Like yoga or reflexology, aromatherapy has become a beauty buzz word – sometimes with little meaning. One woman who really understands the age old practice away from the mainstream is aromatherapist, Eve Taylor. Now in her late seventies, and in my eyes a true beauty guru with years of experience and wisdom – her badge of honour is an OBE for her services to aromatherapy and to the beauty industry, she was one of the first aromatherapists to create her own skincare range boasting essential oils. Often referred to as the ‘founding mother of modern day aromatherapy’ Eve is a testament that age should never stop you from growing, or indeed rob you of good humour. “I’m still looking for a Sandalwood Man,” she jokes. “This type would be described as rich and lingering. But of course, I joke. If he is that rich, he will not linger long, a young beauty will get him!”
Spending much of her time travelling to teach and train, I caught up with a jet lagged Eve to talk about the power of aromatherapy and get the distinct feeling she’s not going to do retirement any time soon!
Dollymixture (DM): Eve, you are the ‘grande dame’ of aromatherapy, how have you seen it evolve over the years?
Eve Taylor (ET): The term aromatherapy no longer relates to the original word as I and others in the industry knew it. Now it is used with almost everything, so the public are confused.
DM: Does it annoy you that the word has become hijacked by mass marketing? You even find washing up liquid with ‘aromatherapy’ touches.
ET: In many ways, yes. Namely, because it’s misleading to the public. I remember a woman came to me with a gift voucher for an aromatherapy treatment, and when asked to remove her clothes became very distressed. Why would she want to remove her clothes when she had come to smell the aromas? Misunderstanding to say the least, but another story lies here. There should
have been communication with the client who buys the voucher and the therapist who sold it. Education is what I love and I go to the ends of the earth to get my message across.
DM: What should you look for when shopping for oils to ensure they are the best?
ET: Seek out suppliers and therapists who have qualifications in aromatherapy treatments and manufacturers with a record that stands up to queries. Look for pure natural essential oils. All essential oils are organic, they are not inorganic by nature, but many are now labelled ‘nature identical’ and are made by chemists. Pure natural oils are also more expensive than the synthetic ones.
DM: I’m fascinated by your Systems of Analysis whereby you look at the face, feet and ears to throw up clues about the person’s wellbeing. Can you reveal some of the indications you look for and what they point to?
ET: Common views are: nostrils tilting up could suggest upper respiratory stress; prominent bones on the feet could suggest shallow breathing and ears also throw out clues. They can indicate as to whether the person might have been unhappy during foetal growth. A consultation with clients will give the information which leads to more clues and more importantly, answers and treatments.
DM: What is your favourite aromatherapy recipe?
ET: I always blend for results. The changes that occur in the blend over a period of days or weeks are also considerations. Always trial and test in very small amounts. One I really like is a blend I make containing Galbanum (green incense). I use on the skin in a face blend and on the body in a gel for those ‘Oh it aches’ moments. I t has a great effect on me.
DM: What has the art of aromatherapy taught you throughout your life?
ET: It has enabled me to travel the world and gain more knowledge that I ever dreamed possible for a woman with five children. I never stop learning, reading, listening and trying out products. I have taught people all over the world, and I recently met some in
who had trained with me back in the 70’s when I had my business in South East London. Great memories! New York
For Eve’s aromatherapy skincare line go to: ww.eve-taylor.com and for professional treatments call: 01733 260 161