At the expense of sounding profound, I’d say everyone’s life largely revolves around a theme. A certain leitmotif that guides them. Work, family, kids, pet projects are perhaps the most common, but for author Jhelum Biswas Bose, it is flowers. The former beauty editor of ‘Harper’s Bazaar India’, marketing head at Sephora and Satya Paul, and creator of the eponymous beauty brand Jhelum Loves, Bose always felt a deep connection with flowers. The latest result of that is her first book, ‘Phoolproof’, an ode to the extraordinary power of flowers and its essences.
‘Phoolproof’ comes at a time when the beauty industry globally is embracing all things natural and organic. The book traces self-transformation through multiple flower remedies and aromatherapy. Fragmented in five parts for easy reading, it gives insights on the importance of flowers in mythologies, emotions, sensuality, anointment, and food. If you’re looking for a more organic, holistic, and aromatic lifestyle, this book can be a guide.
The book begins with Bose writing about her childhood in a Bengali household and explaining that her affinity to flowers started as a part of her upbringing. In recent years, Bose’s life took a downward spiral due to her chronic health problems, which were hard to alleviate via allopathy and antibiotics. Thus, compelled her to try alternative remedies such as yoga and Ayurveda. It was between the years 2013-18 that she focused on Bach flower remedies, a safe and natural method of healing created by Dr Edward Bach in the 1920 and ’30s. Made with wildflowers, they gently restore the balance between mind and body, aiming to get rid of negative emotions. Bose took a course in London and then became a practitioner, permanently tying her life with flowers.
”My ailment was the trigger for creativity and new ways of healing,” says the Bengaluru-based author. It took her three months of Bach flower remedy and cherry plum essences to cure her bouts of anger. ”Flower remedies are simple to use. It is a DIY technique that should mirror your personality to heal your emotions,” says Bose. “They have a lot to do with individual traits, but it is a continuous process with instantaneous results.” She has now switched to olive essence for energy, walnut bach for change, and rock rose for aerophobia.Always wanting to pen a novel, she finally went along with the idea while talking to Gurveen Chadha, commissioning editor at Penguin Random House. ”Due to my literary and professional background, I was more inclined towards writing about therapeutic beauty – a concept that was fresh and co-existed with healing and self-transformation.” Bose has spent decades in the beauty industry, and after years of understanding, writing, and marketing science-backed products, she gravitated towards the traditional methods of holistic remedies as it cured her. ”Today, the market has a nice mix of both scientific and traditional products. Even essential oils can be tricky because behind every single note there’s the art of science. Although before buying, one should be wary of the products/brands.”
Bose’s favourite essential oil right now is the desi gulab that blooms the heart chakra, the seat of compassion. Available on Jhelum Loves, Rose Otto is another favourite – an all-in-one cleanser, toner, and moisturiser.
All images: Courtesy Jhelum Biswas Bose