I literally have been stopped three times this week and asked, "What is that scent you’re wearing?" And these were in no way come-ons—they really wanted to buy the fragrance. The compliment magnet is 11 11 by Lake & Skye, and it's described on their website as a "simple yet bold unisex blend inspired by the teachings of Kundalini yoga and the color white." The clean and crisp fragrance has an uplifting effect, and according to the brand, the $48 bottle is designed to mimic the feeling of your skin after you've surfaced from the ocean. This blend of white ambers makes me feel so good and can truly transform your mood, so I reached out to its creator Courtney Somer to see exactly why that is.
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What inspired you to create the line?
I’ve been studying various wellness areas for over 15 years—kundalini & prenatal yoga, meditation, nutrition, and after I had my first daughter, I started getting really into essential oils. I was looking into ways to heal from birth (!), and as I got more into them, I loved making my own blends. You don’t have time to do anything with a newborn, let alone diffuse or dilute essential oils. I wanted something that I could use immediately, so I started figuring out how to create my own blends and make a formula that I could carry with me and use when I needed it. At the time, I was writing wellness content for online and also love the idea of making something that was concrete and lived out in the world.
What ailments respond the most to aromatherapy?
To varying degrees, oils can assist the body with a variety of ailments such as anxiety, headaches, insomnia, pain, fatigue, antidepressant, and respiratory infections. Some great 'starter' oils assist in a variety of ways such as tea tree, lavender, peppermint, lemon, rosemary, eucalyptus, and frankincense.
Here’s the gist of how it works: The sense of smell, olfaction, works in a unique way compared to the other senses. When you experience a smell, it takes a different pathway through your brain. Instead of going directly to the giant switchboard in your brand (the thalamas), it sends information to the limbic system before you are consciously aware of the scent. This part of the brain is linked to thoughts, moods, emotions, and memories. The limbic system then releases neurotransmitters which can create a variety of effects such as relaxation for the body, feelings of happiness or a stronger immune system depending on the scent used.
Also, using a combination of oils when blended synergistically can create a more powerful effect than one oil.
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What is the difference between oils and eau de parfum?
Essential oils come from the life force of plants, also thought of as nature’s medicine. The eau de parfum is made with fragrance oil blended in organic cane alcohol and free of parabens, sulphates, and phylates.
How did you decide on the initial blends for the launch? Were you looking to hit a balance of notes?
For the aromatherapy blends, I studied the properties of the oils along with the chemistry of what worked best together, and then of course how the combination smelled. I really wanted each one to be powerful in its own right and take you somewhere.
Are you looking into expanding the product line?
Yes! I’m working on a full size eau de parfum of the 11 11. Body oils and candles are also in the works.
Tell us about the ingredients?
I believe that what you put into something is what comes out of it. As a result, am very cognizant of where the ingredients come from, how they are handled, and in what type of environment they are distilled, produced, and blended. I work with someone whose passion is to travel the world and source essential oils from artisans, who care for what they do and are native to the region from where the ingredients come. For instance, the rose is from the Valley of the Roses in Bulgaria, and jasmine from the Madurai region of India known as the "Nectar City." The distiller of the floral waters blends them with water from a Hawaiian waterfall and blew his own glass for where they are distilled. High vibe!