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Never Assume

by Constance Santego

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Never Assume…

I love Aromatherapy and believe that it is an advancing alternative healing modality, and should be taught in medical schools. What surprised me was my belief or understanding of how it was used in France. 

I have been studying Aromatherapy since 1999 and have been teaching since 2001. Yes, I was approved by the BCAOA. I am proud of the many Canadian Aromatherapy Associations for all their hard work and effort to bring the level of aromatherapy to a new standard. I commend all who have participated in this undertaking.

I believe if you are going to teach something you should strive for as much understanding of the subject as possible. I had founded a school in 1999, which became accredited, for students to come and learn different healing arts. Our Mission Statement: To teach and empower people to be in control of their own health and healing spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. This is what I believe Aromatherapy can do.

I had heard that France had so much history of perfume and production of essential oils that I should easily find professionals from whom to learn. I wanted to experience first hand how the French used Aromatherapy in their hospitals. My family and I took a trip to France, so that I could see, smell, touch and understand aromatherapy first hand. Prior to leaving, I had sourced on the internet all that I could find about places to visit while I was there. It was not so easy to find on the internet any doctors that used aromatherapy. I even had my daughter who was fluent in French; translate some of the French web sites for me.

Well, it didn’t matter that I could not find anybody in particular to talk to and visit when I arrived. I knew that in Paris it should not be hard to find someone once I reached my destination. Arriving in Paris was marvelous! My teenage children, Colten and Alicia, and my husband, Nick, had never been before and were impressed by its grandness. I had visited Paris once before when I was nineteen and remembered it to be just as wonderful.

Our first morning’s activity was to venture out and see some of the aromatherapy and perfumery sights in the city. I had asked the concierge which hospital he would suggest I visit to talk to someone about how he/she used aromatherapy in the hospitals. I was quite abruptly informed that ‘No’ I would not find aromatherapy in the hospitals; hospitals are government run and aromatherapy is not used there. I would have to go to a holistic practitioner if I wanted to use aromatherapy.

Not giving up hope of finding first hand professional knowledge believing that they were so ahead of us and that aromatherapy was used medicinally, I kept looking. Our first stop was ‘Fragonard Parfumeur’. I had been there before and thought this would be a good place to start. This perfumery is one of the top manufacturers of perfume in the world and has been in operation since 1926. I was informed by one of the staff that I should be able to find aromatherapy in the south of France, in the town of Grasse.

So of course we took the train to Cannes, and the next day risked our lives by renting a car for the half-hour bumper-to-bumper drive to Grasse. Grasse is the capital of the perfume manufacturing plants and is beautifully historic; the town’s buildings remain in the old era.

There were many places offering tours that would show how perfume was made. We started with ‘Molinard’, a perfumery that was founded in 1849. The tour was in French and so with permission from the hostess, Alicia (my daughter) had to translate everything for me. We were not permitted to take any photographs. I found a few interesting tidbits while there: they use the modern steam distillation of plant materials the same method by which aromatherapy is distilled. And that perfume is used for the seasons; you would only use a winter fragrance in winter. At the end of the tour, we were brought into the sales room where visitors could purchase many different perfumes.

I was only really interested in Aromatherapy and made my way through the store until I found the appropriate area. To my joy, there was a table with aromatherapy products on it! Surprisingly, they only sold four pure essential oils: Lavender, Tea Tree, Ylang Ylang and Orange. I asked one of the staff if they had more and she said “No.” I told her that I was from Canada and I taught Aromatherapy and that I was frustrated about not easily finding aromatherapy products. She gave me some of their old information and informed me that ‘Molinard’ did try to produce and sell Aromatherapy in 1999 but they did not succeed in sales of Aromatherapy so they had to discontinue the line. I thanked her and finished up by purchasing a few aromatherapy oils, perfumes and a $150.00 book on the history of perfumes, and then we were off to the next manufacturer, ‘Fragonard”.  

This was the same Perfumery as in Paris but was their museum. We ended up having a private English speaking tour with just my family. Our tour guide answered all my questions and let us take as many photographs as we liked. It was great to learn how they made soap and perfume using distilled essential oils. Fragonard also did not sell aromatherapy products, but I did find the information on their perfumist interesting; he had to go to school for two years and apprentice for many. He had been working for ‘Fragonard’ for twenty five years and I was told his nose was one of the best in France.

He could only work for about four hours a day, which was two more then most perfumist ‘noses’ could handle. He usually developed two to three new perfumes a year for the company. I found it fascinating that some of the perfume blends had two thousand different oils in them. I finished up at ‘Fragonards’ also by purchasing some soap and perfumes (which were only sold in solid metal containers, with a cork inserted in the opening). To use the perfume you would stick a pin in the cork and apply sparingly, keeping the bottle in a drawer in your bedroom so that no light would affect the scent.

My family and I tried a third establishment to seek out aromatherapy, just in case I misunderstood or did not ask the correct questions. Here, I finally asked bluntly to the lady at the till where I could purchase some aromatherapy products and was directed to the pharmacy. I was so excited that finally I would see first hand how the professionals used aromatherapy in their practices. Alicia and I entered the first pharmacy we came upon in Grasse. The space was approximately ten feet wide and maybe fifteen feet deep. Two people could stand comfortably in the only aisle and buy product off the shelves on the walls. At the till, I asked the pharmacist about aromatherapy. As he did not speak English, Alicia translated for me again. He pointed to a shelf with a box on it that showed five of the twenty different pure essential oils that were available. I proceeded to ask what they were used for and he answered “in the bath or air.” Not quite what I was hoping for! He was very polite and gave me some literature. I thank him and we left.

Back in Paris, our next adventure was to go to another pharmacy, the one we entered did not sell any aromatherapy products. We spent the next day with my family who lives in Paris. I was hoping to get the information I was seeking from them. I really wanted to know how France used Aromatherapy medicinally. Unfortunately, I found out the same thing that everyone else had told me: I could go to a holistic practitioner if I liked aromatherapy. Well, I could do that at home.

I enjoyed my trip to France very much and I am grateful for the first-hand knowledge I learnt about aromatherapy and perfumery. I now know that the Aromatherapy ‘used medicinally’ in Canada is equivalent to the practice in France or England. But, I heard from one of my students that when she was in Australia, she witnessed first hand the medicinal use of aromatherapy.

That may be my next adventure... 


Constance Santego

Constance Santego is a Spiritual Healer, Master Educator of the Holistic Arts, Author of five books, two which are series. She is known for bridging the body, mind and soul consciousness to create your dreams into reality.

Connie’s transformation started in 1987, when she took her first weekend course and changed a love paradigm that she was born into. She spiritually awoke in 1997, when spirits started to use her to channel to others. In 1999, she opened a school which became accredited in the holistic arts and ran that until 2012 teaching students from all over the world.

Constance’s background is in business, owning her first company at the age of twenty seven until her back went out and she had to sell. Learning how to holistically heal herself, she gained many, many certificates and diplomas in spirituality and natural healing from amazing schools around the world.

Back in 2007, Connie published her first book, Intuitive Life and in 2011 Fairy Tales, Dreams & Reality…Where Are You On Your Path? She stepped it up a notch in 2017 and added to her published books; Secrets Of A Healer Series, Your Persona…The Mask You Wear, and Angelic Lifestyle A 42 Day Energy Cleanse.

Today she dedicates her time between her Santego Holistic Centre and Speaking internationally at her live events, retreats and workshops. Connie shares her insights of The Gifts you were born with on the News For The Soul Radio station.

Constance Santego inspires you with many of her step-by-step online & on-site sessions, workshops, books, retreats and live events, taking you on a journey to manifest your Dreams, Wishes and Desires and turning them into Reality.

Shift happens...Create magic! https://constancesantego.ca/


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