JK DeLapp

Smelling Good : Aromatherapy as Natural Perfumery

  • Different Expectations : How Natural Perfumery and Aromatherapy Differ
  • Aromatics as Medicine : Chinese Medicine in Action
  • Sustainability : Reading through the Politics and Language
  • Formulating like an Herbalist
  • Mind / Body / Spirit : Where the Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual Intersect
  • Practical Thoughts : Running a Business

Rising Phoenix officially started back in 2011, while I was still in med school in San Diego, although it was 2014 before we really started launching products.

Many that follow my work know that I work in Chinese Medicine. I’m in private practice in Atlanta. I spent some time working in three hospitals in Shanghai. In my earlier years I spent my last year in university in Avignon, and worked in Paris after college. I’ve been fortunate to have traveled extensively.

While in med school we had to memorize quite a bit of information about hundreds and hundreds of medical substances, including the Chinese pinyin, the common English names, and the Latin scientific names as part of our education.

The Latin names started tugging at something in the back of my mind. It didn’t take me long to figure out that pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, fragrance, flavor, and the incense and spice trades were all built on the back of herbs. Herbs I was really diving deep down the rabbit hole on.

In my third year of school, something clicked and I realized, “I could be a physician. Or, I could be a physician, and… !” I wanted to tap into a much larger world that was built on the back of something most never think twice about: herbs. Foundations in a multitude of global modern-day markets.

Since natural oils distilled/extracted from herbs – what we call essential oils, “absolutes”, etc. – are really pharmaceutical-grade herb extracts, fragrance seemed like a natural place to start.

In practice – my office is very aromatic. The first thing new patients say in walking in to my office is “it smells incredible in here!” Almost every time. hehe The aromatics I use in practice are always very ambiant. Usually some of the incense we manufacture burning in the background. Ocassionally some oils we may pull out and have the patient inhale while the needles are in (Acupuncture).

In regards to specialties – Rising Phoenix specializes in artisan Sandalwood, Oud (Agarwood), and Resin distillations. I compound all of our Attars with my pharmacy compounding and herbal education and in mind. Although I have different parameters in mind when making fragrance (enjoyable scent, longevity, complexity / development) – as they are all natural and made from grades of material not generally available on the market – many people do take note of how they are like potent medicines in how they impact their psycho-emotional / mental / physical wellbeing when wearing or smelling our products.

Full Disclosure – I am not a Certified Aromatherapist. I did, however, attend medical school at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego (now known as Pacific College of Health and Science) – and I’ve taken that extensive herbal training and pharmacy compounding education and applied it to Natural Perfumery and Aromatherapy.

I am nationally accredited by the NCCAOM, and licensed by the state medical board here in Georgia.

I’ve spent time working in 3 hospitals in Shanghai (2 locations of Long Hua, and also in Zhong Yi Hua Shanghai (“Chinese Medicine Hospital of Shanghai”) – where I also studied the local herbal compounding tradition known as Gao Fang).

I am also a member physician of an alternative Healthcare group – and I was the first “non western” practitioner brought in to the group. Can read more about that here :

In practice, I specialize in Kampo Medicine (the Japanese angle on Chinese Medicine), and am a specialized practitioner of “Fukushin” – which is a unique diagnosis and prescription method refined by blind practitioners in Japan since the early 16th Century. Fukushin is an abdominal palpatory technique.

Rising Phoenix

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