In a sentence, Sensehacking allows us to improve our emotional wellbeing (as well as our cognitive and social wellbeing) by stimulating our senses in different and specific ways. The professor is conducting research as to how we might develop our understanding of this phenomenon to create multisensory environments, interfaces, products and even food.
Why Is Sensehacking So Important ?
Just as an unbalanced diet can lead to poor health, an imbalance in our sensory stimulation can also cause us to experience a number of problems such as stress, anxiety and depression. Such problems can cause someone to struggle to get enough sleep, which actually increases your chance of dying from one of the leading causes of mortality.
In today’s world, this imbalance comes from too much visual and auditory stimulation through excessive screen time, ear phones etc, while on the other hand there is a lack of tactile and fragrant stimulation. All of which are our considered to be our more emotional senses. This isn’t a judgement on your personal choices, this is simply the world that we live in.
Life in Lockdown
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, this sensory imbalance has only been exacerbated. For example, we have all heard very sad stories of care home residents being denied the most basic of pleasures of being embraced by their loved ones.
Even before Covid-19, over 90% of the lives of those living in urban environments were spent indoors, often leading to ‘light hunger’ and even Seasonal Affective Disorder. But, throughout lockdown our environmental stimulation has become even more monotonous. The lack of variety and the abundance of the mundane exposure to screens via Zoom and Netflix are not without consequence.
Fortunately, Sensehacking does bring a solution.
Sensehacking In Practise
The Power Of Touch
Skin makes up just under 20% of your total body mass – making it the largest sensory organ in (or on) the human body. Wherever hair is grown (e.g. excluding palms and soles), there are receptors called ‘C-Tactile Afferents’ that elicit a pleasure response. This response is best encouraged through slow and gentle stroking (e.g. a massage).
Infact, just like a massage, if the touch is warm (in regards to temperature, although emotionally helps as well), and if there is a pleasant fragrance in the air, the wellbeing benefits are further enhanced.
However, unlike massages, research into Sensehacking concludes that multisensory stimulation of our skin is a biological necessity, not a luxury.
The Smells & Experiences Of Nature
One of the key principals of Sensehacking is the benefit that being in and amongst nature can have on our wellbeing. It is paramount that the exposure to nature has an all encompassing impact on your sensory stimulation. For example, Sensehacking explores how ‘Anthropocene Noise’ (such as the noise of traffic) can dramatically reduce the benefits of being in nature.
Ideally, as well as looking and listening to nature, you should look for a tactile experience such as feeling the ground beneath your toes or perhaps gardening and growing your own herbs. In fact, growing your own herbs will expose you to the fifth and most important sensory stimulation that nature provides – smell.
Fortunately, the efficacy of nature’s stimulation through our sense of smell is not impacted by whether or not we are actually amongst nature. While it is best to experience the smells of different grasses and wild flowers, Sensehacking shows that air fresheners or scented candles reflecting the aroma of nature can be just as effective. For example, a lavender fragrance as part of aromatherapy can be framed in terms of ‘smelling nature’ – e.g. the olfactory effect.
Furthermore, the positive impact of natural fragrances within the home becomes more pronounced in times of stress and uncertainty – which as we discussed previously, are often caused by an imbalanced sensory diet in the first place.
Magnolias are some of the most primitive of our flowering trees, known for their graceful, fragrant flowers they hail from a diverse genus of trees and shrubs.
They have been around for millennia with fossils dating back to the Tertiary period (they were around before our Friends the Bees arrived). They are just as at home in our Gardens and Parks, as they are in their natural forest habitat, and most of them are perfectly happy to adapt to city living.
In warmer parts of the country some magnolias have been in bloom since February others bloom in March and appear to usher in the spring, while others are Happy to wait until as late as June to flower. Regardless of when they grace us with their stunning Flowers and fragrance, the Magnolia has become one of the most loved plants Worldwide.
Their colours range from pure white to deepest purple and they fill the spring air with an enchanting scent that makes you want to stop and stay a while.
In 1900, Louisiana declared the Magnolia as its state flower due to its abundance throughout the state, and also in 1900 school children in Mississippi held a state-wide election and voted the Magnolia to be their state flower.
So, … from the Rain Forests of Asia, Central Europe and from the East to the West coast of the USA, these exceptional plants are loved the world over.
Historically there has, however, been some confusion and debate as to what can actually be classed as a ‘Magnolia’.
Description of Magnolia
Typically, Magnolias are characterised as large bowl or star shaped fragrant flowers that spread in shrubs or evergreen and deciduous trees.
They usually bloom in to either yellow, purple, green, pink or white flowers and their leaves usually appear afterwards in spring. In autumn, cone-shaped fruits are also produced.
Just like other Magnoliaceae, the perianth has at least 3 whorls each with 9-15 tepals.
The bisexual flowers have several adnate carpels and on the elongated receptacle, the stamens are arranged in a spiral pattern. Along carpel’s dorsal sutures the fruit dehisces, and the pollen is monocolpate. Magnolias also have a Polygonum type of embryo development.
History of Magnolias
The first recorded use of the word ‘Magnolia’ was by General Charles Plumier in 1703 to describe a flowering tree found in Martinique. After Plumer, William Sherard, an English botanist who studied under Magnol, was next to use the term ‘Magnolia’.
The first botanical literature since Plumier’s ‘Genera’ included ‘Hortus Elthamensis’ (written by Hohann Jacon Dillenius) and ‘Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands’ (written by Mark Catesby), both of which Sherard were responsible for.
In these botanical literatures, the term ‘Magnolia’ was also used to describe some types of flowering trees that were found the North America where the climate was more temperate. In fact, a botanist called Lamarck later used the term ‘Annona dodecapetala’ to describe what Plumier first referred to as ‘Magnolia’ which is now recognised as ‘Magnolia dodecapetala’.
Carl Linnaeus, also used the genus name Mangnolia in ‘Systema Naturae’ (the first edition), written in 1735. Whilst there was no description references to Plumier’s work were made. Linnaeus again used Plumier’s ‘Magnolia’ where he describes a monotypic genus in 1753 in ‘Species Plantarum’ (first edtion) with ‘Magnolia virginia being the only species.
If there ever was a herbarium specimen from Plumier’s ‘Magnolia’, Linnaeus never saw it and is likely he assumed it was the same plant that Catesby described in ‘Natural History of Carolina (written in 1730. Linnaeus put it synonymous with ‘Magnolia virginia var’.
Foetida is a type of taxon called ‘Magnolia grandiflora’. Linnaeus described five varieties of ‘Magnolia virginia’ (acuminate, foetida, grisea, glauca and tripetala).
These 5 varieties were reduced to four after Linnaeus combined grisea with glauca in ‘Systema Naturae’ (10th edition, written in 1759) where he also raised the other four varieties to the status of species.
Botanists and plant explorers started to describe ‘Mangnolia’ species from China and Japan by the end of the 18th century whilst exploring Asia. The first species were described by western botanists as ‘Magnolia Lilifllora’ & ‘Magnolia Denudata’ and ‘Magnolia Coco’ & ‘Magnolia Figo’.
Not long after, Carl Peter Thunberg collected and described ‘Magnolia Obovata’ in Japan in 1974 and around the same time ‘Magnolia Kobus’ were collected for the first time.
Much later, as there was an increase in the number of species, it was decided that the genus was to be divided in to two subgenera, ‘Yulania’ and ‘Magnolia’.
‘Magnolia’ includes the horticulturally important ‘M. Grandiflora’ found in the USA and in particular the south-eastern states and the species type known as ‘M. Virginiana’.
‘Yulania’ includes many deciduous species from Asia including ‘M. Kobus’ and ‘M. Denudata’ which have their own horticultural importance and are also important as parents in hybrids.
The American deciduous Cucumber Tree (‘M. Acuminata’) is also classified as ‘Yulania’ and is the responsible for many new hybrids having yellow flowers meaning it has been given greater status.
For a long while, taxonomists have been puzzled by the relations throughout the ‘Magnoliaceae’ family.
Since the Magnoliaceae has survived several huge geographical events (including continental drift, the formation of mountains and even ice ages), they have a vast scattered distribution. This has also led to the long-term isolation of some species or even groups of species as well as other species maintaining close contact.
It has proved impossible to solely use morphological characters to create divisions in the ‘Magnoliaceae’ family and even within the genus ‘Magnolia’.
Research on phylogenetic relationships was able to be conducted on a large scale at the end of the 20th century once DNA sequencing had finally become available. To investigate the relationships between the many species in the Magnoliaceae family, several studies were conducted.
With the support of morphological data, all of the phylogenetic studies concluded that the genus ‘Michelia’ and the Magnolia, subgenus ‘Yulania’, were considerably more related to each other than either one of them was to ‘Magnolia’ or other subgenus of ‘Magnolia’.
Since relationships are usually reflected by nomenclature, it was an undesirable situation to have species names in ‘Michelia’ and ‘Magnolia’, subgenus ‘Yulania’. Taxonomy provided three possible solutions to this problem.
The first was to join ‘Yulania’ and ‘Michelia’ species in a common genus, separate from the ‘Magnolia’ genus where the term ‘Michelia’ would be given the priority.
The second would leave the subgenus ‘Magnolia’ names and the ‘Micheila’ names untouched by raising the subgenus ‘Yulaina’ to generic rank.
The third solution was to create a “big genus” by joining genus ‘Magnolia’ with ‘Michelia into genus ‘Magnolia, sI’. Since it includes ‘M. virginiana’, (the type species of the genus and the of the family), Mangnolia subgenus ‘Magnolia’ cannot be renamed.
Excluding their wood, only a few ‘Michelia’ species’ have any economic or horticultural importance so far.
On the other hand, many species within subgenus ‘Magnolia’ and subgenus ‘Yulania’ very horticulturally important, to the point that many people in the horticultural discipline would consider it to be undesirable to change their name.
Since most of the cultivated species in Europe have at least one of their parents being ‘Mangnolia (Yulania) denudata’, ‘Yulania’ is considered to be synonymous with ‘Magnolia’ on the continent.
The third option to join ‘Michelia’ with ‘Magnolia’ is supported by most taxonomists as they acknowledge the close the close relations between ‘Michelia’ and ‘Yulania’.
The same applies for the ‘Dugandiodendron’ and the (former) genra ‘Taluama’ which were also placed in genus ‘Manglietia’ and subgenus ‘Magnolia’. ‘Manglietia’ could actually be joined with subgenus ‘Magnolia’ but could also be considered for earning the status of an extra subgenus.
‘Elmerrillia’ is more than likely to be handled in the same was a ‘Michelia’ is now because it is closely related to ‘Michelia’ and ‘Yulania’.
The exact nomenclatural status remains uncertain for non-specific or small genera such as ‘Aromadendron’, ‘Alcimandra’, and ‘Parakmeria’. These non-specific or small genera are often merged into ‘Magnolia sI’ by taxonomists who did the same with ‘Mechelia’.
There is a perpetual debate between botanists as whether to recognise the different small genera or simply recognise just a big ‘magnolia’.
An example of this debate can be found between the Chinese and the western co-author of “Flora of China”.
The book presents two points of view:
The first being that there is a large genus ‘Magnolia’, that includes around 300 species which is favoured by the western author.
The second is that there are 16 different genera and each of those contain up to 50 species. The second argument is put forward by the Chinese.
Subdivisions of Magnolias
Following the classification conducted by the Magnolia Society, species of Magnolias are usually listed under 3 subgenera, 12 sections and 13 subsections.
However, this is not the last word in regards to genus ‘Magnolia’ and it’s sub-classification as a clear consensus has not yet been achieved.
There has been a lot of general horticultural interest for the genus ‘Magnolia’. Many flower early in the spring such as the tree called ‘M. x soulangeana’ also known as the Saucer Magnolia and the shrub called ‘M. stellata’ also known as star magnolia. There are also others that flower as late as early summer such as ‘M. grandiflora’ which is often referred to as ‘Southern Magnolia’, and the ‘M. virginiana’ which is also known as ‘Sweetbay Magnolia’.
There have been efforts made to create plants that have a more impressive flower and that are able flower earlier on than the parent species by attempting to combine the best aspects of different species. Such efforts have been extremely successful thanks to the use of Hybridisation. A popular example of a successful hybrid would be that of ‘M. liliiflora’ and ‘M. denudata’ which created ‘M. x soulangeana’ (one of the most popular garden magnolias).
In the eastern United States, ‘M. grandiflora’, ‘M. macrophylia’, ‘M. acuminate’ (in the form of a Shade Tree), ‘M. tripetala’, and ‘M. virginiana’ are five native species that are cultivated frequently.
However, it is worth noting hat ‘M. tripetala’ and ‘M. macrophylia’ have large leaves which means they must be planted in a location not frequented by high winds.
Culinary Uses of Magnolia
With many species of Magnolias, their flowers are edible and are used in cooking all around the world.
The petals of ‘M. Grandiflora’ can be used as a spicy condiment when they are pickled. This is common in some parts of England.
On the other side of the world in Asia, the buds are used rather than the petals to be pickled and then used to scent tea and flavour rice. The flower buds and young leaves of ‘Magnolia hypoleuca’ are eaten as a vegetable in Japan after they are boiled.
Japan have also found further uses by creating cooking dishes and even wrapping their food in the leaves of ‘M. Obovata’.
Magnolias in Traditional Medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine, they have long been using the flower buds and even the bark of ‘M. officinalis’ which they refer to as ‘hou po’ (厚朴). In Japan, they also do something similar with ‘M. obovata’ which they call kōboku.
In forests in the north east of the United States, ‘M. acuminata’ (The Cucumber Tree) is harvested as timber since it grows to a very large size. The wood of the Cucumber Tree is sold as “yellow poplar” alongside the Tuliptree (‘Liriodendron tulipifera’).
On occasion, the ‘M. fraseri’ (The Fraser Magnolia) grows to be large enough to be harvested as well.
Other Uses of Magnolias
As well as humans, Magnolias are also consumed by Giant Leopard Moth and other Lepidoptera species as food plants.
Magnolias in Home Fragrance
If you are lucky enough this weekend to spot a blooming Magnolia, then stop to take a look, and inhale their intoxicating fragrance.
To experience Magnolia, you should really try our perfume “Magnolias in Bloom” in our Home Fragrance range. Have a look at its fragrance description and then visit our online boutique to find the product that would enjoy most.
As we are celebrating Easter this weekend and with light at the tunnel of the COVID pandemic being visible, Easter is wonderful symbol of rebirth in the world.
We should remember this beautiful saying from Italy:
“Christmas for Family” and “Easter for Everyone”
A time to remember good Friends, old and new, to perhaps pick up the phone and make that call you have been meaning to for ages, to drop someone an email, or if you can still find ‘Pen and Paper’ in this electronic World of ours, to write someone a letter (it is harder than you think!).
It doesn’t really matter what you do, it is just that you take that most precious commodity ‘Time’ and do it, to make the effort and re-establish contact that might perhaps have fallen asleep during the pandemic.
So, from all of us here at Pairfum London we wish you a very ‘Happy Easter’, wherever you are.
We wish you ‘Time’ to get in touch with Friends and Family, ‘Time’ for yourselves and most of all ‘Time’ to enjoy the People who come into your Life.
Why Should You Create Your Own Scented Drawer Liner ?
Creating your own scented drawer liner is the perfect remedy when you are tired of your clothes smelling the same as the drawers where they came from. Not only will it give your drawers a whole new look, but your clothes will carry the wonderful fragrance of being freshly laundered for longer.
To see more reasons why you should use drawer liners, we refer you to an excellent article written by JAM Organising which details the many benefits.
Make Your Own Scented Drawer Liner – A Step by Step Guide
Below we have outlined the key steps to make your own scented drawer liners.
Step 1: Ensure You Have All Of The Required Materials
Wall Paper / Wrapping Paper / Decorative Copy Paper
One Small Glass Dish
Cotton Balls / Scent Bottle
Essential Oil (of your choice)
The fragrance you choose is completely up to you.
We do caveat this by recommending the following:
only buy high quality, pure and concentrated essential oils to ensure you have an enjoyable and long-lasting perfume.
equally, please steer away from oils that may stain your clothes. Examples of such oils are vanilla, cinnamon and other spices, all types of citrus oils (lemon, mandarine, …). Before using any oil, we advise testing whether the oil discolours using an old piece of fabric, e.g. cotton. Simply apply a little oil to the fabric and leave this sitting in the sun. Within a relatively short time you should be able to see any discolouration.
for the same reason, we advise not to buy mixtures of essential oils, e.g. a ‘Christmas Scent’, as these might contain ingredients that will stain without explicitly mentioning them, e.g. cinnamon oil.
Step 2: Choose Your Scented Drawer Liner Paper
Choose the paper you would like to use in your dresser. The key criteria must be that the paper is absorbent or porous. This is to ensure that the fragrance you use is being absorb and then released slowly. Coated, lacquered or painted papers are typically not porous enough.
Wallpaper is normally a good starting point, as it tends to be relatively thick and very absorbent. Alternatively, a nice wrapping paper or decorative copy paper can be ideal.
Step 3: Measure The Dimensions of Your Drawers
Measure both the width and length of the inside of the drawer bottom you would like to be lined and then cut your chosen paper according to these dimensions.
Step 4: Mix Your Essential Oils
Create a mixture of essential oil and water. The ratio you should aim for is 50ml of water to every 1 – 2ml of the essential oils.
We know this can be difficult to measure but an easy solution is to count your drops: for every 50 drops of water you add 1 or 2 drops of essential oil. Alternatively, use kitchens scales.
Step 5: Add Your Mixture To A Clean Spray Bottle
Pour the mixture into a clean spray bottle.
Please note: be sure that the spray bottle is clear of debris or you may spray additional and unwanted particles onto your paper.
If you don’t have a spray bottle to hand, add the mixture to a small dish. Then dip and slightly drain with a cotton ball.
Step 6: Apply The Mixture To The Drawer Lining Paper
Spray a mist of the mixture over the paper until it is completely damp but not yet wet, i.e. not liquid or droplets sitting on the surface.
Alternatively, gently brush the cotton ball over the BACK side of the paper. The more of the paper you cover the stronger your scent will be.
Step 7: Leave your Scented Drawer Liner To Dry
Hang your paper to dry on a clothesline or drying rack. If for any reason neither are available, then place a towel on a flat surface and lay the papers on top.
Drying times vary dependent on the amount of solution that you have applied.
Traditionally drawer liners are used where you store clothes: drawers, wardrobes or shelves in the bedroom. There is, however, no reason why scented drawer liners shouldn’t be added to drawers, cabinets or cupboards in the kitchen, bathroom, living room or any other suitable room.
During your research you may hear about fabric liners being an alternative to paper. The are certainly suitable true but we do caveat this recommendation by saying that is is important that you use a natural, tightly-woven and absorbent fabric, such as cotton or linen.
Other substrates such as cork and leather are also excellent alternative options, as long as they are uncoated, uncoloured and absorbent. Unpainted, unvarnished or uncoated wood is another very good solution.
We advise against the use of plastics or plastic lined fabrics due to the likely interactions between the essential oils and the synthetic plastic.
If you want to be without the hassle of making your own mixture, might we recommend spraying your drawer lining paper with our Linen Spray. As well as lavender (featured above), we offer a wide-range of fragrances in our linen sprays such as ‘Blush Rose and Amber’ & ‘Magnolias in Bloom’.
The great advantage of using Pairfum London’s Linen Spray to freshen up your drawer lining paper is that you can refresh them at any time and you are not limited to the choice of perfume or paper that the manufacturer of the drawer liner has selected.
Alternatively, you may wish to spray your favourite perfume on a suitable drawer lining paper. Please be careful, however, as some of the ingredients they contain might stain your clothes, e.g. vanilla, citrus, cinnamon and other spices.
If you are looking for an even more convenient solution, we recommend our Luxury Natural Scented Sachets. Simply hang one in a drawer, wardrobe, cabinet, cupboard or similar location and it will perfume every day for up to 9 months.
Fragrance layering is quite self-explanatory. It is the wearing of more than one fragrance at a time to create something unique and a means to stand out from the crowd. The number of combinations of fragrances one can try are limitless and there are also a number of ways that one can layer their fragrances. For more information, you may want to give this article a read.
Why Should Someone Try Fragrance Layering ?
The art of fragrance layering can help people find their own unique fragrance, and is a perfect opportunity for perfume enthusiasts who like to experiment and push the boundaries. Another way to consider it, would be finding and establishing one’s own sense of style. Just as you might mix and match different clothes and accessories to create new and interesting outfits.
As well as the opportunity for authentic self-expression, your skin is unable to absorb all of the fragrance oils as it otherwise would. Therefore, the fragrance will last a lot longer. A fragrance smells different to each of us, and layering will enhance the true aroma of the fragrance.
How Does One Apply A Layered Fragrance ?
Applying the different fragrances in the correct order is paramount in order to get a high-quality aroma. You should start with the heaviest fragrance and end with the lightest to be sure that the lighter aromas are not ‘weighed down’.
Regarding where you apply your perfume, this is more or less dependent on your own personal preference. You may want to start with the fundamental pulse points such as your neck and wrists. However fragrance layering is about exploration and experimentation. Why not apply your new fragrance to more original areas such as a floral fragrance in your hair or some scented water on your clothing?
Possible Fragrance Layering Combinations
If you are reading this article then may we assume you are just starting to layer fragrances. To assist you we have put together a table to suggest some possible combinations that you can get started with.
Recommended To Be Layered With These Fragrance Families
The process of fragrance layering is a great example of trial and error and it is likely to take many attempts before you get it right. Therefore, having lots of different perfumes and fragrances at hand is essential. Although, while perfume can bring such joy, full-sized perfume bottles are a luxury item with the equivalent price.
Therefore might we recommend our Fragrance Experience Box. Not only will you have access to 12 different fragrances, but once you have found a fragrance you love, you can have the cost of the experience box deducted from your ‘full-sized’ purchase.
It is also perfect for sharing or as presenting as a gift to someone who is looking to reinvent themselves.
An essential oil diffuser releases essential oils into the room. They are commonly used in Aromatherapy.
They tend to work in one of two ways. Some essential oil diffusers convert essential oils in to vapours, while others facilitate the natural diffusion of essential oils.
Here are two examples:
Aroma Diffuser: a heated electronic device which either diffuses a mix of water & essential oils or neat essential oils.
Reed Diffuser: a decorative bottle containing an oil scented with essential oils.
Essential oil diffuser are affordable, relaxing, healthy and becoming increasingly popular around the world. Some of their benefits are anti-mosquito, anti-mould, stress relief and other aromatherapeutic effects!
What Are Essential Oils ?
Essential oils are fundamentally plant extracts.
They are produced by pressing, steaming, distilling or extracting different parts of a plant (e.g. fruit, leaves or bark) in order to capture aromatic compounds.
It can often require several kilograms of a plant in order to produce a single bottle of essential oil. As well as being incredibly fragrant, essential oils have other functions in plants as well.
What Are The Risks ?
Essential oils must never be applied directly to the skin and must always be diluted. For example, with water (if this is possible without solvents) or with a harmless carrier oil (e.g. almond oil, olive oil, coconut or sunflower). The typical ratio varies but should generally be only a few percent, e.g. a few drops of essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil.
When performing an allergy test, dilute the essential oil in the carrier oil to twice the planned concentration and apply the mixture to a small area of your body that is not visible. Then wait for on 24-48 hours and check for any reactions along the way.
Never ever consume or swallow essential oils. If ingested orally, these oils can damage the liver or kidneys. Also, keep them away from any sensitive areas of the body, such as eyes, nose or genitalia.
How Should You Use An Essential Oil Diffuser ?
Both an Aroma Diffuser and a Reed Diffuser should be placed in an area of the room from where they can easily fill the room with their scent.
1. Aroma Diffuser:
An aroma diffuser releases a fine mist to spread the essential oil around your room.
The fill them, lift the lid from the top of the diffuser.
In the versions that use water, put water at room temperature into a small measuring cup or glass and add 3 to 10 drops of essential oil. Then pour it directly onto the water storage tank.
For the versions that diffuse pure oils, one literally just places the essential oil bottle into the diffuser.
Replace the top of the diffuser.
2. Reed Diffuser:
These are much easier to use:
Simply open the bottle, insert the reeds and the Reed Diffuser is ready to go.
It is also worth noting that Reed Diffusers do not require a nearby power point and there is no danger of forgetting to switch them off.
3. Essential Oils in Candles and Room Sprays?
Just to avoid any confusion, essential oils can easily be used in candles and room sprays.
Both candles and room sprays are ideal for diffusing essential oils:
perfume candles: the heat of the molten wax is an ideal medium to diffuse and vapourise essential oils.
fragrance room spray: the fine mist of an alcohol based room spray can volatilise even the most difficult essential oils, making it another perfect diffuser of essential oils.
The Benefits of an Essential Oil Diffuser?
Diffusing essential oils can help to eliminate unpalatable odours or smoky and musty smells. Aromatic oils can kill bacteria and fungi, the cause of unpleasant smells, to purify the air.
Tobacco smoke is one of the most difficult odours to eliminate because it penetrates all the objects within the room even when it is ventilated. The best oils against of tobacco malodours are:
The musty odour caused by mould and mildew is not only disagreeable, but can also harm your respiratory system or cause a series of health problems. The best natural anti-fungal essential oils are:
When cooking, the smell in the kitchen can become overwhelming, and the residual smell in the whole house is equally as unwelcome. To eliminate these types of odours in the kitchen, we recommend the following:
Complements Medical Treatments
The National Cancer Institute found that aromatherapy helps to manage the side effects of cancer treatments by sending messages to the brain that affect a patient’s mood via the smell receptors.
It may work for adults suffering from dementia.
Using an essential oil diffuser can help to save some money.
When anti-viral, insect repellent or stress relief solutions are integrated into a safe product, an oil diffuser used with the appropriate oil will prevent purchases that may be needed to treat annoying headaches, sleep disorders or anxiety.
Although most people will tell you to apply essential oils directly to your body to relieve pain (diluted with carrier oil, of course!), you can also use an essential oil diffuser to extend the effects.
This method is an excellent way to combat persistent pains, such as headaches, joint soreness or muscle fatigue.
Relaxation, Reduce Stress & Improve Sleep
Dispersing oils with relaxing properties can help people of all ages fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
Not only can diffusers mix and match different oil blends (try lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blends to help with insomnia), they can also run with a gentle buzzing sound, helping to relieve restless minds. Many devices also come with an automatic shutdown function, once you fall asleep, to help save oil.
Several laboratory studies have confirmed that the diffusion of essential oils such as lavender can reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary research also shows that oil dispersions can help relieve symptoms of depression.
Elevate Your Mood
Just as diffusers can help to reduce stress, they can also be used to create vitality and mood in your home.
You can use a diffuser to stimulate cheerful feelings during the holiday season, create a positive atmosphere in the office or social gatherings, help to a ‘spring to your step’ on a slow morning, and even create a romantic atmosphere for that special person in your life
Combat Bacteria & Mould
When essential oils diffuse in the air, they can break down free radicals that cause the growth of harmful bacteria. For this, eucalyptus, thyme and tea tree oil are particularly useful.
The same applies when it comes to fighting against the threat of fungal yeast. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for fighting yeasts, such as mould.
Cooling Sensation from an Essential Oil Diffuser
During the hot summer season, running the air conditioner all day and all night is a way to ensure that electricity bills are sent through the roof.
Instead, try to spread your favourite refreshing, cool peppermint essential oil in the rooms where you spend most of your time and create a cooling sensation against the heat, perfect for those blistering hot days.
Mosquito & Insect Repellent
No one likes mosquitoes !
However, fighting mosquitos typically includes the use of a repellent full of DEET, a toxic chemical that is particularly harmful to children. This is an unwelcome trade-off.
However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and efficient mosquito repellent. Studies have shown that diffusing an oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oils will repel the Aedes Mosquito, the carrier of the Zika Virus, at a rate of 100%.
Like chewing gum, essential oil blends can help stimulate the senses by suppressing appetite.
New research shows that dispersing peppermint oil can help suppress appetite by created the feeling or state of being satiated in the body and it has also been shown to increase energy.
Isn’t this a much more pleasant alternative to a diet?
Improve Cognitive Function
Using essential oils in a diffuser is an efficient way to help overloaded brain cells.
This effect works on multiple levels:
First, many essential oils have adaptable properties, which means they will soothe you when you are under stress, but they will also give you a refreshing feeling when you feel depressed or sluggish. By balancing emotions, the oil in the air will help you focus.
Second, there are several essential oils that are known for their powerful ability to balance human hormones. With regular use, these oils can actually help heal the root cause that hinder cognitive function.
The Most Common & Effective Ingredients
Basil Essential Oil is used to increase concentration and relieve certain symptoms of depression. It can relieve headaches and migraines. Avoid taking it during pregnancy.
Bergamot Essential Oil: recent scientific research indicates that bergamot essential oil can reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and increase positive mood. When mixed with Eucalyptus Oil, it may help to relieve skin problems, including problems caused by stress and chickenpox.
Citronella Essential Oil is a relative of lemongrass and can be used as an insect repellent.
Clove Essential Oil is a topical pain reliever or analgesic, usually used for toothache. It can also be used as an antispasmodic and antiemetic to prevent vomiting and nausea, and it can also be used as a fragrance to prevent gas in the intestines. It has antibacterial, antioxidant and antifungal properties.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil can help relieve respiratory discomfort during a cold or flu. It is often combined with peppermint. Many people are allergic to eucalyptus, so be careful.
Geranium Essential Oil can be used to treat skin problems, reduce stress and act as a mosquito repellent.
Jasmine Essential Oil has been described as an aphrodisiac. Although scientific evidence is lacking, studies have shown that the smell of jasmine will increase beta waves, which is related to alertness. As an irritant, it may increase blood flow to the penis.
Lavender Essential Oil: commonly known to promote calmness, wellness and to reduce stress, nervousness, anxiety, mild pains and the severity of menstrual cramps. It is also said to relieve headache and migraine symptoms. Lavender essential oil is highly recommended as a sleep aid, for people suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders.
Rosemary Essential Oil can promote hair growth, enhance memory, prevent muscle cramps and support the circulatory system and nervous system. Some people believe that sandalwood oil has aphrodisiac effect.
Thyme Essential Oil is said to help reduce fatigue, nervousness and stress.
Choose the essential oil from the list above that suits you best and head over to our fragrance descriptions to select a perfume that includes the oil with the therapeutic effects you need.
Then select in our online perfumery boutique a Reed Diffuser, Fragrance Candle, Room or Pillow Spray with the scent you have chosen.
An elegantly floral Chypre accord opening with the freshness of Mandarin Blossom, Apricot and White Hyacinth as Top notes. It’s romantic heart reveals a floral bouquet of Sweet Pea, Jasmin and Ylang Ylang, while the fond of Sandalwood, Patchouli, Amber and Musk create a magnetic trail.
A foundation of good grooming is a religiously adhered to men’s skin-care routine. It brings with it less redness and irritation, less breakouts, and – best of all – less visible signs of aging. It is irrefutable that a daily ritual that takes care of yourself also improves how you feel about yourself before you head off to work or simply a wonderful way to start the day.
But where do you start ?
For the uninitiated, the vast array of oils, serums and exfoliants can lead to ‘paralysis by analysis’ to leave you feeling overwhelmed. Ironically, everybody always speaks about how relaxing men’s skin care is supposed to be.
In this article, we will provide you with a guide, detailing six simple steps to an effective men’s skin care routine. Although, before you start with any routine, there are a couple of factors that you should take in to account.
What is your skin type ?
According to the AAD, there are five types of skin, as detailed in the table below. This list is by no means exhaustive, but its a good, general guide, as you tend to have one of these five skin types.
Key Skin Care Tips
No sensitivity with very few (if any) breakouts or blemishes.
Fine pores and a smooth texture.
Stay hydrated and healthy.
Wear Sunscreen and wash or cleanse your face before you go to bed.
Large or open pores.
Greasy to the eye and prone to breakouts.
Stay hydrated and regularly moisturise.
Wash your face twice a day
(do not over-wash).
Itchy, flaky and rough skin.
Has an uneven texture and will likely feel tight.
Regularly moisturise your skin to maintain softness and hydration.
Wear sunscreen to prevent dehydration.
Drink water but avoid spending a lot of the time in the shower.
Retain the natural moisture of your skin with a humidifier.
Combination Skin (Combination of dry & oily skin)
Oily T-zone and breakouts on the forehead chin and nose.
Oily & sensitive cheeks.
Have a different skin care routine for your T-zone and the rest of your face.
Apply gentle cleansers.
Exfoliating is important but as with any skin type, be gentle and do NOT exfoliate daily.
Purchase ‘Oil-Free’ Products to avoid blocking pores.
Skin feels itchy and tight (particularly while wearing tight clothes).
Will become red after hot water or after heating spicy food and becomes oily in the summer.
Skin becomes dry in winter or when exposed to the cold.
More prone to reaction from Skin care products.
Don’t be excessive – e.g. use mild sunscreens, moisturizers and cleansers.
Always conduct a patch test – even if a product is advertised to be allergy friendly etc.
Do You Have Any Skin Concerns ?
‘Skin Concerns’ include anything that is happening on your face that you would like to address, e.g. irritation, hyperpigmentation or acne. You will likely have seen that there are products that are often labelled as being effective against specific skin problems. Although if it is a serious skin problem, you are better off having a consultation with your GP.
Five Steps to a Comprehensive Men’s Skin Care Routine
Step 1: Cleanse
We are all washing our hands more due to Covid-19 and the same should apply to our faces.
For most face cleansers (sometimes referred to as face washes), a small amount should be applied on a wet face for 30 seconds, followed by a splash of warm water and a pat (not a rub) with a towel. The type of cleanser you should use (as previously mentioned) depends on your skin type.
Step 2: Tone
You will likely all too often often skip this crucial step. This skin care technique is best explained with the metaphor of painting a canvas. Before you start painting, first you have to clean the canvas (cleanse) ad then you have to apply a primer (tone).
We recommend that you cover a cotton pad with your toner and then rub it all over your face and neck. However, if you prefer, you can apply a small coin-sized amount of toner on to one of your palms. Finally, put your palms together and continue to press the toner in to your cheeks, neck and forehead.
Step 3: Serum
What has serum got to do with a man’s skin-care routine ? An individual may be more likely to associate serum with spy films than a skin caret. But in the ‘real-world’, the term ‘serum’ refers to something that has a high concentration of performance ingredients with the consistency of a light-lotion or a gel.
You only need to apply a couple of drops on to your finger tips before rubbing your hands together and applying the serum to your forehead, the bridge of your nose towards your cheeks and finishing with your neck and jawline.
Step 4: Eye Cream
This part of a man’s skin care routine requires a lot more care and attention because apart from the lips, the layer skin under your eyes is the thinnest on your face. Therefore, we advise that you use your ring finger to apply it for it is the least likely to cause tugging or pulling in that area.
Ideally you should apply a pump (or a half pump) on to the end of our finger and then tap along the outsides of your eyes moving inwards. Be sure to keep tapping in the eye cream until the product is at least mostly absorbed.
Step 5: Moisturise
In reality the fifth step of any men’s skin care routines should be split in to two because you need to apply different types of moisturisers. One for when you wake up and the other for when you go to bed. Nevertheless the application is the same.
You want to put a penny-sized quantity on your fingertips and then rub your hands together. After that you simply rub the moisturiser in quick motions across the foreheads, cheeks and along the neck until it has been absorbed by the skin.
In the morning you will want to use a lighter product, ideally with a minimum of SPF 30 before going outside to protect yourself against sun damage.
Before you go to bed, you should finish your routine with a rich moisturiser that can soak in to your skin while leaving your pores able to breath.
Step 6: Perfume
This step is placing the ‘cherry on the cake’. For us here at Pairfum London, it’s what we enjoy the most.
While we would of course recommend our Eau de Parfum range, you might prefer to discover first the fragrance that truly reflects your style and personality using our Perfume Experience Box. It allows you to experience each fragrance in your own time, without distraction and for a few days before you decide.
We should point out that Eau de Parfum is not the same as Aftershave or Cologne. For more information, please have a look at our FAQ page.
What About Shaving?
You may wonder why we haven’t mentioned shaving.
In this routine, the step of shaving in the morning or evening (before you go out) comes before our Skin Care routine starts, with the emphasis on ‘care’.
The ‘Perfect Shave’ is a subject in its own right and deserves its own article with our favourite tips & tricks.
What Next ?
As we briefly mentioned before, we are washing our hands more frequently, leading to dry, rough and sometimes even cracked skin on our hands.
It would be a pity to neglect them.
We invite you to browse two of our Skin Care products that might be the solution for you:
Pre-biotic & Organic Hand Lotions: Made using organic and natural ingredients to strengthen the micro-flora of your skin, they leave your skin soft, pampered and gently fragranced.
Organic Hand Wash & Oil: This product moisturises your skin with natural oils as you wash and it is naturally antibacterial / antiviral.
For men, we would recommend one of these fragrances: ‘Cedar Noir’, ‘SPA’ or ‘Pink Grapefruit’.
This is it: the fundamentals of what the ideal men’s skincare routine should look like.
If you are looking for a more advance routine, you may find this article from Esquire an interesting read.
A surprising fusion of spices and freshness, it opens with notes of Bergamot, Grapefruit and hint of Lavender, combined with Ginger, Elemi, Nutmeg & Cinnamon. The heart is Geranium, Rose, Freesia, Gardenia, Jasmin and Orange Blossom, with fruity hints of Coconut and Rasberry. A base of Vetiver, Guaiacwood, Cedar, Amber, Cashmere Musks, Vanilla & Moss supports this note.