According to Wikipedia, aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses plant materials ( aka essential oils ) and other compounds in order to alter the person’s mind ( in a good way ! ), mood, cognitive function or health. I have friends who firmly believe in its benefits, having used it in the past and continuing to do so in the present and I have friends who smirk at best, preferring your regular or luxury cosmetic brands and I respect the opinion of both groups, however I firmly subscribe to the first group’s way of thought, in big part thanks to the renowned aromatherapist Michelle Roque-O’Neil.
I have met Michelle several years ago, when she worked at BeautyWorksWest, in the heart of Notting Hill, and since then have followed her to whichever practise she worked out of ( on one luxurious occasion with Michelle actually coming to my home to give me a body treatment ).
Michelle not only has the wonderful healing and knowing hands ( an example? Well, she knew I was pregnant before I did and she predicted many other things since then ) but she is equally a very gifted and intuitive therapist who creates incredible products, notably oils and candles and develops and teaches body and facial treatments.
For the last couple of years Michelle has been working on her new product range with renewed vigour, distilling her skill, her emotions and her knowledge into the most amazing ingredients and I have been lucky to have been ‘a tester’ of those products, giving her feedback, which mostly came down to ‘wow, what was that? I want it!’
Michelle must have felt frustrated as many of her clients, including me, kept on asking her when the products were coming out, yet she stuck to her convictions and perfectionism, not releasing the range until she knew that they were perfect-from the products itself ( the oils, crystals and minerals used ) to their packaging ( luxurious violet glass jars, that offer protection to organic ingredients ), labelling, instructions and even the new Internet site ( with very vibrant and beautiful pictures taken by Michelle’s very talented professional photographer husband ), to help all of us get educated and possibly even more in tune with ourselves.
Roque O’Neil Therapy bath & body range consists of five products: –Boost hair & body wash, –Cherish skin repair body serum, –Equilibrium bath and shower essence, –Himalayan detox salts and –Restore aura spray, as well as a Discovery kit that contains miniature ( travel ) versions of all five products.
Each product was developed to benefit you, both physically and mentally, as well as create a regime to improve your overall well-being if you choose to use them together. We live in unsteady, stressful, busy times when it is very easy to loose one’s site and feel for who you really are and with that comes insecurity, sadness, anger,frustration, so Michelle’s products will help you deal with your inner turmoil, while also making you feel like a peaceful, confident goddess.
When talking to Michelle about her range, I was riveted to learn that the precious oils that she uses to create her products come from a range of natural, raw materials, like flowers ( jasmine and rose ), seeds ( cardamon and celery ), leaves ( geranium and patchouli ), barks ( petigrain ), roots ( vetiver and angelica ), fruits ( nutmeg and anise ), rind ( grapefruit ), herbs ( like tarragon and lemongrass ) and woods ( cedarwood or sandalwood ), as well as minerals and crystals which between them contain over 86 minerals-each capable to have a very deep, profound effect not only on our body, but our inner well-being as well.
I have tried the discovery kit, so am going to tell you a little about each product, helped by Michelle, who talked me through each product when we met for lunch at Home House a short while ago, just after Michelle’s products launched exclusively on Cult Beauty, but before her own site, www.roquesoneil.com became operational.
1. Boost Hair & Body Wash, 250 mls, £20.50: it’s main aim is to help you clarify your thoughts and to help you focus. When you apply it to your skin ( it lathers gently, creating tiny beautiful bubbles that envelope your body in a tingling sensation and as molecules break, you will be forced almost unconsciously to take deeper, more relaxing breaths ) you very quickly will feel more alert and focused, your body saturating with oxygen and your skin feeling softer to the touch. It contains sweet basil, may chang, peppermint, as well as rosemary and lemon myrtle, blood orange, caraway, eucalyptus and cardamon. Michelle says that this combination of oils affects your psychologically and is perfect post travel or in the morning, when your mind is hazy and you feel like you just want to stay in bed.
2. Equilibrium bath and shower essence, 100 mls, £40: it can be used on its own, or together with the Himalayan detox salts( of which I will tell you more later, as it is my absolute hero product ! ) and it really helps you to relax in the evening, after a tough or hectic day. As Michelle perfectly put it herself ‘it doesn’t knock you out, but it grounds you when you feel fragmented’. It also acts as a delicate moisturiser when you apply it to wet skin. The lavender used in this product comes from New Zealand, the land of lushness and beauty, while fragonia oil hails from Australia and it has quite a unique effect on the respiratory system in particular, as well as ‘elevating your mind and letting you see the big picture’, dissolving anxieties in the water, while neroli and rose help to expand your heart and remind you of who you truly are. Michelle combined this formulation is such a way that it also works on your lymphatic system ( that’s where we also store our emotions ) and helps you to feel emotionally and physically fortified.
3. Cherish skin repair body serum, 200 mls : skin is out biggest organ, but it is bombarded daily with pollutants and damaged by unprotected sun rays or harsh, changeable weather, so this serum actually helps to nourish, as well as nurture your skin-after all, we use serums on our faces, now we can extend the same courtesy to our bodies too ( it can even be used in pregnancy when skin might be particularly prone to dryness ). In its base you have carrier oils of baobab, rice bran, broccoli, rosehip seed, carrot and grape-seed with top notes of arctic blackcurrant CO2 extract, which is high in antioxidants and rich in Vitamin C. The body serum also contains sea buckthorn that allows this formulation to sooth the skin post sun exposure during the holiday, but it does have the consistency and colour of the body oil and gives your skin a lovely sheen. Michelle actually said to me that both her male and female clients find the smell of this serum particularly sexy and having tried it on myself, I can say to you with a knowing smile that I know why.
4. Restore Aura spray, 100 mls, £24: this spray has been created by suspending essential oils in fragrant water and making it an ideal treat to use on your face and neck before or after doing yoga, after an argument or while you are on the plane, travelling .This is a strong energy product because it combines the wonderful oils of rose blossom, white sage, fragonia, wild sweet orange, spearmint, rosemary, cucumber and liquorice extractswith the energetic Reiki healing powers of rose quartz crystal essence ( to me it has the lightness of cucumber smell combined with the headiness of the rose and it makes your skin feel dewy post application ). As Michelle has worded it: ‘It will help to change your disposition when you are not feeling great’.
5. Himalyan Detox Salts, 400 mgs, £37: I don’t even know where to begin with this one….I have been very lucky to have tested those incredible salts not only on myself, but on my husband and girlfriends for the last couple of years and hand on my heart, nothing I have ever used before comes close to those beautiful pinky orange salts and its magic effect. It helps you to relax when you are tired, it detoxes your body, it helps you to shift a cold, it restores your muscles after doing sports, as well as making you sleep like a content newborn-the list is endless. You can say that there are Epsom salts and they don’t cost much. Well, my reply to this will be that all of us make a choice and this is one product that has served me time and time again and nothing comes close to the miraculous effect it produces, whatever your body’s state. Those salts also balance your PH levels, as well as positive and negative ions and they give your mind the state of calm that only a good, lengthy meditation can help to achieve.
You don’t have to take my word for it, just buy a Therapy product or two-choose the one that attracts you the most by its description/ingredients or peaks your curiosity and best of all, keep an open mind. See, smell and feel how your body and mind reacts to it-you might just be in for a pleasant surprise or a journey of discovery and enlightenment.