Scrolling through Instagram one day I came across a post by a company called Mythologie that sells luxurious facial oils. The photo was beautiful, but it was the caption that caught my eye because it referenced the Halcyon, a mythical bird said to nest at sea holding the power to charm the wind and waves into calm.
It reminded me of another mythical bird, the Phoenix, which obtains new life by rising from the ashes of its predecessor. I’ve always associated the Phoenix with New York City following 9/11, so it was an interesting coincidence when I reached out to the founder, Tracy Atkinson, and learned that the aftermath of that day is what caused her to create the company.
In 2001 Tracy was living in Brooklyn Heights and I was in the East Village. That day would be a turning point for everyone. Shock, horror and devastating personal loss were just a few of the emotions we experienced.
Then came the physical side effects.
As Ground Zero smoldered in the months that followed, toxic fumes made their way toward Brooklyn Heights, only a mile-and-a-half across the East River. Tracy was told to close her windows and run an air purifier 24/7. She did, but within a few months everyone in her household had developed eczema.
For my part, I developed a strange stomachache that caused diarrhea for weeks. I saw a doctor, who told me it was stress, but the smells that followed the events of that Tuesday morning were so powerful and noxious that I began to question the health impacts of the air quality. I was given a prescription, but Tracy made a different choice.
She explained, “I was faced with taking steroids to control the break-outs or adopt a more holistic approach. I decided on the latter. I began to make changes in both my diet and skincare products. Anything that was unnatural went out and I began using botanical oils both internally and externally.”
Over time she began creating her own face and body oils. She had no idea this search for gentle healing following that unspeakably violent day would eventually lead to the creation of Mythologie, but nearly 15 years later her Phoenix rose from the ashes and the brand was born.
Like most small business owners in the green beauty space, Tracy is trying to educate consumers about the benefits of using natural products versus the mainstream familiars that often contain harsh ingredients. One of her products uses Kiwi seed oil, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory that calms the skin and promotes elasticity and the regeneration of skin cells. I currently slather this liquid gold all over my face and neck before bed.
In keeping with her mythological theme she explains the Mythologie lineage is both ancient and international. “We draw on beauty secrets and powerful healing traditions from cultures around the world dating back thousands of years. From the amazing healing ability of Sea Buckthorn Oil, with origins in ancient Greece and the Himalayas, to Neroli (Orange Blossom) Oil used by the ancient priests and priestesses of Egypt, to the African botanical treasure, Marula Oil, often called ‘Miracle Oil,’ we use some of the most treasured and powerful ingredients that the earth has to offer.”
So if you’re looking to go a little easier on yourself and support a brand that supports you, visit Tracy’s website to learn more about the three magical birds in her nest at Mythologie.