“A lot of companies market that they are producing aromatherapy-based products; however not all of
them are using only essential oils for their products,” added Kayla Fioravanti, vice president and
chief formulator for Essential Wholesale/Essential
Labs, Clackamas, OR. “Companies want to jump on
the aromatherapy bandwagon and use the marketing power behind the term.”
“We do see there are products putting aromatherapy on the label and that is a bit misleading,”
agreed Cindy Willette, director of marketing at
Decléor in Darien, CT, a unit of the Paris-based firm.
“Aromatherapy is about essential oils. Some so-called aromatherapy products aren’t using oils,” she
said, noting that the cornerstone of Decléor has been
the use of 100% essential oils.
Ms. Fioravanti, a certified aromatherapist,
stressed that when a company misuses the term
aromatherapy, it not only hurts the reputation of the
company, but it also affects a consumer’s experience.
“It is common for an aromatherapy based product
line to include scents like green tea, strawberry,
pomegranate and other scents that are only available as synthetic fragrances,” she said. “Many consumers mistakenly think aromatherapy doesn’t
work when they buy a product that is marketed for
aromatherapy but has no therapeutic value due to
the use of aroma chemicals in place of essential oils.”
Ms. Willette also pointed to the knowledge gap,
especially the one that exists across the Atlantic. “In
the U.S., aromatherapy is not understood as well as
it is in Europe where it is understood as a science;
as a good complement to other means of well-being
and healthcare,” she said. And although there is
more interest in holistic methods for well-being, U.S.
consumers must understand that aromatherapy is
about “more than just lighting a candle.”
The key, say all aromatherapy experts, is education. And they believe despite the proliferation of
pseudo aromatherapy products that consumers are
catching on to the concept.
“The consumer is becoming more aware that
essential oils are not a fragrance ingredient, and
instead, offer medicinal qualities and properties—
they are therapeutic,” said Mr. Harrison. “At this
juncture the consumer is aware of the most basic
uses of essential oils, such as stress relief, headache,
detoxification, anti-inflammatory and, maybe,
New & Noteworthy
For 2009, aromatherapy rollouts appear to be
addressing a bevy of issues.
Decléor’s Aromaessence products aim to relax and
rejuvenate through a variety of SKUs—from serums
to balms. According to the company, its researchers
allow Decléor to correctly proportion and combine
several pure essential oils, in order to accurately
obtain the effect required. All Aromaessence products are made up of three to nine different essential
oils associated with a base of plant oils for “optimum
affinity” with the skin. For example, the brand’s
Aromaessence Baume De Nuit Rose D’Orient offers
all the benefits of a “made to measure” aromatic
night care treatment by soothing irritation and
relaxing the facial features with the essences of
damask rose, roman chamomile, petit grain and
neroli oil, among others. The brand also recently
released an anti-aging skin care collection with the
essential oils of magnolia, iris and sunflower.
Pangea Organics, Boulder, CO, follows a similar
format with its Massage & Body Oil collection. The
range features three aromatherapeutic blends that
are said to calm the nervous system, improve circulation and tone the skin. According to the company,
each oil is specially formulated for the mind and
body together to relax, rejuvenate, restore and balance the body back to perfect harmony. The collection features oil blends of Pyrenees lavender with
cardamom for rejuvenation, Italian white sage and
geranium for restoration and malagasy ginger with
lemongrass for sore muscle relief.
This summer, popular holistic brand Dr.
Hauschka rolled out an aromatherapy bath kit—
a convenient, chic metal tin containing trial sizes
of its lavender, lemon, rosemary, sage and spruce
bath oils. According to the company, this kit is an
easy way to experience the therapeutic benefits of