AS Apothecary is a small batch distillery, making natural skincare from flowers, bark, leaves, roots, blossom and moss grown in Sussex, Cyprus and Scotland. Focusing on natural materials and processes, Amada Saurin talks to us about the importance of craft to AS Apothecary… unnamed (7) What’s the connection between apothecary and textiles? We are unique in the world of skincare because we grow and forage the plants we need, then distil them very slowly in an Alembic Still before using the essential oils and aromatic waters in our products. In small-scale textile production, there is the same attention to detail. Each batch of plants is carefully processed so that the dye is consistent. In distilling there are parallels; the plant matter is heated over a protracted period to open the oil glands, and in dyeing the plant matter is heated over a long time to release its dye. We have started to supply the water left in the Still to a textile designer who uses it for dyeing - I love this idea. unnamed (6) Take us through your process… Distilling is addictive, we load the Still with plant matter, add water and then seal up the Still. We use copper, it is anti-microbial and the scent of the oils and waters are so much better. Once loaded and bathing in water, we turn on the heat and bring it gently to the boil. As the steam rises, it takes with it the essential oil, and as the hot steam hits the cold coils of the condenser it turns into aromatic water with the essential oil floating on the top. It’s pure alchemy. unnamed (3) What’s your favourite AS product? I absolutely love our Facial Serum - I love every part of the process of bringing it together. Among other things it contains a trio of powerfully healing resins that we harvest in Cyprus, and also has our best flower macerations such as Arnica, Rosehip, Calendula and Meadowsweet all of which calm and condition the skin as well as helping with inflammation and redness. It is a magical elixir and one of our most popular products. I think of it as pure, raw plant power. Tell us about your plans for the Chateau Dumas workshop… The Chateau Dumas workshops are really special. We will be picking, distilling, making balms and soaps and making perfectly natural perfumes. We will talk about plants, therapeutics, growing, picking and foraging. Distilling will be really good fun - there is nothing as exciting as smelling the first drops of an essential oil and enlivening your senses.   AS Apothecary will be teaching a workshop at Chateau Dumas from the 15th - 22nd of July this summer. To book a place, click here. AS Apothecary will also be taking part in the Selvedge Craft Spa on 5th May. To book a place, click here.

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