Belinda Smith is the beauty and brains behind our favourite natural parfum label, ST. ROSE, a beloved inclusion in the Sunday Lane collection. Born with Australian roots and raised in American spirit, Belinda now resides in the states… that is, when she’s not living out of her suitcase. This self confessed global wanderer and curator of aesthetic delights is always seeking inspiration from travel, art and design. These personal experiences, memories and locations become an abundant resource she often draws from to inspire her creative ventures.
It was this desire to translate memories and emotions into products that lead her to create ST. ROSE, a product she always wished existed. The idea manifested as a range of natural parfums, as she describes, personal rituals at the intersection of beauty and wellness. ST. ROSE is a culmination of her artful aesthetic alongside her passion for creating luxurious experiences that are carefully crafted in respect to sustainability.
"I think we are all being given the gift, or empowered with the concept, of time. Hopefully as we heal together, we can come out of this moment with an awakened collective conscious and be more mindful of what we will do with all our time in the future."
On what St Rose represents.
ST. ROSE is named for the patron saint of gardeners, fitting for a fragrance brand focused on sourcing at origin to ensure our ‘good for you, good for the earth’ ethos is carried out.
The idea for ST. ROSE came before the name and I simply did not want to compromise. I wanted a fine fragrance that I could say with confidence was clean and that meant, not only transparency but traceability. Traceability is so important and not something that many beauty or fashion brands speak about. For ST. ROSE I took a firm stand, one that certainly made the path to starting this indie brand really challenging but I am resolute in our commitment.
Her favourite sources of inspiration.
I am always being inspired by the world around me. From personal experiences and travel, to nature and a wide variety of art. One art-form that feeds my creativity the most is music. There are so many similarities to music and fragrance. I have always thought of personal fragrance as being like a soundtrack following you around.
On the women she surrounds herself with.
I am blessed with so many amazing women in my life that inspire me and have been some of the biggest cheerleaders for this brand’s success. My mum is definitely my original ST. ROSE muse. She cooked farm-to-table before it was a trend, cleaned with homemade essential oil-based cleaners and used natural but highly efficacious beauty products.
Not only did she influence my predilection to nourishing my body, both inside and out, with the most natural nutrients possible but I can also attribute her for my inquisitive nature and for finding my voice to speak up and question things, to challenge the status quo. She has always encouraged me to pursue all my wild.
"I have always thought of personal fragrance as being like a soundtrack following you around... Both music and fragrance are invisible art forms and so powerful in their ability to create an atmosphere and to leave a lasting impression, to imprint a memory."
Her work soundtrack.
It is always changing - today it was a Stan Getz playlist and the day before Fleetwood Mac. I actually include music in my brief to our perfumers to inspire the overall essence and help to achieve the final composition. Both music and fragrance are invisible art forms and so powerful in their ability to create an atmosphere and to leave a lasting impression, to imprint a memory.
We share our playlists online and on Spotify. This week Gypsy Cowboy has been on heavy rotation.
Something she treasures most.
Time. Being present is something I am trying to work hard on. Time is such a gift. The busier we all get, deciding how to spend and invest our time becomes even more precious.
Between the devastating fires in Australia to now the global health pandemic I think we are all being given the gift, or empowered with the concept, of time. Being forced to slow down and reprioritise what is really important. Hopefully as we heal together, we can come out of this moment with an awakened collective conscious and be more mindful of what we will do with all our time in the future.
Her idea Sunday.
Love this question. Sundays are magic. They hang in this space that is both an end and beginning where time truly does almost slow down. My husband and I don’t have kiddos yet but would love to start a family and I am hyper aware that these lazy Sundays for us are a bit fleeting. Coffee in bed, long walks with my pup, cooking breakfast for my husband and if I can get a yoga session in that’s serious bliss. Sundays are a time to recharge the batteries and I love using them to become reinspired creatively. Typically, that’s being outside in nature, going to the markets, a museum if it’s open.
Her favourite ST. ROSE scent.
I know you aren’t meant to have a favourite child but mine is Desert Nomad. It is the fragrance that I was looking for and couldn’t find - the catalyst for why I ultimately started this journey. It is also named for the amazing group of people I was so fortunate to cross paths with while searching for a sustainable supplier of sandalwood.
Sandalwood is one of my favourite aromatic notes. It has been historically one of the most precious raw materials in perfumery and the use of sandalwood in fragrance can be traced back thousands of years. As an Aussie, I am proud that my hunt for sustainable sandalwood ended with Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils (DSO) of Western Australia who have become gorgeous friends. Dutjahn is run in a 50/50 partnership with the indigenous desert nomads. DSO were recipients of the prestigious United Nations Equator Awards in 2019, recognised for their innovative 50/50 partnership with the Kutkubba community in Western Australia, promoting cultural identity and supporting local livelihoods through the sustainable harvest of sandalwood oil for the global fragrance market.
Such an incredible application to consider when using natural fragrance, a reminder to take a breath, to be present, and to set an intention for the day … a concept that certainly steps outside the typical realms of the luxury fragrance world.
Find more on Belinda & ST. ROSE here, or follow @st._rose