Featured Pioneer: Christine Malcolm

Featured Pioneer: Christine Malcolm

In the summer of 1989, I attended an aromatherapy class by perfumer Christine Malcolm of Santa Fe Botanical Fragrances. Christine has deep roots in the perfume industry. Her career began in 1970 in the research and development area of the fragrance supplier industry.


She worked for several major companies including International Flavors & Fragrances, Givaudan and Florasynth progressing through various positions in the industry from laboratory technician and quality control evaluator to creative perfumer. In 1987, she founded her company Santa Fe Botanical Fragrancesbecause she saw that there was a need for perfumes and toiletry products to be created with authentic botanical ingredients. She is among the very first pioneers in the return to naturals with aromatherapy and botanical fragrances and helped start the current natural perfumer movement long ago. In spite of this title now being claimed by late comers, Christine may well have been first.


She has given presentations on aromatics and perfumery via platform and workshops over the years. As a freelance journalist, she wrote articles for magazines that featured aromatherapy, botanical perfumery and olfactory perception.



Christine also wrote a chapter in the book titled The World of Aromatherapy which you can read here in her BLOG. She has created some wonderful VIDEOS on the extraction of oils, bottles, and more on her site.  Enjoy the process of harvesting and distillation of flowers. Learn about the history and evolution of fragrances and how their containers were linked with the fashion world in the early to mid 1900’s. there is also a GLOSSARY of fragrance terms that is very informative.


During that first meeting with Christine, I smelled orange blossom absolute for the first time, and of course never forgot it. Years later I realized neroli essential oil is not that scent, yet from the same flower. The early absolute haunted me until I finally got some. Of course, I was transported back to that first class! Christine helped me realize putting an oil blend on moist skin, preferably out of the shower when the skin is wet or from a hydrosol is “making cream” on your face, because cream is an oil and water mix. She still offers facial moisturizers, essential oil blends, perfumes, and colognes. Thank you Christine for your contribution to my development as an aromatherapist and to aromatherapy as a whole.


Christine Malcolm in the Rose Fields