Fragrance free? I launched myself off a cliff and I’m still flying… Why change a small artisan business in its fledgling beginnings just as its flight feathers are gaining colour and volume? Why jeopardise all the beautifully formulated products by removing the one thing we¬† automatically identify with soap and skincare, what’s that? Ah, scent and perfume. What is your first impulse on seeing a bar of soap or skin preparation? I’m guessing you would take a sniff!

It’s simple, the reason Smallgarden Botanicals is now completely fragrance-free is that I became, overwhelmed, and allergic to the essential oils that I used in my products and not just in a small way. After wobbling up the garden path, my brain and balance compromised, and after trying all the things to mitigate the effects, I had to face the decision, to give up, or change.

So I changed my entire approach, to my recipes, to the ingredients, and I had to allow for a whole new vision and start from a different place.

The irony was I now felt free to pursue my previous desire to work more directly with herbs and flowers and this has been a joy. I love being creatively inspired by the herbs and flowers that I grow in my garden. I realised early on that having no scent does not equate to having no soul. My soul is invested in nature and my garden and the qualities of the herbs & flowers that were previously masked or missing are now free, enabling the whole of the plant to sing its subtle song and release its medicinal powers.

There is much written about the dangers of fragrances; and essential oils, though not dangerous in quite the same way, have roughly 26 declarable allergens that are being periodically added to and updated. Given that it takes 4,000 kg of rose petals to produce 1 kg of rose essential oil, it also raises issues of sustainability. At a time when our natural resources are being daily denuded. It feels a good time to become ever more conscious of our buying power and become wise to the truth or otherwise of the advertisers that vy for our pockets.

So, my small artisan business is now fragrance-free, and it has opened my eyes to the amount of people including children and babies who suffer from allergies. I hope to soothe the way for all families that have loved ones with allergies, be it eczema, breathing problems, or general reactive skin. So I am looking forward to creating with simple oils and butters and the healing efficacies of herbs and flowers and building up my range to make safe and beautiful plant-based salves, balms, and soaps that can revolutionise the health of your skin, and that makes me very happy!