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The Scent of Summer
HOW do you bottle a summer’s day or gift wrap a woodland walk? A New Forest woman with a heightened sense of smell believes she has found the answer.
Debbie Mulkern is a qualified aromatherapist and has created a new range of unique products inspired by living in the New Forest. The New Forest Aromatics range includes candles, room fragrances, lip balms, wardrobe sachets, hand balms and reed diffusers all infused with uniquely-blended essential oils to enhance your mood.
Debbie, whose company is based at Setley Ridge Vineyard, Brockenhurst, said: “The Forest essence is inspired by my walks – the smell of the resins from the pine cones, with hints of cedar, cypress and firs. We have an English country garden range with scents of lavender, rose and geranium, and festive spice which brings to mind mulled wine - cinnamon, cardamom and orange.
‘Creating the right mix of essential oils is like the creative process an artist might go through – getting a picture in their mind of how it will look. I get the smell in my head and begin blending ingredients to create that smell.”
As a teenager, Debbie discovered she was allergic to synthetic perfumes and many of the ingredients in traditional cosmetics and toiletries so, relying on her keen sense of smell, she began experimenting with making her own.
Debbie said: “The big turning point in my career in aromatherapy was in 1997 when I was part of the crew of a Chinese sailing junk, travelling from Hong Kong to London. During the trip – away from people, land and the daily aromas of the modern world – I really got to know the essential oils I had with me in their purest sense - how they affected our emotions - and I found I could start to tell what certain positive emotions actually smelled like.”
Not only do the scents of the new range evoke life in the Forest but many of the ingredients come from the local area and some of the products have been awarded the New Forest Marque – assuring customers of a quality product with at least 25 per cent of ingredients from the New Forest. New Forest Aromatics is also a member of Hampshire Fare, which promotes food, drink and craft from Hampshire.
“Everything is handmade and we use 100 per cent natural raw materials from sustainable suppliers with an ethical or fair trade policy and as local as possible,’ Debbie said. “In the products which have the New Forest Marque I use New Forest Spring Water, Young’s beeswax in the lip balms from their beehives in Hordle and New Forest lavender, and it’s a great way to support other local businesses.” Debbie is also working with fellow Hampshire Fare producers Summerdown Farms at Basingstoke, sourcing mint, lavender, dill and parsley oil for her range, and rapeseed oil from Pratts Foods at Andover for the reed diffusers.
The beautiful ‘Afternoon Tea’ range of candles, created by Nikki Baiden who works with Debbie, has scents of earl grey, peppermint, spicy Indian chai and lemon and are even sold in recycled bone china teacups which have been sourced from local second- hand shops and car boot sales.
With the cold and grey of winter affecting our mood, Debbie has also created a Sunny Day range: “Something really cheerful with a little hint of ginger beer, lemonade with citrus notes and I have included may chang, which is like lemongrass, for a softer, warmer smell.”
n A perfect gift for Mother’s Day next month (March 18), you can buy New Forest Aromatics online at newforestaromatics.co.uk or call 01590 622422.