Geraldine Howard

As a busy businesswoman and mother I can think of nothing better than a spa treat and have long been a fan of Aromatherapy Associates’ products and treatments. I wanted to share this brand with you and have chosen Geraldine Howard, Co-Founder & President of Aromatherapy Associates, to be our May interviewee. Aromatherapy Associates have been the leading experts within aromatherapy for over 30 years and Geraldine founded this British business with Sue Beechey to maximize their joint expertise working with therapeutic oils. Their clever products are now used in the best hotels, resorts and day spas throughout the world as well as highly respected retail outlets such as Liberty, Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges. Aromatherapy Associates' main boutique & treatment rooms are in Montpelier Street, Knightsbridge, London - very close to Harvey Nichols which stocks a fantastic edit of the Winser London collection - what a fabulous day you could have visiting both!

Geraldine, you have built an award-winning British luxury wellbeing brand that is internationally recognised and hugely successful. Looking back over the last three decades, what was it that you set out to do and what element of the journey have you found the most fulfilling?

Our main aim has always been to make products and design treatments that really make a difference to people’s lives. This remains our constant goal and strategy behind every new product launch. Each week I get emails and letters from people all over the world who tell me what a difference our products make to their specific problems – nothing is more motivating to keep creating than this feedback.

You have helped us all appreciate how essential oils are extremely effective at enhancing the state of our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. I and many of my Winser London clients lead hectic lives – what advice would you offer to help us recharge and restore that all-important balance?

I am a real believer that if you have your mind in the right place, then the rest comes a little more easily. Essential oils can help treat a huge number of issues - it can help create a good night's sleep, work to calm the mind, give you energy… The most important thing is to select the blend that you really need at that moment.

The Winser London collection always has travel in mind and all of our pieces work well while worn en route as well as fresh out of a suitcase on arrival. Aromatherapy Associates has produced a line of travel products that help you sleep, revive your energy and leave skin radiant – and I notice you have recently collaborated with British Airways on their in-flight wash-bags. Do you enjoy travelling and what are your personal travel tips?

I love travelling and am away so regularly that I have perfected what I need to do to look and feel best after a long flight. I find that exercise is crucial – I always try and stay in a hotel with a pool, as I love to swim, and it definitely helps make me sleep better. I always use hydrating and repairing masks for a quick repair, as flying and air-con can be very drying on the skin. When you’re tired and busy, your skin needs the goodness more than ever, so don’t think you can ‘get by’ without any aspect of your usual regime as your skin will notice it.

As a businesswoman working in the world of wellbeing, what is your personal style and do you have a favourite look or single outfit that makes you feel particularly comfortable and confident?

I tend to buy fewer, better quality pieces, particularly well cut/tailored trousers and soft jackets. I have a passion for beautiful scarves, which I think transform an outfit. My Winser London favourites so far include the Milano Knitted Jacket and Milano Blazer – and of course one of the super-soft and lightweight cashmere wraps.

Aromatherapy Associates only ever uses the highest-quality natural essential oils. For me, this is authentic luxury. What does luxury mean to you?

To me it is usually about being understated and when something gives you moments of pure delight and enjoyment - it is often about textures, feel, colour and smell.

As we Brits prepare to bare a touch more skin for the Summer months, what would you recommend to help us look our best when the sun comes out?

Make sure you use a body oil regularly to get your skin in really good condition. My all-time favourite is our Renewing Rose Massage & Body Oil, which leaves your skin beautifully scented and glowing.

You have just launched a new skin care range - Rose Infinity – which keeps skin younger and which I now have at the top of my beauty shopping list! Tell us about the benefits of this new range and what you love about it.

What I love most about it is that it is a truly natural collection that delivers the most brilliant results, harnessing some of the most advanced ingredients in the world. The collection harnesses ‘Telomere Technology’ to help re-build telomeres and support skin regeneration – this is highly innovative new knowledge and the results really are extraordinary and visible within just 3 weeks. Nothing has ever been more effective at helping to get rid of my crow’s feet! I hope your clients find it equally rewarding.