Vanessa Voukotitch can’t hear so well, but her sense of smell is mighty strong. And it was her finely tuned nose that led her into the alchemical world of essential oils and the power of scent to heal body and mind.
Voukotitch followed that nose to a course in herbalism in Montreal, Canada, and has spent years collecting a huge library of more than 200 carefully sourced essential oils from around the world.
These are the basis for her range of Bandrui fragrant, essential and plant oil-based creams, scrubs, soaps, remedies and cosmetics.
“Scent can be stronger on your memory than the things you see,” said Voukotich this week. “It can reach you on every level, energetically, physically, and right through to your psyche.”
Voukotitch created the range following a series of recipes that she has developed and used herself or on her family for years.
She mixed her an analgesic remedy based on eight different ingredients, including camphor, chamomile, clove and basil, that she says has significantly helped her grandmother manage her osteoarthritis pain.
“I’m not going to say it has cured her, of course it hasn’t,” said Voukotitch. “But the oils get right in to where they need to go to provide relief and it has helped her a lot.”
The prices range from $5 to $50 across the range of products, and are being sold under the name Bandrui, an old Celtic word for “druidess”, solely through Facebook for the moment.