Damaris Nightingale is an herbalist and natural perfumer alchemist with a passion for using natural aromatic materials to heal body, mind, and soul. She specializes in the sense of smell, and she is zealous about empowering men and women to know their personalized scent DNA. She’s known for being pulled aside and asked if she has a special anti-aging lotion, or if she could produce a special fragrance for a love interest or advice on how best to weather these times.
If you stopped by her apothecary, tucked away in Hallandale, Florida, you would often find her in the lab mixing something heavenly—beautiful fragrances and silky textures. Her apothecary is that feminine blend of store front, social center and 24-hour therapy session all rolled into one!
All her skin care products, perfumes and health potions are beautifully handmade, 100% organic and healthy. In everything she does, she works ardently to reduce her carbon footprint, making her products safe for humanity and the environment.
We are delighted to share Damaris’ story with you. She’s a pioneer in the natural perfume industry who will inspire you to make your own mark in the world.
VBD: You have a very eclectic and powerful business. What motivated you to begin this business?
DAMARIS: I could say that I was born to make healing potions, beauty products, and natural perfumes. Healing for me is not just about the body, but the heart, mind, and soul. I have always been a curious person with an investigative mind. When I discovered that I could experiment with aromatherapy and perfumery to promote healing, I was immediately drawn in!
I began studying with Master Perfumer Raed Butrous of Uttati International. Later, I attended a Perfumer Training course in Grasse, France followed by a training course in Natural Perfumery with the accomplished Master Perfumer Abdessalaam Attar in Rimini, Italy. These are all big names in the natural perfumer industry! I wanted to be able to share my knowledge with the world, so I opened my apothecary and have not looked back since.
VBD: What are you hoping for your clients to see that is different about your products compared to health care and skin care products already on the market?
DAMARIS: My products are really natural, and they really work. We do not use fillers or anything to stretch the products. Every ingredient is an active ingredient. Our essential oils are of high quality, and we use both therapeutic grade and perfume grade pure and natural essences. We know that smell has a profound effect on our entire system: physical and spiritual, therefore the blends that go into each product or perfume are masterfully crafted to provide a desired effect while maintaining a pleasant aroma.
VBD: We know that you want to educate others about their primary scents to make informed choices about their health. Tell us about your courses in aromatherapy and perfumery.
DAMARIS: The course is called the Scents DNA Profile Training. It is designed to help each person become in tune with his or her own body and feelings. Today, there is so much conflicting information on what to eat and what not to eat, what is healthy and what is not, what medications or supplements work, and which ones do not. The truth is there is no one thing that works for all persons under all circumstances. I realized that each one of us must figure out what works for us and to do that, you have to be able to feel the effect of things you smell or ingest. Unfortunately, this is not something we learn in school or that is encouraged by health practitioners in general. I designed the course to teach people how to feel what is going on inside their bodies. First students learn this through fragrances then they apply this knowledge to things they consume such as foods and medications.
Learning to feel the effect of substances in the body is easier than you may think, and the course is a lot of fun. At the end of the course, each student would have developed their Personalized Scent DNA Workbook.
VBD: Who and what was your inspiration behind making this a personalized course?
DAMARIS: I created this course because I realized from personal experience that "one person's medicine is another's poison." I am passionate about helping you come closer to discovering what scents, fragrances, food, and medicines are your medicine and conversely which ones are your poison.
VBD: Why do you think scent self-awareness is so important for your clients?
DAMARIS: There is a problem with information overload. One moment coffee is good, then it is bad. Coconut oil was good, then bad, and now good again. These are just two of the hundred examples we can find. It is good to be familiar with all the expert advice, but it is most important to know what is going on with our individual bodies.
Dr. Peter D'adamo has done some interesting work on genotypes attempting to help people figure out what works for them based on their genetic profile. The Scent DNA course is a way of helping each person understand what is the most beneficial fragrances and foods for them.
VBD: What is your favorite scent and why?
DAMARIS: My favorite scent is one I created under my Di Nightingale Perfume Elixirs brand. It is called Fox & Diamonds. I must say it is not a scent for everyone. The main notes are Tuberose, Sandalwood, Rose, Tangerine, and Vanilla. It makes me feel daring, adventurous, and sophisticated. It is not necessary to like this particular fragrance to get these feelings. Different scents can induce the same feeling in people of a different constitution.
VBD: What’s next for you?
DAMARIS: I would like to establish Di Nightingale Apothecaries all over the world where people can learn about themselves to help them smell better, feel better, and live better.
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By Kerry-Ann McPherson
Project Manager & Contributor