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For aromatherapy, perfume, healing or culinary use, essential oils are the "aromatic soul of the plant," according to Trygve Harris, the owner of Enfleurage, 237 W. 13th [Greenwich/7th Aves.] 212.691.1610.
Born in Southern California, affected equally by scent and wanderlust, Ms. Harris visits many of the growers and distillers, small farms and gatherers around the world involved in the plants that go into the essential oils, absolutes and the process of enfleurage.
Ms. Harris spends much of her time in Salalah, Oman, distilling frankincense and myrrh. She's also made many trips to Laos following the saga of the agarwood tree and the Oud and Boyah that the tree produces. It's remarkable how quickly the natural world becomes entwined in the political.
You'll find essential oils of cypress and tuberose, basil and tangerine peel, vetiver, neroli and shiso leaf, jasmine and ginger.
There are house blends for specific activities and needs: Cough Control, Serene Spirit, and Sleep are three of them.
They also sell sprays, incense, diffusers. For those just becoming interested in aromatherapy, the store offers classes on how to use essential oils. Be warned: once you breathe this world in, it's hard to let it go.