Discover Provencal aromatherapy with Katja Stojetz – Meanderings through France n° 96
By Annick Dournes & Frédéric de Poligny
By using essential oils you can both do something good for you and for the planet as long as you have trustable essential oils and know the right way to use them. Many of us feel puzzled, indecisive or even suspicious when looking for quality products online.
Making a mistake is easy especially if you don’t know you’re making one! This means that you have to acquire a minimum of knowledge and of know-how before applying a cream on your face or before swallowing any drop of essential oil.
This summer while touring in Provence Frédéric and I got the opportunity to meet Katja Stojetz who, ten years ago, created her own aromatherapy laboratory and her own brand “Huiles et Sens” (Oils and Senses) near Vaison-la-Romaine at the foot of Mount Ventoux (50 km away from Avignon). This French area may be small but has much to offer: amazing landscapes, including the star of the Tour de France cycle race the windy Mount Ventoux, beautiful Provencal villages, great wines and mouth-watering food. You can read our previous article about it here: http://b-c-ing-u.com/2016/07/07/the-mont-ventoux-much-more-than-a-tour-de-frances-stage-meanderings-through-france-n-93/
Katja found there the perfect place to make her aromatherapy products: ideal weather conditions allow good organic plants growing and essential oils distilleries were already established nearby. Quality is her number one concern and she is proud to sell some of the best essential oils (EO) in the world. They are 100% natural, pure and certified by French and European official bodies (Ecocert, Veritas, Cosmebio). All the cosmetics are tested in a laboratory and under dermatological supervision on volunteers.
Katja personally travels in Provence and throughout the world to find passionate and conscientious plant growers and get top quality EO. Whether on the spot or online you will be able to confidently purchase a wide range of aromatherapy products and find out that premium ones are not necessarily expensive.
EO are precious and powerful substances and should not be misused. In order to help her clients to get the right knowledge and know-how Katja created several workshops during which anyone can learn how to make his own face cream, shampoo, body lotion or sun lotion. But you will also find plenty of information, recipes and all the equipment you need on the website. Frédéric (yes guys, you can also enjoy doing it!) and I attended a one-hour session and learned how to make the “Provencal face cream” created by Katja. Using a small balance, a tiny mixer, sterile gloves, pH-indicator strips we learned the right way to mix in the correct proportions of the different ingredients, heat them to melt them and whisk them without making to many bubbles, otherwise the cream wouldn’t fit into the pot! It was fun and we all had a good time.
This was a one-hour workshop but there are also 3-day cosmetic workshops, 5-day perfume workshops as well as aromatherapy for the whole family and even a pet workshop given by a veterinarian. It is good to know that we can do and use effective yet safe products made with premium ingredients devoid of any preservative, colouring or synthetic fragrance. You can make your choice from 200 different EO, several hydrosols, essences gotten from plant infusions, balms, butters, shampoos, soaps, floral waters… Treat yourself in an affordable way!
Katja was born in Germany but perfectly speaks French and English. So don’t hesitate to come and see her next time you go to Provence and attend one of the workshops.
“Huiles & Sens” is located in the lovely Entrechaux village close to Vaison-la-Romaine
To get tourism information about the region:
Text © Annick Dournes
Photos © Frederic de Poligny