When Colleen Harte was in the early stages of developing the core essential oil formulas for her luxury organic aromatherapy-based cosmetic brand, Lucy Annabella, she needed to find a solution to calculating essential oil formulas to save time and money. “I thought, ‘There has to be an easier way to accurately deal with the time-consuming, complex mathematical process of essential oil formulations,’” she says. “This thought was only second to the reality that as a start-up company with very-little-to-no cash, I could not afford for my formulas to fail the pharmaceutical testing.”
She convinced a friend to code a basic software program to do the chemistry calculations with accuracy and speed, while also giving the breakdown on the chemistry of formulas.
“Four months later and all product submissions passed all tests on the first try!” Colleen exclaims. “That’s when I realized the need to share LabAroma with the world of aromatherapy.”
Read our interview with Colleen to learn more about LabAroma and how you can use it in your aromatherapy practice.
Colleen, can you walk us through the website and how it works?
It’s easy. You can start formulating blends as soon as you’ve subscribed to your favorite package. You can choose from 198 essential oils to blend, or add your own bespoke essential oils. You are given a full profile of each essential oil profile, its country of origin, Italian name, botanical family, aroma, and a short profile description from the aromatherapy community.
To create a blend, click and drag the oils over to “Your Blend”. Select the percentage of the oils you’d like to use, and click calculate. LabAroma gives you a complete chemical component breakdown of essential oils, and a warning if your blend breaks any restrictions in the EU, US, Japan or Australia. The physical effect of your blend is broken down into 10 body systems by level of most effected. You can print or save your blend.
The site also offers blogs with great blend recipes for lots of conditions and detailed oil profiles to help drive your learning experience. More updates will come in time, but for now we are happy with all the functions and features. The future options are endless.
Which aspects of the software are you most excited about?
I adore all the features, however the variety and quality of essential oils and analysis is amazing, thanks to Aromatics International. The way that LabAroma highlights which chemical components breach international pharmaceutical laws is fascinating to me, as this tool ensures I am accurately guided when formulating for my internationally-sold aromatherapy brand.
My favorite feature is the physical body guide, which tells me which body system each of my created blends successfully targets. This tool is amazing when formulating for my clients or dealing with specific conditions.
Why does an Aromatherapist want to know the chemical profile of a blend?
I believe it is so important that aromatherapists understand the chemistry behind the essential oils we use. If this knowledge is part of our day-to-day interaction with essential oils we will be better equipped to use the integrity of nature’s plants to treat our clients and create beautiful formulas that can be therapeutically effective. Understanding the chemical profile of each essential oil is the key to this knowledge.
What are the best ways for Aromatherapists to support the growing awareness of LabAroma?
Sharing your love for essential oils with us by sending us your essential oil profiles, and sharing LabAroma on all the social media platforms that you are active on. Simply fall in love with LabAroma as we have and spread the good news!