My Journey by Donna Karan

There is nothing quite like a new perfume or lotion to lift your spirits and help you feel your best. There’s also nothing quite like going to re-up on your favorite scent only to find that it has been discontinued.

Whether you are looking for something new and unique, or a duplicate scent of one of your old (or current) favorites, there is nothing Sue Faunt of Somethin Special can’t whip up!

I’ll never forget an Escada scent that my mom had when I was a little girl. They discontinued it years ago, but fortunately for me, I wasn’t the only person who loved that scent. Sue had already made a dupe of this tropical throwback that took me straight back to 15 years ago when I first enjoyed this fabulous scent. To top it off, she made an amazing lotion with a warm vanilla scent that was exactly what my dry, sensitive skin needed.

Once you check out her site and look at her fragrance description list, good luck, because you’re going to want a little bit of everything.

Marie Spada: Which came first, making lotions or making perfumes?

Sue Faunt: It always begins with the perfumes. Once I get a perfume fragrance just right, I then offer it in other products.

MS: How did you get started making fragrances, and what inspired you to do so?

SF: It’s funny how some businesses evolve. My mom and I opened a candle shop in McHenry, IL, with the intent of selling just candles. We received so many requests for personal scenting, we added in a perfume and body care line. Now the business has evolved into an online-only perfume and body care line.

MS: What are some of your favorite fragrances and products?

SF: It’s really hard to pick a favorite perfume – there are so many and I get new ones all the time! I just spilled some 26 Dates on my arm and I love it. But I’d say my go-to scents are usually Fall In Love and Pink Sweets. My favorite products are definitely my lotions. I have five different kinds for different moisturizing needs and I love them all.

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MS: Are your ingredients safe for all skin types?

SF: Yes, but with any product you put on your skin – this includes perfumes, lotions, makeup, soaps – always test it first on a small patch of skin before applying it on a larger portion of your body.

MS: Are certain types of oils or lotions better for different types of skin?

SF: All my lotions and oils are great for all kinds of skin. But with any skin care product, read the ingredients and avoid it if you are allergic to any of them. If you are putting it on your face, always go unscented. I also offer different scent levels – light, regular and strong – so you can have it scented just the way you want it.

MS: How do you master your designer duplicates?

SF: This is the fun part for me. Since almost every single one of my fragrances has been requested by my buyers, I have a strict testing process. Let me be clear, I do not blend the scents myself, I rely on my select group of master perfumists to do this, most of which I’ve been working with for over eight years. When I get a scent request, I order it in and send a free sample to the requestor to test out. Then I put an open call on my Facebook page to look for other testers that know, like and have the original perfume. If they all confirm that it’s an exact match, I add it to the fragrance list. I get my absolutely best ideas from my customers.

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MS: What are some of your most popular fragrances?

SF: The vanillas always are a fan favorite. I also have a large following of customers who like the Lush scents. They come to me when they cannot find the right scented product from Lush or a discontinued Lush scent, and I’m happy to be able to offer it. Same goes for Bath & Body Works.

MS: What do you predict to be the hot fragrances for summer, fall and winter?

SF: I offer limited edition scents that I bring back every fall and winter and they tend to be scents of pumpkins, leaves, balsam trees and candy canes. The summer scent I keep in stock year-round, especially my suntan lotion scents. They always seem to be in demand.

MS: What are the trends you’ve noticed with fragrances and their popularity?

SF: I’ve noticed that more and more people are starting to layer their fragrances in an attempt to not knock people over with their perfume or cologne (no one wants that!). The idea is to start with a scented lotion, as an emollient foundation, then spray your perfume on top of that. This will slow down the rate of evaporation and increase the life of your perfume. No more overspraying to make it last all day, just a few subtle layers will do the trick.

MS: What’s next for Somethin Special?

SF: I will keep asking my customers what they want and give it to them! It’s been my business philosophy from day one and it’s working great for both of us. I also love mentoring new businesses, so feel free to reach out to me at sales@somethinspecial, on Twitter and Facebook. All links are on my web site at www.somethinspecial.com.

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