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Amanda Saurin is the founder, plant grower and gatherer, distiller and maker at AS.APOTHECARY.
It is a traditional Apothecary, one which has emerged from her lifelong love of plants, many years as a homeopath/herbalist and decades of gardening. Amanda has worked with herbs and homeopathy for many years, developing effective, gentle, bespoke products. An appreciation of the transformative nature of scent, of the rhythm of plants, of their terroir and of landscape, are pivotal to the philosophy that underpins and informs her work.
Our collaboration is a meeting of minds and shared values, a love of this island and a fascination for the art of distillation. 'Val', Amanda's 200 litre Alembic Still, is made from hand-beaten copper providing an ancient method for producing quality essential oils and richly scented aromatic waters. For our Isle of Harris range, we gathered flowers, leaves, roots, seaweed and moss together, taking a journey into Hebridean mountain, shore and sea.
The Isle of Harris offers Thyme, Meadowsweet, Ladies Bedstraw, Heather and many other wind-hardy plants. We also have Sugar Kelp, a seaweed hand dived for us by a local gatherer and distilled into an Aromatic Water to help bring a coastal flavour to the Isle of Harris Distillery Gin. This combination of beautiful oils and plant extracts gives the new range a subtle, nurturing influence.
Amanda believes, as we do, that it's important to hand-pick at the right moment, to work with local pickers, to share skills and immerse ourselves in the landscape. The plants vary from year to year depending on rain, sunshine, wind, salt and harvest time and we believe that each preparation has the defining characteristics of a particular harvest, a singular moment to be captured and incorporated into our products.
Together our aim has been simply to create a range of new products that capture a little of the island's healing nature. We believe they also capture some of the vitality and spirit of this special place and that through this fruitful collaboration we've made something with real provenance that we hope you'll love.