Aromatherapy Beginnings

By: Sarah Ribner

If you were a pre-teen growing up in suburban America, chances are you spent at least one weekend afternoon hanging out with friends at a mall. Wandering in and out of boutiques, snacking on tidbits from the food court, people watching and deep belly laughing at your friends’ inside jokes. 

I found my love of aromatherapy from this most unlikely of venues, the malls of suburban America. When I was 11 years old, I bought my first essential oils poster from an Origins at a mall in Plymouth Meeting – a small laminated double-sided poster with the absolute basics of aromatherapy – i.e. lavender is good for relaxation. It was very basic but it was my entry into the multifaceted world of essential oils. From there, I collected books on the subject and I spent many springtime afternoons attempting (but often failing) to distill my own oils from the flowers around my parents’ house – roses, dandelions, honeysuckle. I always believed I could recycle the flowers around their house, making perfumes or room sprays.

Eventually, my childhood fascination became just that, a hobby from my childhood replaced with real-world responsibilities, studies, life in general. I never imagined I would get to spend my career building a business where I get to relive my pre-teen hobbies mixing essential oils, and coming up with products that I and hopefully thousands of others will enjoy in their own homes. 

A few years ago, I decided to enroll in aromatherapy certification. I knew someday that PiperWai would expand beyond deodorant and I wanted to be largely involved in the formulation process of whatever we decided to launch next. 

Our newest launch, the PiperWai toilet spray with a Lemongrass, Frankincense, and Chamomile blend, is something I’ve been using for years in my office, at home, over the trash can, in stinky refrigerators – you name it! I decided to make one strong enough for the bathroom, especially something travel-friendly for the office bathrooms, planes, trains and more. You never know how much you need a bathroom spray until you’re stuck on a delayed Greyhound Bus sitting next to the only bathroom for 30+ passengers, or hiking  

Why use a conventional room spray releasing toxic chemicals that trick you into ignoring household mold or airborne bacteria when you can use a healthy, effective alternative? A lot of leading brands make “poop” or “toilet” sprays claiming to be all-natural, yet many are adding Polysorbate blends, a controversial ingredient that is known as a carcinogen in large doses. We use Sunflower Solubilizer, a 100% natural, plant-derived emulsifier derived from sunflower fatty acids. We also use a natural, plant-derived preservative. Finally, one of my favorite things about the blends are the emotional impact of using essential oils in the air (such as Lemongrass or Lavender), with their uplifting and calming effects.