From time to time the question of fragrance in our products arises-- more specifically, whether or not to use fragrances. I remember when we were taking mini steps into our products way back in the late 70’s and I had travelled to India. On my journey back, I had scheduled a stop at Mumbai (Bombay) to find essential oils for our products. This is a place steeped in history for trading oils and perfumes. I had travelled by train down from Poona. As I walked from the station to these unknown areas my mind was saying ‘beware!’ and at the same time ‘trust!’.
It was a safe journey and I arrived at a place with a whole floor devoted to perfumes. The other parts of the building were occupied by ayurvedic supplies and advisors. It was fascinating to see these things, but as I had limited time I had to move on. I was ushered with a dozen others into a little narrow room with mirrored walls. Some I began to realise were nobility from the middle east, sheikhs had their guards but no wives-- in fact, no women were seen there that day!
We were offered a variety of samples, both liquid and solid. The Middle Easterners were mainly interested in little sticks of sandalwood that when burnt offered a marvellous aroma. I was waiting for oils which eventually came. We needed to comment on their qualities. I was pretty raw and inexperienced at this but I learnt a bit from the others there. The Indians were, and still are, very patient when asked about things to do with their profession.
I came away with patchouli and sandalwood oil that I still have a little of today. This oil is very thick and has been kept mainly in the fridge to try and preserve it. I keep most of my vulnerable ingredients in the fridge as summer temperatures can be destructive. The box of essential oils that I made a long time ago, to hold seventy- five of our favourites, is still in use and is kept on a shelf in a dark cool place.
We are not specialising in aromatherapy, at the moment, but have fond memories of Nerys who was a successful aromatherapist and took classes to impart some of her knowledge. She also wrote books on the subject. We have gained some knowledge from our forty-five years in the business. In sight of this history, our products will be having subtle fragrances from aromatherapy origins. We hope that you like them.