Their shops may have been forced to close, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes on the Island’s high streets. Inside Essence in Ryde, you’ll find Vanessa Walker in her leopard print apron, making glittering bath butters, bubbling bath salts and all kinds of amazing products that smell of fruit cocktail, bubblegum and jellybeans.
Vanessa is an aromatherapy innovator who makes all the lotions and potions herself, and is known as the ‘bath witch’. “I’m always trying out new things”, she says. “And you can tell when I’m seriously thinking about a new idea, as I wear my slippers!”
Vanessa used to be beauty therapist for big names including Clarins, until 16 years ago, she spotted a gap in the market for her fun-loving brand. Her products turn bath-time into a sensory experience with bright colours, sparkles and little surprises like the tiny gingerbread men on top of her Gingerbread Scrub.
The ingredients have therapeutic qualities, such as poppyseeds, which are a gentle exfoliator, and pink Himalayan salt which softens the bath water. All the products are ethically made. “I’m vegan and all my products are vegan, cruelty free and as eco as possible”, she says.
The range includes Harry Potter inspired bath butters, a Galaxy collection, treats inspired by tarot cards, a Magician range, Blue Moon products for men and a Self Love gift set which contains bath salts – and a spell jar.
“Some people say you’re a bit witchcrafty,” laughs Vanessa. “I say that’s cool! I’m very happy being the ‘bath witch’ because we all need a bit of magic and fairydust right now.”
You can order products through Essence Aroma’s Facebook page – facebook.com/essenceaccessoriesiow/ – or talk to Vanessa on 611168 and she’ll make suggestions.
Local delivery is free or from £3 outside the Ryde area.
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