A Berwyn-based aromatherapy line starts with the plant and grows from there.
How deep can a scent penetrate? It depends how receptive you are. That it can trigger a physical reaction is indisputable. Do you not salivate, even just a little, when you catch a whiff of a skirt steak charring? So it’s not just savvy marketing by Bed Bath & Beyond that the right dose of jasmine could lull you to sleep. Though, its methods beyond that point are questionable. Sandy Dalby’s are not. The Berwyn-based horticulturalist recently began adding to her own budding line of aromatherapy candles, lotions and soaps called, naturally, A Charmed Garden. Think of essential oils as uber-concentrated versions of the plants from which they’re extracted. (That’s why our tastes tend to follow the seasons, Dalby says.) The purer the oil, the greater its potency. Now consider this: One of Dalby’s large candles (14 ounces; $42) contains up to 600 drops of organic essential oils. Aromatherapy isn’t strictly about inducing calm. Dalby blends French lavender and juniper berry to help spark an energetic and optimistic reaction. The candles are made from vegetable wax, the wicks from cotton twist, which means they’ll burn clean and, Dalby says, “actually help to cleanse the air.” —Christina Scordia