Monday, June 22, 2015

An Interview with Aromatherapist Sharon Falsetto

In my last post, I reviewed Sharon Falsett's book,
Authentic Aromatherapy
She was gracious enough to let me interview her. 
Check out the book review HERE

ADOT: How did you get started? 

SF: I first “discovered” essential oils after my first husband passed away suddenly in 2004.  I primarily was interested in learning how to use essential oils for myself. However, I soon discovered how useful these little bottles of oils could be for everyone and wanted to learn more about them – with a respected professional in the industry. So, in 2005, I enrolled with the Penny Price Academy of Aromatherapy (UK) and began my journey into aromatherapy!

Do you remember your first time using essential oils? Your first DIY project with them? 

SF: It was quite a long time ago so I can't remember exactly my first time of using essential oils :) However, I do remember that I began making up massage blends for friends and family to try to help with their aches and pains!

ADOT: What's your favorite go-to resource that you use and recommend to others - book, website?

SF: It's difficult to name just one as there are several respected names in the aromatherapy industry. However, my first comprehensive resource on essential oils when I was studying was Julia Lawless's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. Although my copy of this book is a little dog-eared these days from thumbing through it so many times, I still refer to it today. What I most liked about this book as a student was that the essential oils/plants are listed via their botanical name, and not their common English name. This helped me to learn botanical names quickly!

ADOT: What's your favorite can't live without essential oil?

SF: I have a few but I generally name geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) as my favorite essential oil. It is relatively gentle to use, versatile in its uses, and is good to use for skincare – and with many women's problems. It also has a great rosy aroma – without the heaviness of rose.

ADOT: What DIY product do you always have on hand (lip balm, tincture)? Would you share the recipe/directions (link is great)?

SF: My most useful blend is a simple lotion with geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) and tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oils. I find this recipe useful for insect bites and stings, skin inflammations, cuts, and rashes. Living in Arizona, these are frequent occurrences! You can use a simple white lotion, balm, or butter as the base for this product - such as those detailed in the Sedona Aromatherapie Basic Butters, Balms, Creams and Lotions Course:

Water-based, as opposed to oil-based, is my preference as it is more “cooling” for these conditions. A simple recipe would be:

  • 2 oz base lotion/balm/butter
  • 8 drops of geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil
  • 10 drops of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil
TIP: Substitute tea tree essential oil with rosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia) essential oil – especially for young children.

ADOT: What do you think is the biggest barrier that's keeping people from using essential oils. What's your advice for overcoming that?

SF: I think that many people get confused by the often-conflicting information on the internet about essential oils. My advice is to purchase a few good books on aromatherapy by respected names in the field (do your research), then if you want to take it further take a good course in aromatherapy. It can be just a short beginner course or a full certification course, depending upon your goals. I offer various options for people to start using essential oils safely including my book Authentic Aromatherapy: {HERE}, short product courses and kits: {HERE}, and a full certification in professional aromatherapy: {HERE}.

ADOT: It is really easy for beginners and those on a budget to get overwhelmed when wanting to get started with essential oils and making their own products because some of these projects take so much supplies. Do you have a good starter option for people who are looking to just test the waters? How do you determine when it's time to invest in more supplies (essential oils, tools)? What's the best plan to start building up your inventory without breaking the bank? 

SF: Unfortunately, once you start purchasing essential oils you will always find there is another one that you want or need! It becomes a passion! However, if I was to recommend a starting point based on the options I offer, I would recommend one of the make-your-own kits. They include all the materials needed to make the product in the kit and are a popular purchase around Holiday time: {HERE}. If you then want to go further, I would opt for the Foundation Course in Aromatherapy with the kit option – it includes everything you need to complete this course and you get a good grounding in essential oils: {HERE}. Finally, once you are really serious, I would recommend continuing with the Certification in Professional Aromatherapy: {HERE]. Although this course doesn't include supplies, I give you a comprehensive list of supplies needed, and choices to make the dozen products on this course. This path will help you to build up your supplies slowly – and is, in fact, the route several students have taken. It helps to plan your budget as well. By the completion of the final course, you will have a good stock of supplies to start a small home-based business.

ADOT: What's a tip you have for readers who hope to squeeze in a little time for their next essential oil recipe?

SF: Prioritize! Sometimes I get caught up in all the writing I do that I don't have time to progress on the blending side. As much as I love writing and sharing advice, I was recently becoming frustrated with my lack of time – and space – to blend more recipes. So, I am now in the process of re-organizing my work space to be able to take on more custom blending projects shortly. I think that this will be the inspiration for more recipes and more projects.

ADOT: Do you have any tips for those perfectionists out there that may not try to DIY because they are afraid it won't turn out good enough? Or who may not want to start using essential oils because they are afraid it won't work?

SF: One thing I have learned about blending and making essential oil recipes is that sometimes the best recipes occur by “accident.” Even if you follow the step-by-step instructions prepared by someone else, it may not turn out the way you had initially hoped. Tweaking a recipe is all part of the learning experience – and will lead you to discover more. So, take a leap of faith, and try to put aside any pre-conceived ideas!

ADOT: Space is often a big barrier, whether it's trying to building a DIY project in your small downtown apartment, or finding storage space for all the supplies. How do you keep things organized? Is there a best way to get the most out of projects in a small space?

SF: As I mentioned above, I have recently outgrown my work space for blending! So, I am re-organizing, after re-assessing my needs. In the Certification in Professional Aromatherapy course, there is one section on how to organize your supplies and evaluate your needs. Invest in storage bins, label everything, and store appropriately. Even if you have small space it can work for personal use. Don't buy too many supplies at first but consider the basics of what you need – also covered in the Certification in Professional Aromatherapy. For professional use, you may have to eventually consider expanding your space – like me :)

ADOT: For those readers with kids, who can occupy most of their time and space, what's a good safe and fun way in incorporate projects with kid time? 

SF: It is worth remembering that essential oils are not “toys” and that all children should be supervised when using essential oils. Very often you see the phrase “play with essential oils” and it can be misleading. In addition, essential oils should always be stored out of the reach of children.

However, properly supervised and with safe use, you can do projects with essential oils for older children. For example, when my nieces were nine and ten years old, I supervised a project with them to make lip balms. They enjoyed the experience – and loved using the lip balms afterwards! You can allow them to take part in the process as long as you do not leave them alone with the essential oils and other ingredients – and especially around hot pans.

ADOT: What inspires you to continually contribute to the essential oil community?

SF: Aromatherapy is my passion and helped me through a difficult part of my life. I am currently undergoing another difficult transition in my personal life and, again, my passion for aromatherapy and sharing it with others is helping me.

I see so many people wanting to learn about essential oils recently and, as an aromatherapist, I feel that it is my duty to educate and share safe use of essential oils, so that we can all enjoy them and benefit from them. When I see the pleasure and confidence that some people get in using essential oils, after reading my book, my blog, an article that I wrote, or has taken one of my courses, it inspires me to do more.

About Sharon Falsetto:
Sharon Falsetto is a UK-certified aromatherapist who trained with Penny Price Aromatherapy. She has lived in the United States since 2006 and is the founder and owner of Sedona Aromatherapie.  Sharon personally creates custom blends for individual requests, therapists, spas, weddings, and private label. She has written, and tutors, a home study aromatherapy certification program – including the 250 hours Certification in Professional Aromatherapy course – in addition to several shorter courses on making bath and body products; she is an approved education provider for NAHA:, and an approved continuing education provider for NCBTMB. Sharon's unique skill is professional writing, specifically for aromatherapy-related businesses, and she offers a professional writing service to this effect. She has written and edited books, e-books, articles, and website descriptions for both start-up and established aromatherapy businesses. Her aromatherapy book, Authentic Aromatherapy: , was published in 2014. Sharon is the current chief editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal and a NAHA Director (Arizona). You can visit Sharon’s website at:, blog at: , or contact her via email at:

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