Escents Aromatherapy: All-Natural Handmade Products for the Body and Home

“I like that I can work at home, I like that I haven’t been buying my cleaning products for over 5 years now, I like that I have 5 or 6 different soaps in the bathroom that I’m testing, I love having customers buy my products and tell us how much they like using them and how it helped them stay away from strong chemicals, I love having repeat customers, I love that I help make spaces smell good and at the same time, not harm people, I love going online and researching about more products I can still make. I love how everyday I learn something new that I can make,” rattled off Helen Go.

It’s been 21 years since she established Escents / ĕ-scents/ Aromatherapy and she seems to be as giddy as the day she started. Her children were still small then and she wanted to put up a business which allowed her to stay at home for her family.

 

Owner and maker of Escents Aromatherapy Helen Go with her daughter, Christine.

Her first products were colognes and perfumes, Christmas gifts for her children’s teachers. “But I decided I wanted to make soaps with natural ingredients because my daughter had sensitive skin and a form of skin asthma. It took a lot of trial and error before I could come up with products I’m happy with. Back in the early years, it was so hard to find ingredients locally. I had to have my sister send me ingredients from Canada or I buy them on my trips abroad. It helped that I have a cousin who imports some of the raw materials I needed,” she shared.

Then she got interested in aromatherapy and the benefits of essential oils. “So I made the synergy blend roll-ons which are still one of our best selling items. One of them was the BugOff mosquito repellant, but I find some people don’t like the oily feel you get, so we developed the spray and the lotion. We also have them in reed diffusers and electric diffuser drops. I blended the BugOff with lemongrass, lavender, and eucalyptus essential oils because I didn’t like the smell of citronella. This blend is really effective in repelling mosquitos and smell really good at the same time,” she described. “I’ve been making these since 1997 and is only now being made widely available by other makers because of the sudden popularity of essential oils.”

The BugOff Spray comes in 100 ml (P210) and 50 ml (P100). It is also sold in 30-ml clip carry bottles so you can conveniently hook it to your bag (P79).

Pick Me Up roll on is a blend of essential oils that clears your head, aids concentration, and relieves headaches (P300 for 10ml)

Along the way Helen realized that many of the cleaning agents we use contain harmful chemicals. Since she wanted to promote the use of chemical-free items, she came up with natural household items like all-purpose soaps, CocoClean Laundry Cream, CocoClean laundry bar soap, Toilet Fizzies, Toilet Bombs, and Roachbusters Natural Cockroach Bait.

CocoClean Unscented All-Purpose Liquid Soap is safe for all-around cleaning. It is tough on stains yet gentle in every other way, It does not contain harmful chemicals and artificial surfactants. It is made with pure coconut oil soap which is all-natural, biodegradable, and non-toxic. It’s easy to rinse and does not leave any lingering residue and smell. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic, so even those with sensitive skin can use it. (P240 for 500 ml, P465 for 1000 ml)
The scented version is available in Lemongrass, Orange, and Lavender Scents (P270 for 500 ml, P525 for 1000 ml)

“In the early days, people couldn’t understand why I make things. People wanted imported name brand products with ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Now that it seems like everyone is into making and selling products with essential oils, it’s easier to explain why it is so much better to use natural handmade products that only have a few basic quality ingredients that are good for the body and also the environment,” she explained.

“Before we even start marketing our products, I do a lot of research to know the properties of each of the ingredients I’m going to use. After a lot of rigorous testing in our household together with a few select family members and friends, when I’m totally happy with how well the product performs, we then design the look and packaging. A lot of my products are not readily seen in the market so we have to have labels with short but concise description, instructions on how to use, ingredients list, and precautions.”

CocoClean Laundry Cream Soap is made with all-natural, pure coconut soap. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, making it gentle on the skin and clothes, leaving them fresh and soft, eliminating the need for fabric softeners. Without chemical surfactants, CocoClean Laundry Cream Soap doesn’t produce bubbles, but it cleans just as well as other soaps.
One tablespoon is all it takes to get the job done. (Unscented at P320 for 500g, P550 for 1000g. Scented versions are available in Lemongrass, Orange, and Lavender P360 for 500g, P550 for 1000g )

A sister who has a graphic design business does Escents’ packaging and product designs. Her daughter, Christine who took multi-media arts designed some of the newer labels and packaging, she handles Escents’ social media accounts too. Another daughter, Diane who took legal management and creative writing in Ateneo does the write-ups. Helen’s mom and sisters keep her abreast on what’s new and send samples of products they see abroad that they believe she can make.

Helen always makes sure that every Escents item is made with the finest ingredients sourced locally and abroad but she maintains price points that keeps her products accessible to everyone. She handcrafts each product herself. “Whenever I make my products, I think positive thoughts such as wishing that people who use the products appreciate them and enjoy using them and will therefore order again,” she disclosed.

From her extensive line, the most in-demand are the Eau de Toilet toilet drops, Toilet Fizzies, Roachbusters Cockroach Bait, Magnesium Spray, BugOff Spray, Synergy Blend Roll-Ons (especially the Pick Me Up for headaches and Sleep Well to help sleep better at night), Beeswax Wood Polish, and Natural Fruit Enzyme Concentrate.

Eau de Toilet forms a blocking layer on the water’s surface to trap and eliminate doors before they escape into the air. They can also be used on smelly ashtrays and garbage cans. (P195)

 

An all-natural and chemical-free magnesium chloride spray that helps you sleep better. It’s also good for stress and pain relief and serves as a natural deodorant. Recommended for those who have arthritis and aching joints. P300

With Christmas just around the corner, demand for their products as gifts will no doubt spike. Helen said they can customize gifts and they can also prepare bundles like spa baskets.

Beeswax Wood Polish. Adds shine and gives new life to anything made of wood; furniture, salad bowls, wooden spoons, or chopping boards. Just clean and dry the surface, then apply a thin layer of polish with a soft cloth. Wait 30 minutes or so for the oils to be absorbed, and then buff well. (P250)

Most recent additions to the Escents Aromatherapy line include the seasonal handmade soaps – garden herb soaps which are made using the fresh herbs grown in Helen’s garden, solid perfume in grapefruit, and pear and freesia scents, handmade natural pet shampoo bars (one is the Indian Neem and the other one is made with Madre de Cacao), and jet lag remedy water soluble diffuser drops.

Helen is currently busy concocting more products like soy wax candles with wooden wicks, play dough soaps, and beeswax food wraps . Soon she will be introducing a face serum made with pili oil, shower fizzies which can help clear a bad cold, and aromatherapy blends to prevent jetlag and motion sickness. That last item sounds perfect for me.

I am looking forward to the day when Helen realizes her dream to have a store where clients can come in to purchase bulk items and have their recycled containers refilled with Escents products. In Helen’s mind, the same store will also serve as a venue for do-it-yourself workshops. Ah, so much to watch out for!

Escents Aromatherapy products are available at Echostore, Green Company, Primeblock and 999 Shopping Mall in Binondo, and in Legaspi Market every Sunday. You may also order Escents Aromatherapy from online stores, Beauty MNL and Shopee.

For more information, head to their accounts on Facebook @escentsaromatherapyph and Instagram @escentsph.

Inquiries may be also be directed to their email account, escentsph@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply