Writer Véronique Lo | December 23, 2014

Aromatherapy has been extremely popular in spas and beauty salons in recent years, but long before it became a trend, professional spa brand Biossentials had already looked into and harnessed the benefits of essential oils to provide quality aromatherapy products that are natural, safe and cruelty-free.

Fifteen years ago, aromatherapy was yet to be a well-understood concept in Malaysia when naturopaths Joanne Bruce ND and Dr Lynn Lim ND founded Biossentials in Kuala Lumpur. “Most consumers just thought it was a pretty fragrance and did not realise the therapeutic benefits of these very powerful plant oils,” Bruce recalls. With a desire to offer aromatherapy essential oils and a range of spa, body and personal care products that are “genuine, authentic and as natural as possible”, the duo began a new chapter of their lives with the creation of Biossentials.

Fast-forward to today, and the company has grown from a humble boutique business supplying just essential oils to one of the region’s leaders with a strong and loyal following that includes small independent businesses and five-star hotels like Grand Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons. While expanding its reach has been one of the brand’s goals, Bruce reiterates that Biossentials will remain true to its ethos and natural commitment, which is a big part of what sets it apart from many other brands.

“We are passionate about our ingredients and our commitment to the environment,” she says, “[but] as we grow and expand internationally, we have unique challenges with regards to keeping the products as chemical-free and safe as possible with a shelf life that meets clients’ expectations.”

One of these challenges, she explains, is the high cost of raw materials – pure Bulgarian rose essential oil, for instance, costs over US$8,000 per kg, while imitation rose fragrance oil can be as cheap as US$35. Another issue Bruce and Lim often encounter is when their clients are not aware of what real botanical products, which do not include any artificial colourings or additional fragrances, are supposed to look, smell or feel like.

The less we interfere with the botanical ingredients, the more their natural energy and purity can be experienced,
~ Joanne Bruce