790 xxx
photos courtesy of Blooming Dream
I have known Suzinn Weiss for well over 20 years and she seems to grow more creative and vital as time goes on. Though originally from the east coast, she headed west for college and took to the light and open spaces. After earning an MFA at Parsons in New York, she moved to Portland, Oregon, and there began her love affair with gardening. She turned her artist's eye to designing lush landscapes and it was the amazing fragrances that rose up from these gardens that inspired her latest venture. For Blooming Dream, Suzinn creates small-batch body oils and natural perfumes in oil or alcohol bases, using organic, fair trade and sustainable materials wherever possible. Her wonderful efforts have been rewarded with many fans (of which I am one, of course), as well as a silver medal at the 2014 San Francisco Fragrance Salon for Top Artisan Perfumer and a gold medal at the 2013 Seattle Fragrance Salon for Best Ingredient Combinations. I jokingly call her a "plantaholic," but it is her love and appreciation for the beauty and healing power of the natural world that makes her fragrances so special. If you're looking to support small, artisanal businesses this holiday season (who isn't?), Blooming Dream is an excellent choice.
Warming heart 790 xxx
heart's afire
I have a bottle of her WarmHeart body oil next to my bed and I slather it on every night before I go to sleep. It's a combination of 5 nourishing oils—coconut, jojoba, camellia, abyssinian and red raspberry seed—that carries a sensual blend of olibanum wood, cypress, ginger and rose otto, along with touches of citrus, myrrh, orange blossom and cacao. The individual notes come through, but the overall scent is richly complex, soothing and delicious. This is such an indulgent treat for me and has been wonderful for my skin. (It also comes in a roll-on perfume.)
Holiday 790 xxx
flower power

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. 

Beeswax 790 xxx
honey child
In addition to fragrances with names as poetic and Love Bird, Lumina and Drunken Flowers, Suzinn will offer an emollient Beeswax Balm made from wax and propolis from the beehives in her garden. Like everything that comes from Blooming Dream, It's a little piece of paradise.


Thank you Laura! It's been great to watch you grow and flourish too. xoox
Suzinn on November 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm —
Hello Suzinn, what a nice surprise! You were the kind lady who helped with the 60+ issue in the quiz the other day! Question for you: I was a young woman during the "be sure you wear some flowers in your hair" San Francisco days. My favorite was sandalwood with patchouli a close second. Do you have a fragrance that would carry those old memory scents but be more age appropriate for a 74 year old (who still, on occasion, wears flowers in her hair). :)
Susan on November 17, 2014 at 7:06 pm —
Greetings Susan! You might enjoy LoveBird. It has patchouli but it's not loud. Here are some of the notes: Patchouli c02 (which is more like the fresh leaf of the plant), amber accord, oud, cedar, jasmine, rose, ginger, pepper, citrus. http://www.bloomingdream.com/#!product/prd1/2678093531/love-bird You also might like Illuminated Touch which features sandalwood, cedar, lavender, citrus and more. It is an oil based roll-on so much lighter than a spray edp. http://www.bloomingdream.com/#!product/prd1/1706011175/illuminated-touch Thank you for your interest!
Suzinn on November 17, 2014 at 10:41 pm —
Thanks Suzinn! I will be ordering soon!
Susan on November 18, 2014 at 9:15 am —
you are great, keep up the inspiration
Dad on November 18, 2014 at 12:21 am —
Thanks Dad! Your love and support has always been inspiring to me. xo
Suzinn on November 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm —
Congratulations Suzinn! Great article! Your creations are always so luscious and inspiring! Thanks for making the world more beautiful!
Alisa on November 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm —
ThAnk you Laura ...I've been looking for products on this line ..Your skin is alwAys glowing !
bonnie on November 19, 2014 at 7:41 pm —