Posted Feb 26th, 2020 in Retail Roundup
Like many of the business owners that have been in Downtown Wilmington for more than 20 years, Eva Terashima of Down to Earth Aromatics had a humble start. Inspired by a World War II book for housewives called “Kitchen Cosmetics” and a desire to create something that smelled good, Eva created bath salts and sold her products from a table on South Water Street.
That was 1992 and aromatherapy was in its infancy. At first, Eva’s products were made with synthetic oils that didn’t hold the fragrance very well, so she transitioned to all-natural oils. Armed with about 20 pure oils, she opened a shop in the Cotton Exchange and started to experiment with blends. She recalls, “The most successful combinations were mainly happy accidents.”
One such accident led to a blend that became a rarity—Never More—a combination she has never been able to duplicate. Despite its popularity, only one small bottle remains and it is not for sale. Other popular blends include Harvest Moon, a lavender and pumpkin mixture that men find attractive; Verge of Vanilla, a warm, sexy fragrance and Persia, an exotic combination of patchouli, cardamom and amber.
Eva has a love-hate relationship with patchouli. When she first started the business in the early 90s, she would get endless calls from “Deadheads” because patchouli was synonymous with the Grateful Dead culture. She said customers wanted it in everything and it dominated most of the other oils. Eventually, she made her peace with patchouli when she discovered that just five drops of it could ground some more intense fragrances.
To be clear, Eva is not an aromatherapist. She acquired most of her knowledge through trial and error; however, she studied for and was awarded two certificates in her craft. Eva calls herself a purveyor of oils and remains skeptical of false claims, particularly in the gray area known as emotional aromatherapy. She has a healthy respect for essential oils and a passion for her craft.
Eva says there is no magic oil. She uses high-quality oils from select oil distilleries. Much like liquor or fine wines, all-natural oils have different aromatic values depending on the distillation process. The price of the end-product is proportional to the quality and rarity of the original plant.
If you want the true unicorn of oils that a Saudi prince once bought for his mom on Mother’s Day, ask for Oud. This exquisite oil originates from aloeswood and is highly sought after. Although the Saudi prince didn’t flinch at the price, you might have to save up—he paid $1600 for 100 drops of this rare oil!
Rest assured, many of the oils, balms, body butters, lotions, soaps and sprays at Down to Earth Aromatics are much more affordable and staff will help you find blends you will love. Eva’s underlying goal is to create blends for people who love aromas.
Hours: Mon-Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Down To Earth Products
315 N Front St
Wilmington, NC 28401