Summer Alchemy

Botanicals form the basis of Constanze Saemann’s fragrance oil brand Basium – here, she shares what aromatherapy taught her about the emotional impact of natural scents.

What drew you to aromatherapy?

I was looking for something to help me bring myself back to the present moment and slow down. I was born and raised in a small town in Germany. When I was 17, I moved overseas for the first time to pursue my modelling career and, since then, I have travelled almost full time and lived between Paris and New York. In the early years, I found working in the industry very intense, so I decided I needed to balance my time and channel my energy into something more meaningful. I began to study aromatherapy and naturopathy to reconnect to nature. From that, Basium was born!

Where do you find inspiration for scents and fragrance?

I find inspiration on my travels while exploring different cultures, ancient healing modalities and unique plants. I am especially drawn to tropical countries as they are flourishing with flora and fauna. Also, Buddhist culture really inspires me.

What’s your creative process when developing a new product?

Typically, I think about the purpose of the scent and which emotional response I am trying to create. For example, Beau was made with grounding oils to feel calm and Flora was made to achieve an uplifting effect. Basium and the usage of our essential oils is all based around aromatherapy and I am continuously inspired by sourcing and blending new ingredients.

What are your favourite natural ingredients to work with?

I love working with anything that I can find close by, including local foods, medicinal plants, essential oils or other natural materials. Sourcing ingredients close by makes them the freshest. Vetiver reminds me of my travels to India and Sri Lanka and bergamot and basil smell like a warm summer’s day.

Where do you call home?

Since travelling so much, I feel at home in many cities. For the last year, I have lived in Paris. Learning about ancient perfume techniques here has been inspiring. The only thing missing is raw nature, so I often hop out of the city. I love exploring the gardens around the Marais – so  peaceful and full of roses in summer!

What makes your house a home?

My interior style mostly consists of furniture made from natural materials, items from flea markets and accessories collected from my travels. But mostly where my family and partner are.

What are your favourite flowers?

Chamomile. I appreciate their simplicity and properties as well as finding them easily in the European countryside.

What was your most recent summer trip?

I spent a few days in Marseille and loved swimming in the cold ocean. It made me feel refreshed and so connected to everything.

Follow Constanze @constanzesaemann and Basium @basiumfragrances