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Archive for December, 2013

Drawing of woman by Leonardo da Vinci

Drawing of woman by Leonardo da Vinci

The transition from architecture to skincare and natural perfumes took its sweet time unfolding a vision that gradually came into focus over the course of 15 years.  Once I decided to commit myself to this new entity, I was reluctant to let go of my past, opting instead to incorporate fragments of my former self in meaningful ways.

Lalun Valley, image from Summitpost.com

Lalun Valley, image from Summitpost.com

The name Lalun comes from the village at the end of the road in the Alborz mountains where my parents had some property they used on weekends.  It was a place of beauty, peaceful repose and imagination.  My mother was the one who suggested I name my company Lalun, since she thought the name evoked femininity through associations with the moon.

Selene, Greek goddess of the moon

Selene, Greek goddess of the moon

Yet, I wanted a modern image, one that involved color.  The notion of a seasonal skincare line was a breakthrough that established a clear framework.  Aligning my products with the seasons rather than skin type was a logical progression since it reflected how the body actually functions.  Our skin is susceptible to seasonal changes in sunlight, humidity, temperature and wind on a daily basis.  Most people, regardless of age have normal skin that can benefit from changing seasonal formulations.  Also, when using my water-free oil cleansing method, issues such as oily/dry skin or blemishes simply disappear as skin “normalizes”.

Picture 5

I decided to assign a color to each season.  Furthermore, key botanicals would be enlisted for their benefits, so rose=winter, orange blossom=spring, lavender=summer and calendula=autumn.  Coincidentally, the seasons also corresponded with the blossoming of those plants in my West Hollywood garden.

I strive to work with materials from my immediate context, so it was important for me to use botanicals that were part of my surroundings rather than exotic imports.  This also reinforced my locavore, zero waste philosophy.  Since I had been cultivating these plants in my garden, I already had an intrinsic knowledge of their seasonal changes and how to extract them for my skincare and perfumes.

The botanicals were paired with color blocks I arranged from right to left in my seasonal skincare logo.  Why?  Because I’m left handed and that’s how I draw.  It’s also how I write in Farsi.  So winter was rose hip red, spring was neroli orange, summer was lavender purple and autumn was calendula gold.

"Blue Green Yellow Orange Red" by Ellsworth Kelly, 1968.

“Blue Green Yellow Orange Red” by Ellsworth Kelly, 1968.

A long time admirer of Ellsworth Kelly, I structured the color blocks of my logo as a reference to his work.  They also formed a rainbow, alluding to the West Hollywood flag of diversity, emblem of the city where I live and create my products.

pride flag

The color blocks were proportioned as golden sections derived from a mathematical formula related to the human body, natural patterns of growth and the humanist tradition in architecture.  Inscribed within each golden section is a square, which I also included in the logo, symbolizing the treatment products.

musicgs_vitruvian

Golden section

Golden section

My Persian and architect roots are ever present in my work.  I love the process of making and believe this energy is transferred to everything I do.  It gives me great pleasure to create things that inspire me, whether they represent lofty ideals or humble basics.   I still tinker when I make a batch; subtle shifts that do not compromise a formula, but make each one unique.  That is the beauty of handmade.  I’m also mindful of incorporating techniques I’ve learned from herbalism and biodynamics such as stirring in particular ways or succussion.  These add a healing aspect to my work.  I view my work as something that develops over time, growing as I do.  I offer only the products I make for myself, or for the needs of others.  However, it’s important that my work remains authentic, reflecting who I am and who I wish to become.

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