Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The FRESH FACE of Aromatic Traditions

FRESH FACE for Aromatic Traditions™ 2017

After a brief hiatus working in the corporate world for a local manufacturing company, Aromatic Traditions is back with a new look and mission.  Take a look at our "About" page to get a feel.
Aromatic Traditions™ is a botanical skin care formulating and consulting company for natural and organic skin care product companies.  Our clients include luxury retail artisans, high-end spas and massage therapists.  Aromatic Traditions’s top-quality, result-driven products are free of hash chemicals and manufactured to exacting standards.  Allow our award winning expertise to develop your brand and take it to production.
Launched in 1998 with our fabulous “Blue Pearl” moisturizer, Aromatic Traditions transitioned from a retail formulator/manufacturer to a private label/custom consulting and manufacturing business.
Combined with over 20 years of perfume and herbal experience, Aromatic Traditions™ is able to provide our clients with both expert scent consultation as well as natural/herbal formulations.
  • We believe in your BEAUTY AND HEALTHY
  • We utilize as much as possible LOCAL and MINDFUL HARVESTING OF RAW MATERIALS.
  • We believe in charitable giving back to our communities and the earth.
“To create elegant and natural products that nourish your innate beauty”

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Aromatic Traditions Transitions

Last day of shipping 12/14/2015
A few months ago I took time to look at what Aromatic Traditions REALLY does and found that 64% of my business was serving the spa and indie maker sector.
It was a lightbulb moment.  To better serve, isn't it best to serve those who are asking for what one has?  I believe so.
I have mixed feelings of joy blended with creative excitement and a swirl of ideas waiting to manifest in tangible ways...a new website is in the design phase, garden fresh products are formulated and ready for testing in the lab and a fabulous communication service for busy spa-makers will be launched soon.
A big thank you and a huge hug of gratitude to all of you who love Aromatic Traditions products and botanical perfumes.  I've met some really great people and reconnected with old friends.
My transition begins on our last shipping day of December 14th. Enjoy my thank you by using discount code GRATITUDE2015 on our luxury botanical products, gift sets and perfume.
Blessings and have a warm and wonderful holiday season with your family and friends.

Susan Varga

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New Niche and Business Sustainability

Working through the vision.  Aromatic Traditions™  2015
After I read Paul Hawken's book The Ecology of Commerce back in the early 90's, I started to think about his term "restorative economy".  At the time I was applying some of his thoughts to my own businesses - a healing studio, a store which featured items made from recycled materials and my own body care business.

At the time I had a small farm and was very focused on creating the best soil so that I could take advantage of the short growing seasons in northern Pennsylvania.  I was also a massage therapist with a message.


Restoration of self , community and eventually planet.

As I see myself now going forward I am working more and more towards the goal of restoring myself, then community, then planet.  How? Slowing down and taking an assessment of my energy drains in my personal life.  I've decided that I can no longer foster relationships that are not reciprocal.  I had to take a close look at lip service versus acts of friendship and kindness.

For my community, I keep my company production "close to the bone" as I like to say.  I know where my raw materials come from by working with companies (some of whom I have had a relationship with for over 15 years) who are committed to transparency and ethical sourcing.

Waste and packaging is another consideration.  I was thrilled to be one of the first employees working for a co-op who took the sustainability model seriously -  from raw materials in the door to waste out the door and nothing, yes NOTHING went into a landfill.  Now, there is a role model.  I recycle and take good care when sourcing my packaging materials.  I re-use, recycle and refill.

This is just the beginning as we all need to know  how to trim off the fat in our production and use.

How "big" do I want to get?  I recently read an interview with another maker which echoed a friend of mine's business policy. Both expressed the idea of keeping it small and manageable.  This way they as artists can keep their hands in the creative mix and not lose integrity of what they are making to mass production.

And for that matter - mass consumption.  Another issue of our society.  We don't need all this stuff.

Over the next few months I am excited to explore some other small, niche manufacturers to see how they are using efficiency models and how I might want to set up my business statement to reflect sustainability.

As always, I am open to your comments.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Bestseller Blues

Blue Pearl - bestseller since 1998.  Aromatic Traditions™
Tonight I'm feeling bittersweet.

I'm bottling up likely the last Blue Pearl Face Serum batch for who knows how long.

The formula certainly has had a few versions since 1998.  I can still remember when I "got" the recipe. We were driving through the Catskills and I "heard" the formula.  I had to open the glove-box to get a piece of scratch paper to write it down.

I've been making it since 1998 and I know the formula has a few fans.

The base will soon become a staple for my spa-maker© series.  In a few months I plan to launch a new niche servicing spas and massage therapists who make their own products.

I'm looking forward to the transition.  I am also a bit sad cleaning out my lab to make room for this new venture.
Its like a birth.  I'm fluffing up the nursery to prepare for the new baby's arrival.

I can feel the energy building and it is a bit of a challenge to contain it.

I'm grateful to those of you who love these products and who have remained faithful to the brand.  You won't be forgotten.  And if you get stuck and haven't stocked up during my upcoming sale.  Well, you know where to find me and I'll make sure to get some to you.

As one customer and friend said "just package it in any old plastic tub and send it to us".

Thank you all for your loyalty and we'll be hearing from you soon when we announce our upcoming sale.

Be well.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


I just had a conversation with my son.  We were talking about being what he calls "an oracle".  I'm thinking he is referring to the movie The Matrix.  You know the scene.  When the Grandmother pulls a tray of fresh-made cookies out of the oven and lets you know that what she is about to say...
"will really bake your noodle".

Sometimes the world delivers that kind of information...big enough that you can only swallow it a bite at a time.

My son and I went on to talk about where "knowing" resides.  I spoke about seeing with your heart.  And that most of the time what we are "seeing" comes from our minds.

He said that his knowing is a gut feeling.
Good one.
With all that is going on in our world.  I am happy to know that my son can trust and act on his gut sensation.

My son and I had this conversation because as he says - this is the fourth thing you knew about and it happened.

It takes a lot of responsibility to know.  To trust our knowing and act on our knowing.
Not everyone wants that level of responsibility.
We are all at different stages of exploring what that looks like.

You can call it listening to God.
Trusting your gut.
Following your intuition.
Hearing Spirit whisper.

It is all the same to me.

It is much easier to be pragmatic and logical - to discard the magic. To Google a "fact" and hand over our process to an authority, to assumptions and surface information.

A good question to ask - "what do I know now that I am not allowing in?".

As each of us navigate this time of violence and uncertainty, I feel that our "knowing" will guide us now more than ever.
Our "noodles are baked", our minds are likely incapable of processing what is going on in our world.  

It is time to trust our hearts and act on what our hearts are telling us.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Switching My Niche

Spa-Maker© series coming soon.  Aromatic Traditions™ 2016

Do what you love and everything else will follow.

Aromatic Traditions™  is 4 years old.  Our anniversary was 11/11/15.  Usually I throw a nice party at my studio and people stop by to visit, shop my retail shelves and snack on delicious local goodies.  This year I was busy packing up the final pieces for a natural baby line and prepping bulk orders for several spas.

You see, my focus has changed.

Changed because my customers asked.

I had no idea when I started that I would be doing Custom Manufacturing and Private Label.  I put a few pages up on my website and the rest is word of mouth.


The best referral is from other customers.  The learning curve has been a little steep.  However, I like a good challenge and found that I love formulating and creating in my lab.

It is quiet, focused and creative.

I am also co-evolving with several of the spas who were my first customers.  As they grow, so do I.

It felt natural today as I cleaned up my creative space and started to de-stash bottles and jars.  I really do not have much overstock so my inventory is changing as well.

I have created several gift sets for the holidays and I am feeling a little bittersweet saying goodbye to some of my favorite products.
I will soon offer a first-come-first-serve discount to my online retail customers.

These formulas will now be available for my new niche - spas and massage therapists who make their own products and have reached a point where they want someone else to produce for them.

It is a niche I am familiar with as I was a massage therapist for 25 years and know the industry.  I also love working with spas.  I love people who pamper and encourage others in the tradition of self-care.

I'm excited for this new chapter in Aromatic Traditions™ life.

Enjoy the holiday discounts online and call me if I can help your spa or massage practice.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Prayers for Our World Community

Praying for my friends and their families in France and my new Portland french community friends who are watching helplessly here in the States.