It feels like the time has come to talk about what goes on behind the scenes at Cathy’s Attars and who does what.
First of all, you may wonder why our beautiful little essential company is called Cathy’s Attars when we sell essential oils and flower essences, too. We had no intention of setting up an essential oil company. It just happened organically. I had been researching my family history in India, which entailed a trip to the motherland.
I noticed at one point in the trip that we were very near the town of Kannauj. I had had contact with Moosa Khan, an attar maker, through Facebook, so we put two and two together and managed to convince Moosa to meet us at his distillery even though the only day that fit our schedule was the day of a big Indian festival called Holi. We are forever grateful to Moosa and his team to have gone to work and distilled on a holiday morning just for us.
My connection with India comes from my mother line and has deeply influenced the mothering in my family for the last four generations. The aim of our journey was to piece together my Anglo-Indian ancestry and reconnect spiritually with the roots of my mother line.
The distillery and the attars that are produced there became an aromatic reminder and connection with India. The rose attar helped me heal the mother wound. Once I smelled it, I knew I couldn’t be without it. The seed of Cathy’s Attars had been sown. We took samples and once we were back in the States, we ordered our first wholesale batch of these exquisite Indian scents. If you are wondering what an attar is, read our about attars page.
Cathy’s Attars came to life through this deep, spiritual connection to the land through these aromas. I consider them my attars, because they helped me heal so profoundly and I wouldn’t be without them in my healing tool kit. It is through this deep relationship with these aromas that we have learned to use them in our practice.
Once Cathy’s Attars had got off the ground, we made a connection with an ex-student of mine from France, who had inherited a beautiful artisanal distillery in the hills of the Haute Loire region. His oils were exactly what we were looking for. We need highly energetic oils that are vibrant and alive to work effectively with the psyche.
We are also bringing in some amazing hand-crafted oils from Croatia this year, starting with helichrysum. We have spent months looking for a suitable helichrysum and are pleased and excited to finally find one that speaks to us.
Cathy’s Attars has been nomadic to say the least since its birth. It began by being squeezed in with family life in our earthship, followed by a short stay in California when we outsourced the bottling and shipping. The outsourcing didn’t work and we realized that we needed the oils near us and we needed to be in control of the practicalities, so we moved to a shed in Taos. This soon got too small and cold and so we moved to a big brand new office in Taos, which we believed we would be staying in for at least two years. Shortly afterwards, things changed rapidly due to Covid and other reasons, and now we are in a beautiful new home with office and bottling space. We are crossing our fingers that this will be a long-term base.
Now we have so much space, it’s a dream. All our oils, hydrosols, flower essences and attars have room to be bottled and shelved correctly. We could even have a dance party at the same time and still have space. We are feeling so grateful.
Florian is the man behind the operation. He does the bottling, ordering, stocks, shipping, kit building, website maintenance and problem solving. I, Cathy, make the flower essences, do most of the write-ups for the oils and essences, the social media, most of the marketing and look after the logo and branding.
Wow, I’m proud of us! By writing all this down, I can see how much we do to keep our small business up and running. I am also super grateful for all the people that believe in our quality and the vibrancy of this small but precious collection of oils and who return regularly as they build their own amazing aromatic tool boxes. We wouldn’t be here without you guys!
We are a two person team, but we sometimes hire help when there is a lot of bottling or kit making to do.
Why do we only have a small collection of essential oils and attars?
We are extremely picky with the oils and attars we decide to stock. We sample many oils but pick few. We only stock oils that we can use in our own work with clients and therefore know they work. As I mentioned above, they need to be alive and soulful. Industrially-made oils do not fit the bill, because they are not alive and don’t have that soul spark. We work with artisanal producers with whom we build deep working relationships. Currently we have two producers, one in France and one in India, and we will be introducing our new Croatian producer very shortly.
Why did we add flower essences to our collection?
I have always worked with and made flower essences. Last spring, there was an exceptional amount of precipitation in the high desert here in Taos county and many of the desert flowers that wait patiently underground for years until they get the right amount of humidity, bloomed. I felt called to work with the flowers and the land that had accompanied me on my healing journey since arriving here 5 years ago with a cancer diagnosis. I wanted to share this powerful medicine of place with others. I hope you enjoy their healing signatures. To find out more about our flower essences, read this blog post.
Why did we add hydrosols to our collection?
We have been distilling hydrosols for years for our own use and for use in healing sessions. We have been making them from the plants in the mountains and desert around us, which have learned to thrive in this harsh, extreme environment and are powerful aromatic allies for healing and transformation. The desert strips away everything that is unnecessary and the plants here help us do that and bring out the stripped-down raw beauty of ourselves, so we can thrive and shine like they do.
What is the best way to use our oils and attars?
If you have been to one of our classes or had a consultation with us, you will have experienced journeying with the oils and witnessed them guide you to deep, unconscious aspects of yourself, a process called Shadow work. We often write about our experiences with oils on our blog and in our newsletter, but the heart of our work with the oils can be found at AromaGnosis. Join AromaGnosis and learn how the power of aroma can help us heal and reconnect with ourselves.
We are intimately connected with all the oils that we sell, if you have any questions about them, please do not hesitate to contact us.
If you come to the Taos area, please feel free to contact us and come and discover the oils and attars here in our beautiful new home.