A career in healthcare and experience in floral design mixed with a love of the outdoors led Robin Kielkowski to create Brandywine Botanicals. Kielkowski took an aromatherapy course to learn the basics therapeutic use of essential oils. This class made her aware of the ingredients in products and that her true passion was with the fragrance of the oils. Next came a class in natural perfumery and smelling all different essential oils and ingredients. The successful combinations became Brandywine Botanicals.
Robin told us, “My approach to natural fragrance is one of balance and moderation. While emphasizing awareness of using natural products and how our bodies absorb what they are exposed to, I understand there is no single right answer for everyone.” It seems her customers all have their own motivation to chose a natural fragrance. While some have sensitivities to synthetics, others have a lifestyle or a movement away from commercial products, and then many just love the smell and uniqueness.
In recent years the skincare and beauty industry has shifted towards natural ingredients. Brandywine Botanical fragrances “are derived from plants and have a complexity and depth that is difficult to capture in a lab. No preservatives or dyes are added. The colors come from plants: fresh greens, warm yellows, amber and rose blush.”
Their care for customers goes even further as Brandywine Botanicals offers a Create Your Own Fragrance Event. Her inspiration behind it, Robin said, “We had so much fun testing the fragrances and learning about each one that I wanted to share this experience.” Events begin with a bit of learning about the ingredients including advantages and disadvantages to natural and synthetics, fragrance strength classification, types of essences, and what makes a balanced fragrance. Next customers sample the fragrances figuring out what combinations they like best. And a custom fragrance is created!
Currently Brandywine Botanicals is based out of Kielkowski’s home studio and sold online and in a few local shops. But she believes the company will grow to have its own brick and mortar so she can have more interaction with her customers.
Below we have rounded up a list of Robin’s favorites and her thoughts on each!
“Violetta takes a floral and adds a pink pepper that I found. It is peppery, but softer than black pepper and has a touch of soft juniper. Some of my fragrances fall into the ‘gourmand’ category. I love vanilla, spices, fresh herbs and citrus and include them in some of my fragrances.”
“Fresh Cardamom contains cardamom but this familiar spice is blended with florals, patchouli and sandalwood. It is interesting because the fragrance becomes soft and clean smelling as it evolves on your skin. It is one of my most unique fragrances.”
“The Brandywine Valley is full of beautiful gardens. White Garden was inspired by summer gardens in full bloom. It is full of heady, white florals like jasmine and frangipani and tamed with moss and vetiver. You just never know when an idea will pop up.”
“Almost Summer is one of my favorites and it always gets rave reviews. I wanted something simple and a little nostalgic for summer. There is nothing like citrus combined with florals. For this fragrance I added orange blossom. If you’ve ever been in an orange grove when the trees are blooming you will understand how the breeze carries their fragrance. They bloom in early spring….almost summer! A bit of sandalwood and vanilla take me back to the warmth of early summer at the beach and add a certain depth to the blend. I will wear this year round when I need a lift!”