I think the online make-up community, as well know it, talks little about fragrances in terms of aromatherapy oils or any other type of home making scent and I think the reason for this is that there are so many 'home fragrance' products in the market its very easy to ignore these small bottled gems and reach for can aerosols or mists.
Fragrance oils have been around for so long; I remember as a child that was what TBS (the body shop) was to me. It was a place filled with strange bottles and the ones that stood out to me were the tiny oils that I had no idea what to do with. It's only now in my early twenties that I have discovered what these things truly are and since around Christmas of 2009, I have been absolutely in love with them.
I personally like the Home Fragrances A LOT; recently The Body Shop has changed their packaging and for a long while I thought they were discontinuing all Home Fragrances Oils (HFOs) because they were all disappearing off the shelves besides the Coconut oil. I was going to panic because my favourite signature room smell is Sandalwood and this smells calms me and puts me at ease. I was going to give up searching when bank holiday came around recently and TBS was promoting a 30% sales offer. So I clicked onto HFOs hoping for the best and there they were; newly and fantastically packaged and all the original scents have been twisted with a different accompanying ingredient and the smells are absolutely intriguing to say the least. Previous oil Vanilla has now got added alluring Tonka in it; Green tea now has a splash of lemon; Cotton Linen now is now sweetly accompanied by Aloe and my personal favourite Sandalwood has a new energising note of Ginger. These aren't the only new twists but the ones I have particularly notes because they are my favourites. I think these new variations are more than I could ask for; the old HFOs were lovely but to be honest I was beginning to mix them (which is a huge no-no, apparently) because they were somewhat uninspiring. Luckily TBS did this for me and now I can enjoy sitting in my room so much more!
The ones I picked up from the sale were:
Sandalwood & GInger, Vanilla & Tonka Bean, Aloe & Soft Linen, Jasmine and White Frangipani
Unfortunately I have to stay away from citrus smells because my cats find them particularly offensive; they literally run out of the room and ignore me for a while. Therefore my beloved Mandarin Ginger HFO remains unloved.
I am in love with Sandalwood still and actually the newly added Ginger hasn't changed it too much but it lifts it ever so slightly. Where the old Sandalwood was aromatic and sensual, the new fragrance remains equally as seductive but is now more burnable in the day time too. It's a definite favourite still!
Previous Vanilla wasn't in my collection but only because I hadn't quite got round to trying it out. It was always a pleasantly sweet and easy going smell so it wasn't on my list of must needs but having seen a new twist of the added Tonka Bean, I wanted to try it and see what kind of smell this would give. It smells very similar to a certain perfume I'm not quite sure of but the smell is definitely 'nice'. It's very womanly at the same time it's pretty, tame, sweet and sassy. There are not sharp notes in this and therefore it's inviting. I think it would be great as a perfume but not my favourite for a HFO. That's another question, why can't TBS make some of these into perfume oils so we can wear them on ourselves? Can we do that, anyway?
Next is the Aloe & Soft Linen; the old version used to be Line Dried Cotton which was literally the smell of fresh laundry. This was always particularly nice to burn straight after I have cleaned the house, it seems to make the place even cleaner. The new version doesn't actually smell very similar but its the same concept; it smells of clean clothes except this one is clean, sweet yet refreshing. Again, it would be amazing after a good clean in the house. Actually what's nice about this version is that while Line Dried Cotton was comforting it could also be quite powerful and overwhelming if burned for too long. This one is clean yet probably more agreeable with everyone's noses. Well done TBS!
Finally I picked up Jasmine & White Frangipani which I believe maybe the new predecessor of White Petals. Having had quite an ambiguous name previously its now very specific in the flowers it uses and these flower smells are spring/summer smells for sure. It's floral scent is quite hard to put your finger on but it's similar to typical Cherry Blossom smells.... it's floral but young and exciting. If you smell very hard you can definitely smell the jasmine but what I feel is the more dominate smell is what must be the White Frangipani. It's great for those who love the smell of a sweet smelling bouquet - absolutely wonderful.
Also I think at the time I was so afraid of Sandalwood leaving me once again I took a chance on it's original perfume oil. I have never bought a perfume oil before so I didn't know what quite to expect. Having been glued to the bottle since it arrived I can say that actually this isn't quite the sandalwood smell of the original HFO. This is possibly and probably because the original HFO isn't just sandalwood but a mix of different scents with sandalwood being one the main scent. This makes sense because I remember when I was in Lush, another one of my favourite brands, they had some strong sandalwood smelling products and they were always so overpowering which is akin to this perfume oil. The smell of real sandalwood is actually very masculine; it's strong, robust, sensual, woody and delicious. I think it's comforting; I think it's what the smell of a good man hug should smell like... It's not what I expected but i do like it a lot.
I was actually reading a review by a lady who has been using this oil since the 70s and she uses it everywhere to the point where I think it would be too much even for myself. She claims that she uses it in her hair care products, washing machine, iron, body sprays and on her body and those are only the ones I remember. But it does to show you can use these any way you like and so I have generously sprinkled this oil on my bed and rubbed it on my palms because I'm sure it will send me to sleep very nicely.
The last thing I want to add about perfume oils is that I now want and 'need' to buy some others. The next ones on the list are 'Ananya', 'Vanilla' and possibly 'White Musk'.
Have you tried any of TBS's fragrance offerings? Has anyone bought one of their new candles I managed to miss? I am needing the Sandalwood and Ginger one please!