The woman behind Alfresco and the botanist
Sarah-Lou Morris (Reekie), an Aquarian
Who has always been a 5-star meal to insects. Even when in London working as a volunteer at the 300 year old Chelsea Physic Garden she was bothered by them.
For many years she experimented with various essential oils and lotions until finally she came up with the Alfresco fragrance. More trials and tests followed. At last she found the most effective fragrance blend. Which she took to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who tried and tested it. The renowned researcher Dr Nigel Hill recommended Alfresco to Robert Redford on set for The Horse Whisperer.
Sarah-Lou excitedly took this formula to an apothecary and formed an alliance with a very old established English family run factory who produced the quality Sarah-Lou wanted to sell to the world.
After her native England her next port of call is: Australia, to where Sir Joseph Banks set sail, over two hundred years ago, bringing plant cuttings back from the other side of the world to England. He was also an Aquarian and a 5-star meal for insects.
In 1766, whilst madly botanising in Newfoundland, Lieutenant John Phipps wrote of Banks 'He works night and day and lets the mosquitoes eat more of him than he does of any kind of food through eagerness'.
With enthusiasm and focus the charismatic Sir Joseph, eventually a curator for George III's Kew Gardens, collected thousands and thousands of plant specimens from the East Coast of Australia bringing them back to The Chelsea Physic Garden in carefully designed wooden boxes on Captain Cook's ship. These plant boxes can still be seen at the Garden.
Sarah-Lou was always drawn to the Australian area within the Garden. Don't tell anyone but she would often talk to Sir Joseph about which plants she should blend and chat to him about her research.
Now she marvels that with a click, Alfresco's fragrance can take you back to another world and another time. 'Mind you, bugs don't appreciate it' she says, laughing.