The seeds of change are taking root
Liz Cook is the creator of One Seed perfumery, an organic perfumery in Port Adelaide producing 100% natural, cruelty-free scents.
“The name One Seed has a double meaning,” she explains.
“Obviously, it’s a natural product, so seeds being nature, but just the potential in one little seed to cause great change.
“You know the old story about the acorn, the small little acorn and how it grows into the oak tree.
“The idea is really to help people see beauty in themselves and beauty in the world, so the concept of the seed and the potential in that is part of that.”
This focus on human beauty is one way One Seed sets itself apart from many commercial perfumeries.
“The brand itself isn’t just about perfume, it’s about human experience and I don’t want to make perfume that focuses on sexuality or sex,” Liz says.
“You know, every single perfume you look at, you’ve got a woman with her breasts hanging out, and people in sexual poses and, to me, all it’s saying is smell equals sex equals money.
“I don’t like it and it smells bad to me; that whole concept just reeks of manipulation and money, and I just want to be as far as way from that as possible.”
Each One Seed perfume is hand-crafted in South Australia. When asked how to make perfume, Liz chuckles.
“That’s probably a complex question,” she says, before explaining each perfume is made up of anywhere between 8 and 25 ingredients from the 250 in One Seed’s palette of essential oils and plant extracts.
They are then aged for four weeks before being filtered and bottled.
“The process of creating a perfume itself is a whole different ballgame,” Liz explains.
“That in itself can take up to a year to actually come up with a formula that works well as a perfume, some of them can be done in a matter of weeks depending on where the inspiration comes from and others do take up to a year.”
That timeframe comes not only from experimenting and developing formulae, but also from the process of interpreting inspiration into scent.
“I do find that on occasion, especially if it’s for example a project that we’ve been asked to work on, that can sometimes take a little bit longer because inspiration doesn’t come from us it comes from a client,” she explains.
“That process can drag out longer because it’s really getting to the heart of what the client’s talking about and trying to find our own inspiration to interpret that.
“Interpreting the inspiration in scent, you know there’s a lot of creative process that goes into it, you have to be in the right frame of mind for that as well and it’s just getting the right elements and the right ingredients to interpret that vision, whether its our own or for a client.”
Liz’s passion for natural living started in her early teens.
“I had two brothers who were body builders, one of them was semi-professional I suppose you’d call it, so he was very much into supplements and tweaking his diet all the time,” she recalls.
“So I used to get hold of his body building magazines and read a lot of information about health and supplements, and that’s sort of how it started.”
In her early twenties, Liz developed this passion further, starting to craft her own natural skincare products from fruit and vegetables.
“Now everything that I do really in my life is based around principles of natural living,” she says.
“Probably 90 per cent of the food we buy is organic, and I’ve just renovated a house, that’s all done in an eco-friendly way, from paint through to the kitchen cupboards and everything else.
Her other great passion is business.
“I’m an entrepreneur, I suppose. I love being in business and I thrive on creativity and being able to create products that people love,” she says.
“I’m always looking for what I can do to be creative and have a business.”
Having sold her chain of organic skincare stores, Liz combined these two passions and started One Seed.
Now, six years later, she is expanding into international markets, as she manages One Seed online and occupies a studio space and shop front on Port Adelaide’s St Vincent street with support from Renew Adelaide.
While Liz says there are challenges associated with any business, she believes anyone can find opportunities to use and market their creativity.
“I think that opportunities are really what you find yourself. If you’re talking about opportunities to be creative, they’re anywhere,” she says.
“Opportunities to make a living from your creativity, they can be a bit more challenging.
“I think you have to be creative about ways that you get your product to market if that’s what you want to do as a creative business. I don’t see why anyone in any place can’t do that.”
“I find that Adelaide is a really good place to be an artist, people are very excited about the prospect of having artists in Adelaide and you know they are very much into art culture.”
Images: Jack Brooks