I want to start out by sharing that I am very, very sensitive to synthetic fragrance. Before I even realized this was a valid and widespread issue, I always wondered why everyone around me could adore their perfumes and why I would go crazy when my family sprayed one in close proximity. I almost turn 180 degrees, becoming very cranky, light-headed, and having a harder time breathing. I used to think I was crazy or perhaps being dramatic – but I also understood that every time someone sprayed perfume next to me or there was a candle on at my house, I didn’t feel good. After becoming aware of the science behind synthetic fragrance and how so many others suffered from this issue, I didn’t feel weird anymore saying how bad I felt out loud. All along it wasn’t me, rather the products themselves that were making me feel this way. This doesn’t just extend to perfumes, either, as many products – from trash bags to skincare – have synthetic fragrance. It’s like sugar – its hidden in the places you won’t even expect. Of course one must understand that not all synthetic fragrance is bad, but a lot that I’ve had an experience with have been negative. Thankfully, it’s not very severe with me – I’m okay in open environments, meaning if someone has already sprayed perfume and has been wearing it for a while in a larger space, I’m totally fine. I know some people have it worse, for example they can even pass out! Alas, I had to make a few major adjustments, such as purchasing un-fragranced trash bags and laundry products, as well as taking out all perfumes and candles. It really sucks when you also want to go crazy over seasonal pumpkin pie candles in the Home Goods aisle, or miss going into Sephora and looking at the latest perfumes. Feeling good, however, makes it all worth it.
When I started getting into green beauty, I noticed how a lot of skincare products contained essential oils, but I never looked into products that were specifically created for the purpose of fragrance, i.e. perfumes, mists, candles. I would love to explore natural perfumes, however they are quite expensive and I would need to try samples of a lot. Seeing as I can’t go into Sephora and do this, mists and candles are easier. This being said, I do get very nervous when it comes to fragrance, as not every creator has a nose for it. Osmia Organics founder Sarah Villafranco definitely does, as I adore all the soaps, body creams, and body oils I’ve tried from them thus far. Osmia Organics was the first brand that showed me how the use of essential oils in products can trump the traditional ones I was used to while still making me feel good. Their Lavender Pine and Dirty Chai soap in particular blew me away upon initial purchase.
Unfortunately, I haven’t experienced the same level of success with other brands. The bath products and oil I’ve thus far tried from Lotus Wei, for one, do not appeal to me. Although the brand is strictly all natural, there is a sort of off-putting sweetness to all of the products I’ve tried thus far and which I really do not like. Another brand I haven’t liked much in this department is Captain Blankenship. I purchased New Moon, their smokeless smudge spray, and although it’s been a few months already, it remains unused. Mind you, I grew up in a family/culture where we use Frankincense, and the smoke really doesn’t bother me at all. I haven’t yet tried Palo Santo, however I am almost 100% sure I will also prefer burning the actual product to this spray. Thus the ‘smokeless’ appeal isn’t as important to me as much as how it actually smells like. As for that detail, I will say it is very, very, very strong – and not in a good way. After being spoiled with Osmia products and their excellent combination of essential oils to create an amazing olfactory experience, this didn’t even come close. I tried spraying it at different times and also let my mom and sister try it out, but none of us can take to it.
Woodlot proved to be a totally different experience – from first mist, Flora took me back to a spa I had visited earlier in the week. The Lavender and Bergamot combination are so lovely. I ended up purchasing the Rose + Palo Santo as well, with Integrity Botanicals kindly including Sweetgrass as well in my order. If I’m tired, I’ll go for Sweetgrass for its bright and crisp notes; agitated, Palo Santo + Rose for its stress-relieving and calming properties; in need of a pick-me-up, Flora for its refreshing and relaxing notes. I very much appreciate Woodlot’s use of hydrosols and essential oils, without any alcohol. In addition to what’s inside these bottles, I also adore their aesthetic- simple yet so beautiful. I spray them constantly on my linens, pillow, room – I’m considering just having one in my purse and spritzing it in my car during my long commutes to work too hah!
Ever since Osmia Organics introduced me to their limited edition Rose + Palo Santo Body oil (truly divine and now done 🙁 ), I have been quite taken with the combination. When I saw Woodlot offered the mist, I immediately jumped on it because I was so excited to experience it again. The candle was recently released, and I jumped on that too! Although I have never paid this much for a candle in my life, it was my birthday and I decided to just go for it. The box is so cute, with a beautiful pink pastel color and a pink pattern on the inside. The candle itself is glass with the striking gold woodlot logo across its front. It has two wicks, an approximate burn time of 60 hours, and is hand poured with gmo-free soy wax and renewable coconut wax. The smell definitely carries on though the space it’s in and even lingers on afterwords as well. The candle I purchased has a more prominent palo santo/sour scent to it than the spray. For this reason, although I don’t hate the scent, I already know I will like the other ones better than this.
I do see myself repurchasing the pricier candles released by Woodlot, but definitely not as often as I would like. Those from the original line aren’t exactly cheap either at $39, but it is better than $54, especially considering the point system Integrity Botanicals has. There is nothing wrong with plain, unscented options either – I absolutely love lighting candles to brighten up the house and mood, but for those times when you want a nice fragrance wafting through the air – a fragrance that won’t make you feel bad – this is when it’s okay to indulge yourself on a good quality candle. Although Integrity only sells the larger 13.5 oz size, Woodlot on their website also has 8oz candle sizes which I think are great for trying out as well as more economical.
Overall, I am very excited I was able to find Woodlot. I may now limit essential oils on my face, but I live for their use in aromatherapy. They elevate my mood from when I am feeling upset, stressed, etc. in a way nothing else can (particularly when combined with meditation or a nice hot bath). I am looking forward to a few things from the line in the future:
~I really hope they release seasonal candles – finally we can have our own reasons to get excited about pumpkin/gingerbread/chai candles during the seasons!!
~Releasing larger sizes in the mists