January 28th marks the beginning of the longest and most widely celebrated holiday in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese New Year is an auspicious time, an ideal opportunity to set new intentions, clear out last year’s ghosts and cobwebs, and revitalize. We plan to begin the Year of the Rooster in tradition-infused style and encourage you to do the same.
…Put away the old sweaters for a few weeks, and put on something vibrant and fresh.
Awash in symbolism and saturated hues, Chinese New Year celebrations evoke old world beauty with plum blossoms and paper lanterns, bright red garments and golden embroidery. Ushering in luck, abundance and prosperity are the order of the day. The richness and vibrancy of a Chinese New Year celebration is infectious and inspiring, so, we say – take it as an opportunity.
Dress yourself in brightly colored clothing. Red is a traditional color for Chinese New Year, symbolizing good fortune and joy. Put on your red jackets, dresses, and shoes (or even take delight in a secret red undergarment). Avoid blacks and grays, let yourself look striking against the cool winter backdrop.
Go to the local garden store. If you find yourself with a free afternoon, pick up an amaryllis bulb to plant in a bowl of stones on your coffee table, or find a bouquet whose bright blossoms will liven up your home. An opening flower is a symbol of good luck, so according to tradition you will want to make sure blooms are flourishing around January 28th.
Wear something new. Chinese New Year is a time to wear new clothing, to remind yourself that it is a new year and one in which you are blessed with abundance. Put away the old sweaters for a few weeks, and put on something vibrant and fresh.
Decorate your home with red. Traditionally said to bring good luck and freshness to the New Year, place little bits of red around your home. We like to tie red ribbons around our potted plants or hang little red ornaments from their leaves and branches.
Welcome in the Year of the Rooster with festive ingenuity, and come back soon to see what this year may hold for you as we begin to explore the Chinese zodiac…
Explore 100 Seeds
I’m so pleased today to unveil something that we’ve been working on for the past few months — our latest product offering, a collection of nourishing treasures designed to supplement your regular elixir routine.
Medical texts from ancient China speak of the potency and purity of a whole herb (that’s why we make our elixirs starting with entire plants, flowers and roots.) If you step into an apothecary in the Far East, you’ll find cabinets filled with such whole herbs. Mainly, they are used for brewing and consuming internally, but many can also be used in an external, topical application.
Inspired by this tradition, we’re introducing our line of Bulk Remedies, a seasonal, always-changing collection of plants and botanical-derived products, which stimulate the body’s wellness and skin’s complexion via bathing and cleansing.
Evoking a cupboard with drawers full of precious herbs, and botanical keepsakes from around the world, this collection of bathing and cleansing remedies are sold in bulk (by weight,) and meant to be a luxurious companion to your regular cleansing ritual. Try putting these herbs in a jar in your bathroom and toss them in a bath when you need an extra boost of nourishment or circulation.
Each item is hand-harvested or handcrafted in California, and formulated in accordance with the health culture and philosophies of the East.
In today’s world of infinite bathing options, sometimes it’s nice to return to the real, original thing — the purity of a single herb.
Learn more about our new collection here.
Explore 100 Seeds
With Halloween right around the corner, I’m honoring one of my favorite holidays with creative costumes and fun parties, and — in the Reorient style — tales of mystery and otherworldly creatures. I love a good horror movie, but what I love more are the classic Chinese ghost films that I grew up with.
Classic Chinese ghost stories are less about scary ghosts than about immortals, demons and animal spirits that take the shape of beautiful humans. This means old world romance, mystical settings, beautiful costumes, and even a pinch of comedy. They’re both thrilling and intriguing to behold.
Here’s a list of some of my favorites:
A Chinese Ghost Story, 1987
A folktale about a peasant boy who falls in love with a beautiful ghost in white silk (the movie is named after her in Chinese: “The Ethereal Spirit of a Beauty.”) The ghost is bound and controlled by a powerful tree demon, and the tale unravels in the haunting setting of a dark forest.
Green Snake, 1993
A reinterpretation of a hundred-year-old ghost story by legendary director Tsui Hark, Green Snake is the story of two sister snake spirits who have learned how to take human form. Beautifully filmed with otherworldly settings of old China and a pair of ethereal actresses that portray the spirits perfectly.
Mr. Vampire, 1985
Did you know that a Chinese vampire looks like a Qing Dynasty official with white skin and fangs? They hop around at night, blind, and can only hear you if you breathe. This became the concept of a “vampire” to every child in the Chinese speaking world after the horror-comedy movie Mr. Vampire.
Painted Skin, 2008
Based on a story first published in 1740, the story of Painted Skin centers around a female fox demon who seduces men and eats their hearts. She becomes friends with a family of soldiers and falls in love with their commander, who is already married. A complicated love story of seduction, sisterhood, and mystery ensues. Watch for the drama and the old costumes and hairpieces.
The Eye, 2002
Set in modern times, this is the story of a blind woman who receives a cornea transplant, and starts seeing ghostly figures. Recently made into a Hollywood picture, but I like the original a little more.
Explore 100 Seeds
We’re planning a camping trip this Labor Day weekend, and looking forward to how the open air, green forests, scent of pine can be restorative medicine for the body and soul. It seems like a simple enough concept — that nature is good for you — but the subtle web of interconnectedness between humans and their environment was written in ancient doctrines thousands of years ago. Our beauty philosophy is based in this Eastern concept of interconnectedness and peace with nature.
Take, for example, the ingredients that nature provides for us: plants and flowers that flourish and hold within them great powers. To warm and cool. To detoxify and to retain. To nourish and circulate. Every aspect of our work is in honor of these plants.
Another guiding philosophy is the idea that your body, no matter the condition, can only achieve the optimal health and beauty by being in balance with your environment. We often get frustrated and short-tempered when it’s stuffy and hot, or more commonly, feel light-headed and dizzy when there’s a lot of noise and traffic around us. It’s only when we acknowledge these forces, and counteract them by diet, lifestyle, and herbal practice, can we enjoy wellness that is pure and inherent to all of us.
Being in nature brings us closer to these philosophies. In our home state of California, we are lucky to be surrounded by beauty that quiets the soul, rests our mind, and encourages activity through hiking and climbing.
At the end of this summer season, we leave you with some of our favorite places in nature, and a reminder to find your own source of rest and natural balance.
Explore 100 Seeds
We tend to keep personal news quiet, but last December our founder Jess Ng got married. Traveling back to her native Hong Kong for the event, Jess and her soon-to-be-husband threw a small celebration for their closest family and friends.
Today in Hong Kong, most weddings follow the model of a standard Western ceremony, but many couples still choose to honor their heritage by performing a tea ceremony the morning before the reception. An old tradition from Southern China, the tea ceremony is an ancient ritual that marks the joining of two people and their families.
It starts with the bride, in a traditional red wedding garment, frequently embroidered with gold and silver thread in the shape of a dragon and phoenix, the mythical creatures that symbolize “king” and “queen” in Chinese culture. The couple will then present tea to the bride’s parents as a sign of gratitude and respect.
Tea is used for its important role in Chinese culture and history, as well as its ubiquitous use in rituals. The time-honored herbs — lotus seeds and red dates — are added to the tea to signify good health, fortune, and sweetness in the new couple’s life together.
After this, the bride and groom travel to the groom’s house, to perform a symmetric ritual to honor the groom’s family. The whole ceremony is a beautiful act celebrating the importance of family and honoring the roots of an ancient culture.
We leave you with some images from that day that remind us what we love about our heritage.
Explore 100 Seeds
The images from Spring Fashion Week have left us dreamy and inspired. The mix of florals, Victorian-inspired design, and Asian fabrics seemed straight off our mood boards!
Here are our favorite looks from New York and Paris, and how we’d imagine our elixirs coming to life on the runway.
Explore 100 Seeds
We are a luxury herbal house specializing in the creation of one-of-a-kind edible products for ritual nourishment. Our inspiration comes from old world herbal doctrines that seek to fortify and soothe the body while beautifying from the inside out. This journal is inspired by ancient apothecary cabinets of the Orient, called Chests of 100 Seeds, full of precious herbs and hidden secrets, each one a key to a potential new ritual.