When you inhale the essence of a plant or flower, there is no faking your body’s reaction to it. It affects you immediately, in a very deep and profound way.
This is the impact essential oils had on me when I was introduced to aromatherapy at the age of 22. Since that moment of connection, I committed passionately to learning about essential oils and sharing their profound healing capabilities with as many people as possible.
Now, a full 26 years later, I’ve dedicated over half my life to aromatics. It’s been a challenging journey on many levels, but profoundly meaningful.
Starting My Journey
I’m an empath . . . I always have been . . . I don’t know if it’s because I was raised that way by two parents who were both psychotherapists, or if it’s just the way my brain is wired. I think that being a deep feeler is one of the reasons I resonate so much with essential oils.
To strongly realize knowing what you are meant to do at a young age is a gift.
Two and a half decades ago, I was a young, single mom living on Galiano Island with my five-year-old son, trying to scratch out a living. It was a good life…but I was looking for a more solid direction.
Back then, my mother’s partner, Carolyn, was taking an aromatherapy program in Ontario to support my mom’s struggle with fibromyalgia. When my mom was soon after diagnosed with breast cancer, essential oils also became her refuge from pain and fatigue. Carolyn’s aromatherapy applications salvaged some relief for my mom when Western medicine had nothing effective to offer. In the end, I was thankful that my mom survived much longer than her doctors had anticipated. Essential oils played such an integral part in all of our lives in her final weeks. To this day when I smell the blend that I made during that time, I am transported back to some of the final moments that I spent with my mom.
My Road Forward
In the months that followed my mom’s death, I would frequently travel back to this time to remember how much essential oils had helped her and supported us. Remembering this final stage of her life would renew my resolve as I pursued my dream of being able to share aromatherapy with others.
In 1997, I registered in an aromatherapy certification course in Vancouver, while living and working doing odd jobs on Galiano. Shortly thereafter I moved to Vancouver and worked as a full time waitress and started my business. I set up a workshop in my basement, where I would hand-mix oils—which I still do to this day. I painstakingly snipped and glued labels onto each and every bottle.
My methods were decidedly unsophisticated, but I had good instincts for energetic mixes and my oils were the finest quality I could source. It was because of this stubbornness about quality that I didn’t make a pinch of profit for a decade, but the feedback I received from the clients kept me from throwing in the towel.
Time and experience have shown me just how much this positive feedback means and in how many ways it can be manifested:
When working with a devastated mother who feels unable to move forward after losing her new baby, I was able to support her physically and emotionally with specific oils that help to lift her out of her postnatal distress and terrible grief . . .
When supporting a young father dying of inoperable cancer, my essential-oil blends alleviated his symptoms—so much so that he carried them with him for the remainder of his days—while other blends allowed his traumatized wife and children some measure of relief . . .
When a young woman comes to me for help because she is so crippled by extreme anxiety and PMS that she can’t move forward with her life’s goals, aromatherapy channels her energies toward strength and calmness . . .
These are just a very few examples of the differences essential oils can make in how we feel. . .
Does it need to be more complicated that that?
I love being able to make a blend that sparks something in someone . . . whether it helps them connect to themselves on a deeper level, or simply makes their headache or stomach pain go away.
A woman recently contacted me who has been using one of our newest blends for Allergies. She told me that she has severe reactions to synthetic fragrance and air born allergens. After trying so many products from other companies she has found that ours is the most effective one that she’s tried.
The bottom line is that when people feel better within themselves, they tend to treat others with more love and compassion. My passion for this healing art, circles back to where we are as a society right now. This is a tumultuous time . . . we all need to love a little more, feel a little more, empathize a little more. Through essential oils, plants and flowers generously give us their life essence so that we can restore each other and ourselves.
It was a landmark experience for me in 1997 to register my new company; now the year 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of Healingscents, and my 27th year working with essential oils. I have been avidly pursuing the art of essential oils for more than half my life. And, while aromatherapy has exploded as an industry in recent years, my interest in it began long before essential oils became mainstream. To get to where I am today, I had to overcome a lot of obstacles. I’m very proud of the journey I have taken and milestones I have achieved.
Certification and Qualifications
Completing my Diploma in Aromatherapy with honours at the West Coast School of Aromatherapy, I graduated as a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist. I have continued to strengthen my skills with qualifications in Aromatherapy Massage, additional Certificates in Aromatherapy from Scents of Comfort and Honours in Functional Anatomy from The Sunshine Coast School of Health Sciences.
Continuing Pursuit of Quality
To this day, all my products are hand-blended, plant-based and cruelty-free. I continue to honour my original commitment to diligence in sourcing the highest-quality essential oils I can find. This, to me, means buying Certified-Organic, Non Sprayed or Wild Harvest wherever possible from growers and distillers who are deeply dedicated to the cultivation of aromatic plants. All our oils are ethically and sustainably farmed.
Sourcing the purest and most energetic oils means knowing exactly where they come from. As a member in a select distiller’s group, I invest time and resources to know who is growing the plants and flowers that provide the essence of my healing scents. This means higher shipping costs as I reach out to locations like South Africa, India and Bulgaria, along with co-ops located in the remote regions of Indonesia and Ecuador for pristine, unsprayed oils.
Throughout my 25-year quest to create the most effective and healing synergistic blends of essential oils, my belief in the value of finding the purest ingredients has never wavered. I remain dedicated to supporting these hardworking organic farmers. I believe they deserve the utmost respect for their wisdom and for the time and dedication they commit to growing medicinal plants and mastering the intricate art of distillation.
Mastering the Art of Distillation
I had wanted to deepen my understanding of essential oils for several years so in 2016 I made the decision to learn how to distill. Learning to distill has been life-changing for me, sparking an entirely new passion that I am very excited about!
My husband Brent & I participated in a two-day Master Class on Distillation in Lewes, taught by two highly-skilled artisan distillers—Ann Harman, lecturer and researcher for Circle H Institute and author of Harvest to Hydrosol, and Amanda Saurin, founder and alchemist of A.S. Apothecary. We gathered in a beautiful field of roses and learned how to distil rose hydrosol. Dreamy days to day the least.
I feel like I have graduated into this new level of understanding on how I want to live and love and show up for myself and in the world.
All of us at Healingscents remain clearly focused on the safest, most selective use of highest-quality oils. Our mandate is always proper education before sales. On a retail, wholesale or private-practice level, I believe in putting in time to get to know each client’s needs and closely consider what oils are best suited for their temperament and situation, rather than simply suggesting a multitude of oils. This requires more time on my part—and less expense for my client—and will always be at the core of my professional code of honour.