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Today on the blog, we are excited to introduce the wonderful mastermind behind OLO, Heather Sielaff! We had the opportunity to stop by her gorgeous studio in Portland. We enjoyed our time talking about cats, Dolly Parton, and being able to experience the production process of some of our favorite OLO fragrances.
Has becoming a perfumer changed your perspective on “everyday” scents?
HS: Yes, quite a bit. I tend to analyze everything I smell. I’ve always been sensitive to scent but now I can actually break things down and determine the ingredients. There are certain aroma molecules used in fruit scented soaps and shampoos that cause me great distress! So many products contain fragrance these days, it can be overwhelming. I tend to use mostly unscented products so as to not take away from the perfume I am wearing or developing. I also pay very close attention to smells that occur in the environment naturally. Even just walking past someone’s front yard I’m paying close attention to how the trees and flowers and mulch interact. One of my favorite things to do is to smear different types of tree sap on my arm and compare them.
Which OLO fragrance do you feel has the most similar personality to you and why?
HS: I would say Palo Santo reflects my current state of being. I’ve been working on creating a healthier work/life divide. The goal is to do something for myself at least once a day. I used to work in the wellness field so I was very focused on health and relaxation. I’ve let some things go over the last few years but I’m trying to relearn the art of meditation. Palo Santo is a pretty chill fragrance. It reminds me of the ritual of burning incense or sage, changing the atmosphere in the space you occupy and allow a shift in consciousness. That’s what I’m going for these days.
How has your business most positively impacted your personal life?
HS: OLO has allowed me to have a creative outlet that can also support me financially. I’m really lucky to be able to spend all day doing something I enjoy. Jonathan, my husband, came to work full time with me two years ago so that’s also been fun. We get along surprisingly well considering we spend a large portion of the day and night together.
You love cats. So do we! If you were a cat, what kind of human would you hope would adopt you? What kind of cat would you be?
HS: If I were a cat I would definitely like to be adopted by a single cat lady. Not like a super intense hoarder cat lady but a mature woman who enjoys being alone and hanging out at home, child free of course. I would require at least the option of going outdoors but I wouldn’t want it expected of me. I would spend my days lounging in sunbeams on wood floors and maybe watching birds from the window. I would also snatch an occasional piece of pizza from my owner’s plate while she’s distracted looking for something to watch on Netflix. She would film me eating the pizza, post it online and it would become a popular meme.
What is your most bizarre talent?
HS: Reiki. I’ve been an LMT since ’98 and for some reason I’ve always been really good at energy work. My hands are hot with healing goodness. I guess that’s not a super bizarre talent on the west coast but it is where I come from!
Which fad do you wish would come back? Which one do you wish would go away forever?
HS: Pet Rocks. My mom stopped buying them for me because it was ridiculous to pay good money for painted rocks but I thought they were SO COOL. I made my own. I feel like it’s a pretty egalitarian kind of fad. Anyone can have a pet rock. They should make a come back. I can think of a lot of fads I’d love to disappear! However, I don’t want to offend that many people so I’m not going to say! Are flip flops and boot cut jeans a fad? I don’t think they are but I’d like for that combo to go away.
If you could wake up as anyone, who would you be?
HS: Dolly Parton. I am pretty simple with my appearance so I’d like to mix it up and spend a day in Dolly’s wig, make up and glamorous attire. I would go to my theme park, Dollywood, ride all the rides and greet all my guests at the entrance. I’d wrap up the night singing Islands in the Stream with Kenny Rogers.
What question do you hate to answer?
HS: ‘Where do you get your inspiration?’ I think I’ve grown to dislike the question because it’s the one I get asked most often. The word ‘inspiration’ has also been way overused lately. It’s not that I don’t get inspired I just want to find another descriptor for the phenomena.
Thank you Heather! Thank you Elli, who shot all these beautiful photos! See more of her work at: www.ellilaurenphotography.com
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