Guest Post: Natural Perfumer On A Scented Journey

by Andrea on November 8, 2010

natural perfumer Lucy MillerWe’re so excited to welcome Aromahead graduate Lucy Miller to the blog! She’s an  ARNP, Clinical Aromatherapist, and Natural Perfumer. In this guest post, Lucy shares her experience of India from an aromatherapist’s perspective. Take it away, Lucy!

I’m part aromatherapist, part plant whisperer and mostly a natural perfumer!

I am completely passionate about the intimate relationship I’ve developed with plants and flowers during my seven-year aromatherapy and natural perfume education. Now as I’m blending oils, making tinctures or creating a perfume, I often find myself thinking about botany, plant chemistry, and the subtleties and personality of each plant. These thoughts are likely driven by my scientific studies, which were part of an earlier medical career and my certification in advanced clinical aromatherapy.

For me, it’s not possible to separate the pure aesthetics from the science of the plants. And while not all of my blends have mass appeal, I have gained a deep appreciation for the complex character and benefits of each oil… a few drops in a relaxing evening bath, a drop or two into my diffuser, a trickle added to freshly laundered sheets…ahh! These oils are intoxicating and beautiful!

This fall, my scented journey led me to Thovalai, a sweet and sleepy village in the Kanyakumari district of India, situated 12 km from Nagercoil, and on the way to Tirunelveli. Large windmill farms generate electric power and add a rich beauty to the surrounding floral plantations.

Home to the famous Tamil Nadu Flower Market. One of the largest in the region, the market is truly a feast for all the senses.

The sounds of price bidding, the sights, and the smells make it one of the most special places in India. Alive with activity from 9:00 in the morning until dusk, the variety of locally grown plants and flowers is simply amazing. It was at Thovalai that I discovered a rare variety of Jasmine flower called ‘Pichchi Vellai’ or ‘Pichchip poo’–its soft, exotic aroma immediately captivated me, and I began the search for the oil.

natural perfumer Lucy Miller

natural perfumer Lucy Miller

In India, fresh flowers are used in celebration, in spiritual rituals as honor offerings to the Hindu deities at Temple, and by people of all walks of life. Large hand-made garlands, or flower malas,  are made on the edges of the market by young men and women–most of these garlands will find their way to the streets to be sold.

For a perfumer, India has a lot to offer, and for a spiritual seeker even more. The one thing I brought home with me is a deep appreciation for the richness of culture, the diversity of people, the profound beauty of fresh flower malas, and a simple way of life.

natural perfumer Lucy Miller

By Lucy Miller, ARNP, Clinical Aromatherapist, Natural Perfumer – Graduate of Aromahead Institute

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Owner/Instructor at Aromahead Institute
Aromahead Institute, owned by Andrea Butje, is a premier resource for online aromatherapy classes. Andrea offers her inspired approach to online aromatherapy certification through essential oil videos and original education materials. Check out her book, Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health and Home, on Amazon!

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous December 26, 2010 at 5:45 am

Valuable info and outstanding design you have here! I would like to thank you for sharing your ideas and time into the stuff you post!! Thumbs up


Amy November 15, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Your immense capacity for learning, your amazing eye for beauty and your willingness to so freely share your knowledge…these are such special gifts. Returning to India to teach at Rasa Ayurveda…this is one Scented Journey I want to be on…


Patricia November 15, 2010 at 10:53 am

Lucy continues to inspire me with her amazing experiences and ongoing learnings. She is a wealth of information!


Niika Quistgard November 10, 2010 at 7:23 am

~om~ Lucy, it’s so lovely to see your photo documentation of part of our Ayurvedic Aromatherapy Immersion last month. (See the trip description here:

We truly enjoyed having you with us, and look forward to hosting an in-depth Ayurvedia Aromatherapy program featuring your teaching and knowledge here at Rasa Ayurveda…
And by the way, I’m addicted to the stunning scent you created and gave to me…!


raaj kapilla November 9, 2010 at 6:42 am

I had the opprotunity to travel with you and everyone Loved you. You are not only a Beautiful Person but a Great soul, which reflects upon your Face. Your passion for the Bounties of nature, along with the Respect for the Richness of Ancient Cultures , is one of Your Biggest Source of Magnetism, to which most of the people you interact with are Captivated. I love the Plant Whisperer, for its appreciative Super power, which makes the Plants Glow and Grow by hearing lovely sweet nothings in their petals. Looking forward to meeting you sometime again. Best Wishes.


Danielle Troiano November 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm

What a beautiful experience to read your post. I love your zest for life and the way you describe your experiences. You are lovely!


Kevin McNulty November 8, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Great pics – sounds like you had a tremendous trip. You were missed – would love to catch up and hear all about it!


Harriet Jones November 8, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Lucy is a beautiful person and her passion for beauty shines through – thankyou!


Sylvia Cheek November 8, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Beautiful spirit, Beautiful mind , Beautiful life! So happy to be on your path with you.


Janna Sheehan November 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Clearly, Lucy’s depth of knowledge about her subjects is inspired by her love of art and humanity. What a delight to read her narrative.


deb gruelle November 8, 2010 at 2:57 pm



David A. Miller November 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Lucile is very passionate about her studies and the people she meets along the way.


Christine November 8, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Lucy! Your vivid and beautiful narrative transported me back to all the smells, sights and the wonderful spiritual experiences of our trip! Every moment was an adventure.


Jocelyn Greene November 8, 2010 at 2:16 pm

What an experience. Can’t wait to smell your creations inspired by your journeys. Hope they don’t smell too much like India 😉


Cindy Black November 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm

It is wonderful to be connected around the world through our love of plants- thanks for this beautiful reminder!


Mandy Aftel November 8, 2010 at 10:56 am

Lucy’s writing and photos are so beautiful and convey her joy and wonder at these aromatics in all forms. She is a treasure.


Admin November 8, 2010 at 11:00 am

I agree Mandy! Lucy really is a treasure, and her blog is beautiful!


Pam Conrad November 8, 2010 at 10:52 am

Ahhh! Just what I needed as I’m planting spring bulbs, boosting my rose bush, rubbing by lavender and thanking my clematis for one final bloom before winter. The divine gift of beautiful and scented plants, thanks for sharing!


Karen Williams November 8, 2010 at 10:27 am

Beautiful pictures and an amazing experience. I love how you describe the village and flower marketplace. I can almost smell the Jasmine!


Christina November 8, 2010 at 9:13 am

I feel transported to India and touched by your deep experience of the plants. How lovely, thank you


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