Cher Grosse

Connecting Essential Oils With Their Botanical Origins

When I visited Egypt last fall with other aromatherapists, it occurred to me that there is a piece of the puzzle missing in aromatherapy that I hadn’t recognized with my botanical background: the disconnect between essential oils and their botanical origins. I want to explore that in this in this summit.

As as child, I was mesmerized by history books offering glimpses of aromatic production and daily use. I was struck by Marie Antoinette’s orangeries at Versaille and Ancient Egyptian aromatics use in both daily life and the after life. By the time I was eight, I was sneaking my mother’s beautiful French roses and heating up the soft fragrant petals in water to try and recreate rose water. Most flowers on the farm did not see the autumn with my experimental hands around.

It wasn’t until 2014 that I purchased my first still. There was very little online information and copper stills had to be imported from Portugal allowing for lots of mistakes but more so, lots of experimentation. From those early distilling years, a desire grew to teach classes and make the connection between plant and finished products of hydrosol and essential oil as I was never content to only sell essential oils.

My background is as a third generation herbalist and professionally trained and registered aromatherapist in both Canada and United States. I am a business member of NAHA (National Aromatherapy Holistic Association). I began my apothecary training in Canada in 2000 and continued in 2009 at the The College of Health Science in Oregon where I also studied in the Herbalism program.

I emigrated from Canada to California with our apothecary in 2016 and after a couple of years settling into a new country, I restarted our apothecary. I have dedicated my life to aromatics: not only sourcing from small distilleries all over the world but also in my own practice. I truly enjoy all aspects of aromatherapy: maintaining symbiotic relationships with producers and creating my own distillations from foraged botanicals.

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