When I was a child growing up in the eighties, aromatherapy was the in-word. You could suddenly buy mood candles, aromatherapy shampoos, body lotions and bubble bath, amongst other things, with feel-good fragrances, but the one thing that every single one of my teenaged friends had (as far as the girls went anyway - the boys tended to stick with the aroma of smelly socks, damp towels and boy sweat in their rooms !) was an oil burner with a tealight candle to heat the oil and release the scent. Now that I'm a mum, there's no way I'm letting my teen and tween daughters light candles in their bedrooms any time soon, so I was very pleased to see that you can now buy aromatherapy oil diffusers that plug into the mains - a much safer option !
Essence of Arcadia sent us through one of their aromatherapy oil diffusers to review. It all came in a very elegant looking black and gold box with a magnetic lid. Carefully packaged inside were the diffuser unit, the cable/plug, a water jug, instructions and three 100% pure, therapeutic grade, 10ml oils of Lavender, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree.
The diffuser is easy to take apart and reassemble. You just need to add some water and a few drops of the oils, put it back together and plug it in then wait for the lovely scents to fill your room. I was dubious about using just a few drops but these oils are obviously a lot more potent than the ones I've used in the past and that really is all you need.
Most oil diffusers that I've seen in the shops are made of white plastic and, to be frank, look a bit cheap and nasty. The Essence of Arcadia diffuser has a decorative outer casing made of glass so it looks more like a vintage vase or ornament that you can leave out on the shelf. It has various settings, such as continuous or intermittent vapour and a colour-change mode, which is pretty funky. It can run for four hours and has a warning light when the water runs dry, as well as an auto-shut off function, although I haven't actually tested it because I turn it off because the water has all gone.
I love experimenting with home fragrances but I am often a bit disappointed. Air fresheners often smell artificial and the fragrance doesn't last for long, pot pourri is great at collecting dust and candles are a no-go with kids in the house, so the plug-in oil diffuser is a great option. Once it's turned on, you can't hear it so you only know it's there when the room starts smelling nice !
I wasn't too sure about the oils included in the box because they're not my favourite scents. I know that lavender is relaxing but I often find it quite cloying, tea tree reminds me of head lice treatments and I don't really like eucalyptus, but I discovered that I like them better in the pure, natural form of the oils than in the products I've used in the past. The eucalyptus one is great when someone in the house has a cold or a bunged up nose and the lavender is great for winding down in the evening.
What is extra lovely about Essence of Arcadia is the lady behind the brand, Rebecca Jest. As a stay-at-home-mum, she has set the whole business up herself, from importing to setting up the website and you can tell it's a real labour of love. Her passion and desire to make you love her products as much as she does really come across in her follow-up emails (via amazon so it's not just because I'm reviewing for her) and this personal touch is a great bonus as she's always ready to answer any queries you may have.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : usually £65, currently on sale on their website or amazon for £49.99
for more information : http://www.essenceofarcadia.com/
Disclosure : I received the product in order to write an honest review.