Having been involved with packaging design most of my adult life, reading ingredients lists, nutritional panels and claims on pack has been a second nature to me... There is a bit of an investigator in me: I read every label thoroughly, educate myself, research unfamiliar additives, compare brands... Over the years, I have come to the realization that there is an incredible amount of consumer manipulation as well as misleading, deceptive communications on pack to enhance product benefits and ingredients. This common practice leaves consumers, like myself, with a sense of powerlessness, and cynicism. So, eventually, the idea to start my own brand germinated and became a reality.
As a consumer, I want to be able to rely on the information on pack. Yet, claims like "natural", "wholesome", "healthy", "pure", have lost their meaning entirely (there is nothing particularly pure about "pure olive oil" for example: Refined to remove its impurities, and blended to improve flavor, "pure olive oil" is the cheapest olive oil there is). Preservatives, obscure additives, fillers, hidden flavor enhancers are a part of most products we purchase and consume. Subjective claims and benefits target the hopeful or optimistic, and try to take advantage of the ones desperate for quick fixes. To make matters even more complex, there is the placement of touted good-for-you ingredients in the ingredients lists. And finally, there are the misleading product names.
For example, here are the ingredients of a product called "Argan oil of Morocco": Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, C12 15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylphenyl Methlyproprional, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil Argan, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Extract Linseed, Parfum, Yellow 11, Red 17.
Lists are organized in decreasing amounts, and Argan oil is the sixth ingredient after a series of scientific names. How much Argan oil IS in this Argan oil? Your guess is as good as mine, but obviously not as much as one would hope. Instead, the main ingredients are a variety of silicones which impart shine without weighing the hair down, but that is not what one is looking for when searching for Argan oil...
See my point... Examples like this made me want to craft products with effective and concentrated ingredients as pure and close to their original form as possible, which means organic, cold pressed, unrefined, non-GMO, etc... I also wanted to include therapeutic essential oils that also smelled heavenly. That meant a lot of research, and using both my brain and my nose to determine which ones were going to make the cut. Sometimes an organic essential oil may be ethically grown, yet have a very average smell. Countries of origin are a big factor: I look for places where the essential oils are century old traditions... Like Turkey or Bulgaria for the Damask Rose, or France for Lavender, or Slovenia, France or Bosnia for Helichrysum, Tunisia for Neroli etc... etc... This takes me on a beautiful journey which inspires my blends and gives me great respect for long established artisanal practices that seem to have been under-appreciated until now. It is encouraging to see that there is a renewed interest (even within the medical profession) in traditions which connect us with the earth and its invaluable healing resources, and in particular with the highly effective benefits of essential oils.
With Rêves de Sabine, I am in my own element, delighting in this rewarding process, and eager to share my concentrated and fabulously fragrant products, knowing that I have crafted them for you and me with the utmost passion and dedication.