Natalie Woo’s paintings evoke a distinct sense of style and ease. Using beautiful watercolors, they are at once relatable and whimsical; accessible and aspirational. Her work has been featured on and celebrated by Google, Ritz Carlton, and YouTube, to name a few; with bright hues and soft lines, her pieces are covered with emotion. Here’s how she scents her California home.
Scent is so personal. What does it mean to you?
To me, scent means being in the present moment, slowing down, and embracing a calm, relaxed state so I can be productive for the day. It’s a way of creating a positive mood for myself, so I can bring positivity to others. There’s nothing like a freshly scented room that uplifts the space—it’s like bringing nature indoors, and we know nature supports our physical wellbeing. In this modern world, electronics and devices are everywhere, and scent keeps us connected as humans.
Describe your personality in three to five words.
Relaxed, vibrant, effortless.
With those words in mind, tell us about the vitruvi scent that you feel represents your scent style.
I think the Golden, Pacific, and Sleep blends are mixed effortlessly and bring together a beautiful blend of various notes. The Ylang Ylang and Lavender in Sleep are instantly soothing. Sometimes I love putting a few drops in the shower in the evening and then adding some to my diffuser before I go to bed. Golden and Pacific have these fresh and warm scents that remind me of my honeymoon driving down the dreamy coast of Highway 1 in California where the sun was always shining, as my husband and I visited the gorgeous Carmel and Santa Barbara, and the opulent Hearst Castle.
Why did you choose this scent?
Sleep, Golden, and Pacific are like bookends to the beginning and end of the day, helping me ease into each with intention, calm, and energy. Together and individually, they help ground me in the time of the day, which sets me up for success for the rest of the day alongside my other rituals—including making matcha and gardening.
What room do you diffuse this scent in and when do you diffuse it?
As a ritual, I like to diffuse Golden first thing in the morning in our living room, which brings a freshness into the space before any other smells permeate the environment (such as making coffee or toasting bread). It cleanses the space and gives me a sense of clarity. It’s also a welcoming fragrance as my husband and son get ready for the day. It also helps me get into the flow when I’m sketching concepts for a new painting.
At the end of the day, I like to diffuse Sleep in my bedroom to begin the relaxation process alongside doing stretches with my foam roller to add some gentle movement. It helps calm my mind, especially after a stressful day.
Aside from scent, what else makes you feel truly at home in your space?
We love unstructured play in our household, be it Lego, painting, being silly, or video games. We also love cooking food from our French, Chinese, and American cultures, and enjoy sharing the experience with friends—from barbecuing steak frites and baking tarts to relaxing with a glass of wine. A sensorial experience of eating nourishing food, listening to our Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young jazz records, tending to my flower garden, painting, and laughter are all important parts of feeling at home and enjoying every pleasurable moment.
What’s your favorite thing about your home?
My favorite part of my home is not one single thing, but a mix of things representing our blended family: French, Chinese, American. From the framed vintage French Chinoiserie antique paper fan to a Chinese painted scroll with two mandarin ducks symbolizing the love of devoted couples to many Lego toys, it’s our happy place of old and new.
How do you find balance at home?
I work remotely from home and find time to rest and recover by painting in my garden studio, taking naps, and giving myself permission to do nothing. Life is always so busy that the art of play and the concept of rest and recovery help me be more creative. Having consistent rituals like making my matcha and running my diffuser are also grounding amidst the constant change.