Only-in-YEG shopping list: Meet an Edmonton perfume-maker

When Lane Edwards was a little girl she spent her days mucking around the dirt, brewing “magic potions” with twigs, leaves and mud.

'The fusion between my passion for alchemy and beauty was really ignited in me as I grew up'

Lane Edwards is the founder of Pura Botanicals, a beauty apothecary and perfumery in Edmonton. (CBC Edmonton )

Finding the perfect gift can be a struggle.

The malls are packed with pushy shoppers, and trying to navigate online shopping sites can leave anyone feeling frazzled.

In an attempt to ease the holiday strain, Radio Active , CBC Edmonton's afternoon show, is bringing you an offering of only-in-Edmonton gifts that are sure to keep you off the naughty list.

The YEG shopping list features the stories behind creations you'll only find here.

When Lane Edwards was a little girl she spent her days mucking around the dirt, brewing "magic potions" with twigs, leaves and mud.

Now her childhood fascination has turned into a full-time career. Edwards is the founder and owner of Pura Botanicals, a beauty apothecary and perfumery in Edmonton.

"I was always really fascinated by nature and using nature in mixing potions," said Edwards.

"I had a little step on the side of my home and I was the girl who was mixing the mud and leaves and the sand and the water and everything else I could get my hands on."
In her lab, Edwards uses hundreds of different essential oils and natural ingredients to concoct her perfumes and creams. (CBC Edmonton )
 Inside her gleaming white lab on 124th Street, Edwards creates luxury perfumes, creams and essential oils, all free of harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients.

'Alchemy and beauty'

Her hand-mixed concoctions are made of plant- and flower-derived essences, and wild harvested ingredients like rosewood, frankincense and French lavender.

The local businesswoman draws inspiration from her love of nature, and her mother.

"I was always very fascinated by beauty and beauty products, and our first introduction to that is usually through our mothers," said Edwards.

"I always watched my mother take care of her skin and adorn herself with perfumes, and I always thought women have this innate passion for the ritual, for the beauty ritual.

"The fusion between my passion for alchemy and beauty was really ignited in me as I grew up."

'Scent is so powerful'

Edwards got her first introduction to perfumery at 18 when she travelled to the Fragonard perfume factory in France, but she wouldn't begin her official training until years later.

Originally from Sherwood Park, she moved to Australia to work for Lululemon, and began study studying aromatherapy.

She started creating her custom line when she became pregnant with her first child, and became allergic to all of her conventional beauty products.

"I became ultra-sensitive to all my products — my shampoo, my conditioner, my face cream," said Edwards.

"And of course, our sense of smell is so elevated when we were expecting that all I could smell was the chemicals, and I thought, you know what, this can't be healthy for me or my baby."

After spending three years mixing potions in her basement, she launched Pura. The company now makes dozens of skin care products and provides a custom perfume service.

Of all of her work, she finds perfumery among the most rewarding. She spends hours with her customers, creating the perfect profile of aromas to reflect their personalities.

"Scent is so deeply personal," said Edwards.

"It's how we remember people. I lost my mom 3 1/2 years ago and I still have her perfumes,  and when I smell them I'm brought back to that moment when she hugged me or kissed me.

"Scent is so powerful. It's the most powerful sense."