I love the smell in the air after it rains. When asked to describe that smell, words like moist, earthy, woodsy and musky come to mind. The scent is called petrichor. Alixandra Laub, the owner of Tahoe Petrichor, creates essential oils and skincare products.
She, too, loves the earth’s smell after a rain. “The leaves open up and release their essential oils. Bacteria grow releasing pheromones; the compounds released by the trees are some of the same compounds in essential oils,’ says Laub.
“I handmake extracts from the plant using herbal medicine practices. Sage is a staple in this area and is one of my favorite plants. It’s perfect for pain and smells like walking through the desert.” –Alixandra Laub
It is the scientific aspect of the chemical compounds of essential oils that draws her to her work.
Laub was born and raised in Tahoe. Her curiosity about plants and plant medicine called to her when her dad became terminally ill. She started taking master classes in herbal medicine and became an herbalist, and today creates medicinals from local plants in the Tahoe region.
“I harvest locally. I use local plants and distill them. I use plants like cedar, cedarwood, sagebrush and juniper. It takes 30 pounds of the plant to make 10 milliliters of oil. Conifers take a significant amount of product in order for it to give up its aromatics,” says Laub.
In her blends, she utilizes plants with synergy to other plants, such as yarrow and arnica, to create her blends and products.
Laub is conscious to forage for her plant materials sustainably. She looks for places where the plants grow abundantly and never depletes an area. She works with tree-trimming companies if she needs cedar and pine and gets what she needs before it is turned into mulch or landscaping materials.
“I handmake extracts from the plant using herbal medicine practices,” Laub says. “Sage is a staple in this area and is one of my favorite plants. It’s perfect for pain and smells like walking through the desert. Juniperberry is an astringent and has anti-aging properties. Every year I focus on a new plant and learn everything I can about the plant, then integrate the plant into a practical product.”
Some of Tahoe Petrichor’s handmade products include Bearly There, a gentle herbal-infused skincare formula. The Releaf Rollie is a pain-relief ointment with CBD.
“It’s a stick, so your hands don’t need to touch it. I use a sagebrush in the formula. Research says sage is great for pain relief. People say they’ve had incredible results,” says Laub, whose been focusing on topical products for Tahoe Petrichor.
Boulder Balm is geared for rock climbing and active hands.
“It includes antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties,” she says.
She also carries a botanical mist for meditation and yoga. Each product smells like the earth, rich and herbal. The scent of pine, sage and herbs such as mullein and comfrey create the healing properties of her products. The cedar essential oil seems like you are deep in the woods of the forest. Look for her soon-to-be-released Dog Releaf Rollie for four-legged friends who need pain relief.
In addition to creating products, Laub also teaches and offers classes. She hopes to help people fully integrate plant medicine into their lives.
“I help people find solutions to integrate medicinals into their lifestyle for healing and wellness,” she says.
Her products can be purchased online or at Botanical Arts Company in South Lake Tahoe. | tahoepetrichor.com