Stockholm: Her own natural cosmetics and the “Salong för Skönhetsvård”
Her new start in Stockholm in 1948 was not easy. Elisabeth and her husband Karl had decided to emigrate to Sweden and set up a new life. Her husband made a living as a petrol pump attendant, and eventually worked as a driving instructor. But, still driven by her passion, Elisabeth picked herself up and continued mixing plant extracts with beeswax or almond oil – ingredients she ordered in organic quality from Germany and Austria. Karl built bottling equipment.
Her cosmetics were intended to support the skin by stimulating its own regenerative powers. And the women that received Elisabeth Sigmund’s creations were delighted with the results. When Elisabeth opened a cosmetic studio, the Salong for Skönhetsvård, she also offered her customers treatments such as footbaths, facial exercises, and stimulation of the lymphatic system. The aim was to help women achieve total relaxation. “There are two kinds of beauty – inner and outer,” she once said, explaining her holistic approach. She had turned her dream into a reality.
India: Following her heart and expanding her cosmos
What was it that took Elisabeth Sigmund to India for a year in 1961? The opportunity! Sigmund loved learning about new cultures. She also wanted to study Indian medicine and visit their vast libraries. This combination of wanderlust and thirst for knowledge is testament to her self-confidence, courage and open-mindedness. She was a modern woman who was ahead of her time. The son of a friend was in New Delhi at the time, meaning that Elisabeth Sigmund had a contact in India and could finally visit a country she had longed to see ever since reading about it as a child. Despite an unfortunate start (the plane landed in Mumbai instead of New Delhi, her luggage got lost, and she found herself standing alone on the street), Elisabeth Sigmund did not turn back.
She spent hours in the university library, discovered medicinal plants that could not be found in Europe, went to markets, bought new plant ingredients, and encountered brand new concepts. She had a doctor teach her Ayurvedic medicine and learned about the nourishing properties of neem, the sacred Indian tree. All this knowledge she would later pour into her formulations.