My love of fragrance started young. Maybe I was born with it because it feels like it has always been there. I have wonderful memories of being very little, sitting on my mum’s bed watching her get dressed, and loving feeling grown up when she would share a dot of her perfume on my pulse points.
As a young girl, my friend’s mum worked in a gift shop that started me on another journey into things that smell amazing for homes. We would often pop in after play dates and the store was the most heady combination of incredible fragrance. I loved it, the blend of woods, florals and citrus created an ambience that I knew I had to recreate in my own space, which at the time was my bedroom. Over the years I invested a fair whack of my pocket money on the most amazing smelling treasures .. wonderful fragrant oils, scented drawer liners, infused seed pods and incredible blends of potpourri. You name it, if it smells great I have tried them!
The gorgeous scent of rose geranium still takes me right back to my childhood bedroom with a wonderful antique iron bed, handmade patchwork quilt and intensely floral wallpaper my father painstakingly hung matching each and every petal. The olfactory system, or sense of smell is an incredibly powerful tool that we as humans use every day without thought. It has the ability to give us great pleasure, transport us back in time with memories or even warn us of danger.
These days I still love big powerful fragrances and a home that welcomes you with beautiful scents. I have however become a little more discerning about the origin of my scents and the use of fragrant oils vs essential oils for health reasons.
Fragrant or scented oils are synthetic, meaning that they are produced commercially using chemicals, potentially 200 or more chemicals in a single fragrance. Many of which are derived from petrochemical and toxic bases. The most commonly known being phthalates, those now well known pesky hormone disruptors linked to all kinds of unwanted side effects in the human body. They are readily available, often cheap and provide consistent results which makes them very attractive for use in commercial products. In a world where clean smells like fresh lemons we know that the cleaning aisle is full of it but synthetic fragrance can also be where you least expect it, even in foods.
Happily there is an alternative and that is essential oils. These oils are extracted from plants and flowers that are naturally occurring or even organic. If you have ever begun to peel an orange and little droplets appeared on the curling skin that is the oil. It has a wonderfully fragrant and distinct orange scent.
The core issue with essential oils is often cost. The volume of organic matter required to extract the oil often correlates to the pricing which in some cases makes it prohibitive for commercial use. For instance lavender oil is readily available at a rate of hundreds of dollars per kilogram in comparison to rose oil which is several thousand dollars per kilogram. Ergo, if you are buying a 5ml bottle of “Rose Oil” for $2.50 or even $10 it is likely to be synthetic rose oil .. that is oil manufactured to smell like roses. The other factor is not all plants are the same. As a result essential oils of the same variety can be very different scents and priced differently based on the region they originate from. With pure essential oil being such an expensive commodity, tampering is definitely an issue and oils should be bought from a trusted source.
Earlier this year I made the bold choice to eliminate all synthetic oils from our home scent range and to fully focus on using the wonderful range of naturally occurring essential oils instead. This makes our entire range truly 100% natural which is rare in the industry. Did you know that even where products are certified natural or organic it is possible that they may contain synthetic scent?
Whether or not you believe in the the therapeutic properties of essential oils such as in aromatherapy, most people agree that reducing chemicals in our household is a good thing. In life there are so many places where chemical exposure is unavoidable but this is something that we can control. As makers it requires some experience and knowledge of the qualities of the oils and yes it is more expensive but we think you are worth it. We hope you agree.