Karen Downes

Books & Films

Karen has written six books on wellbeing selling over a 500,000 copies in 5 countries. These titles include:

  • Aromatherapy for Scentual Awareness

  • Aromatherapy for Him

  • Aromatherapy 101

  • Sacred Spaces

Karen Downes

Founder | CEO


In her 30-year career Karen has built successful companies, supported civil society organisations to transform entrenched cultural norms, advised business leaders and led development programmes around the world. From her beginnings in health and wellbeing, Karen co-founded and built an $8.5m alternative healthcare enterprise in Australia. A kitchen tabletop to global business success story, whose products and programmes touched the lives of thousands of women in five countries. She has authored 6 books selling over 1/2million copies. In 1999 she was a finalist in the Australian Business Woman of the Year Award.

In 2003 Karen moved to London and has since worked as a business advisor, leadership consultant, programme lead and coach. She has advised leaders and designed development programmes in global corporates in a diverse portfolio of clients; Molton Brown, Intel, BHP Billiton, BP, Talisman Energy, Intel, Pacific Hydro, The Hunger Project, Save the Children, Unilever, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays. She brings an unparalleled breadth of experience in bridging the diversity gap and confronting the issues corporates are now dealing with in volatile and uncertain world. She brings her expertise and hands on experience to transform the outdated ways of working in organisations in service to human flourishing and business prosperity.

As a social change agent Karen also worked to transform the subjugation and marginalisation of women in India and Bangladesh by partnering with The Hunger Project. A global organisation ending the chronic persistence of hunger.

Karen is a serious road cyclist, who competed in the World Masters. This training became a source of her own resilience, inspiration and mastery in teaching others in how to breakthrough constraints and barriers to fulfill their potential.


As an Entrepreneur Karen has founded and supported 5 successful international start-ups, along with a 15 year span as a business consultant. At the start of her career and motivated by her passion and commitment to wellbeing, she attained several diplomas in alternative health. Passionate about making a difference for women’s health and empowerment she co-founded her company and led what was previously a fringe cottage industry of Aromatherapy in Australia into a mainstream multimillion dollar business, exporting products and delivering educational programmes to women in five countries. In 1999 she was a finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards.

Conscious Leadership

Since selling her company and moving to the UK in 2002 she has worked as a business consultant and facilitator of development programmes for leaders and their teams. She has worked on major breakthrough projects and delivered programmes across a diverse portfolio of international corporations and sectors;Unilever, BP, BHP Billiton ,Molton Brown, Talisman Energy,BT, Maclaren, The Wealden Times, Save the Children.

Changing the system

  • Lobbied the Australian Government Therapeutics Good Administration to include Essential oils and traditional remedies as therapeutic substances.

  • Introduced Aromatherapy into Drug Rehabilitation Clinics and Hospital Palliative care units. Trained nurses in the application of essential oils for healing and recovery.

  • Tackling some of the most entrenched social and cultural issues to change out-dated systems, structures and thinking in both the developed world and developing countries, visiting India and Bangladesh to work at grassroots level to end the subjugation and marginalisation of women.


  • Competed in the Road Cycling and Time Trial events at the 2002 World Masters – coming 12th after only 5 months training. Raising $18,000 for the African Woman Food Farmers Initiative

  • London to Paris – over 500 kilometre road cycle across 3 days with 350 riders

  • Nove Colli – competed in an Italian Gran Fondo race – 11,000 riders only 650 were women. Finishing at number 6,547 rider.

Visit Karen’s website: www.karenleedownes.com