Here at Absolute Essential, we represent a tiny niche of the global scent market but don't let the size of things fool you.
The way I see it, our therapeutic focus actually helps to explain why fragrance has featured strongly since earliest human civilization and why it has evolved into today's highly lucrative world industry. Plus, our dedicated approach to using only pure organic ingredients puts us among the world's foremost experts on the purest potential of aromatics.
We now know that the human relationship with scent is intimately connected with hormone and nervous responses - hence it can make us feel good, it can make us feel relaxed, it can make us feel sexy, etc. In clinical aromatherapy it is this, the evolving science of olfaction that helps us use the properties in pure essential oils (including such things as plant hormones and pheromones) to directly influence body systems in a beneficial way.
For the wider scent industry that today is both complex and diverse, the role of fragrance is ultimately very simple: to hook into this natural relationship with aroma and help attract us to a product. If it smells good we want to eat it, kiss it, wear it, etc.
The simplicity of a wonderful natural fragrance has been transformed into the science of profit
What began in the French tanneries around the turn of the 16th century, when the not so attractive odour of cured leather was transformed with natural fragrance to make fashionable luxury gloves, has since exploded beyond all proportion into an imposing global fragrance market, projected to reach close to $16 billion by 2017, with a total demand for ingredients (including essential oils) estimated at around $11 billion.
Fragrance is used to sell a vast array of everyday products. The obvious ones are our personal care items like shampoo, deodorant and soap. There are also our household products such as the varied detergents and sprays that we use for the bathroom, the kitchen, or the laundry. But beyond that, there are many other places you can sniff them out… in the motor industry, in pesticides, in paper and print, rubber and plastics, paints and adhesives, and textiles.
This aroma explosion came into being at the end of the 19th century with the isolation of specific fragrant compounds leading to the possibility of man-made imitation, in other words: the beginning of synthetic fragrance.
As soon as synthetics were introduced the ball park changed. New smells, previously unattainable, were developed and the time-consuming, unpredictable process of producing natural aromatic oils was suddenly undermined by convenient laboratory cloning.
Now known as the Fragrance and Flavour Industry, it is dominated by perhaps only 10 international companies serving the entire global demand (concentrated largely in USA, Europe and Asia). Even the very exclusive perfume houses that would have relied solely on the subtle nuance of crafting artisan ingredients in the past, have long since embraced synthetics into their recipes, to be marketed by a core of creatives and served by an international scattering of scientists and strategists.
We have long since forgotten what a 'good' smell should feel like
The truth is that our senses have been bombarded with such a volume of synthetic and mass produced aromas and with the majority of people living in such clean, man-made environments, we are mostly disconnected from the deeper molecular relationship we actually have with pure natural fragrance.
No matter how cleverly recreated, a synthetic compound will never have the life forces of a plant essence to integrate with your body's own natural processes. Even the natural fragrances that do get used are often so adulterated by high production practices that their aromas are more likely to carry not therapeutic molecules but damaged and contaminated ones.
It has been found that the molecules that come into our body systems with modern fragrance blends do not integrate in a natural way but rather accumulate in our organs and immune systems. Unsurprisingly, there are an increasing number of health issues being linked to modern fragrances. .
The sacred nature of aroma in ancient times is connected to the authentic influence of organic scent molecules
Not unlike fast food, fast fragrance does nothing to nourish the deeper processes involved. If we go back to where this all began, we see scent featuring in ancient times as a sacred and revered part of culture.
The original distilling process for extracting aromatic plant oils from flowers and other plant parts (present in ancient Egypt, Persia and Greece - in fact, depicted on a tablet dated as far back as the 2nd millennium BC) was the main form of perfume production for ritual and beautifying for thousands of years.
This would naturally have been connected to the purity of organic ingredients and processes which means that the artisan approach that we support here at Absolute Essential is really not so different from those ancient times. We have simply refined it to enhance and protect the organic natural purity that is so important when introducing molecules into the body's natural systems.
So, as the modern perfume industry struggles to cope with new legislation on the disclosure of potentially toxic ingredients and makes strategic moves to reconnect with the natural ingredients that are increasingly in demand, we continue to support the dedicated organic farmers and exalt the wonderful health benefits connected to pure aromatic plant oils.
Medicinal-grade essential oils must be 100% pure. At Absolute Essential we use certified organic or wild grown (sustainable) plants to produce our oils and all extraction processes are strictly controlled to produce the best quality oil with a maximum purity and therapeutic value. See more at Absolute Essential .