Jan Kuśmirek is a medical herbalist, clinical aromatherapist and author. He is co-founder of the Fragrant Earth Company, the UK’s leading producer of aromatic raw materials and finished goods.
Though semi-retired, he is still involved within the aromatic industry, giving lectures and making broadcasts on the subject around the world. He specialises in skin care and the quality of essential oils and Aroma Physics, and promotes the use of natural and organic materials in cosmetics.
Jan has written one book on aromatherapy – Liquid Sunshine: Vegetable Oils for Aromatherapy – as well as a booklet – Aromatherapy for the Family: An Introductory Guide to the Use of Holistic Aromatherapy for Harmony and Well-being.
In recent years, Jan has ventured into fiction writing, penning the critically acclaimed Chronicles of Love and Honour trilogy.
EARLY LIFE AND CAREER
Kuśmirek was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Raised in the countryside, he developed a life-long appreciation of nature, agriculture and organic produce.
Kuśmirek began his working career in high vacuum engineering, writing technical material for a scientific engineering company. With a growing interest in health, wellbeing and the environment, he turned from his background in applied engineering and physics to areas including naturopathy and medical herbalism.
He went on to become marketing manager of the Soil Association before setting up Fragrant Earth, as a specialist supplier of essential oils and perfumery components, cultivating contacts with farmers and growers he had made within the organic movement.
In the 1980s, Kuśmirek moved into product development, the first being skin care brand ‘Origins’ – an idea, developed with Tessa Harris and manufacturers Alban Muller and Jim Bullen, of creating a natural range that was biologically active, effective, skin compatible and environmentally sound. Origins was bought and developed by American cosmetics company Estée Lauder and is now a global prestige brand.
Origins was followed by the ‘Elemis’ brand, with Kuśmirek working with Linda Steiner in 1989 to develop the products – originally as a retail range intended to be as “near to nature” as possible. Kusmirek still consults for the company.
More recently, Kuśmirek established the Genera Consultancy, an independent consultancy but working closely with Fragrant Earth International designing and formulating cosmetics, toiletries and fragrances. Clients for a variety of services from raw materials, perfumes and therapy have included Avon, Boots, Body Shop, Elizabeth Arden, Neutrogena, Liz Earle, E’spa, Nude, Aromatherapeutics and Nelsons.
His third major brand has been ‘Osciem’, which is still under his charge and is popular in Japan. Kuśmirek has travelled extensively in the country, where he is known as “Kuzumireku Yang”, embarking on lecture tours as well as demonstrating the value of aromatic materials.
Kuśmirek’s passions are organic farming and sustainability. He cites Rachel Carson’s book ‘Silent Spring’ as providing the dynamic for his original work.
One of his key concerns is the blending of science and nature, and he has directed his energy into ‘Green Intelligence’. He has been keen to promote the ‘natural’ cosmetic industry and to this end co-founded the Fragrant Earth Company, that specialise in supplies of aromatic materials and fixed oils from independent and traditional suppliers for use in aromatic medicine, perfumery, aromatherapy and cosmetics.
Kuśmirek is the author of numerous articles in specialist and trade magazines and the originator of a number of educational modules. He has written one non-fiction text book, a consumer booklet, and, to date, two novels, with a third set for publication in 2011.
Liquid Sunshine: Vegetable Oils for Aromatherapy
Published by Floramicus in 2002, Liquid Sunshine is a reference book aimed at aromatherapy therapists. Drawing upon his experience in aromatherapy, medical herbalism, naturopathy, nutrition and cosmetology, as well his background in agriculture, Kuśmirek discusses 50 vegetable oils, examining such things as extraction and production, properties and uses, history and mythology, and commercial exploitation.
Aromatherapy for the Family: An Introductory Guide to the Use of Holistic Aromatherapy for Harmony and Well-being.
A booklet published by Wigmore, in 1993. It covers the most popular essential oils and their uses in an easy to understand format. It highlights emotional as well as physical applications and adds principles of homeopathic medicine to aromatherapy.
An historical thriller set primarily during the Second World War. Published by Derwen in 2009, this is the first of a trilogy – Chronicles of Love and Honour – which deals with the events and personalities of World War Two and the Cold War, as viewed from a Polish perspective. The Engineer introduces main character Tadek “Teddy” Labden, a spy of Polish descent working for the British Secret Service. Over the course of the novel, Labden comes to negatively re-evaluate the support of Poland by the Allied forces following the country’s invasion by Germany and Russia.
A Cold-War thriller and work of speculative fiction set mainly in communist Poland and Russia. Now working for the exiled Polish secret service, spy Tadek Labden is sent on a mission to expose red agents in the British and American governments, and assassinate Soviet leader Josef Stalin. Stolen Lives is the second in the Chronicles of Love and Honour trilogy. It was published by Derwen in 2010.
White & Red
The third and final book in the Chronicles of Love and Honour trilogy, set for publication in 2011.