Jennifer Pressimone is a world leader in aromatherapy business, product and event development as well as educational landscape with her JennScents Aromaversity®. She has seen the topography of the aromatherapy industry change over the last 20 years and has played a vital role in advancing the profession and practice of authentic aromatherapy. Let’s chat with her about her journey, discoveries and experience.
How did you come into aromatherapy?
It is serendipitous how God puts us in the right place, at just the right time, surrounded by just the right people. I truly am blessed not only to have experienced this, but to be aware that change and growth was happening, even at my weakest health moment. I didn’t come into aromatherapy. Aromatherapy found me and infused itself in my life to save my life. I had been battling a life-threatening health issue, Crohn’s Disease for a few years. After several years of unsuccessful conventional medicine and procedures, the doctor’s said my body was failing, and my life expectancy was very limited. Not knowing what to do with that information, I leaned on my family for support. My sister asked, as a last resort, if I would visit a local herb shop that she found that was near to my home. I was looking for anything to relieve my body pain, help me gain weight, feel better, eliminate hormone imbalances, headaches, intestinal discomfort and to make me well. I started using an aromatherapy blend that the herb shop owner made for me to relieve abdominal spasms and cramping. This blend not only relieved many of my physical symptoms, but also lifted my spirits, enhanced mood and reignited my desire to live. We constructed an herbal and aromatherapy regime that essentially, gave me my life back. I could walk more confidently (and upright after slouching over in pain for years), digest my food better and have an active quality of life once again. In order to facilitate my healing, I took a one-month sabbatical from my then job as an insurance underwriter and focused on living a healthier lifestyle. During this month, as I got healthier, I realized my greater purpose was to help others help themselves and share what I learned in helping myself. From here, the vision for my aromatherapy custom blending bar evolved, kind of on its own, and I decided to pursue this as a full-time career. I was and am truly blessed to be living a passion and dream that makes a difference. It is my dream reality, my dreamality.
What is your favorite aroma and why?
Wow, that is really hard to answer. I’ve been working with essential oils for almost 20 years. Needless to say, I have developed a close relationship with over 150 scents. To me, essential oils are like people, with personalities, certain given talents and benefits. When you see the beauty in what these essential oils offer, they all are beautiful in their own, even if you are not attracted to their scent. With that said, if I had to pick one, I would have to say Roman Chamomile. This one is near and dear to my heart. It was the very first essential oil I ever smelled, the one that the lady at the herb shop made for me that knocked out by abdominal pain and distress, and the one that continues to resonate with me to this day.
I will say, from a scent perspective, my favorite aroma changes periodically, depending on my given situation and circumstances. Certain oils will resonate with me to help me manage a crisis, feeling and mood. This is true aromatherapy. Matching aromas to the given situation to bring balance. Aromatherapy is not intended for one person to like just one scent for the rest of their life, although this may be the case for some people. Aromatherapy shifts, alters, affects. changes, enhances and influences our mood, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual condition. When people get stuck in any of these places, imbalances set in. Physically, the lymphatic system can get congested. Mentally and emotionally, one can have depression and/or feel defeated. For example, when people are stuck in a grief situation, respiratory and lung ailments will shortly follow as grief is held in the lungs (according to Chinese medicine). When a person works through their grief, these discomforts and ailments subside. So the idea is for us to be attracted to a scent(s) when we need them, allow them to help us get unstuck, move on and work on something else. Hence a new scent or scents will be needed. This is the natural process of life, too. We use what we need, when needed. Emotions are energy in motion. We should experience them, release them, let them go and move on. Aromatherapy helps us do that. So, at any given time, your favorite scent may change.
What do you, personally, use aromatherapy for?
Everything! From my own personal care products to room and linen sprays, hand sanitizers, cleaning products, perfumes, massage oils…the list can go on. Physically, it can provide antibacterial, and other benefits. I use in a hand and body wash, muscle ache cream, skin irritation spray, digestive upset, chest rub and hand sanitizer. Mentally and emotionally, I use for stress relief, anxiety, sleep enhancing diffusing blend, hormone headache balance and to feel inspired and creative. I make up my own facial products, hair care, body lotions and sprays, all my cleaning products, room sprays and laundry detergents using essential oils.
Do you have a healthcare background?
Well, I do not have a formal professional healthcare background, however my experience comes from a patient’s perspective. The fight and journey I’ve taken to save my own life. When you learn something to help yourself, you can internalize that information. Since it is more personal, you tend to remember it more.
My learning and experience activated my mind to see problems and match up solutions. Even if I had to invent the solution. Throughout my journey of visiting many hospitals including the Jacksonville Mayo Clinic and Shands Hospital, I learned so much medical knowledge, as I needed to understand it for me. I had to understand what they were telling me and why. And to use that knowledge to figure out how I was going to help myself. What was the best solution for me?
I lived through the healthcare system. At one point, I was told by my doctors that there was nothing more they could do for me. Nonetheless, I value the medical field. We need medicine. I feel there is a way to safely and effectively integrate natural alternatives into conventional medicine practices for overall wholeness and holistic care. I have been fortunate to create relationships with many doctors in my area and other places in the US to promote a healthier, holistic health care view that genuinely serves the needs of the people and pets.
What did you do at your aromatherapy bar business?
Ah, my favorite! I love blending! I love helping people. So, marrying these two passions is what I was able to offer at my aromatherapy custom blending bar. People would come to visit me, at my bar, and after conversing for a bit and them sharing what ails them, either physically, mentally and/or emotionally. I was able to interpret that with scents, and create them a customized, personalized and individualized aromatherapy blend. They use the blend until their issue passed, or until they were not attracted to the scent anymore, then they would return for a new blend. I make up healing salves, ointments, body mists, room sprays, massage oils, bath salts and scrubs, perfumes and essential oil blends. Customers visited me for special blends to help them with stress, anxiety, fatigue, physical concerns, emotional imbalances, hormonal imbalances and more. I conduct Olfactory Sensory Testing with most customers to determine which scents they like the best and then create a personalized blend just for them that met their specific needs. This unique and important service helps so many people achieve wellness, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Because it is individualized, the results are more precise an effective. It is like an aromatherapy farmacy.
What are some of your favorite aromatherapy projects?
Anytime I get to blend, that is my favorite project. I also love teaching, which didn’t use to the case, as I had a debilitating fear of public speaking. After years of sharing my story, teaching at conferences and conventions, my fear turned into being a strength and asset. I love teaching now. I’ve spoken to hundreds of thousands of people, sharing aromatherapy. I’ve traveled the world helping wellness and medical spas integrate an aromatherapy custom blending bar into their facility. Before or after treatments, clients will stop by the aromatherapy bar for a custom blend. I was involved with helping educate and incorporate an aromatherapy program into several Hospital’s Hospice Care facilities. I’ve created signature scents for movies, events, weddings and businesses. My mission is to help others experience the power of true aromatherapy while gaining genuine knowledge and understanding about how it works. I want to instill confidence, empowerment and encouragement for people to effectively incorporate it into their lives and the lives of their family, friends and pets to achieve optimal well-being.
What makes you a special aromatherapist?
I think it is all the fabrics of me. Every experience I’ve endured. Every person I’ve met. Every situation I’ve helped. All of this leads to experience coupled with the inner knowing and awareness of what I am experiencing. Being present to take in the lessons being delivered to me.
I am gifted at combining skill, scentillect, experience and knowledge with energetics, intuition, spiritual and animal guidance. All of this helps me truly connect with others at a core, soul level to feel what they are feeling and interpret that into a scent blend. It is like I can feel what my clients and students are feeling. I have the innate ability to translate them and create healthy, productive and positive methods for them to tap into their inner brilliance, so they can shine.
Scents help the brain see what the heart is feeling. When you can help someone connect their head and intellect, to what their heart is feeling and what they know to be true with their gut intuition, this is where true healing can begin. I am great at that. I love being great at that. This is the purpose and contribution God has bestowed upon me. All my life’s experiences, training and awareness has brought me to this specific moment in time. It has made me a Scent Explorer.
When I create products, I integrate all these facets into my blends. I formulate and blend with intent to balance a specific niche health benefit. I want them to be encompassing, and simultaneously beneficial bridging mind, body, soul and spirit. I am a gifted formulator and blender. I love it at its core, which is why its true essence can shine through in my creations.
When I teach through personal interaction, or through my writings in my books and blog, I strive to extend education that empowers and inspires others with skill, confidence and scentillect. I engage multi-modal learning as everyone learns differently. Some are visual learners, some auditory and some by hands-on practice. I engage all of these together. My job is to pay forward my blessings. My personal experience allows me to connect on a personal level. I often get feedback that people think I am talking directly to them, even in a room full of people. That’s because I have experienced a lot in my life. I know what it feels like to be at your highest point, your lowest point and everywhere in between. I want to teach others how to tap into their own inner knowing, deep level of intuition to become aware, recognize and connect with their own true nature and spiritual guides.
I am a problem-solver and resolution specialist. I have a distinct talent to solve unique situations. I consider myself a puzzle master, investigator and researcher, finding all of the facts, piecing it together and developing a solution. I look for the common denominator to get well-rounded, precise and effective results to connect head, heart and gut simultaneously. I am good at thinking outside box. I have an investigative background in insurance and bank analysis along with psychology and life experience. These abilities have given me the capability to grow and develop an aromatherapy business. I am a scentpreneur® with a business savvy mind-set. My skill, positive energy and intuition guide me in offering support in helping people through empowerment and enlightenment.
My Spiritual Phyto-essencing training with Dr. Bruce Berkowsky has had a deep impact on my life, as well as my coaching, teaching and blending. Spiritual Phyto-essencing is an intuitive art of aligning head, heart, gut, spirit and soul through multiple modalities such as aromatherapy, herbalism, chakra balancing, emotional energy clearing, gemstones, homeopathic, and other holistic practices. Sometimes, one method is needed, but most of the time, it is an integration of several of these remedies, in just the right balance and precision to bring about harmony and balance at the innermost levels. It is an incredible gift that I have learned, tapped into and practiced over the course of 16+ years.
Interview with Jennifer at the Orlando Voyager
Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prescribe. It is recommended that if serious health issues exist, you consult a licensed medical provider. JennScents does not assume liability or responsibility for the use and/or misuse of this information.
References: This blog contains excerpts from JennScents Aromaversity Certification Courses and the JennScents Holistic Aromatherapy Comprehensive Guide.