Friends of Raven + Lily: Meet Aba Gyepi-Garbrah
‘A certified aromatherapist, Aba Gyepi-Gabrah created her ‘healing aromatics’, Aba Love Apothecary, in 2016. She started off creating oil blends for friends and family before studying at the New York Institute of Aromatherapy, where she discovered ‘a new way to experience beauty and self care.’ Aba describes aromatherapy as ‘a way of reconnecting with nature and a reminder of how we used to take care of ourselves.’ Her line of aromatherapy and natural skincare products are handcrafted by Aba herself in her Brooklyn studio, made using the finest botanicals that make you feel - and smell - amazing.
Ahead of the holidays, we spoke to Aba about the importance of scent, how to enhance creativity, her favorite gifts and, most importantly, how to put self care first this Christmas.
‘I created Aba Love to be therapeutic and holistic. I was really interested in skincare and aromatherapy that helps people feel whole and reconnected to themselves. When you smell something really unique your senses are elevated and you think, ‘I haven’t smelt this before, I haven’t experienced this before but I’m going to allow myself to fully experience this.’ It’s about a feeling of being able to be transported anywhere, regardless of where you are physically. So even if you’re in your apartment, if you want to be in Italy you can smell some bergamot. Or vetiver if you want to be in Haiti or India. For me, it’s less about nostalgia and memories and more about creating new memories and a future for yourself in the here and now - a feeling of being present but being transported at the same time.’
‘My morning routine is very consistent. I meditate for about 45 minutes in the morning, then I move my body anywhere between 10-40 minutes, depending on how much time I have. Then I shower, I give myself a rub down with all the oils and start my day either on my laptop or in the studio.’
‘To tap into your creative side, I recommend my Divine Me Anointing Oil. It’s a blend I created that’s meant to be elevating and grounding at the same time, because I feel like you can have all these creative ideas but if you’re not grounded enough to take action or focus it’s never going to happen. I love the florals too - they’re beautiful, they’re extensive and they help you open up - and you need to be open to be creative, right?’
‘I would love to create new products - I have a fat notebook full of ideas. Something that comes up a lot is remedies for sleep or jet lag. We’re working across time zones these days and sometimes we need to wind down, and sometimes we need to be more alert. I’m hoping to create something in that space soon.’
‘I’m a big gift giver. I generally try to spend the holidays with my family and if I can gift Aba Love, I will do it! If somebody’s hosting, I always give Wanderlust or Divine Me because it’s non-committal and people are very particular about their skin. Or the body tonic because it’s great for your circulation and we need that in the winter time when we’re not moving around as much.’
‘My favorite holiday scents are pine and anything that smells like spice cake - anise, cinnamon, cardamon - my mom makes these really delicious spice cakes with allspice and nutmeg and she makes pine wreaths every holiday. Those are my favorites, plus anything that’s in a chai spice blend with clove, ginger and rose petals.’
‘I think people know that the holidays can be stressful so if you can plan ahead and manage expectations, that’s great. There was one year I decided to tell my family that they couldn’t ask me certain questions. I just wanted to relax and not have stressful conversations. Drawing boundaries is important - demanding respectively.’
‘I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to create your own space. Whether it’s a quiet or active space, make it beautiful and inviting. If you like to draw and you haven’t done that in a while, get a sketchbook and some paints and create a small space for yourself. Carving out that space and time is really important to feed our creative desires.’