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Profile: Changing the Mood

Posted: November 8, 2007, from the November 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

Fragrance can encourage certain moods and impact behavior. Danielle Kelli Fleming, a certified behavior therapist, became intrigued with the connection between scent, mind and mood during her graduate work in human behavior and psychology. Her epiphany came one morning in the shower. “I was thinking about the scent, mind and mood connection and thought, ‘What if scent became a part of one’s daily bathing routine, thereby getting the effect of the scent without exerting much time, effort or energy?’” The result was Danielle and Company, Inc., whose Essential Experiences line of soaps and shower gels are grouped into five mood categories—Focus, Elevate, Relax, Balance and Sensual—according to the effect they have on a person’s mood.

As a new scent is created, Fleming uses experiments and past research to categorize the new fragrance. “I feel the five categories really encompass the spectrum of mood modification, and, therefore, I have found that almost all of the scents that I have worked with have fallen into a category quite nicely. Scent is very individualized, but my studies have shown that most people agree on the particular scent having the specified reaction.”

The offerings are created with shea butter, a botanical oil base and essential oils, and the product is biodegradable and packaged in recyclable materials. To maintain an eco-friendly line, the company does not use traditional preservatives and fillers. Instead, products are formulated with natural preservatives, such as rosemary extract and soybean protein.

“Our products are 100% botanically based, with all of our products transitioning to organic by January 2008. We never spend more than 4% of the total cost of the product on packaging, the other 96% goes to the pure ingredients.”

Yet the use of organic and natural ingredients presented its own challenges. “Because we do not use any fillers in our products, the raw materials to make them, especially organic, are still costly.”