Sunday, June 5, 2011

An Indie Blog for Indies

Hi, I'm Ambrosia!
An Independent Natural Perfumer from sunny Australia, who runs her own business, "Perfume by Nature"  and writes for a number of other publications, both online and in print
I'm also an opinionated redhead, Eco activist and pragmatic leftwing Hippie Agnostic Science Nerd of long standing.
And I've started this blog as my contribution to the Natural Indie community. To give us a place to be visible to the world, where people who want what we make can find us!
We are in a time of big changes..."Natural" and "Eco" have become fashionable as more and more people around the planet wake up and want to change their lifestyles and use cosmetics and clothing that are kinder to our planet and our bodies....
And Big Business has been quick to jump on the bandwagon...suddenly everything you see seems to be "eco-freindly" or "Aromatherapy"...but is it really?
What is "Natural"? How do you define whether something is really "Eco-Friendly"?

When I look at the actual ingredient listings, too often they are full of the usual indecipherable chemical terms, artificial this, parrafin and silcon oil, esters and parabens...and somewhere right down the bottom there will be a few randomly chosen herbal extracts or essential oils, which are included merely to give the term "natural" some kind of fake legitimacy.

There are of course, a number of organisations which have sprung up to try and bring some kind of regulation into this mess.
You can now pay through the nose to have your goods analysed, tested and stamped "Eco certified" or "organic" by such groups, but the cost of doing this tends to be way out of the league of most smaller independent artisans. And the standards set by these groups vary tremendously, and may not actually guarantee that what you yourself would really define as natural.

There is also a big movement towards handcrafted and Indipendent Artisan goods...people like the idea of getting to know the person who makes the clothes they wear, or being able to find a perfume made by a small Indie perfume house that is different and special and not what all the other women are buying up at the local drug store. And the Internet is enabling this kind of direct trade to flourish again for the first time since small village shops started disappearing.....
Which is a WONDERFUL thing, but also brings with it a whole host of problems.
Since many of these small companies are home based and run by people who are basically self trained, the manufacturing standards can vary tremendously. Which may not matter so much with , say, a hemp dress, but when you are talking face creams, it's a whole different ball game.
What ingredients are safe to use? How do you ensure that your creams don't grow harmful germs and molds? Are they useing safe levels of appropriate essential oils?
Of course the same thing goes for all the big companies, but it needs to be talked about.

And THAT is what I would like to see here, is people talking.
I want to see these Indie Artisans writing about how they define "Natural". Who they are, why they do what they do....telling us about the wonderful handspun organic silk they found and how it inspired them to make that particular sky blue wedding dress....the wonderful clay soap someone else has bought of a collegue that makes their hands as soft as butter.....
I want them to write about what they see as safe manuyfacturing processes, how to keep bench tops really clean in a workshop...what essential oils should be used in an eye cream....
And which shouldn't!

I'd also like to see proper reviews here. Critical ones that highlight the good and the bad sides of products. Ones that actually give useful feedback to the people who made them, and allow readers to get real insights into what they are buying.
There are already many many review sites out there, pretty cheerful places that support and promote indie artists and manufacturers with nice postive product reviews....
What we need is some truthfull ones.

And for this reason there will be no banners on this site. No membership fees, no "pay for links".
People are welcome to include their names, photos and links to their own sites with their posts.In return for them sharing their knowledge, their opinions, their insights with the wider world.

I'd also like to see critical articles, bits and pieces from research and science that teach us all more about everything relating to natural eco and Mother Earth...

So I'm inviting people here as co-authors. Fellow Indie Artisans, Aromatherpists, Eco activists, perfumers, soapers, wool spinners and reviewers.
People as diverse and opinionated as possible. From groups, organisations and guilds to individuals who refuse to join groups and work alone in their isolated workshops.
To share, and talk, and offer at least 3 sides of every story.

Real Strength lies in Diversity. 
And Truth is only to be found in Knowledge.

I've included pages with tabs at the top of the blog where people can find lists of Indie companies that sell natural perfumes, soaps, candles and clothing. And I'm hoping to eventually expand this into a bigger website with places for permanent artices, design and manufacutring guides, links to useful websites and more.....

  May the Sharing begin!



  1. what a wonderful idea! thanks so much for setting this up. i'm sure it will be appreciated by all.

  2. I love this! This feels like a good fit for someone like me who is still a babe in arms in this industry. Many other sites, however friendly, seem more intimidating. The aroma language spoken sometimes above my current level. I dont mean to infer that this is "less", in any respect but feels more relaxed and open. I hope to read, contribute and share as my growth and enthusiasm matches the intent with this site....thank you Ambrosia!! From Isis :)

  3. This is a great idea, Ambrosia. I'd love to be a part of it if you'll have me.
    Warmly, Lyn