Thursday, May 08, 2008

When Robert Tisserand sends you a lovely card - stop and smell the Wild Rose and Lemon Leaf!

How Anya got her Aromatherapy and Natural Perfumery Groove on With Someone She's Admired for Almost 30 Years.

Ok, that's just silly, but read on for a nice, sweet story about how I got to work with an industry icon I've admired for decades.

(blogged about earlier today on the Guild blog, but here is the personal story behind it all.)

In 1979 I was happily stunned, amazed and excited to find that there was a book that claimed that the beautiful essential oils I loved had the power to heal the mind, body and spirit. Robert Tisserand was the author of that book, and I collected every one of his books since then, and I regarded him as the #1 aromatherapist in the world in both scholarly endeavors and as spokesman for responsible aromatherapy.

Fast forward to 2006. Robert found his way to the natural perfumery group I host on Yahoo and joined in the lively discussion. We corresponded behind the scenes and a true bond was formed. In early 2007 I agreed to join Tony Burfield of Cropwatch in calling for a boycott of the proposed 40th Amendment of IFRA and Robert agreed to join in the writing of a FAQ and Guide to inform the public as to the Draconian measures being proposed that were just plain bad science and would limit our access to, and use of, natural aromatics.

That project consumed about 10 weeks of our lives. We burned out. The information overload was horrific, it was all learning curve on how to put such a publication together, and our businesses suffered. Yet, despite the strain and stress, Robert and I bonded deeply with numerous discussions on our love of pure and natural aromatics, aromatherapy, natural perfumery, the future of the Guild, his business, the new edition of his book, the profession, the industry, us, life - heck, just about everything.

Robert impressed me with his gentle spirit, calm demeanor, attention to detail and ability to cut through the confusion and make sense of it all. At one point he asked me about a blend he was working on for a line of body care products. He had sampled my perfumes and particularly liked Fairchild which, he joked, "had 17 layers of dry down." I love that quote, so funny! Understanding the difference between aromatherapy blends and natural perfumery blends, Robert asked if I would evaluate his latest modification of the scent, as he needed some top note lift.

After receiving the sample, I phoned Robert and we spoke about the need for a diffusive fresh top note. Just loading it with lemon oil or another citrus wouldn't do under the IFRA/EU regs. I suggested something unique: lemon myrtle oil. Typically called a middle note because it has a long dry down period, the intensity of it can also qualify it as a top note. It reaches out and draws people in with its candy lemon scent, and most importantly, it wasn't under the limitations of IFRA/EU.

Recently Robert wrote me and told me that he had used my suggestion and that it had provided the needed lagniappe for the top of his aromatherapy perfume for his Wild Rose and Lemon Leaf body care line. I waited until today to blog on it on the Guild blog and her because I was waiting for Robert's package to arrive with the products. Wow, the scent is beautiful and the products lovely and effective, as one would expect from Robert. The body lotion is silky with a lovely slip, and the hand and cuticle cream unctuous and nourishing.

The winner though, for me was the deodorant! I gave up using antiperspirants years ago, and have been using stick natural deodorants. You know, the stuff you get at Whole Foods, the big name one. Nice enough, it left me smelling "stale" in the humid Miami heat, and sometimes a little more than stale :-(

This deodorant bottle was like none I've used before - a huge roller ball that dispenses liquid deodorant. It smells lovely, yet dissipates and the scent doesn't linger in my clothes, like the former deodorant. The most important part? I have absolutely no stale (or worse) odor, despite being out in several days of scorching, humid Miami weather.

My mother, accountant, assistant and two friends who have had the pleasure of using the body lotion are so happy and excited for the recognition Robert has given me - and they're also delighted with the scent and products.

It's such a nice feeling, twenty-nine years after first becoming aware of Robert Tisserand and aromatherapy to have the acknowledgment of such a gracious man that I helped a tiny bit in the formulation of the scent for his products. Robert didn't have to let me know, he didn't have to acknowledge me or put the Guild logo on his site, but life experience shows you that often the bigger the person, the more sharing in gratitude they are. I am so appreciative of Robert's recognition and the lovely boost it gives to me as I lay my head on my pillow at night words cannot express it. I hope that my sharing with you this sweet little story gives y'all a warm and fuzzy feeling, and the feeling to go forward and look at the lovely path life puts us on.

Thanks, Robert!

PS the illustration for this blog is the pretty card Robert placed on top of the package of Wild Rose and Lemon Leaf products when they arrived, and the inside said "You're the best!" No, Robert, you're the best, and I thank you for your books and sharing and friendship. MWAH!

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