THE BOHEMIAN, THE BOTANIST & THE STORY OF ALFRESCO
People who know Sarah-Lou might say she’s a fanciful dreamer, an astute businesswoman, an exacting perfectionist, a mother-hen, an ex-fashion designer, a teacher, a traveller, a fearless adventurer; a bit of a hippy with bohemian tendencies. Sarah-Lou is many things to many people and the list of things she loves is plentiful and varied.
At the top of that list however, is family. Proud mum to son Tony, a successful businessman in his own right, Sarah-Lou tends to attract a veritable motley crew of individuals who she takes under her wing and who quickly become part of her Alfresco® family.
Another of her loves is travelling. Although she’s a true-blue, bona fides Londoner, after her native England her next port of call is: Australia, to where one of her heroes, Sir Joseph Banks, set sail over two hundred years ago. He brought back plant cuttings from the other side of the world to England and in 1766, whilst he madly botanised 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 King George III's Kew Gardens, collected thousands of plant specimens from the East Coast of Australia and brought 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.
As a volunteer at the 300 hundred year old Chelsea Physic Garden, Sarah-Lou found herself repeatedly drawn to the Australian area of The Garden, where she learned Sir Joseph’s story. An Aquarian, just like the botanist, she too had always been a 5-star meal to insects and immediately felt an affinity with the man. When she learned that biting bugs also caused misery to many of her family and friends, Sarah-Lou, being the type of person Sarah-Lou is, decided she would do something to help.
She determined right away that the use of artificial chemicals was an absolute no no – her product would utilise the natural properties of her beloved plants and flowers. For many years she experimented with various essential oils and lotions, some more successful than others, until finally, she perfected the signature Alfresco® fragrance.
At last! She had found the most effective botanical blend, which she rushed to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where it was tried and tested – only on humans of course! The renowned researcher Dr. Nigel Hill even recommended Alfresco® to Robert Redford on the set of The Horse Whisperer.
An excited Sarah-Lou then took her professionally tested signature fragrance to an apothecary and formed an alliance with a long-established, family run factory. Together they created the fine quality products Sarah-Lou wanted to sell to the world; a quality she ensures continues to this day. Now she marvels that with a click of a button, her Alfresco® can be winging its way anywhere in the world. The same unique signature fragrance she designed over 20 years ago, still harnessing the power of botanical extracts to help keep biting bugs at bay. Sarah-Lou likes to think Sir Joseph would approve.