A line of beautifully crafted essential oils, produced by Irish company The Nature of Things, is now available in the shop. Surround yourself with the scent of natural oils of exceptional quality as you experience the transformative benefits they can have on the mind, body, and spirit.
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Created by an Expert
The Nature of Things is led by Benoit Nicol, a man with more than 20 years' experience working with natural oils and extracts in Brittany (where he’s from), New York, and now in Dublin where the company is based.
Benoit is passionate about scent not just professionally, but in his daily life as well. For his wedding day, he wore a natural perfume specially created for him by a talented perfumer friend. “And I have been using it everyday since,” he says, “It's a lovely fresh cologne heavy on bergamot with a subtle aromatic and woody (sandalwood) background. I love it.”
A Well-Trained Nose
During his years of experience with natural oils, Benoit has developed an expert nose that can detect and analyze scents through a process that’s similar to the way a sommelier can identify and describe a wine during a blind tasting. As he explains:
I am lucky to have smelled the same oil from multiple producers and multiple countries and built a reference and memory of what great qualities smell like. With lavender, for instance, I am looking for a good balance of floral, aromatic and sweet notes. I don't like when they smell soapy, too herbaceous. It is an indication that the *terroir was not the best, or that the flowering wasn't optimal, or that it could be adulterated.
*'Terroir' is a word originating from the wine world. It alludes to the influence of a specific location—including its soil and climate—on the characteristic taste and flavor of the wine produced in that environment.
To find his ingredients, Benoit looks throughout all corners of the world to source the highest quality plants and oils in their purest forms. These are ingredients with specific, identifiable origins. No matter if it’s ylang ylang from Madagascar or vetiver from Haiti, each ingredient must come from an ethical supplier that follows sustainable practices and responsibly stewards the land and community involved in production.
Recognising Quality in a Scent
So how does Benoit, an insider of the perfume industry, and someone with a highly trained nose, recognise a good scent when he smells one?
Recognising Quality in a Perfume Blend
When it comes to scents as perfume blends (a wonderful way to use Benoit's oils), he starts by asking himself a few personal questions including, “Do I find it pleasant, do I have some affinities with it, or is there a special accord there that I find interesting, some notes that I like?”
During the next part of his assessment, his expertise comes into play as he takes a critical approach to determine the blend’s originality as well as its nature as something that is “simple and elegant or complex and confusing.” He also pays attention to how the scent “evolves on the skin”, and if he finds any of the notes or ingredients to be underwhelming.
Recognising Quality in a Natural Oil
When it comes to assessing natural oils, including his essential oils, Benoit looks at several factors. For a great oil, it’s important that:
- A plant is grown in the right terroir with optimal soil and climate conditions
- The plant is well looked after
- The harvesting of the plant takes place at the right time
- The equipment used for distillation is good
- The distiller is highly skilled
But even when all of these conditions are met, there’s still the smell of the oil to evaluate. Benoit says that he looks first for a product that is “smooth, rounded, with no strange facets.” (Perfume and scent experts use the term 'facet' similarly to the way a wine expert uses the term ‘tasting note’.) “Too often,” he explains, “some oils will have a strong 'boiled' note, or some turpentine facets (smells like paint), or cabbage, or burnt/smoky notes. So I am first looking for an oil that is clean and free of that.”
And that is what you get with the oils from The Nature of Things: pure, clean aromas that smell exquisitely of the botanicals from which they were extracted.
How to Use Essential Oils from The Nature of Things
For someone new to the world of essential oils, Benoit recommends starting with lemongrass and orange or lemon in a home diffuser or burner: “All three bring fresh and pleasant scent and work very well together.” He also names lavender as a good starter oil as it's versatile and packed with benefits.
Another easy way to integrate essential oils into your daily routine is to do as Benoit and his wife do and use a combination of peppermint, rosemary and lemon oils during a shower. Just 1-2 drops of each on a sponge placed under hot water will steam and turn the shower into an invigorating spa-like experience.
The couple also blend various oils in their home diffusers: lemongrass, orange, mandarin, geranium and/or ginger in the hallway, and lavender and woody scents such as vetiver or cedar in the bedroom.
And for someone familiar with essential oils who wants to be a bit more adventurous, Benoit recommends trying vetiver: “a complex oil with very earthy, woody and slightly smoky notes, but also a surprisingly fresh grapefruit-like facet if you smell it carefully.”
But most of all, Benoit encourages people to create their own blends: “it is fun to do and a great way to explore the world of scents.” His oils are perfect for DIY recipes including home scents, massage oils, body scrubs, natural perfumes, and home remedies.
All the Things We Love
When we discovered The Nature of Things, we thought they’d be a great fit for the Organico community as the oils are carefully, mindfully produced and overseen by someone passionate about his work—all things we know you love! That’s why we’re so excited to welcome this beautiful brand into our shop and to share it with you.