Aromatic Infusions – Luxurious Gifts for Mom (or Yourself)
If you’re heading to the Des Moines Farmers Market tomorrow, be sure to stop by Candi Karsjens’ booth: #N208 2nd Ave. and Court. You’ll find her selling items that we’re quite smitten with here at Blue Planet Green Living. Your mom, grandma, or aunt will likely be, too. (It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, if you didn’t get my hint.)
In my last post, I wrote about UpCycled Style, glasses, vases, and more that Karsjens makes from repurposed wine and liquor bottles. But that’s only one of her product lines. She also sells pleasantly fragrant, hand-crafted soap and candle items that even this scent-free-workplace advocate can love.
Under the Aromatic Infusions brand, Karsjens sells home and personal care products that are almost too pretty to use. But if all you did was look at them, you’d be missing something truly special.
I have to admit, though, when she offered to send us samples, I nearly said no. I’m unpleasantly sensitive to a lot of scents, including many candles. But Karsjens’s candles are made with essential oils and natural fragrances, and neither of the samples she sent us bothered me at all.
The Uncorked! candle was of particular concern at first because it’s labeled “intensely fragrant.” Yet it turned out to be pleasant and non-irritating. The candle’s Pink Sugar Cube scent is strong enough that I don’t even need to light the candle to smell it. But, again, the fragrance is natural, and it doesn’t trigger my asthma. In fact, it’s been sitting on my desk next to my laptop for a week with no negative results. (Well, sometimes I do get a craving for sweets, as the candle reminds me of cinnamon rolls.)
According to the label, this candle is phthalate free—a definite plus on the health side of things. It’s also made from soy, which reportedly burns cleaner than wax—another plus.
I found the wick to be especially interesting; it’s a tiny stick of wood that burns slowly, just like a fabric wick. I actually didn’t notice that it was wood until I read about the wick on Karsjens’ Etsy site.
This candle is 10 oz. net weight and promises to burn for “approximately 50 hours.” Not bad at all. It’s not bright enough to read by on a stormy night without power, but it’s plenty good for a romantic evening or to add just a bit of atmosphere when entertaining.
As a bonus, it’s held in one of the UpCycled Style repurposed wine bottles. The label even features a graphic of a row of cut-off wine bottles. Cool.
My favorite candle, though, is the Pure Pleasure 100% Natural Shea Butter Massage Candle. Karsjens sent me the Bare Naked (Unscented) variety. It arrived in a silver tin, holding an unspecified amount of smooth and silky massage cream/candle.
There’s a wick in the center for melting, but even without lighting the candle, I can easily gather a bit of the shea butter just by touching the surface.
I highly recommend using this amazing rub just as it’s intended, however. My husband, Joe, formerly a licensed massage therapist, gave me a wonderful massage with the oil from the heated candle. It felt totally luxurious on my skin. (Yes, I do know how lucky I am.)
Because this candle turns to oil when heated, keeping it away from your clothing is a good idea. Skin, on the other hand? Rub it in, rub it in.
From his perspective as a deep-tissue massage therapist, Joe liked the massage oil, too. Yet, because his technique requires the use of his entire forearms as well as his hands, he’d need an awful lot of it if he were still massaging a dozen or so people each week. But don’t let that stop you; this is a great way to spoil yourself or someone you love.
Soaped to Perfection
I’m not a fan of soaps; they tend to dry my skin. And scented soaps are strictly annoying to me, just as most scented candles are. Yet, the two soaps Karsjens sent us are about as good as a soap can get, in my estimation.
I particularly like the Honeycomb soap. It’s “100% natural,” with a mild, pleasant scent. Karsjens describes it as “great for sensitive skin,” and it did feel good. My skin didn’t itch afterward, which is unfortunately more likely to happen than not with most commercial soaps.
The label lists the ingredients as “Water, Saponified oils of olive, coconut, palm, avocado & castor. Oat powder. Honey. 4 oz net weight.”
Another bar we tried, Clarity, has a stronger scent, but it’s not at all irritating. I don’t quite know how to describe it. The closest I can come is to say the scent is a bit like pine—but not in an irritating (to me) “Pine-Sol,” kind of way.
The ingredients include “Water, Saponified oils of Olive, Coconut, Palm, Avocado, Castor. Goat’s milk, Mica Colorant, Essential oils of Rosemary & Peppermint.” Sounds almost edible.
Karsjens hasn’t turned me into a soap fan, though my own preference has nothing to do with the quality of her products. My husband loves to lather with the stuff, however, so I’m pleased that he can now use soap that is healthier and more pleasant-smelling by far than what we find in our local chain grocery store.
I highly recommend Aromatic Infusions products as a gift for Mom — or yourself.
Where to Shop
If you haven’t yet purchased from either of Karsjens’ product lines, I encourage you to do so. You’ll find her at the Des Moines (Iowa) Farmers Market on Saturdays during the summer. But if you can’t make it there, take heart. There are plenty of other vendors who carry her wares. Check out these retail locations.
Des Moines Farmers Market
Booth #N208 2nd Ave. and Court
Des Moines, Iowa
Meet Karsjens in person!
216 5th St.
Historic Valley Junction
Des Moines, IA
Green Goods for the Home
333 E. Grand
Des Moines, IA
The Styling Lane Salon & Gifts
840 12th St. NW
Mason City, IA
Shear Bliss Salon
700 Ken Pratt Blvd, Suite 115
That Iowa Girl
Iowa distributor for UpCycled Style and Aromatic Infusions
The Small Print
Blue Planet Green Living received complimentary samples of the products reviewed in this post. No other compensation or incentive was provided.
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