Deep Breaths with Scentered

I don’t exactly keep it a secret that I struggle with life a bit. I genuinely think I was born into the wrong era. My body and mind just don’t seem work in this technologically-advanced, high-paced, big-brother generation. I think I would have been the best version of me existing as a carefree hippy in the sixties, enjoying free-love, meadows filled with wild flowers (which I’d of course put in my hair), live music, and most importantly only with access to land-lines, letters and face to face communication.

But alas, I find myself frequently weighed down the pressures of my generation, as well as the added stress I put on myself as a result of the observations I’ve made about how things work in 2018, and what you need to do or have to be successful now.

I guess my tweets at 4.30am about not be able to sleep AGAIN, and my necessary reiterations of how I tired I am on insta stories haven’t gone unnoticed, as lovely brands like Scentered send me goodies to try and help me find some sort of peace and serenity come bed time.

Scentered is divided into six well-being categories, each with a combination of active ingredients and high potency essential oils, specifically selected to target a variety of lifestyle concerns, from lack of focus to fatigue. The products can be used individually to target a specific need, or all together to form a personal mood and lifestyle support ‘toolkit’. On first impressions I was very excited by my curated package of goodies, and what they’d maybe able to do for me and my unique issues. The products come in packaging that links seamlessly to what they promise to deliver – the turquoise and lavender instantly take you to a place of relaxation due to what you associate the colours with…..the ocean, a field full of lavender, a sunset etc. But there’s more to it than just an appropriate colour palette. The shape of the packaged product and the way they print the packaging to minimize the use of any non-recyclable products is not by accident. They have also intentionally avoided the use of foil print which challenges recycling, also considering the need for any dying and varnishing of card and paper. They minimise outer packaging and wasted over-packaging, where possible using boxes that can be re-purposed or recycled, and reuse all bubble wrap and outer boxes where at all possible.

Just to fill you in about the Scentered if you aren’t yet familiar with the brand. Their journey began in 2011, inspired by Lara Morgan’s experience using aromatherapy to keep her balanced and sane whilst she built a global business and raised a family. Frustrated by the impracticality of aromatherapy products on the market (leaking bottles and greasy, oil-based products), Lara wanted to create a solution-led, lifestyle-focused brand that delivered proven well-being benefits through a range of multi-tasking, easy-to-use and truly portable products.Joining forces with Fay Pottinger brought a lifelong passion for natural therapies, industry experience, and an unrelenting drive for formulation integrity and product performance.

I was particularly pleased to see how they’d covered the practicality of the packaging of these products, making them very easy to pack if you’d like them to accompany you on your travels. They’re so right that often these products get left at home and on our bed-side tables, often creating greasy marks on surfaces or oily spots on our clothes. They are usually far too risky to put in our luggage, which is nonsensical when you consider that being away from home is when a lot of people particularly need to be soothed and relaxed. Not only are you in a new and strange environment, away from you usual creature comforts, you’ve probably experienced travel related anxiety, or battling jet lag which wreaks havoc with your sleeping patterns.

You guys know I only support cruelty free products on the blog, and I am happy to report this post is no different, but I am also exceedingly impressed with how open and detailed the brand are about their ethical credentials on their site in general . So many companies are vague or confusing with their information, and I found it extremely refreshing to be able to easily access information about so many aspects of their business, but also the things they want to improve on. When I think of all the big brands that are still testing on animals or using animal ingredients I always wonder why they don’t inform us why they haven’t made the transition, whether they are looking to, and what they’re doing to improve their practices. So I really appreciated the following information….

Scentered products are 100% natural meaning they made from ingredients that come naturally and sustainably from the earth.  They are passionate about sourcing sustainably and as such not all of our ingredients are organic. We source our ingredients globally and the exact locations can change as weather and external environmental influences affect supply and crop yields annually. Their formulating experts will always balance sustainability, ethics, safety and performance when determining the best resource. All of their products are suitable for vegetarians. Their balms currently contain sustainably sourced beeswax, we are working on changing this so please hang on in there and we will keep you updated in the hope of having a Vegan-friendly base suitable for all. Scentered is against animal testing and e promise to never test our products on animals; only ourselves, willing friends and fans.

Scentered think that ethical business is good business (which is another big reason why I love them), that’s why they work to make sure that all the people involved in Scentered, from producers to employees treat each other fairly and with respect. They say that they are fully aware of the responsibilities and impact our product packaging, design, print and sources have on the environment and at every stage, these issues are considered and challenged.

They also clearly care about the environment and it guides and shapes everything they do. They work with meticulous consideration and a mindset that is all about producing minimum waste. Their goal to make sure their product  can be reused, repurposed or recycled sits at the heartland of what they do. They often start with an approach that aims to take from already recycled materials or utilising naturals with a sustainable source. They also work continually to reduce waste and their carbon footprint; using intelligent purchasing, sourcing methodology and making favourable environmentally responsible decisions when it comes to how they shape and build on their range.

‘The relationships between an artisan and a beautiful handmade piece create a story and make each product not a mass market item, but an individually crafted piece, like their aroma blends.’ At the heart of the brand are highly complex, 100% natural blends of essentials oils extracted with timeless traditional methods to ensure premium quality performance and powerful scents. Their suppliers are valued partners and they work with them to influence the supply chain ensuring our values on the environment and waste are maintained through every area and step of the business. Whilst they cannot and do not claim to support the artisan world throughout the manufacture of the balms, they are determined to build great relationships which help social and developmental needs in the modern day whilst looking after the most wonderful traditions of using aroma for therapeutic gain.

SLEEP WELL BALM £14.50

The first product I opened from my care package was this one. I instantly loved the aroma, as it has a similar combined scent to a spice blend that I use in one of my favourite indian curry dinners – I think that’s the cloves within it. Making me think about curry is always going to be an instant relaxer, as a night in with a homemade curry is a happy place for me. It’s deeply therapeutic balm to relax the body, clear the head and quieten the mind, with a sophisticated oriental floral lavender blend of fourteen different essential oils.This particular balm is applauded in the industry to having been commended in the Best Natural Product category at the Pure Beauty Awards. The floral but unisex lavender blend harnesses the therapeutic benefits of Lavender, Chamomile, Palmarosa and Ho Wood, and balances them with Bois de Rose and Geranium. The Patchouli, Clove and Ylang Ylang heart brings a modern oriental twist.Our rich, nourishing balms have been carefully formulated with a blend of moringa and shea butters to ensure a non-greasy finish on the skin and long lasting fragrance delivery.

ESCAPE THERAPY BALM £14.50

The smell of this one instantly transported me to a spa, its scent is one I associate with having my face poking through one of those holes in a bed and feeling a stranger rub away my worries with oiled hands. As they quite rightly describe, it’s an evocative and luxurious balm to indulge and pamper the senses.

Apply ESCAPE whenever you yearn for more exotic climes, need a bit of cheering up or crave a few precious moments for yourself, they reccommend. The perfect way to recharge your batteries, gain perspective or inspiration, or let go of everyday frustrations or worries. Be inspired, and creativity and action will follow. Also an excellent aid to meditation or yoga practice.

A luxurious and exotic scent, inspired by the Orient. A rich, woody base of Oud, Sandalwood and Cedarwood; warming Frankincense, Amber and Vanilla; and sweet, spicy Patchouli, is gently lifted by the exotic Rose floral heart, and spicy smoky top notes of Birch, Clove and Cinnamon.

ESCAPE CANDLE £16.95

They also very kindly sent me the Escape candle (all of therapeutic candles are made from a custom blend of natural waxes, sustainably sourced and non-GM, with pure essential oils for a clean burn and natural fragrance). We all turn to candles when we want to set a certain vibe, whether it be romance, relaxation, or a purposeful self-care session. Although I think my life, well-being and relationships would benefit from all the candles they offer, I think right now my relentless wanderlust makes the Escape one the most essential. You will have seen via my Instagram and tweets how many press trips have been cancelled due to work clashes or illness,  and how long it’s been since I’ve been on holiday. I’m desperate at this point, so any product that can deliver any sort of an escape is a winner for me.

They advise that you light the Escape candle whenever you ‘yearn for more exotic climes or crave a few precious moments for yourself’ – which I repeat, is basically all the bleedin’ time for me right now. This particular candle has a luxurious and exotic scent, inspired by the Orient. A rich, woody base of Oud, Sandalwood and Cedarwood; warming Frankincense, Amber and Vanilla; and sweet, spicy Patchouli, is gently lifted by the exotic Rose floral heart, and spicy smoky top notes of Birch, Clove and Cinnamon.

They do have some other candles to choose from though, so I thought I’d give you a brief overview of each in case one speaks to your specific needs a bit more strongly…..

DE STRESS

The site describes this one as the ultimate ‘feel good’ scent, with uplifting citrus herbal top notes of Chamomile, Neroli, Mandarin, Sweet Brazilian Orange, and Sicilian Lemon, a balancing floral heart of Jasmine, Rose, Mimosa and Lavandin, and a grounding of Cedarwood base. Eases everyday tensions, soothes the mind and lifts the spirits.

LOVE

They suggest you light this candle whenever you are in need of a hug or feeling overwhelmed – which for many of us is an almost consistent feeling. This is apparently a beautifully calming and comforting fragrance (A heart-warming and rich, spicy floral blend of Rose, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Aniseed and Coriander) which will comfort, soothe and restore a sense of inner peace. Si being so busy with work lately isn’t as available as I’d like for those comforting hugs and snuggles, or affectionate words, so I think I would enjoy the scented embrace of this one.

BE HAPPY

This one should be lit if you’re having one of those neggy days, perhaps those occasions where you struggling to feel hopeful, or finding yourself in a pattern of comparing yourself to others. I find a feeling of lacking and inferiority is usually my cause for unhappiness. Using this candle you can apparently fill your room with joy and positivity when you’re feeling less than your best and need an extra lift..A natural way to brighten your day if you will. This one contains a sparkling, aromatic citrus blend, with bright top notes of Pink Grapefruit and Green Mandarin, softened by warm, floral notes of Tagette and Neroli. A zingy accord of Lemon Myrtle, Spearmint and Aniseed brings a minty effervescence to the blend, whilst Petitgrain and Cedarwood add strength and depth.

SLEEP WELL

Their new Sleep Well candle makes the perfect bath and bedtime companion, filling the room with a gloriously calming fragrance. Made with 100% natural ingredients, this sophisticated floral lavender blend harnesses the relaxing and soothing therapeutic benefits of Lavender, Chamomile, Palmarosa and Ho Wood, and balances them with Geranium and Ylang Ylang.The Patchouli, Cedarwood and Clove base brings a modern oriental twist with calming warmth. Master perfumers have blended more than 14 different therapeutic essential oils known for their relaxing and calming properties and will help create a healthy bedtime routine to support restful, restorative sleep. I’ve started to have baths using specific salts that are meant to encourage relaxation ahead of bed time, so I imagine this would be a great purchase to amplify the overall bath-time experience, or to have burning in the bedroom to ensure your blissed out environment is continued once you leave the bathroom.

After a few nights of using the balms, an inquisiative Simon asked if he could ‘have a go’, having enjoyed the scent of my wrists and neck of late- in his opinion a ‘big improvement’ on the usual spot cream medicated smell, a fake tan biscuit-ey aroma, or the unpleasant evidence of my IBS belly he is usually overwhelmed by. He took a deep breath of his wrist the first time round, and looked so relaxed and happy he almost looked like he was trying to seal a contract as the face of Scentered. If it was an AD, you’d have thought he was over-egging it to be honest, but he genuinely loved it. Since then it’s become a cute little ritual we do together once we decide to it’s time for bed…which from this point onwards will be after we have fully dissected that evenings episode of Love Island. We have very little quality time together these days due to Si’s new career which sees him grafting 7 days a week, so it’s actually more than just about aiding sleep and relaxation for us, it’s a moment to reconnect too. I’ve also noticed that Si has been on edge a lot with all the pressures that come with starting a business, but also being the business (he doesn’t have any official employees, unless you count me, but I’m not being paid). He knows the buck stops with him, and he’s finding the relentlessness of that something that has lead to many early rises and unsettled sleeps, despite being the most exhausted he’s ever been.  I want to help him by offering coping mechanisms and various well being tools, but some appear too time consuming, too much of an investment, or something completely out of his comfort zone (like meditation), but this little action has been something that has been seamlessly added to his daily routine without seeming like a big deal.

We both agree that we like the ease of the application and that it doesn’t leave an overly greasy or wet mark whichever pulse point you choose to swipe or press it against. I’m finding myself even putting the Escape one on my wrist during the day, just when I need to take a pause from work stress and want to encourage myself to take a deep breath and get centred again.

If you know anyone who could benefit from taking a few moments of breathing deeply, I think they’d make for such thoughtful gifts…but perhaps, if you’re honest with yourself,  you are just as in need too, so why not treat yourself?

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