Peyton’s Potion, the “Zen Formula”

Posted by Jessica Armstrong on

In Conversation:  

Formulator, Cory Kletecka, with Pranarom USA
On Reformulating Peyton’s Potion into a “Zen Formula”
Cory Kletecka at Pranarom USA

"Each of the essential oils I used in Peyton's Potion have properties that are fantastic on their own, but add them together and it makes a beautiful complex solution..."   

-Cory Kletecka              

Behind every extraordinary product is an equally extraordinary expert. Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with Cory Kletecka, the specialist from Pranarom USA, who reformulated our recipe for Peyton’s Potion into what he describes as a cleaner “with a zen-like formula.”  Although, I have shared many times what makes Peyton’s Potion so special, my interview with Cory expounds even more on why Peyton’s Potion is truly a one-of-a-kind cleaning solution.

Pranarom is a world leading scientific aromatherapy Belgian company that has been ethically harnessing the active ingredients in plants for European pharmacies since 1975. In 2016, Veriditas Botanicals, based in Minnesota, partnered with Pranarom to share the benefits of French Medical Aromatherapy with the US market. It was in the labs at Veriditas using Pranarom’s organic essential oils that Cory made the Peyton’s Potion we love and use today. 

Q:  Cory, what is your connection with Pranarom USA?

I started working with Veriditas Botanicals back in 2004 and was trained by the owner Melissa Farris. Melissa Farris is a well-known US certified herbalist and aromatherapist who gives lectures on pharmaceutical-grade, organic essential oils at the prestigious Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. Her medical aromatherapy training is impressive. She’s currently a member of the esteemed, organically certified cooperative located in Provence, France called SAPAD — SA Plantes Aromatics du Dios. It was a privilege to be taught by her. 

Q:  What do you love about working for Pranarom?

I love that Pranarom is a pioneer in transparency. They were ahead of their time with revealing any and all information about their essential oils. Pranarom shares their MSDA sheets, who they source their plant material from, their profits, how they distill their essential oils and so on - so everything that other essential oil companies basically weren’t doing and some still don’t do today. Pranarom has always been in the highest tier when it comes to essential oil companies. I think they sort of led the way in that regard.

Pranarom has a pretty big footprint in Europe with their focus on the medicinal pharmaceutical side. They rival such companies as Dr. Jean Valnet’s (Jean Valnet was a distinguished physician and surgeon in the army during WWII who had an expansive 50 year career proving the nature and uses of essential oils in scientific terms, especially their therapeutic properties and value in everyday medicine.)

Q:  Let’s talk about your reiteration of the recipe we gave you — the formula you made. Why did you use the essential oils you did in the formula you created?

First off let me just say that I loved working on Peyton’s Potion because it was such a good project. "

"I liked the idea of having a really powerful cleaning solution made of organic essential oils that smells just amazing."

Everyone likes to have a clean environment, whether it’s at work or home and what’s even better is if it smells fantastic, too. A cleaner is even better if it leaves a scent that smells just so good.

The formula you gave me - that you and Peyton created - I layered other essential oils over it to make it a more complex formula that was even more effective and yet gentle. My number one goal was that the essential oils synergize really well in both the way the oils enhanced the cleaning properties while also creating a complex scent.

Q:  Can you explain how you thought through choosing the essential oils that make up the formula?

Each of the essential oils I used in Peyton’s Potion have properties that are fantastic on their own, but add them together and it makes a beautiful and complex solution that is very anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. For instance, you can have lemon essential oil on its own to clean with, but combine it in the right amounts of tea tree essential oil and clove bud essential oil and it is an even more powerful anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. Tea tree, lemon and clove bud essential oils are the core of Peyton’s Potion. I accented them with lime and coriander seed essential oils, which are both very close to French lavender in their properties, but together have a little bit more floral smell that is more uplifting to the mood than just French lavender on its own. Peyton’s Potion is a great combination of essential oils all around and then adding the undertones of frankincense and rose geranium really gives it a Zen formula.

Q: What do you mean exactly by “Zen” formula? 

Just that the specific combination of the essential oils in Peyton’s Potion harmonize with one another and become more powerful and effective, more so than if the oils were individually on their own. Additionally, once you get dilution rates right, it opens up the aroma. When that happens, you know that the essential oils can really do what they are meant to do. It’s amazing the end result!

Q:  How long did you work on the formula?  

I worked on it for about four weeks in the lab, creating four final blends similar to each other, for your consideration. We used the formula in our company while you and the Peyton’s Potion team were testing the blends to decide on one. Everyone here at Pranarom uses it and loves it. Not long ago we hired someone who uses Peyton’s Potion and I said “Hey, we make that here!”  

Peyton's Potion essential oil samples

Q: That’s so great!  Can you talk about why organic essential oils are the best choice for every day cleaning?

What I like to think of it as is essential oils are a plants immune system. They do a lot of things that are similar to the human immune system. They keep the plant safe. They repel disease and repel pests in order to attract the good pollinators. If you introduce a pesticide chemical to the plant, the plant doesn’t produce as strong an immune response because the pesticide is doing all the work for the plant. Having organic plants is therefore so much better, because you retain the plants abilities to make the most beneficial properties in the plant in full strength. Instead of cleaning with chemically derived ingredients, you are cleaning with something from the natural world that the plants themselves use for protection. So you are harnessing that power and using the natural world’s own system for protection to help you live a healthier life. 

Q:  So as far as cleaning effectively, plant material that is organically grown, is every bit as robust for cleaning than chemically derived, synthetic ingredients?

Yes, and even more so. In addition to what I just said about harnessing the powerful properties from plants grown without pesticides, when you use the entire essential oil you are getting something much more beneficial.

"Some cleaners only contain one component that is extracted from an essential oil, but when you use the entire essential oil you are getting the full benefit of all the components found in that essential oil."

These components were created by nature to work together better than alone. With lavender, for instance, there’s linalool, which is great for cleaning, but lavender also has alpha pinene and beta pinene and dozens more components that the plant created that are meant to synergize to make it even more effective and robust. In this way you have a more broad spectrum cleaner, such as Peyton’s Potion, as opposed to a cleaner made with an extraction of components of an essential oil. 

Q:  I’m curious, do you, or the people at Pranarom or Veriditas, rarely get sick? 

It’s an interesting question. The team that works with essential oils all day, every day, packing blending etc. …actually hardly any of them get sick. Myself included. Essential oils are a great preventative. This is common knowledge in Europe where essential oils are sold in pharmacies. So organic essential oils are not just great for cleaning to have things clean, but as a great preventative that can keep many illnesses at bay. A good way to help keep yourself healthy is to use Peyton’s Potion and not harsh household cleaners.

Q:  What essential oils in Peyton’s Potion are your favorite? 

I love them all, but I am partial to the fir silver oil in Peyton’s Potion. Fir silver oil, actually any pine scents, are so energizing and stress relieving. Their base component is bornyl acetate which is also beneficial for respiratory health, and is so great too for cleaning. Put me in a pine forest and I could stay there all year round. It’s my absolute love.  

Q:  Some people get allergies to essential oils. What are your thoughts?  

Everyone’s immune system is different. Most people are fine with essential oils, other people can’t handle certain ones. You just need to dilute them in jojoba oil or water. If someone gets an allergy to essential oil, I question what else is in that bottle, whether it’s a synthetic component or whether it came from a non-organic crop. When it comes to the scent of an essential oil, I completely understand a certain scent bothering someone, but to get an outright allergy to an essential oil, that would be rare if it’s organic, but certainly not unheard of. 

What’s your favorite essential oil in Peyton’s Potion, Jess?

Q:  That would be Frankincense.  Can you help me understand why I like it so much? :)

Not only is frankincense a great energetic, meditative oil, it’s a great anti-inflammatory. Also, it has alpha pinene and beta pinene - both amazing antimicrobials. There’s also limonene in frankincense, the same as in lemon. Those three constituents combined are so good for the immune system as well as for incredible purifying qualities. 

Pranarom’s supplier for their organic frankincense is a company called Boswellness in Somaliland. The farmers that work with the frankincense would put resin from the frankincense to purify the water they would drink before they had wells installed. That speaks to how great the cleaning properties are in an organically derived frankincense. Boswellness is a great company and has established new clean drinking wells in Somaliland for the tribes there.

 Q:  We have heard from customers, various ways they use Peyton’s Potion other than cleaning. One customer loves using Peyton’s Potion on his legs for leg pain. You mentioned Frankincense is a great anti-inflammatory which I’m guessing is why it is effective for this particular customer, correct?

That’s so great! Yes, part of why frankincense is a great anti-inflammatory is because it has Boswellia acid which is effective at quelling inflammation, but I also think that the combination of Boswellia acid with coriander seed, which has linalool and geranyl acetate, along with clove bud, which has eugenol in the ratios we have in the formula, make for great pain management. They work better together than individually to create an analgesic-like activity. 

Peyton’s Potion is more than a cleaner, really.  That’s part of the charm of organic essential oils and that’s what makes Peyton’s Potion such a great product!

Jessica ArmstrongJess is Peyton’s mom and co-founder of Peyton’s Potion. She is a Life Story journal writer and storyteller. Jess has been keeping journals since she first learned to write. Her journal entries throughout Peyton’s cancer treatment were also posted regularly on caringbridge.org

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