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An Oban woman has established a business in Glasgow making organic aromatherapy products.
Margaret Morrison-MacLeod had a moment of inspiration on wee Ganavan beach three years ago, and now trades under the name The Divine Hag, with premises in The Saltmarket.
Her aromatherapy products have gone on to be recognised by Cosmopolitan magazine, Sublime Magazine and The Best of the West. She is also in the running for the ‘Janey Loves Platinum Awards’ which recognise excellence and innovation in natural, organic and eco products and services.
Having studied at Paisley University, it is all a far cry from the days as a qualified chartered surveyor working across Scotland, London and eastern Europe.
Margaret explained that her grandmother was a war widow from the Isle of Barra who moved to Oban with her five children.
Margaret was born and brought up in Oban and attended St Columbas Primary School and then Oban High School.
She had suffered migraines since she was 12, which were made worse by artificial fragrances. She found that such products can often be made from refined petrochemicals and contain carcinogenics.
This led her to studying aromatherapy and producing healthy alternatives with healing properties.
She studied crystal therapy, is a Reiki master of 18 years and said she had always been interested in ‘herbalism, home remedies and complementary medicines’.
Her focus is on using traditional Scottish remedies, for example using bog myrtle to repel insects.
Margaret said: ‘I have throughout my life honoured the traditions taught to me by my grandmother in using natural remedies and traditional seasonal cooking.’
Of the company name, she explained: ‘The Divine Hag is a Celtic female deity who walks the hills in Argyll, also Hagia is the ancient name for the crown worn by ancient queens.’
The Divine Hag makes products for distribution to shops and online purchasers.
Of the premises, she says: ‘I filled it with books on complementary healing techniques and regularly had local people calling in for a cup of tea and a chat, whilst learning what essential oils would best serve them. I often knocked up a balm or salve for them and enjoyed helping them.’
She also regularly runs workshops in how to make room scents and perfume – with some provided at cost price for women’s charities.
This summer, she had planned to revisit Oban to give classes, but Covid delayed it for now.
Products include Bliss Sleep Pillow Mist – a hypoallergenic pillow spray, blended especially for migraine and asthma sufferers.
In addition, she also makes Beastie Balm to keep midges at bay.
She added: ‘My long-term goal is to be based in Argyll as I would love to bring employment to the area and to continue to develop products and sell them worldwide, bringing our Scottish purity to all.’