The Spa market is expecting truly satisfying aroma products both in fragrance and benefits. By Cord Coen
The epidemic that we are all going through is that we are stressed out of our minds because this never stops. We’re always driving and running, but we have this rare moment in the spa, when we are on the table and finally get our nervous system to chill out. And if you’re smelling an aroma during that moment, scent and memory are linked together and a true healing journey starts.
Aromas that are born from natural plants have magic power to human health, both body and mind, to heal, calm, inspire, energize, relax, and more and more. Moreover, they are not only beautiful on their own but are also designed to be mixed together to give a more unique edition.
But we have to admit that the aromas in the spa industry for a very long time have smelled really similar. It’s like a detox oil or just a straight eucalyptus or lavender. I feel like there’s a real disconnect when a woman goes and gets a massage and she wants to wash it off because she doesn’t want to smell like eucalyptus or detox oil. Meanwhile, people are becoming more and more doubtful about the true quality and benefits of the products they are using. It’s of great urgency to create something delightful and honestly beneficial.
To achieve these, of course, you need incredible helpers such as amazing aroma therapists or natural perfumers. But what’s more?
There are some really cool ingredients that can be added in the aroma products, for example, probiotics. We all know we need probiotics internally. A healthy gut and a healthy stomach affect our immune system, hormones and brain functions. The newest studies are showing that we need probiotics for our skin too.
The other fun key ingredient may be flower essences. It is said that 90% of diseases right now are caused by stress. No matter what country we are in, we are running way too fast. We all need a break and remember who we are. Thankfully, flower essences, different from essential oils, play such a role as to get us out of flight or fight and they calm a nervous system. We can mix different flower essences together to enhance the benefits. Flowers with strong de-stress functions include lavender, star tulip, dandelion, yarrow and manzanita.
The way of planting decides whether the flowers can grow well and their benefits given full display. Biodynamics is an old yet reborn way of cultivating flowers. It is not only chemical-free (just like organics) but also pays attention to what plants grow next to each other, making sure that they are compatible and they need different nutrients and are not fighting for the same resources from the soil. They also plant and harvest at very specific times to ensure the plant is at peak potency, and the healing potency in turn goes into the user of the aroma.
Aroma product developers and retailers in spas need to understand the subtle connection between scent and emotional memories. I once created a range for men, called Ore, because I felt like it was important to have a scent for guys who come in for the spa. But it surprises me that it’s actually our number one selling scent for woman. Woman are very specific on how they want their men to smell. When special notes are added into the aroma such as bay laurel, clove, and cinnamon, people will be way back to their childhood because their dad or grandfather might have worn that same aroma after-shave lotion.
The most amazing thing about aroma is that your own DNA scent is always the last key ingredient. A perfume from a department store is meant to mask your smell, yet “you’re the final ingredient”. Every single one of these oils will mix with your body chemistry and that’s the magic of this. I always share this story: my mom and dad’s favorite scent is Ore and they both wear it. But in a half hour, my dad will smell spicier, deeper and more masculine because of our testosterone, whereas my mom has less testosterone so it’s the orris and jasmine which is smoother and more feminine on her. And I love that because I don’t think anyone wants to smell like anyone else. We are all unique and different as humans.
However, what I now see in the spa industry is a need for an unscented line. More and more people are allergic to scents. We are being inundated all the time by scents, from our laundry detergent, the shower and perfume. So some bodies are starting to become completely allergic to it. Moreover, there are people with very sensitive skin like eczema and psoriasis, pregnant women, babies, people going through a serious illness and tons of men, all of whom are calling for something really healing, pure, organic and without aroma.