Ojai’s Stacey Moss blends science and intuition to create organic, plant-based aromas that honor the source
By Amelia Fleetwood
“Plants are my passion,” says Stacey Moss, the creator of Moss Botanicals, an Ojai-based essential oil business. She is both perfectionist and purist, melding sustainability with her Native American heritage of honoring the earth. While synthetics and chemicals flood the perfume market, Stacey opts instead for all-natural ingredients, blending them into fine aroma mists and body oils.
Launched in 2007, Moss Botanicals offers unique oil blends with soothing, evocative names like “Transform,” “Relax,” and “Calm Heart.” She even created a special “Ojai Blend” in honor of her hometown. The blends are designed to foster emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing, and each scent evokes a distinct mood.
Stacey, who attended the College of Botanical Healing Arts for Aromatherapy in Santa Cruz, has a history as a healer and maker of home remedies, particularly plant-based medicines. But smell, she says, is the “most powerful and primitive sense we have. When people breathe things in, it … helps in the creation of an earth-consciousness, which is so important for me to share.”
A believer in the power of simplicity, Stacey uses only the bare essences of plants while drawing on and integrating her Native American sensibilities. She hand-blends and pours every batch of oil, and grows and distills many of her own plants: hummingbird sage, mugwort, rosemary. “Distillation is an art very much like making wine,” she says. “Batches can differ slightly from year to year, but the medicinal and therapeutic qualities will remain constant.”
For plants not readily available in the local area, she relies on other small companies that share her passion for sustainability and quality. She is careful not to employ any essential oils that appear on the endangered or rare list, avoiding scarce, overused Indian sandalwood, for example, and instead opting for a more abundant strain from Australia.
Indeed, Stacey makes earth-conscious decisions whenever possible and holds the plants themselves in the highest regard. “There is so much to learn from plants, and so many ways to use the oils,” she explains. “I’m always excited to give the plants a platform to communicate their knowledge to us.”
Integrity. Balance. Healing.
Stacey’s favorite? Transform: “I love the elegance and tranquility of the scent.”
Organic, wild-crafted, non-sprayed essential oils of Elemi (Canarium luzonicum), Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum), and Vetiver (Vetivera zizanioides) in organic jojoba oil.
10ml body roll on, $18; 4oz aroma mist, $26.
Purchase Moss Botanicals online at mossbotanicals.com or in natural foods and vitamins stores including Lassens, Lucky Vitamin, and Thrive Market (thrivemarket.com).