Welcome, friend! I’m Doreen Stelton. Perfumer, theatre enthusiast, and mystic faerie chaser with a mission to inspire. Creative process, mysticism, and whimsy mingle in cohesive chaos and birth. I’m passionate about people, artistic expression, nature, and the imaginal realm. Listening for that wee, wild voice inside…
My Ill-Advised Life To Date
Early Years (Faeries, Forests, Travel, and Alchemy)
As a child of an artist and anthropologist/archeologist educators passionate about travel, I grew up often on the road and surrounded by art, books, and treasures from our many travels. I must have been a gypsy in past lives to have been born into this family! Often we camped as my parents explored archeological sites and ruins or excavated on the sites themselves. Summers also included lengthy stays at our off-the-grid cabin in northern Minnesota. It was an enriching childhood filled with time to dream my own dreams, as my parents did not over schedule, or schedule much at all, as is the custom today.
We camped often, so I got to spent hours wandering the woods or jungles freely, attuning to myself through nature and communing with the faeries and the subtle realms. I constructed and tended to faerie homes and brought the Fae Folk gifts before learning this is an actual thing, a true and ancient tradition. Their gentle presence has kindly graced my life since.
I experimented with stuffing aromatic plant matter (along with an occasional poor worm (so sorry, worms!)) into jars hoping they would turn into something. What I was trying to make, I did not know. Perhaps an inspiration from a deep soul memory of past witchy-alchemist lives. Usually these creations just rotted and I would empty them back to earth with a disappointed sigh.
Performance and Theatre
As a teen I discovered the Renaissance Faire and soon after I was working the faire circuit as a performer; singing, dancing, wenching, and telling fairy tales as a mermaid named Syrenia. As a shy extrovert, or an introvert with extrovert longings, the Ren faire was my ‘gateway drug’ to the theatre world. At the faires I found a community of people all playing together fantastically in my favorite place, the forest! That’s what I was in it for, playing. And the forest. I did not dream of fame and fortune as an actress, I was far too shy for that. I just wanted to dress up and play. Plus hitting the road suited the gypsy in me.
After giving up the faire circuit, I remained enamored of the theatre and stayed in it for the ‘love of the grease paint,’ as the expression goes. I performed extensively in Chicago with two women, Anna Brown and Kiki Ciecielski, in our edgy, hilarious, critically acclaimed cabaret art group Somebody’s Daughters. Following the group’s dissolution a stint in California included graduate school and an independent film, Kuksu. Then a good 18 years of teaching acting, writing for theatre, puppeteering, and directing live performance.
Returning to my theatrical roots, circus, puppets, and spectacle theatre excite me as a theatre enthusiast. I work to support music and the arts for the rustic-chic and intimate Acorn Theater, in my home town. I dabble with aerial silks.
The whole perfume thing happened like this. A brief encounter with pre-cancerous cell growth caused me to look at what I was putting in and on my body. What I found in the investigation was far from super great. I detoxed myself and my environment.
But what to do about my life-long affair with perfume? I have always loved-loved-loved perfume. But modern perfumes are composed mainly of damaging synthetic aroma-chemicals. I wanted something safe and natural. Additionally, I was becoming turned off by the harsh quality of most of the synthetic aroma-chemical based perfumes on the market.
Then I discovered the world of natural perfumery. In the process I also discovered the complexity and beauty of botanical perfume ingredients. And the aromatherapeutic qualities blew my mind!
So I thought I’d make them myself. That way I’d bring nature inside with me and indulge. I dabbled for several years and then studied for real, embarking in formal training and learning the traditional French perfumery method. In 2016 I earned a certificate in natural perfumery from The Natural Perfumery Institute and verdant faerie perfume was launched. I continue to learn, as the perfumery rabbit hole is deep!
Admittedly, I still have a few beloved bottles of non-naturals and mixed media perfumes in my private collection. But as a perfumer I am dedicated to composing with naturals & botanicals (no animal materials like deer musk or civet and the like).
I have always been curious about earth-based and Eastern spiritual practices. I’ve explored Paganism, Buddhism, yoga, energy healing, being psychic and now Faerie Traditions, both modern and ancient. Each has enhanced my life.
Although I do not teach at present, I am a certified and experienced yoga instructor.
And also, HEY, meditation is where it’s at, Loves! Did you know the physical practice of yoga is really all a set up for rest and meditation? Truth. Meditation is where we can connect to ourselves and access our piece of divine spark, the imaginal realm and magical realizations.
Technically Bad Choices That Turn Out Good
My life is a series of ill-advised choices. Here’s the most recent.
In 2014 I needed a change. My job seemed torturous and I felt like shit. A LOT! So, I quit to teach yoga and learn perfumery. I worked at the Chicago based natural soap shop, Abbey Brown, where I also worked the perfume blending counter. Except for the drastic pay cut, life was much better.
I still craved beauty and nature, FREEDOM, and less driving in city traffic. The life of a urban yoga teacher is largely about the commuting, don’t ya know?
So, in 2016, without a plan and with very little money, I left those sweet jobs, foreclosed on my underwater urban condo, got rid of a lot of crap, and stuffed the remaining things in the attics and basements of friends. Then I up and left.
I filled my car with perfumery stuff, my coffee pot, a few clothes, and my dog. We went full-on, free-range faerie. It was scary. It was brilliant. It saved me.
I traveled around for a year visiting Michigan, Maryland, New York, Canada, Oregon, Montana, Hawaii, Mexico, Guatemala, and Chicago. Supportive friends welcomed me and somehow I got by financially. I launched verdant faerie fragrances, wrote, embarked on a Faerie Traditions course, attended faerie festivals, and worked short term gigs when I could. Mostly I enjoyed nature and went on a lot of vision quests. I felt free.
I learned to trust and to accept help. I rediscovered my childhood love of winter.
This mad-cappery life is not how one is advised to approach retirement. I do not recommend this lifestyle if one needs security. But for a gypsy with faerie blood, it was just what I needed.
In February 2017 Missy and I settled in the artsy, rural Michigan village of Three Oaks. It is commonly felt there is a magical spell on this village. It has a timeless, forgotten quality, yet it’s vibrant and very much alive.
I still love to travel. Missy gets to stay home when I do. She’s really not a road dog.
The perfume and writing studio from where I sit at this very moment looks onto a fenceless back yard graced with a squirrel and bird-filled Mulberry Tree. Behind the yard is a vast farm field, beyond that a forest, and still beyond is home to the setting sun.
verdant faerie house has a funky tea salon and a yoga/dance studio instead of a dining room and living room. The Owl Room (my guest bedroom) enjoys a steady stream of city escapees and bohemian, artist types.
The Acorn Theater is 5 blocks away. I walk.
My life may be ill-advised, but it feeds my high-maintenance soul.
I am a proud mama of an amazing young man in his 20’s who now works with birds as a field technician tracking endangered ones. I pursue healthy eating, read faerie cards, follow truth researchers, ignore corporate media news, and promote the practice of doing nothing (dreamtime). You should try it!
I’m a wild-ass rebel with gentle faerie blood, born under the thoughtfully stubborn earth sign of Capricorn, which keeps me (sort of) grounded… I value freedom, beauty, truth, love, imagination/creativity/magic.
I’m still a shy extrovert. Or a confused introvert.
I’d love to hear from you!
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or comment here through the form below.