Sandra Topper is a Professional Aromatherapist and a botanical olfactory artist who has worked with botanical essences since 1992. Her interest in natural aromatics stems from her childhood days in England when she mischievously hid jars of concoctions under her bed which were filled with blooms from her mother’s garden.
Along with her accreditation as a Professional Aromatherapist she also has professional training in reflexology, herbology and holistic nutrition. In the mid 90's Sandra began teaching aromatherapy courses and was a guest instructor at several colleges in Ontario, teaching essential oil safety to massage and aesthetic students. Apart from having extensive knowledge about the chemical complexities of aromatic essences she also possesses a super sense of smell. Sandra indicates that her true passion lies with the art of blending aromatics and prefers to be known as an Aromachologist, botanical olfactory artist or aroma mixologist, depending upon the day.
In 1993 Sandra founded three successful enterprises: a natural health retail operation which included a holistic treatment centre and an aromatherapy supply distributorship. Over the years her businesses received accolades through several publications in industry magazines, newspapers, and interviews on CBC radio and television talk shows. The Royal Bank of Canada featured her in several of their publications and she was coined as one of their Champion Women Entrepreneurs. In 2001 she also received an award from the Retail Council of Canada for being a socially responsible retailer.
After ten years in retail with two locations, Sandra decided to focus on her wholesale supply business known as Natural Sense Aromatherapy, which became one of Canada’s esteemed distributors of essential oils and spa products supplying hundreds of private practice clients, spas and retail stores across Canada, the United States and beyond.
In 2006 Sandra's first grand-child was born with numerous health issues which required a multitude of medical interventions and surgeries at The Hospital for Sick Children. At the same time, Sandra was also caring for her medically and mentally fragile mother and as a result, she was compelled to sell her distribution company in 2008.
When Sandra sold her business in 2008, by law she was prohibited from working in her field, and had to abide by a Canada wide non-competition and non-disclosure agreement for five years.
During this sabbatical, Sandra took it upon herself to learn everything possible about Loeys-Dietz syndrome, which her grand-daughter had been diagnosed with. Sandra then went on co-found the Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Foundation and took a director's seat with the Genetic Aortic Disorders Association of Canada.
Sandra has always had a keen interest in personality development, intrinsic motivation and the coping mechanisms that people develop during times of stress and so during her entrepreneurial sabbatical she also returned to school to study psychology while continuing to expand her olfactory repertoire. As a result, Sandra’s current interest now leans towards a behavioural and neurobiological perspective, a field now referred to as Aromachology which takes into consideration the human olfactory system and the emotional benefits of scent.
In 2015 Sandra opened a small 'Aroma Apothecary' in Cobourg Ontario known as Bespoke Aromatics. With the help of her daughters it became a destination boutique specializing in an extensive collection of essential oils and related aromatherapy products. This little boutique was a project that Sandra figured would keep her active beyond the typical retirement age, however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic she closed her bricks and mortar store and moved her business to an online business model.
Sandra continues to cultivate her passion by creating aromatic potions that are free from petrochemicals and synthetics.