There’s nothing like going home, whether it’s after a day of work, a day out or even a holiday – home is, after all, where the heart is. But sometimes our homes are lacking in ambience. With laundry piling up, yesterday’s dishes and the kids’ toys everywhere, the mood doesn’t always scream “serene” or “tranquil”. But how do we change this without redesigning the entire space? By introducing a couple of home beauty products that bring calm, tranquility and gorgeous fragrance.
By “home beauty products” we mean all the goodies you put around your home to improve the scent, mood and appearance. These not only brighten up the space, but they also have a profound impact on one’s mood (scent is a major mood enhancer, BTW).
Let’s start with a golden oldie – candles
Candles have been around a whopping 5000 years! Their history is a bit of a mystery, but what we know is that they were used as far back as Ancient Egypt, where reeds were submerged in animal fat and set alight. It was the Romans who refined the design of the candle, which consisted of a wick and beeswax. Candles are no longer relied on for light, but rather to set a mood. Whether it’s to create a romantic table setting, enhance a relaxing bubble bath or to give the home a warm and cosy feel, no one can deny the power of candlelight! Plus, what better way to introduce a subtle scent to the home than with a scented candle?!
Sorbet Home Artisanal Scented Candles, R399.00 (available at Sorbet)
Pretty? Yes. Long-lasting? Yes. Gorgeously scented? YES. This SA giant has expanded into homeware, and we’re thrilled. Available in three scents – Chestnut, Orient and Waterfall.
Cape Island Safari Days Scented Candle, R320.00 (available at https://capeisland.co.za)
Cape Island is known for their gorgeous packaging, and we can confirm that their candles smell as good as they look. Hand-poured in SA with perfume oils from France, this one includes the warm scents of patchouli, bergamot, cedar and wild sage, resulting in an exotic aroma that’s sure to up the ambience in your home.
TheraVine AromaVine Spiced Orange and Cinnamon Massage Candle, R232.00 (available at http://www.theravine.co.za)
A candle that doubles up as a massage oil? Yes please! This one is made from plant waxes and butters combined with the best in aromatherapy oils to bring you a candle that’s both aromatic in the home and nourishing on the skin. Clove has anti-inflammatory properties while cinnamon heals and boosts the immune system.
Rain Home Fragrance Kalahari Vegetable Wax Candle, R260.00 (available at Rain stores and https://shop.rainafrica.com)
This pure vegetable wax candle combines bushman num-num, belskruie, cape may, wild jasmine and veldspice for an earthy, floral scent that’s totally unique. We love that it’s eco-friendly too.
Diffusers work hard while looking pretty, and best of all, they don’t require any work! A diffuser consists of thin sticks standing upright in a container of scented oil / solution. The liquid usually meets the sticks at more or less their halfway mark. They work by drawing the liquid up into the stick, which then evaporates into the air, releasing the scent into the room. Diffusers work best in a closed room (the scent is less noticeable when doors and windows are open), and to ensure the scent retains its power, the sticks should be turned around every week or two.
Sorbet Home Diffusers, R379.00 (available at Sorbet)
These diffusers match the Sorbet Candles in scent, resulting in a powerful duo in the home. The stylish black sticks are a classy alternative to the traditional pale wood. We recommend Chestnut for winter and Waterfall for summer.
TheraNaka Desert Rose Diffuser, R285.00 (available at selected salons and www.theranaka.co.za)
The scent of rose never gets old, and it suits all seasons. This diffuser’s scent is true to a real rose – subtle enough to be elegant but potent enough to notice. It’s a really uplifting scent which we think is best utilised in an entrance hall, lounge or dining room.
Rain Home Fragrance Namib Reed Diffuser Set, R415.00 (Rain stores or https://shop.rainafrica.com)
Unlike pretty much all the other diffusers we’ve seen, this one has unusually long sticks, in an unusually tall bottle. Other than the design being interesting and different, the tall bottle also means that the fragrance lasts longer. A peachy himba starflower top note eases down to cedarwood and desert resins, eventually producing vanilla musk sandy undertones.
SOiL Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser, R600.00 (available at www.soil.co.za)
This popular cold mist diffuser uses water and ultrasonic vibrations to disperse the molecules of essential oil into the air via a fine mist. It’s safe, quiet and uses very little energy, plus it has a handy night light. Best of all, you can mix and match essential oils to create your own scents.
Gone are the days when room mists were reserved for bathrooms – today, they’re used all over the home. Mists are a great pick-me-up, and an ultra-fast way to get a scent to fill a room. Some mists are safe to use on linen too, making them a practical choice for cushions, pillows, throws and other linens in your living areas. We prefer natural mists in spray bottles over mists in aerosol cans and those containing artificial fragrances, as these may have a great impact in the home, but have a negative impact on the environment.
Pink Cosmetics Lavender Linen Mist, R115.00 (available on https://pinkcosmetics.co.za/)
Lavender sprays are great for bedding and linen and are known to aid a good night’s rest and relaxation. This one from Pink Cosmetics can be used to freshen up the home, car or office, and is free from artificial fragrances. The fresh, clean scent is made with natural lavender essential oils which don’t only smell wonderful, but also have a calming therapeutic effect.
Healing Earth Lemon Verbena & Argan Oil Room Mist Spray and Healing Ocean Ambient Mist, R129.60 (can be ordered directly from firstname.lastname@example.org)
We know Healing Earth for their delectable body creams and butters, but were pleasantly surprised to discover they manufacture eco-friendly room mists and other products too. The lemon verbena mist is refreshing and invigorating, whilst the Healing Ocean Mist smells like a seaside holiday.
Okay, so strictly speaking soaps don’t contribute to a home’s scent, however, beautifully fragranced soaps definitely add a subtle scent to your bathroom. Some people even store packaged soaps in their cupboards to keep their linen smelling fresh. A pretty bar of soap can make a big impact, and make a stunning gift, too.
Morlage & Yorke Luxury Soaps, R59.00 (available on www.takealot.com)
Almost too pretty to open, these large soap bars smell amazing, are creamy and rich and last really long. The packaging is absolutely gorgeous and the scent combinations are unusual, but surprisingly complementary. We recommend keeping a few of these in the bedroom and bathroom to fully utilise their fragrance.