When massage therapist Minta Meyer decided to take a course in aromatherapy in Sarasota, all she wanted was to learn more about the essential oils she used in her practice — and some company. So she dragged her friend and acupuncturist Terese Miller with her. A few years and three certifications (each) later, the two opened Essential Elements, their own aromatherapy studio in St. Petersburg.
Ever felt relaxed when smelling a lavender-scented body wash or energetic after sniffing a freshly cut orange? That's the concept. Every oil distilled from a plant, flower or twig has its own therapeutic properties, and they can be blended to treat any person's specific needs.
Their aromatherapy consultation ($75) sounds like something a Bravo Real Housewife would do, except it's surprisingly accessible. A meeting with either Miller or Meyer to discuss what symptoms need to be treated is followed by a sampling session, during which you smell all of the appropriate oils and come up with a custom unique blend. That personalized scent is then infused into two all-natural cosmetics they make on site, off-hours, in the large galley-style kitchen of their building at the edge of the Grand Central Arts District.
For those who just want a natural alternative to pretty much everything from cleaning products to bath salts, there are products like Defunk Natural Air Freshener ($8), with rosemary, lavender and peppermint, Natural Insect Repellent ($8) that keeps bugs at bay with eucalyptus, cedarwood and patchouli and the Scar Melting Body Butter that slowly makes scars disappear with the help of organic avocado, jojoba and beeswax.
The all-organic oils can also be bought by the bottle in pure form, to be mixed in water for diffusers or dabbed in a cotton ball for a little pick-me-up, the equivalent to an energy shot or quick meditation in the middle of the afternoon. Prices vary between $8 and $153, depending on the oil.
— Natalia Galbetti is a freelance writer and director of sales and marketing at k.hendrix in St. Petersburg. Follow her on Twiter at @NatiGalbetti.