When the young Axel Meyer went on his world tour in the 70s and 80s, he was looking for one thing above all: the meaning of life. It’s not the easiest of tasks. He moved from place to place with a small bag just containing the essentials – sometimes by bus, train, hitch-hiking or on foot. He had no master plan, but one thing he knew: he would settle down for a while everywhere that had a good smell to the air.
Following his nose, Axel made his way to the tropics, to Asia and Latin America, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Here, it was above all the countless fragrances and scents that impressed him, and would continue to captivate him. Fascinated by this world of fragrance, he set himself the task of finding out more about the cultivation, production and effects of these refined perfumes. In Auroville, south India, he hit the jackpot: An experienced craftsman showed the young globetrotter how to create highly scented incense blends from herbs and flowers.
Back in Germany, and fascinated by his new-found knowledge, Axel wrote down everything he had learnt about aromatherapy. Because although essential oils have already been used for naturopathy since antiquity, helping to promote health and wellbeing, the centuries-old tradition seemed to have sunk into oblivion – there were scarcely any books about the subject. What was to do? Axel wrote his own book – something that marked a turning point in his life. An initial run of 5,000 copies of “The Short Lexicon of Scents” came out in early 1991 as one of the first specialist books in German about aromatherapy. Axel had already founded his own publishing house at the start of the 80s. The name of the publishing house, which had previously largely brought out titles on vegan diets, was: TAOASIS – “living in harmony with nature.”
But he didn’t just stick to writing about essential oils. Because demand for the perfumes described in the book rose strongly and rapidly. And because Axel had always been a doer and a maker, he soon offered his first essential oils for sale. There were 33 available back then, from anise to cypress . He sold his first oils exclusively through pharmacies in Germany and Austria. And the most important thing: Even though the organic movement was still in its infancy, he placed great importance from the very start on organic quality.
A lot has happened since then. The former hippie has turned into a successful entrepreneur; the one-man company is now an owner-run family firm with almost a thousand products. But the Natur Duft Manufaktur continues to benefit from his experiences as a young traveller even years later: and these define the core values of TAOASIS. In its agricultural activity, harmony between humanity, nature and the environment are in the foreground – not the monetary interests of individuals. TAOASIS orientates itself by the principle of the economy of the common good, regularly drawing up statements to give information on how the company is contributing to the welfare and social harmony of all stakeholders.
Axel is particularly proud of a change that has taken place in recent years: Since 2011, his son Govinda has been part of the executive staff. He experienced the birth and expansion of the Natur Duft Manufaktur up close and personal as a child, practically growing up between the oil bottles. He has been a lover of natural scents from the cradle.
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