The last stop before heading back to Oakland (and continuing a vigorous packing of the 40 essential oils I left behind on my last trip... Oy vey) was one of my most favourite suppliers ever, whom I always dreamed of visiting: Eden Botanicals. I don't usually disclose my suppliers, but I am making a huge exception here because I've been working with them for so long that I feel like I'm part of their team in some ways too (you'll understand why in a moment).
Eden Botanicals recently moved from their rural Northern California location up in Hymapom, closer to civilization to the town of Petalum in Sonoma County (just under an hour drive from San Francisco).
They were located in a quiet street in a several story-high house that looked like an essential oil mansion, or a castle to me. And for a warehouse that stores tens of essential oils in substantial quantities, the scent was not in the least overwhelming, but pleasant and aromatic and wonderful. Just like walking into a larger version of my tiny studio space when I just open all the boxes where I store my vast of oils stashed away from heat and light.
It was wonderful to connect in person with the people who import top-quality essential oils and absolutes from around the world (as well as other accessories for aromatherapists and perfumers - anything from carrier oils to scent-strips, which, by the way, I was out of and they managed to ship speedily over to Lisa's house so that I can have them for the weekend's many scent events!). I've been working with Eden Botanicals for years, both as my supplier, but also helping them out in writing the ad copy to some of the essential oils they bring from around the world. It's a mammoth project, which is very unlikely to ever end, as they always bring new things and we always tried to keep the descriptions accurate for slight variations between batches.
Eden Botanicals has grown throughout the years but is still a very small, personable company, which includes the new owner, Josh, Kyanne, Mollie and their aromatherpist Julia (the last two are shown in the picture above). They are still planning to move to a different location within Petaluma, and Josh has many exciting plans for this new locations which I can hardly wait to tell you - but will just have to wait till I see and smell them myself.
When showing them my new "Oy de Cologne" Julia told me she was Jewish too and pulled out this interesting essential oil display shaped like a Menorah from AvAroma (Avraham Sand's company in Israel), carrying the "Ketoret" (incense) oils: Costus, saffron, myrrh, frankincense, balsam, galbanum, spikenard, cassia, cloves and more.
I came with a very specific shopping list in mind (great way to "get rid of" foreign cash, by the way!) and only strayed from it with one ingredients - the new arrival: Osmanthus absolute. It was great that I did, because I completely ran out and the only other sources I have were both extremely expensive and not all the great of a quality. This osmanthus, like most of the essences they scout, is exceptional. This flower, redolent of apricot and leather is still dark and mysterious, but it feels as if there is a ray of light coming through it. There is a quality that I find hard time to truly describe and pinpoint, but is there in all good quality oils: they are vibrant, and feel alive and full of action, as if they are still a living thing. And that's exactly what I'm looking for, and is always worth all the extra costs and effort to find.
I smelled and received a few samples of other exciting new arrivals, including coffee bean essential oil, organic peppermint oil, Somalian frankincense (Boswellia frereana), organic fresh ginger root oil and organic Ylang Ylang. If these do not sound all that exotic, know that when a plant is grown, harvested and distilled/extracted with care, the result is exceptional and inspiring. As is the case with all of these oils.
Last but not least: Eden Botanicals now accept international orders! That's also great news for Canadians, who could now order directly from the website, rather than call in with their order. Yay!