A vital part of what I do when scouring the globe sourcing ingredients is to look at the ingredient itself. Complex R&D goes into every ingredient. the location of it's origin, the soil, the environment all play an important role and by the soil alone can change the synergy of the ingredients properties.
Looking through eyes at Electron Microscopy lab at The University of Plymouth.
Prep phase getting ingredient samples ready. Each ingredient is set see below to be gold coated before going into JOEL JSM-6610LV scanning Electron Microscope.
The ingredients selected for gold coating: Juniper twig origin source ASL4900m Mount Everest Region Nepal. Dragons Blood origin source Socotra Island. Myrrh sap resin origin source Israel. Frankincence sap resin origin source Socotra island. Sandalwood origin source Tanna Island at the base of Mt Yasur active volcano. Sandalwood origin source Melakula Island (sub tropical Jungle).
WHY? I chose these ingredients out of all the many ingredients I source, was to look at the properties and soil origin source and see how extreme environments can change synergy when formulating products. The exciting ingredient out of the ones selected was Sandalwood one sample sourced from Tanna Islands base of Mt Yasur which is an activate volcano giving the soil rich is volcanic ash. Compared with Sandalwood source from Melakula Island sub tropical jungle giving a rich very different soil content. The same ingredient but because of the soil difference the ingredient looks the same but they each have a disctive different smell. Volcanic ash rich soil gives a deep heavy smell while Sandalwood from sub tropical jungle rich soil gives a very sweet softer smell. Blended together the smell is intensified.
Volcanic ash is a versatile and effective multi-nutrient mineral fertilizer whose catalytic mechanism of action is based on the supply of trace metals to the the soil microflora involved in biogeochemical cycling of elemental nutrients such as carbon, nitrogen, sulfer and phosphorous.
Below Photo is Sandalwood from soil rich in Volcanic ash.
Below Photo is Sandalwood soil from subtropical Jungle.
Below Photo is Juniper twig from Mount Everest Region at high altitude ASL 4900m
Below Photo is Dragon's Blood from remote Socotra Island.
The Importance of understanding ingredients.
When developing and formulating products one needs to know all the information about every ingredient because different properties can either blend well and enhance bring out the greater properties or they can destroy each other. Even the smell can change the finished formula which is why having a greater understanding gives you the key to produce something beautiful that will smell, feel and do exactly what it says!
For example 'ACTIVATOR' one of its Hero ingredients is Tamanu which is a fabulous ingredient sourced from Melakula Island. Tamanu has anti inflammtory properties, helps kick start your circulation and actives your muscles. On its own it smells pungent not something you would like to apply to your body. To solve this problem I blend in a mix of two Sandalwoods which transforms not only the overall smell but boosts with other properties to the finish product.