The Essential Oil Experts: Jessica Frandson and Jill King

CAMPO’s founders,Jessica Frandson and Jill King, believe scent is the secret to a better life.
By: Amber Kallor
The Essential Oil Experts: Jessica Frandson and Jill King
If Tom Ford and Apple had an essential oil baby, what would it look like? This is one of the first questions CAMPO co-founders Jessica Frandson and Jill King asked themselves as they embarked on an aromatherapy adventure that sought to combine the elegance of Tom Ford with Apple’s innovative approach. A few of the adjectives they came up with to describe this hypothetical offspring: clean, modern, intuitive, intoxicating, portable, and universal. Approximately a year—and thousands of sniff tests—later, CAMPO was born. “There are no stinkers in our batches,” says King, a former publicist who represented everyone from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies before relocating to Houston, Texas. “Everything is top quality. We’ve really brought essential oils into the perfume world, but in a natural and therapeutic way.”

The business partners, best friends, and essential oil enthusiasts originally met as teenagers at the beach in Southern California. Today, they describe their brand-building venture as a long-distance love story that rekindled their initial spark. “Instead of love letters, we sent essential oil blends back and forth,” says the Orange County-based Frandson, who helped run her family’s cleaning product business (Simple Green) before starting her own enterprise. “It was fun for us to deeply reconnect as friends because as you grow up, start a career, get married, and have children, life gets really busy.”

King and Frandson also spent a considerable amount of time “dating” various essential oils from all over the world in order to secure the best of the best. “We didn’t choose the first neroli that came our way—it was a real journey,” explains Frandson, who was equally discerning when deciding on the rest of the ingredients in CAMPO’s formulas. The pair studied the art of perfume with the creator of Kai (a cult-favorite brand and scent) so that they could structure CAMPO’s aromatherapy offerings like fine fragrances with top, middle, and base notes. “We wanted our blends to be wearable, not overpowering, and so good that you could use them instead of perfume,” adds Frandson.

The duo’s attention to detail and commitment to innovation would undoubtedly make Tom Ford and the late Steve Jobs proud. CAMPO has taken essential oils out of the “crunchy aisle” and planted them firmly in the (affordable!) luxury space. “Our goal was to take the ancient rituals of aromatherapy, which we know are tried and true, and modernize [the concept],” says Frandson. With an ever-expanding range of jet set-ready blends that are designed to do everything from energize the senses to unwind the mind, CAMPO keeps the good vibes flowing in today’s unpredictable world.

Here, the co-founders reveal their secrets to better sleep and de-stressing anytime, anywhere.

Their best business advice: “Trust your instincts and if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no,” says Frandson. “You know automatically what you want and I think tapping into that has made me feel more confident in my decisions.” As for King, she recommends lightening your load when possible: “Delegate more! I have a hard time letting go.”

Their beauty mantras: “Less is more and quality over quantity,” are two mottos Frandson takes to heart. King believes “good skin starts from within” and “hydrating, exercising, sleeping, eating healthy, and even your attitude” all affect the complexion. “Look at a picture of yourself when you have a positive attitude and you’re joyful—you just look prettier,” she says. “Essential oils can really help with your mindset.”

Their daily rituals: “Instead of a pot of coffee or an alarm clock, I put ENERGY in the diffuser and let it waft through the house to wake up my family. I also use the roll-on version to draw the infinity sign on my palm eight times before rubbing both hands together and taking eight deep breaths. It gives me a burst of energy right when I get out of bed! Since our blends feature top-grade carrier oils like jojoba, apricot kernel seed, and vitamin E, I dab any excess under my eyes, on my cuticles, and in my hair before I start my day,” says Frandson.

“Whether it be ENERGY or RELAX, all of our blends serve as my reminder to breathe throughout the day,” says King, who recommends keeping one of CAMPO’s roll-on essential oils in your bag to “reset and release tension” just about anywhere. “Apply, take a deep breath, hold, and exhale.”

Their sleep secrets: “My nicknames in college were Princess and Hollywood because I was often caught sleeping with an eye mask on,” adds Frandson, who now favors CAMPO’s pure silk versions that block out light and help prevent sleep wrinkles. In addition to the EMFRocks grounding bag that she keeps next to her bed to defend against electromagnetic frequencies, Frandson says “RELAX brings me down to planet Earth before a glass of wine.” She also likes to add SLEEP to the diffuser on her nightstand for an extra hit of hydration while she catches up on her beauty rest.

“Our oils help you get into a rhythm,” says King, who uses SLEEP every night on both herself and her son to relax the mind and body before bed. “It’s all about creating a ritual.” Incorporate this essential oil into a pre-sleep massage or simply apply it to palms, rub your hands together, and breathe in this soothing blend of French lavender, wild palmarosa, Roman chamomile, and valerian root.

Their proudest product moment: “Our MAMA collection is really dear to my heart because the formulation for the body oil is one of the first products I created when I was pregnant with my twins,” says King. “I would make a huge vat of it and keep it in the bathroom so that I could lube up my belly and flank. Plant carrier oils are so nourishing for the skin and helped prevent any stretch marks despite the fact that I was pretty large!”

CAMPO is spreading the love and the MAMA collection can now be found in the birthing suites at Hoag Hospital in California. “They have a relax, breathe, and receive ritual where the nurses distribute three essential oils to help moms [decompress],” explains King. “I love connecting other moms and their babies to essential oils.”

Their ultimate beauty indulgences: “A massage and sleep is the best way to reset,” says King, who recommends Trellis Spa at the Houstonian. Frandson splurges on HydraFacials at Zena Medical in Orange County. “It gives you an instant glow!” she says.

Their top drugstore discoveries: “I’m crazy about sunscreen,” says King, who swears by La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen. “It was number one on Consumer Reports’ list [for five years in a row].” King says her mother had “beautiful, porcelain skin” and she’s hoping to follow in her footsteps. “When I look at my relatives, you can tell who was a sun worshipper and who stayed out of the sun and wore sunscreen,” she adds.

“My grandmother turned me on to witch hazel when I was little,” says Frandson. “It makes a really refreshing toner and helps balance the skin.”

Their go-to beauty pros: Frandson loves acupuncture and is treated by Dr. Wing-Benn Deng in Orange County. For those on the East Coast, she recommends Ora in New York City. “We actually created an exclusive blend for them,” she says. “What CAMPO did for aromatherapy, Ora is doing for acupuncture.” Frandson also enjoys sound therapy from Bioharmonic Technologies, which she receives at Athleticism, her husband’s wellness facility. “I lay down on one of these sound tables and 20 minutes later I feel like I’ve had a full night’s sleep,” she explains. For a myriad of treatments in one spot, Frandson likes to visit Remedy Place, which offers everything from cryotherapy to hyperbaric chambers.

King frequents Glow Medical Aesthetics. “They have facials and skin rejuvenation treatments,” she says. “It’s also run by Dr. Amy Woehrmann who is fantastic.”

Their beauty icons: “Grace Kelly,” says King. “She epitomizes classy chic.” Frandson loves Lauren Hutton because “she is beautiful at every age.”

Their biggest beauty mistakes: “First-generation self-tanner,” laughs King. “QT [from Coppertone] was orange in a bottle!” For Frandson, experimenting with bangs was a bad idea. “I have wavy hair and if it gets hit with any kind of moisture it’s not good,” she says.

Their favorite escapes: “I don’t really get out of town as much as I’d like to!” says King. “I typically escape to the golf course or tennis court—and of course I bring sunscreen.” Frandson, who lives at the beach, also enjoys a staycation. “I get to escape by just looking at the ocean—it's so powerful and healing,” she says. “This was the inspiration for our OCEAN blend.” When she really wants to “check out,” Frandson heads to Palm Desert. “There is such a healing energy out there and everything slows down,” she explains. “Even the stars are brighter!” To transport yourself without hopping a flight, both founders recommend CAMPO’s Cali-inspired essential oils: OCEAN, DESERT, WOODS, and CANYON.

Their dream vanity raids: King would like to explore the beauty closet belonging to Celia Ellenberg, the beauty and wellness director of Vogue. “She gets everything before it comes out and has access to the best of the best,” says King. “That’s one thing I miss about being a fashion and beauty publicist!”

Frandson, however, is eager to check out Gwyneth Paltrow’s bathroom. “First off, I’m sure the design is gorgeous,” she says. “Second, I imagine she has every product known to mankind. I’d love to get all Goop-y in her bathroom with her lotions and potions.”

Written by Amber Kallor

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