Meet Liz Cook, director and head perfumer at ONE SEED. I was blown away by the attention to detail Liz gave when answering my interview questions, but it shouldn’t have been surprising given the beautiful, complex yet well rounded perfume she creates.
For those who aren't familiar with ONE SEED, could you tell us a little about your brand?
ONE SEED is an organic perfume company. We create beautiful original fragrances from 100% natural ingredients with at least 80% organic content. Our products are also vegan friendly and cruelty free.
Tell us about your background. What path led you to making natural, organic perfumes?
I have had an interest in natural health and beauty since I was 13 years old. I was always experimenting with clays, oils, fruits etc and creating my own concoctions for myself and my friends and family, making a good old mess in the bathroom much of the time! I was never a big fragrance person, but I always loved the scents of the world around me. That is really what I am drawn to - the smell of the rain, magnolia blossoms in bloom, fresh cut grass, salt on my skin… I started experimenting with perfume in my mid 20s when founded my first business retailing natural skincare and creating custom-made natural products. I started to see a demand for natural perfume slowly, and I recognised there was a big gap in the market, so when I sold that business in 2007 I began working on ONE SEED.
It’s refreshing to find beautiful perfumes that use wholly natural ingredients. Could you tell us some health benefits for wearing all natural fragrances?
There are many! Commercial fragrances contain so many synthetic ingredients that can have a detrimental affect on your health- some affects are instant, such as headaches, nausea, inability to concentrate, skin rashes - and some may be seen longer term - affects on reproductive organs, cancers, immune disease etc. There is a lot of research available in regards to this topic so I would definitely encourage people to look into it for themselves. Natural perfumes are more biocompatible, and our body recognises them and is less likely to react. Wearing a truly natural perfume should not give you any disease effects or headache etc, but if you have sensitive skin or allergies to plants etc you may have a skin reaction so it is always best to patch test before use.
Also, natural extracts have aromatherapeutic benefits, so wearing a fresh, citrusy scent is likely to make you feel uplifted, calmer and happier, and wearing a woody, deeper natural fragrance will tend to slow your heart rate and make you feel more relaxed and grounded.
What is your favourite ONE SEED perfume to wear and why?
I cant pick - thats like asking me to choose my favourite child! I actually don't wear perfume very often as I work with it nearly every day. If I do wear something its usually a rogue scent that I made for myself in the lab. Mostly, I love to be scent-free and experience the smells of the world around me - that is where I find my fragrance inspiration.
Unlike many other fragrance companies, you've chosen to keep it local: designing, formulating and crafting your fragrances in South Australia. What is it about operating on a local scale that you love?
I think designing and manufacturing in-house keeps the brand creative, accountable and authentic. I don't have anything against outsourcing production - it’s likely we will need to do that at some stage as we are growing really fast and will soon find it difficult to keep up with in-house production - but I think keeping grass roots is vital for connection of a brand to its vision, its customers and its purpose.
What does a typical day working at ONE SEED HQ look like?
I have a small team who operates 4 days a week from HQ, packing orders, organising stock, filling and organising. I work on the road or from my home office (I LOVE working from home) most mornings, and head into the studio twice a week to meet with the team, work on new formulae, keep up with production and meet with clients. Its really low-key at HQ - there is really not a lot of pressure on the team. We keep it real and flexible, and everyone has a role that is autonomous.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about ONE SEED?
We have big things planned for 2018 so keep your eyes peeled!
Thank you for your thoughtful answers Liz, we love stocking your divine perfumes and can’t wait to see what 2018 brings you.