BLOG

round reed diffuserWHAT IS A REED DIFFUSER?

One of the most popular home fragrance products around today is the Reed Diffuser. If you’re looking for a flameless alternative to candles, reed diffusers are your best choice. For those of you who haven’t yet come across these wonderfully simple home fragrance products, then our luxe range of Reed Diffusers are a great place to start.

Reed Diffusers are a common but very effective product when it comes to adding a beautiful aroma to any room in your household. They help you to create the ambience and atmosphere that turn a collection of rooms in a building into an actual home. That is in essence what home fragrance is all about. You wouldn’t typically sit in an empty room and call that your lounge; you would add decorations and furniture to create an atmosphere. That helps to appease most of your senses, but if you neglect to think of your sense of smell then you haven’t completely created the experience that you want in your home.

In this article we are going to focus on Reed Diffusers and how to get the most out them, once you’ve decided which fragrance best suits the atmosphere you are trying to create in your home.

HOW DO REED DIFFUSERS WORK?

A natural reed, which is porous, is placed into a glass bottle that contains aromatic oil. Each natural reed stick contains 20 or more individual cellular sections that run from top to bottom of the reed- like 20 micro-mini straws, totally open to pull liquid from bottom to top. This draws the fragrance up from inside the bottle, carries it to the top surface of the reed, and releases the fragrance into the air naturally.

Reed Diffusers typically consist of some kind of fragrance fuel, a vessel to contain the fuel and bamboo sticks or rattan reeds to help disperse the fragrance from the vessel into your surroundings.

The great thing about diffusers, is that they are incredibly simple to set up and require little to no attention once they start working their magic. Simply pour the fragrance into the vessel (if the product does not already come pre-filled – ours do), add your reed sticks and position in your room and that’s it. After that, you’ll need to flip the reeds once a week, or more often if you want a stronger scent throw. Then sit back and relax in the fantastic home ambience that you’ve just created!

TIPS TO INCREASE THE LIFESPAN OF YOUR DIFFUSER

There’s nothing worse than getting a few weeks of use out of your diffuser only to notice that you no longer get that superb fragrance experience as you walk into the room. So what can you do about this? Here are a couple of really simple tips to help you maximise your home fragrance experience before you end up shelling out for a brand new product or refill.

POSITION, POSITION, POSITION

We’re not talking how close to the diffuser you sit, no that would be silly. It’s about positioning the diffuser in the room so that the fragrance utilises the natural airflow of the room, but not in front of an open window or drafty spot as too much airflow will drain the fuel too quickly.

The hot tip here is to know your surroundings. Figure out the path of the air that circulates around your room and place the diffuser in a position so that it’s in the middle of this journey. Get that just right and you’ll have optimum fragrance in the room with a maximised fragrance consumption. Just what you are looking for.

DO THE FLIP 

One of the biggest issues for a reed diffuser is that the fragrance can stop diffusing around the room even though there seems to still be plenty of fragrance liquid left in the bottle. Many people will throw the diffuser out thinking that it has come to the end of its usefulness. This is a misnomer and a very simple trick to educate yourself with can easily access every last drop of fragrance and get another few months of use out of the diffuser. It’s so simple you may actually ‘lol’…

Turn the reeds over.

Yep, just taking the reeds out of the diffuser, turning them upside down and putting them back into the diffuser will breathe life back into the diffuser and fragrance back into your home! It’s that easy. The ‘new’ tops of the reed sticks are now saturated with fragrance and the air flow can get hold of this as it’s no longer protected by the vessel and disperse that fragrance freely. Simple, but oh so effective – in fact we recommend doing this weekly, or any time you want a fragrance hit!

GO ON TRY IT.

So that’s it. Two very simple ideas to get the most out of your reed diffuser. Create your own fragrant sanctuary by selecting a fragrance type that helps to create the right atmosphere for the chosen room. Want to relax and chill out in the living room after a hard day’s work?  Lavender is a great choice as it’s associated with relaxation. Want to feel uplifted? Go for a citrus based scent. Calm and happy? Try a floral.

One last piece of advice is, if your diffuser comes with 10 – 12 reeds, you don’t need to put them all in the diffuser. Start off with 4 or 5 reeds wait 24 hours and if the scent is not strong enough add a few more reeds until you are happy with the fragrance throw.

More reeds create more surface area which means a quicker diffusion of fragrance, which in turn means more fragrance in the room, but ultimately reduces the product lifespan.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll have an efficient diffuser working it’s hardest just for you. And of course your visitors will absolutely love the atmosphere you’ve created.

So go on, adorn your home in scented ambience with a fragrant Reed Diffuser Set.

Our range of Reed Diffusers are non-flammable and DO NOT contain any petrochemicals, phthalates, VOC, DPG or alcohol and are 100% Vegan compatible and cruelty free.

Shop Reed Diffusers >>

1.  INGREDIENTS are chosen for a purpose, with every ingredient adding specific qualities to the final soap. Our handmade soaps are made with luxurious botanical ingredients which are chosen for their cleansing, lathering and skin conditioning properties and we select plant oils and butters that are naturally rich in antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients that are essential to healthy skin. Our soaps are also palm free, vegan friendly and planet safe. We can’t count how many times customers have told us that handmade soap has not only improved their skin, but changed their lives by relieving them of itchiness, dryness and skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. Everyone wants healthy skin and switching to daily use of handmade soap is the best place to start. If you need help finding the right soap for your needs, don’t hesitate to ask us or your local soap maker questions. We all take pride in our soap and are always happy to share our knowledge with you.

2.  REAL SOAP made by hand is the ‘real deal’ unlike the mass produced commercial stuff available at supermarkets, which are chemical cocktails made from detergents and downright disturbing synthetic ingredients that dehydrate and age skin, cause allergic reactions and have been linked to various forms of cancer. One of the most appealing aspects of handmade soap is that no harmful or unnecessary synthetic ingredients are added to make it – it’s just PURE SOAP.

3.  GLYCERINE isn’t added to a handmade soap recipe, it’s created naturally as part of the soap making process! Glycerine is a precious emollient that softens and maintains water balance by attracting moisture to your skin. It’s proven to be so beneficial to your skin that it is extracted from commercial ‘soap’ and reserved (or sold) for use in expensive skin care, hygiene and pharmaceutical products. Handmade soap retains all of its natural glycerine glory and produces a rich and luxurious lather that is unparalleled to any other.

4.  NO HARM to humans, animals or the planet. You can be assured that no humans were harmed, impoverished or subjected to sweat shop working conditions in the process of making handmade soap. No communities or natural habitats were laid to waste by the run off from large chemical factories and we don’t use lab animals to test our products. I think I speak for all handmade soap makers when I proclaim that we have the utmost respect for the earth and all of its creatures. Reverence to a kinder way of living is a big part of why we do what we do.

5.  VARIETY is the spice of life and handmade soaps certainly won’t disappoint! No matter what your skin type or personal preferences, there is a soap maker out there who is creating just what your skin and senses crave at bath or shower time. Not all handmade soap are alike and there are an infinite number of ingredient combinations, fragrances, visual artistry, colours and variety for you to choose from. Have fun shopping around or chatting with a soap maker next time you visit your local market, homewares or online stores.

Handmade soaps, made in South Australia

Now that you know what makes handmade soap so special, be sure to check out all of our handmade artisan soaps. We make our soaps the old-fashioned way using both hot process and cold process soap making techniques to produce a beautiful bar of soap that will naturally cleanse, nourish and moisturize your skin. Each batch of soap is created from scratch using high quality, luxurious botanical ingredients that are selected for their cleansing, lathering and skin conditioning properties.

If you’d like a sneak peak into how we make soap, click here to watch one of our soap-making videos on YouTube.

At Etc & Co, we are dedicated to ‘bringing the bar back’ and helping people discover the joy of happy and healthy skin just as nature intended it to be!

 

I’m a bit of a self-confessed caffeine junky, working long hours burning the midnight oil or up at the crack of dawn with the birds, so I need a strong caffeine hit to get myself going.

I think most would agree, there is nothing better than waking up to the smell of freshly-brewed coffee (Mmmm), but why stop there? Coffee’s not only great for a quick shot of energy but it’s also a great addition to your skin care routine! Now I can get another caffeine hit in the shower to really “Wake Me Up!” and wash my brain from fatigue all day!

In addition to being a reliable morning pick-me-up, coffee does a number of great things for your skin. Some of the latest personal care products – from shampoos to body scrubs, soaps, and eye cream, are packing in the caffeine. Here are some reasons your skin will thank you for an external coffee boost:

It’s a rich source of antioxidants

The environment is full of free radicals (pollution particles) that wreak havoc on the skin. However, loading up skin with antioxidants from coffee protects it and bolsters its natural defences – recent studies have linked coffee bean extract to skin cell preservation.

It protects against harsh sun rays

In case you’ve been asleep for the past decade or two, overdoing it on UVB rays can be extremely harmful. Protecting your skin with caffeine can protect it against UVB carcinogens; studies have shown caffeine actually inhibits the DNA damage response.

It makes skin smooth and bright

Because of its qualities that signal tissue repair, coffee plays a crucial role in regulating cell re-growth, leading to retained hydration (increased collagen) and increased skin elasticity.

It enhances circulation

Caffeine promotes blood circulation, which leads to healthy, energized skin, effectively reducing the swelling of tissues and de-puffing areas of the skin. It is also known to reduce the appearance of cellulite! A recent study found that skin products containing caffeine reduced the size of cellulite fat cells by 17%.  Oh yeah… that’s what I’m talking about!

It soothes inflammation

Caffeine possesses anti-inflammatory properties that make it effective in reducing inflammation and redness in your skin, leaving you with beautiful, even skin tone.

 

Now that you have a good idea of some of the benefits of using coffee as your soon-to-be-obsessed skin care ingredient, I highly recommend trying our brand new Triple Shot Coffee Soap, it has bits of finely ground coffee beans loaded right in the bar (great natural exfoliators to reveal smooth skin all over your face and body), which make it less messy than some of the loose coffee grind scrubs out there, and WOW, does it smell AMAZING!

Handmade and hand cut, our generous 150g coffee bar is available for $10 –  it’s the perfect product to wake up tired, winter skin, and get you ready for warm weather!

Why are our copper gilded crystal candle vessels more popular than solid copper vessels?

It’s simple science really. For the same reason that iron rusts!

When copper is exposed to moisture (say candle wax for example), when that moisture evaporates it begins a chemical reaction process called oxidisation, which leaves the bright copper finish tarnished with a green corrosion.

To avoid this, we offer two copper candle vessel options to make your interior styling options easier.

Our copper leaf crystal vessels are hand-gilded by us right here in Australia, then sealed to provide a durable long lasting finish. We then pour our proprietary coco-soy wax is within high quality German crystal glass which protects the natural copper from the elements (thus preventing that nasty green tarnish which occurs if using pure copper!). Our electroplated copper glass vessels are electroplated overseas with a copper film on the outside of the glass and then our coco-soy wax is poured within the hand moulded glass to prevent any contact with the copper and therefore eliminating tarnish.

Nowadays, when someone stinks up the lavatory most people would reach for a commercial room deodorizer. Except don’t because those are toxic. Without going into the obvious biological details, after any “vigorous bathroom activity” you can get a lot of stench-preventing mileage out of following these simple, non-toxic odour busting steps. The challenge here is to eliminate not only the original odour as quickly as possible, but also the odour or effects of the remedy!

After you’ve relieved yourself (which we will assume here that you are already proficient at), the first step is to close the toilet lid before you flush. This will trap the unsavoury aroma (and germs) and localize it within the confines of the porcelain bowl. Lid closed? Alright. Now you’re ready to flush!

Flush and light a match.

After flushing (make sure the lid is closed), the next step is to light a match. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the flame that does the trick it’s the smoke (and the sulphurous smell of the ignition).  Lighting a match, or preferably two, will quickly and effectively mask unpleasant bathroom odours. The best approach is to light two matches at once, and let them burn for 10 seconds or so, then blow them out. Be sure to run the matches under water before putting them in the bin, to prevent a fire.

It’s always good form to leave a box of matches in your bathroom for guests, but if you want to be more discreet and add a bit of glam to your bathroom, then our stylish glass apothecary matches bottles are the perfect alternative. Our large apothecary style matches bottle come with a convenient striker pad on the base, and are pre-filled with 45 extra long safety matches so they are not only ideal for lighting candles, provide the perfect solution for those odour busting occasions. Available in black, white or clear glass and your choice of lid colour.

Deodorizing Toilet Drops

If you don’t like the idea of matches in your bathroom, another option is to use deodorizing toilet drops. Our No.2 drops come in a stylish matte black glass dropper bottle and contain a blend of crisp, citrus peel essential oil notes combined with eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils which all have powerful natural disinfecting and anti-bacterial properties. Discreet and small, you can even tuck a bottle in your purse for on-the-go emergencies. All it takes is 2 drops of oil into the water in the bowl before you go which creates an oil barrier on top of the water and traps all the nasty odours below, so no-one will ever know!  Additional drops post flush and in the hand basin will intensify the aroma and your friends will think you’re so hip and modern. Win.

Use the soap.

Alright, we’re on the home stretch. At this point you need to wash your hands. Not only is it good hygiene, but the smell of the soap will help to mask the aroma of the crime scene. So go ahead and scrub them useful appendages, and let that green tea and peppermint soapy scent fill the air.

Leave the door open.

All done? So, of course you should make use of all technology available to you: turn on a fan and open a window to help with the air circulation. When you leave, open the bathroom door and leave it wide open to facilitate maximum air particle turnover. This may run counter to your natural instinct to leave the door closed. Trust us, leave it open. You’ve already done enough so that most of the smell should be long gone. You’re done. Now walk out of there like a champ. For all anybody can tell at this point, you were just checking your mobile phone the whole time you were in there.

If you know or live with someone who could really stand to take a hint, we’ve already done the work for you. Just send them this article!

Do you have any tips or tricks we missed? We’d love to hear them!

 

It comes as no surprise that gorgeous natural marble has been the hot trend of 2015 and looks set to continue through 2016.

 

Our stunning natural marble candle jars are mined in Carrara, Italy and imported to Australia.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of man-made look alike marble vessels being imported from disreputable overseas sources. So we’ve compiled a short list on how you can tell if marble is real or fake!

Natural Marble or Man Made?

Real marble is cold to touch – approximately 11 degrees cooler than the room temperature. Fake Marble will feel the same temperature as the other items in the room. Real marble veins will vary greatly, some may appear milky white with minimal accents, whilst others will be covered in grey/blue markings. Fake marble will have veins (and some copies can be convincing), however, they’ll look uniform and won’t have the same natural variation.

Fake marble is what is known in the industry as poly-stone or cultured marble; which contains polymer, stone flakes, marble dust, dye, powdered glass, resin and other components to create a marble look. This man-made marble has industrial purposes and is used to create cheap bench-tops and workstations as it is heat proof, scratch proof and chemically resistive. To test if marble is authentic, you can always conduct a simple acid test – apply one drop of a weak acid onto a hidden area (underneath the vessel) and you will see the acid fizz when in contact with natural calcium carbonate (marble!)

At Etc & Co., all our marble candle vessels are 100% genuine, natural marble. Our vessels are hand carved from sizeable blocks of stone, the inside is sealed to prevent candle wax seepage as marble is naturally porous.

 

Ever since man decided to put on furs to hide his nakedness, he had to find a way to clean his clothes. The first attempts at laundry duties took the woman of the house (or cave), to the river side to beat the heck out of the clothes on the rocks, which apparently beat the dirt into submission, causing the dirt to float away with the current of the stream.  As time rolled on, and clothes got fancier and more costly than going out and killing a bear for his coat, new measures were invented to clean clothes.

All I can say is that I’m VERY glad I live in the Twenty-first Century with the huge leaps in technology that makes washing a breeze. If I had lived in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century I would have to allocate at least one entire day to wash the household laundry once or twice a week. Methods for laundry in that era were incredibly laborious! First, soap had to be made by hand –and this may actually have involved rendering animal fats and making lye from wood ashes. Then the soap had to be grated, the clothes washed on a washboard in a boiler (makes my gym routine seem rather pathetic!), clothes rinsed and wrung out by hand, then hung on a line to dry, starched, and ironed with “sad irons,” which were heavy metal irons heated on coals (thank goodness we have electricity!). I’d like to see anyone who would trade their washer/dryer and permanent press for that.

It must have been grueling work, involving bending, scrubbing, and hauling large tubs of very hot water. Women and servants were the designated launderers, and men might be regarded as henpecked or effeminate if they helped, even if the woman was pregnant.

As time went on, some acknowledgement of the misery of laundry methods crept into advertising. Purchased laundry soaps became available, at first advertised as economical, then, more and more, as labour saving. They were made in flakes or powder, saving the labour of grating. Various ingredients were touted as making the process easier. Advertising showed well-dressed women, completely unruffled, using the product. Or little girls were pictured, happily laundering doll clothes. 

From rocks, to wash-boards, to modern washing machines – I’m grateful for the advancements in technology, but nevertheless, we can still take a leaf from the book of history without giving up all our modern conveniences. When it comes to choosing a laundry soap or washing powder, my choice is to use an all natural, handmade and soap based washing powder – which is good for my skin and good for the environment. Commercial washing powders and liquids are really just synthetic detergents, made with chemicals that are cheap to manufacture but not so good for us or our washing machines.

We have become conditioned via marketing hype to believe that lots of suds and bubbles = cleansing power. But the truth is, it’s the ingredients that do the cleaning, not the bubbles!

With high efficiency washers, lower sudsing is important. In washing machines, excess suds can cause a problem called “suds lock.” The machine has both an inner and an outer tub, and when there is too much sudsing, the two can get linked together by the suds. This puts a huge load on the motor and the drain pump. It’s especially likely in a front-loading washer. If you’re using a washboard, of course, this isn’t a factor  (cheeky wink and smile!)

But in any case, a high-lather laundry powder is often more difficult to rinse out of your clothes, which can leave a residue build up in the fabric.

Our all natural 100% Vegan friendly laundry powder is really well suited to HE machines, because the natural ingredients in our formula is VERY low sudsing. Just make sure you use the recommended amount of detergent (1 tablespoon for light to medium loads and 2 tablespoons for heavier soiled loads). A little goes a long way, so it’s really economical cost wise too.

Yes, doing the laundry has come a long way since the days of beating clothes on a rock or scrubbing on a wash board, but I will go back a step in time to the natural goodness of natural soap to wash my clothes – will you?

TIP:  To replace your synthetic fabric softener, add 1/2 cup white vinegar when you would normally add fabric softener. It won’t make your clothes smell like vinegar – promise!  

There are quite literally 101 ways of re-using your mason jar candle, here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Firstly, you will need to clean your candle jar by soaking the used jar in hot soapy water to wash out any residual soy wax, then you’ll be able to easily peel off the labels and remove the metal wick tab (or just pop in the dishwasher!)

Some of the images below have a painted and distressed finish.  If you’d like to know how to paint and distress your used mason candle jar, check out this great step by step tutorial by Mason Jar Crafts Love.

Welcome to Etc & Co. Blog…

Stay tuned for our blog articles on our products, sneak peeks behind the scenes and special member only offers.

We will also show you how to get the best out of your products, along with some handy DIY projects on ways to re-use your candle vessels after you’ve finished burning them.