"Magical" only begins to explain the depth in which Nadine Artemis lives, where her unique perception and alchemical touches are honed to usher in some of the earth’s most vibrant and special offerings. Her self-care line Living Libations, handcrafted by she and her husband Ron, gives a powerful voice and vision to holistic skin and oral care. Nadine's formulas for oils, chocolate, and self-care essentials have an origin as pure and natural as the spirit with which they're created. Her work is inspired by her lakeside sanctuary in Canada, where the omnipresence of nature forms the alliances smoothed between person and plant and a perfect habitat for co-creation. Nadine and Ron, her partner and Chocolate Yoga guru, are honorbound to sharing their abundances of knowledge through their botanical channel, dedicated to serving the highest health to all who care to embark. We know you'll enjoy our introduction to the arts and graces of Nadine, Ron, their son Leif, and their Joshua Tree family getaway.
Tell us how you got into botanical perfumery and essential oils?
By grade nine, I was already intrigued by ancient Egyptian cosmology, inspired by my great grandfather's expeditions and paintings from Egypt. I had a burgeoning collection of perfumes and wanted to understand the root of how perfume was created. I did some research and discovered that perfumes were made for thousands of years in Egypt from plant extracts and distillations. So, for my grade nine science fair project I recreated Nina Ricci’s L'air du Temps using my very first bottles of essential oils. By the time I turned 18, I had connected with organic, artesian distillers of authentic essential oils around the globe and had begun to import the most exquisite palette of essential oils for creating perfumes and other skin care creations.
How did you and Ron meet, and how did Living Libations come to be?
We met on a beautiful autumn day. He gushed. I blushed. We blossomed into a friendship, then a relationship. Living Libations came to be through the alchemy of our union.
What is the story behind the Living Libations chocolate?
Twelve years ago, David Wolfe showed up at our home and asked us to try a mysterious super-food. It tasted unusual; yet familiar… it was a raw chocolate bean. This was back in the day before raw chocolate was a ”thing” and every bean had to be peeled before prepared. This ignited our chocolate alchemy and we created a unique way of making chocolate that is neither melted nor poured. It is ground, combined with herbs and pressed. Our chocolate is liberated from dairy, soy, nuts, cacao butter, cacao powder and sugar and mixed with a kaleidoscope of herbs and other glorious superfoods.
On top of all your other skills, you are also an incredible poet. Has writing always been a craft of yours?
Writing poetry intimidated me for a long time. I wrote my first two poems at 24 years old on a flight home from Los Angeles. Something opened, and the words just sprung out of me. One was an LA Rap Poem and the other was about Suburban Sprawl. With that, a love affair with poetry began.
I think there is a unique precision in poetry that can convey a whole world in a sentence. My great uncle was nominated Poet Laureate in England, so I am hoping that some of his word-intelligence was bestowed upon my brain.
Some of my favorite poets and writers are: Rumi, Sanai, Kabir, Hafiz, Mary Oliver, Buckminster Fuller, and the poetic prose of Thoreau.
What is your favorite Living Libations product?
How can I pick one? I can't! Here are the essentials that I always travel with:
Rose Best Skin Ever
Rose Glow Serum
All Seeing Eye Crème
Neroli Poetic Pits
Frankincense First Aid
Ozonated Happy Gum Gel
Everybody Loves the Sunshine
This is as short as I can get the list!
If you could have anything, what would you have for your birthday meal?
I would love to enjoy a feast of wildflowers.
“There is a long-standing argument about whether perfuming is a science or an art. The argument is irrelevant, for at higher levels, science and art are the same. There is a point where high science transcends the technologic and enters the poetic, there is a point where high art transcends technique and enters the poetic." Tom Robbins
Can you talk about your synesthesia?
Synesthesia is the phenomenon of “perceiving together”, in which the senses combine. The fantasia experience of synesthesia is how my mind has always been, so it seems like a normal way to perceive. My experience with synesthesia is with the sensory perception of color imbued with every sense. So, smell, thought, hearing and touch all have vivid color.
For example, in creating a perfume, I will of course smell each step of the way, but the creation of a perfume is really an experience of a combined palette of colors in symphony with smell. I think this adds a fun dimension to my thought processes and to the alchemy of making beautiful body care products.
If you knew the world was going to end tomorrow, what would you want to do today?
I would enjoy a family swim in our cool, spring-fed lake and bask in the sunshine.
You are so passionate about oral ecology. What are some tips people need to know to take better care of their teeth?
Our gums and teeth are living tissue, and to protect their vitality we should ditch commercial toothpaste and mouthwash that contains synthetic chemicals that are inappropriate for our delicate oral tissues and the mouth’s microbiome. It is better to use a dry toothbrush with a dab of salt, baking soda or a pure botanical serum. The simple, time-tested ingredients do all that we ask of toothpaste: decrease dental plaque, prevent dental carries, increase calcium uptake to the enamel, neutralize the pH in the mouth, and reduce the effect of harmful metabolic acids. Botanicals such as neem, cardamom, clove, peppermint and mastic are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and beautiful oils for beautiful smiles.
What is next for Living Libations?
Living Libations is in continual bloom and from these unfurling flowers we will always have new Libation Creations. We let the divine providence of the plants and planets feed our creative juices.
What motivates you?
Love. Love. Love.
What makes you feel alive?
Nature! Lakes, flowers, trees and honeybees – and of course, the sun! – feed my soul.