Santa, take note. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing better than giving (or getting) the gift of a truly beautiful, natural smell. I was thinking about this whole gifting thing, and how the holidays are a great time to help spread the clean beauty experience to the women we love. But aromatherapy—instead of say, face wash—is a particularly great place to start because you’re not telling people to replace anything in their current routine, you’re just adding a new element and helping expand their senses.
I mean, who here remembers the first time they fell for a natural smell over a synthetic one? I often go back to my early experience…
At any rate, I’ve gifted my share of natural beauty products, and can say with confidence that—while a small vile of Hope Gillerman or Tata Harper or a Lotus Wei energy mist may not have the wow factor of a new iPad—these gifts have had the most longterm impact. And here’s how I know: Every time I have given one of these magical formulas, the receiver has continued to buy it themselves. (And in my case that often means Canadians who have to jump through hoops, beg me to send them re-ups, or pay all kinds of shipping to get their hands on this stuff.)
And if scented oils and mists feel too pricey or risky—natural scented candles like these and these, or room diffusers like these, or the more affordable and awesome Essence of Vali products are all wonderful too.
Here’s why I think aromatherapy is so perfect to give…
1. It’s thoughtful and personal.
You have to choose carefully when it comes to smells. So even if the person is not into naturals or aromatherapy, you need to have a sense of what kind of scents appeal to them. (Though if you’re totally stumped I’ve included a list of crowd-pleasers at the end of the post.)
2. It’s powerful.
This stuff works, and science concurs. Most everyone in your life is probably stressed out, and smells like jasmine, rose, and lavender are proven to help people calm down. Is anything better than that?
3. People don’t get it for themselves.
Some people prefer getting practical gifts, but I do think there’s something really nice about giving a gift you know will be enjoyed that someone would never think to get for themselves.
Now for the cheat sheet. According to one study these are the top 10 most universally beloved smells: 1. lime (fruit) 2. grapefruit (fruit) 3. bergamot (similar to an orange in scent) 4. orange (fruit) 5. peppermint 6. freesia (flower) 7. amyl acetate (a molecule that smells like apples and bananas) 8. cassia (similar to cinnamon) 9. mimosa (flowering tree) 10. fir (tree)
Are you gifting any wellness products or DIY concoctions this year? Is aromatherapy on the list?
P.S. In slightly unrelated gifting news… If you’re a mom, or gifting one, obviously clean kids’ products are a boon. But I wanted to engage in some shameless nepotism here, and point the mom set to my sister-in-law’s awesome illustrated poster site South and Summer. She’s created these very cool posters inspired by the toys of our childhood, and I just think they’d make a great gift for parents who like design and have a hard time finding cool kid’s decor. You’re welcome!
Flower grid image from the Lotus Wei site.
There are many products I’m wanting to review right now, but I will start with my most visceral obsession: Tapa Candles. I realize candles aren’t a beauty product per se, but when they’re scented and amazing and make you feel calm and cozy after a stressful day—and especially these days, with all the noise, the politics, to say nothing of the scary weather (my heart goes out to you, East Coasters)—I believe they’ll do as much for your face as an amazing eye cream or oil.
Here’s the snag: It’s surprisingly hard to find natural scented candles that don’t smell awful. I don’t know why, but it is. And the good ones tend to be insanely expensive.
Not that these are exactly cheap, but less pricey than many I’ve seen, and there’s a super reasonable travel kit. The full size featured in the photo also comes in a beautiful reusable glass, perfect after for water or wine. Online, you can find them here, here and here.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tamika, the company’s creator, at the Yogitoes Breast Cancer Awareness event a few weeks back. I will warn you, there were many amazing products there: makeup brushes that made me want to powder my nose all day, and an argan oil/rosehip hybrid that has me weak in the knees. More on those anon, though.
Tamika herself struck me as some kind of a modern goddess—all beautiful and cool, giving people reiki treatments on the floor.
This is where she lives in New York with her husband, (and I’m now obsessed with his furniture too) so it’s no surprise that she creates amazing and tasteful things. I got a travel kit, and while I’m most fanatic about the pine-and-cedar Alps one (you can take a girl out of the woods but…), they are all truly amazing. Just read the simple descriptions and choose the one that features your favorite types of smells, or get the affordable three-pack to try a few.
Last week I went to San Francisco for work, where I pulled multiple late-to-all-nighters with my much-younger coworkers. It was super fun, but each night when I came back to my hotel, I lit my Alps candle to chill the freak out. It helped immensely.
Do you have natural candles you love? Spill.