Medicine Woman: Julie Elliott
can you tell us about your brand?
In Fiore has been around since 1999 and we specialize in luxury wellness. We started with a range of decadent body balms in our showroom in San Francisco and have since evolved into a lineup of skincare, fragrance, botanical solutions, and supplements.
We're described as a modern-day apothecary with the tagline "Perfumery as Medicine," which means in addition to scent providing benefit on the physical level, they also strongly influence the psychospiritual plane.
When you had the first contact with the nature and inspiration for your formulas
When I was a young child, I was pretty eccentric. I used to talk to plants. I used to catch lizards by singing to them. I'm of a generation that wasn't distracted by technology, so we immersed ourselves in nature; it was our playground, and we were comfortable there. Moreover, my mother worked for a company that distributed French cosmetics. She was very much into bathing rituals, so our cabinets were always filled with products that piqued my curiosity about how they were made, which set me on my lifelong path of study.
What has been the first product In Fiore and how it was born
By the early 1990s, I started experimenting with the concept of anhydrous balms. I was intrigued by the idea of taking a traditional "salve," which at the time felt antiquated and typically had an unpleasant skin feel, and turning it into a completely different experience. It was like, why not take this concept and create something that can be used on the entire body. In my tiny New York City apartment, I spent years experimenting with oils until I finally perfected a ratio of oils and technique that birthed our body balms in 1999.
Still, today, only two other people in the world are trained in my technique. It is all technique—there are no fillers or texturizes. The process is labor-intensive and why we consider them our most couture product.
You have an enormous wisdom of botanicals and I noticed you work like an alchemist. Can you tell us more about your “Medicine Woman” instinct in the creation process of each product
I have been formulating for over twenty years, have years of study, have a comprehensive perspective on materials, and view them as characters with a role to play. The process always starts with feeling—I never "think" it through—over-thinking ruins formulations. So the origins of a formula are built on a "sense," which leads to specific themes and archetypes that relate to certain materials in the materia medica. We then develop blends based on those medicinal properties with whole plant preparations and traditional healing modalities such as homeopathy that addresses the human and acts on the root cause vs. the symptoms and views the human being as a mind-body.
You told me once that “perfume” or let’s say smell is your expertise. How is this connection happen between perfumes, medicine and energy?
I've been studying spiritual phytoessencing for over ten years—synthesizing certain aspects of aromatherapy, herbal medicine, the doctrine of signatures, classical homeopathy, modern physiology, Kabbalah, anthroposophical science, and Chinese medicine. One of my teachers and mentors, Dr. Berkowsky, designed and founded this modality to help individuals overcome the separation of their higher self, which lies at the core of emotional and physical disharmony.
Phytoessences (essential oils) exert emotional and physical effects through the perception of their scents. The nose and skin are perceiving organs—the same olfactory receptors in our nose also thrive in our skin. Moreover, essential oils are the bonding medium for the soul of the plant and act as the physical entity to facilitate an interface between plants and humans. Scent is a key aspect in my approach to formulary with essential oils through emphasizing their psychospiritual properties. This helps one get into the intention and feeling of a product by overcoming the analysis of the material aspects.
What is your favorite lymphatic detox drink?
My favorite is a cranberry tonic by chef and food stylist Camille Becerra. The star ingredient is not only a superfood; it’s one of the few native fruits to North America. I like to pair it with Lâche-Lymphe, and it is delicious! It is also beneficial after a heavy mean as facts can bypass digestion and go into the lymphatics directly.
CRANBERRY MORNING ELIXIR
Add our Lâche-Lymphe tincture to this cranberry tonic to support and stimulate drainage while clearing the lymphatic system.
½ c cranberries muddled
juice of small orange and a couple of grates of its zest
1 tbsp honey
1 c boiling water
20 drops of Lâche-Lymphe per serving
Press Pot Method
Make sure all the cranberries are popped with a muddler before adding them into a press pot. Add a little boiling water to ensure an easier smash if need be. Add remaining ingredients in order—cover and steep for 5 minutes.
Note: The elixir can also be made in a small pitcher and strained if you don’t have a press pot.
Tip: Any leftover elixir you have makes for a great afternoon pick me up mixed with sparkling water over ice.