How 'Subtle Energies' Is Bringing Indian-Rooted Aroma Therapy To The World

Subtle Energies
Subtle EnergiesSubtle Energies

From luxe boutique spas in Marrakech to the globally renowned Six Senses Spa chains, Ayurveda and therapies rooted in its philosophies are embraced. What was once a closely guarded ancient Indian medical system has become a beloved alternative lifestyle for many. While Ayurveda was the way of life for its early practitioners, there have been discussions regarding its effectiveness in appeasing certain medical conditions in modern days. But one thing that has been indisputable is Ayurveda and its effectiveness in improving lifestyle, wellness and beauty.

Subtle Energies, founded by the clinical aromatherapist and aromatic medicine specialist Farida Irani is a stalwart in taking Ayurvedic philosophy to the world. While the Subtle Energies luxury brand whose products are now being used at the most prime spas across the world only came into existence in 2010, its history goes back much further. The founder, a multifaceted wellness expert, has spent her life studying a myriad of natural wellness therapies. This ranges from aromatic medicine, Ayurveda, Bowen therapy, reflexology and many other holistic modalities. Subtle Energies the clinic of natural therapies has a history that goes back 30 years. Operating out of Sydney, it focused primarily on utilising the aforementioned natural therapies for the treatment of chronic conditions, supporting cancer patients, mental health conditions, skin disorders, fertility issues, aged care and much more.

But down the line, they came to realise that entering into the spa and wellness world could help them reach a larger volume of people. But to do this, they had to become a brand. This is what led them to venture into creating their luxurious wellness and skincare products. They were developed with Australian Chemists specialising in European standards of natural skincare, drawing from the knowledge and driven by the expertise of Farida Irani. In 2010, this brand was launched across luxury spas and hotels globally, including iconic wellness destinations. To learn even more about Subtle Energies as a brand, we spoke to Nick Irani, the Director of Operations & Brand Development and the son of the brand founder who has borne witness to the growth of the brand. 

Could you tell us more about growing up surrounded by Subtle Energies as an organisation and entering into the space yourself later on? 

Me and my sister Khursheed, have always grown up with our mother’s work. It has always been and still is a core part of our daily routines and we draw from this knowledge and practice in times of need. In the early days, there was no organisation or company as such. It was my mother in her clinic, developing her clinical research through the clients she worked on and her teachings. My father was and still is her main support and backbone, working with her formulas and manufacturing them on a larger scale but maintaining the intention and integrity of the formulas. Entering into a family business, we are a dynamic team. We do not look at a negative as a failure; it is our lesson in learning to improvise. Above all else we work with integrity and trust, never compromising on quality and it is these values and principles that are always in our mind despite whatever growth we incur.

How has Subtle Energies as a brand transformed over the years?

We have grown in terms of our packaging and marketing of the brand. Our messaging has been more refined to the consumer to make it easier to access what is best for them. The wellness industry is growing at an exponential rate and with a lot that is emerging we are seeing that people are searching for what is authentic in its deliverance This is where the crossroads of our journey meet perfectly to where the wellness industry is heading towards, that is people are looking for authenticity. We are about to enter a new phase of transformation in 2023 with changes again to elevate the packaging and messaging so that it is more direct for the consumer to translate our work into their routine.

As a brand that draws from the philosophy and knowledge of Ayurveda, how does the brand position itself to the global consumer? 

We have a very unique positioning with the global consumer. While we are very authentic in our Ayurveda philosophy, and that of the science of Ayurveda Aromatherapy on a clinical level, not just a brand level, a big part of our positioning is the fact that we are pioneers in this space. Our consumers identify the uniqueness and difference in therapeutics when the brand is run and founded by practising holistic clinical practitioners with a deep history in well-being which translates into the products.

Additionally, it is very much suited for those looking for natural and pure skincare formulations, the well-informed beauty and wellness-seeking demographic and it is a highly active range suited for those with various physical and emotional concerns as well. With benefits ranging from detoxification, boosting adrenal fatigue, repairing damaged and polluted skin, sleep issues and empowering on a physical, emotional and hormonal level.

While Subtle Energies has continued to be a brand that works in the B2B space, are you planning on expanding to reach customers directly, why or why not?

We are certainly expanding to reach customers directly. The pandemic taught us very well that while we have a strong reputation in our B2B space and our credentials are well known, our brand awareness was lacking and to build that we must step into the B2C space. Our story is one rich with history and authenticity in the work we do and it is crucial that we reach consumers directly for them to hear it.

Tell us a little bit more about the educational aspects of Ayurveda and Aromatherapy that you've been working to promote with the Subtle Energies college of Ayurveda Aromatherapy. 

One of the unique aspects of us as a brand is that we stem from a strong clinical and educational background, pioneering the very science of merging Ayurveda and Aromatherapy back in the 90s and doing so not just on a commercial level but a clinical level. The courses we have are accredited by the Australian government as a Diploma of Ayurveda Aromatherapy, which is one of the first courses of its kind and one of the only with such a robust accreditation. The course is designed for those who wish to become practitioners themselves. It serves as a post-grad to a host of existing practitioners. It has been dormant for the past few years as we have been developing an online format so that it can have a broader reach for the theory components.

While your brand has a lot of amazing products, I'd love to know a little bit more about those that have become beloved by your customers.

Our most loved is The Facial Blend – it has a rounded floral and wood aroma whilst penetrating to the dermal layers of the skin, stimulating collagen synthesis with unique actives of Mogra, Queen of Jasmines, a special quality of Rose and base oils such as the Ashwagandha, thereby promoting plumpness, circulation and vitality in the face. The Facial Blend also works on cell renewal and assists in minimising pigmentation. It works for dry devitalised skin, however, has an impact on the heart chakra as well, where Farida has used it for years on those who have suffered mental health conditions, and anxiety and impacting the hormones that assist with sleep.

The Aura protection mist is another favourite not just by yoga and meditation practitioners but also used extensively in board rooms as it assists with focus and decision making, with oils such as the tulsi, holy basil, saffron, Rhukhus (a rare vetiver) and Indian lime. Even left-brained people, who do not understand the esoteric side of this science, acknowledge the difference it makes to them as it defogs their minds and brings about clarity and focus. It was originally created by Farida to actually protect the auric field.

Our Muscle Ease Blend, with active ingredients of Kunzea, Clove, Black pepper and more is another favourite product for those who have experienced our brand. Used mainly for localised areas of pain, or muscle tension but also great for circulation and with actives that are known to help with a healthy immune response.

Subtle Energies
Subtle Energies Subtle Energies

Going into the 25 years since its inception, what is the next leg of the journey for Subtle Energies? 

Celebrating our 30th year in 2023, Subtle Energies will reimagine and rebrand the packaging of its brand, removing up to 80% of the plastic in the range in this next year and adding to its certification credentials. Releasing also an innovative pipeline of results-based natural skincare, that continues to draw from the ancient science of Ayurveda Aromatherapy, along with great advances in the field of natural and biotech active ingredients that will continue to empower individuals on all levels.

Most importantly (for us), are you planning on starting to retail your products in the Indian market?

We have opened our online store within India and are pleased to say with our global partner Six Senses, with their two recent launches at Six Senses Fort Bawara and Six Senses Vana we have stepped into the Indian market with our own brand. The Discovery Club in Delhi and Raffles hotel in Udaipur as well offer our range.

If you are intrigued by the products from Subtle Energies and want to learn more, you can stay tuned to their Instagram. 

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