My trip to Nepal at the beginning of June 2014 was fantastic. Arriving at Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu is a bit of a culture shock, At Heathrow I had left behind WIFI, high tech security clearance, modern cars and sealed roads. But, I instantly fell in love with this colourful, chaotic city of modern, unfinished construction and ancient crumbling buildings, seemingly no road signs or street names and warm friendly smiles from the locals.
I hit the ground running and had a busy few days in the crazy streets of Kathmandu meeting suppliers and producers with Pavilions owner Douglas Maclagan. I was so excited to be given samples of some beautiful new essential oils, butters, oils and waxes, plus Nepali paper packaging, which are being used to develop products for the hotel. My nose started twitching with the possibilities!
Next I took a small plane to Pokhara to visit the 5* Eco resort hotel – Pavilions Himalaya which was still under construction. Wow – it is such a stunning location in a lush valley with green hills and the white capped Annapurna Mountains in the distance.
The site is a working organic farm with goats, buffalo, chickens, rice paddies, fruit trees, corn and gourd. I walked the whole site with Douglas and landscape gardener Muni to discuss various fragrant plants that will also be planted onsite to be used in both the kitchens and the spa (and as natural bug repellents). Jasmine, rose, lemongrass, frangipani, palmarosa, marigold, coriander, basil; a great introduction to the resort under construction.
Designing their signature scent whilst in Nepal, was my first challenge – to create a scent that encapsulated the essence of Nepal, the world famous Himalaya Mountains, the lush green countryside, the spicy aromatic aromas of the food and the tropical lower country.
I also showed Insuba how to make up their bespoke shower gel, hand wash and hand lotion, blending in our organic bases with their own pure spring water. ….
Pavilions also asked me to create three blends for their spa treatments and to sell in their hotel boutique shop. I created’ After Trek ‘ and ‘Relaxation Blends’ for weary travellers after trekking in the mountains and a natural bug repellent aroma for guest to use to deter the evening mossies.