“I am what I breathe”
Last year INC enjoyed an enlightening interactive workshop at Sentidea where we had fun making up our own “winter potion” to ward off winter colds.
This week Susannah returns face to face with CEO, Valérie Aucouturier of Sentidea and The Little Green Bottle Essential Oils to find out exactly how just a tiny drop of these botanical beauties can boost our mind, body and soul.
A real gung ho approach. After 15 years’ marketing experience in the luxury perfume sector for the likes of Clarins, Thierry Mugler, Swarovski and Emanuel Ungaro I felt ready to explore my own entrepreneurial spirit so I took the bull by the horns.
What inspired you to set up your own business?
I´ve always been greatly inspired by famous perfumers such as Jean-Claude Ellena and historians such as Elizabeth de Feydeau to seek out beautiful raw materials and reinvent rituals. So I knew I wanted to harness these values and thus Sentidea, a consultancy in olfactive marketing, was born.
How you can tell the difference between a quality essential oil and a lesser one?
It´s a bit of a minefield as there are lots of varying quality products out there. So always check on the label that it is organic and therefore pesticide-free; 100% pure so that the plant extract is the primary ingredient and not diluted and 100% natural so the plant should appear with its full botanical Latin name as opposed to a perfume made from it which has no beneficial molecules.
How do essential oils actually work?
An essential oil is a plant concentrate, obtained by steaming or pressing various parts of the plant including leaves, flowers, barks, roots and peel. By extracting the plants’ own properties we are effectively transferring the plant´s natural ability to ward off disease into an essential oil for our own health and wellbeing through aromatherapy.
What´s the best way of applying essential oils?
Our sense of smell provides the fastest way of absorbing the benefits from their properties as it is received by the nervous receptors in our nose which sends out a stimulating or relaxing message to our whole body.
As essential oils are rapidly absorbed into the skin so they can act locally with great speed. Try rubbing on eucalyptus oil on the soles of your feet to alleviate respiratory problems.
What about aromatherapy at home?
Essential oils make really handy home remedies, such as Tree Tea oil to treat minor burns, small cuts; Helichrysum which is more effective than Arnica for bruises and bumps; radiata eucalyptus for colds and lemon eucalyptus for mosquito bites. I am also a great fan of grapefruit to combat unwanted odours in my teens’ trainers!
What is the best way to enjoy essential oils?
I recommend using a nebulizer as it transforms the oil into microscopic drops that are so light enough to float in the air so they can be inhaled. Or in the case of Madrid which has such a dry climate you can diffuse them in a humidifier with fresh water that helps to keep your nose and throat lubricated, which in turn, eliminates germs. Please avoid burners!
What cultural differences do you see in the demand for essential oils around the world?
Like wine, demand is usually greater for whatever plants grow locally so in Spain this means the whole citrus family; lemon, orange, tangerine. In France, we are big on lavender, whereas In Asia, they favour sandalwood. I really encourage our customers to choose our Mediterranean Laurel which is as antiseptic as the Australian Tea tree but far more eco-friendly in terms of carbon print and transportation.
Did you have a game-changing moment whereby you realised your professional life started to fulfil you on all levels?
Yes, I felt a real change when I adapted my business model to align with my emotional needs. So my company has two different arms now: Sentidea is the commercial branch and we supply pharmacies, beauty salons and spas with pure essential oil brands that we trust. We also run interactive workshops for professionals and members of the public alike. This has proved very successful and so in 2020 I was able to launch my very own essential oils brand: The Little Green Bottle. It´s very gratifying when I see a sea of smiles in a yoga class perfumed with one of our top-selling products, the Ibiza Vibe blend.
What´s the rationale behind The Little Green Bottle?
We created The Little Green Bottle to offer a collection of our own organic, minimalist and refillable blends of essential oils that help you to own your mood.
We pride ourselves on the fact that the combination of oils with circular economy-based accessories makes The Little Green Bottle a versatile gift for your personal wellbeing as well as a sustainable one.
In these uncertain times, what oils do you recommend to give us a lift?
Our roll-on Insta Confidence from The Little Green Bottle is a nifty blend of 10 essential oils that can calm, relax as well boost and recalibrate you to give you that lift you need.
What´s next for Valérie Aucouturier?
My next dream is to plant helichrysum, the “golden sun” of the Mediterranean, somewhere near my happy place in Deia, Mallorca. I would also like to develop recipes with a chef or write a book about cooking with essential oils for all the family!
- Calle José Abascal 42 – 2º -Dcha.
- 28003 Madrid
- Tel: +34 917 810 516
- WhatsApp: +34 635 899 886
- Horario de atención:
- L-V: 10:00h a 18:00h
http://www.sentidea.com/ For fun workshops in Calle Abascal
http://www.thelittlegreenbottle.com for online shop