When Sara Panton, co-founder of Vancouver-based aromatherapy Vitruvi boards a plane, she takes three specific essential oils from her line with her: eucalyptus, lavender and geranium. For long flights, the lavender goes on the bridge of the nose of a sleep mask. “It helps me calm down,” says Panton. On day flights, the eucalyptus gets dabbed under her nose. “It helps open up the lungs, kind of makes you feel like you’re at a spa and promotes deep breathing.” And no matter what kind of flight it is, she requests a warm facecloth from the flight attendant and adds three drops of geranium and either steams or wipes her face with it. “It feels like a facial on the go.”
Panton, who launched the brand with her brother in 2015, had young professional travellers in mind when she designed their first collection of essential oil blends. “Scent can be this really subtle way of creating consistency,” she says. “You can go to sleep with the same scent, or wake up to the same scent or even be working with the same scent regardless if you’re in a plane, a hotel room or a convention centre.”
Now, that concept is expanding through Air Canada, who selected Vitruvi to be their new amenities partner. Panton developed a lemon and mint aroma for hand cream, facial mists and hand soap in the washrooms. In addition to wanting something that was “just fresh and natural not too perfumey”, she wanted it to be a scent that travellers would start to associate with the airline in the way that hotels are, like New York City’s Gramercy Park’s Cade 26 candle created by Le Labo. Meanwhile, flyers in business class receive a kit that includes lip balm, face lotion, and hand cream, which is scented like the brand’s best-selling Sleep blend (inspired by warm cashmere) housed in a black Want Les Essentiels bag. The products are rolling out in flights this month but Panton says there’s more in the works. “They’re going to be trend setting in terms of how scent is actually incorporated into the travel experience,” she says.