Geraldine Howard, the inspirational cofounder of Aromatherapy Associates passed away yesterday at age 63 after a long battle with cancer. Howard got her start in aromatherapy in 1973 when she joined Micheline Arcier’s renowned aromatherapy clinic in Knightsbridge, London. During this time, she met Sue Beechey and together they later founded Aromatherapy Associates in 1985, growing the British brand to international success in the spa world. “Our prayers and thoughts are with her friends and family at this time,” says Aromatherapy Associates in a statement.
In 2012 Geraldine was diagnosed with choroidal melanoma tumor, a rare form of eye cancer. The treatment was lengthy and tough, but during her medical treatment she developed one of her best-loved oils, Inner Strength, to give her the strength, courage, and a positive state of mind to help her continue strong on the path to wellness. “Geraldine was truly a bright light in the spa industry and was loved and admired by everyone who knew her,” says Jeremy McCarthy, group director of spa at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. “She has partnered with us in many ways, including the development of Mandarin Oriental’s signature spa product line and our Inner Strength treatment based on the aromatherapy blend that Geraldine had created to fortify herself during her own battle with cancer. She was a true healer, a leader, and an inspiration to the spa world, and she was my friend. I would like to suggest that all of our spas burn a candle in Geraldine’s honor and as we learn more about memorial services or other wishes, we will think about how else we might honor the memory of this very special lady.”