Aromatic Infusions – Luxurious Gifts for Mom (or Yourself)

Aromatic Infusions soaps and candles combine beauty, fragrance, and comfort in truly giftable products. Photo: Yours Truly Photography

Aromatic Infusions soaps and candles combine beauty, fragrance, and comfort in truly giftable products. Photo: Yours Truly Photography

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.

Sweet Scents

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.

Pure Pleasure

Treat yourself to a pretty Aromatic Infusions candle in a tin or a repurposed bottle from UpCycled Style. Photo: Yours Truly Photography

Treat yourself to a pretty Aromatic Infusions candle in a tin or a repurposed bottle from UpCycled Style. Photo: Yours Truly Photography

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!

Squiggles
216 5th St.
Historic Valley Junction
Des Moines, IA

Green Goods for the Home
East Village
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
Longmont, CO

That Iowa Girl
Iowa distributor for UpCycled Style and Aromatic Infusions

Contact Information

Candi Karsjens
Facebook: UpCycled Style
Etsy: AromaticInfusions
Blog: War on Trash

The Small Print

Blue Planet Green Living received complimentary samples of the products reviewed in this post. No other compensation or incentive was provided.

Our policy is to review only those products we feel merit overall positive comments. If we do not like a product more than we dislike it, we do not review it. We are not influenced by free products and provide our honest opinions. For more information, please visit the Policies tab on the top navigation bar.

Julia Wasson

Publisher

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

 

Related Post

Repurposing Goes Classy in UpCycled Style

 

 

Repurposing Goes Classy in UpCycled Style

Comments Off on Repurposing Goes Classy in UpCycled Style

UpCycled Style sells a variety of useful and lovely products repurposed from discarded bottles. Photo: Courtesy Candi Karsjens

UpCycled Style sells a variety of useful and lovely products repurposed from discarded bottles. Photo: Yours Truly Photography

Candi Karsjens is an ecopreneur in every sense of the word. She is an environmentalist, who repurposes and upcycles other people’s cast-off bottles into gorgeous glasses, bowls, vases, and more, giving each one an entirely new for years to come. She also creates candles and creams free of toxic chemicals and even pours candles into her upcycled glass holders. Karsjens has two built-from-the-ground-up small businesses she’s now combining into one: Aromatic Infusions/Upcycled Style.

Next weekend, Candi’s products will make their first appearance at the Des Moines Farmers’ Market. If you’re in the area, I encourage you to meet the designer and see her full range of cool products.

In this post, I’ll focus on the Upcycled Style products we tried. In my next post, I’ll review some of her Aromatic Infusions products.

Wine-Bottle Tumblers

UpCycled Style focuses on repurposing bottles that would otherwise be trashed. And the old saw, “One man’s [or one woman’s, thank you] trash is another’s treasure” couldn’t be more fitting for this part of her business.

UpCycled Style's product packaging is also environmentally friendly and made from recycled cardboard. Photo: Courtesy Candi Karsjens

UpCycled Style's product packaging is also environmentally friendly and made from recycled cardboard. Photo: Yours Truly Photography

At my son Aaron’s birthday dinner last weekend, Joe and I served beverages in beautiful cobalt blue glasses. At first glance, the seven glasses on the table looked like a perfect set. But three of them were store-bought drinking glasses, and four were Candi’s handcrafted, upcycled glasses made from wine bottles.

It took a few minutes for our family members to figure out the difference. The cobalt color was exactly the same. The shape, though, was the giveaway.

The store-bought glasses were wider at the top, while the upcycled glasses were straight-sided cylinders. One other thing—the upcycled glasses were as thick and sturdy as, well, wine bottles. (Have you ever tried to break a wine bottle? Not as easy as it looks in the movies.)

When she realized what she was holding, Joe’s daughter, Megan, exclaimed, “I love it!”

Our other family members agreed. They all liked the color and we amazed at how well they matched our other glasses. Others were impressed that the manufacturing markings remained at the base of each bottle. And we all liked the solid feel of the heavy glass in our hands.

The rims aren’t quite as rounded and smooth as you might be accustomed to in a store-bought glass. But we found them perfectly comfortable for drinking. Karsjens’ uses a three-step cutting and polishing process that does a remarkable job of transforming wine bottles into esthetically pleasing tumblers.

The tumblers came to us packaged in a cute, recycled-cardboard, four-pack carrier. My first thought upon opening the box was that these would be a perfect house-warming or wedding-shower gift. (Admission of selfishness: I love these too much to give them up. I’ll have to buy another pack for my next gift occasion.)

Soda-Bottle Juice Glasses

Carter gets a "drinking lesson" from one of Karsjens' Orange Crush glasses. Photo: J Wasson

Carter gets a "drinking lesson" from one of Karsjens' Orange Crush glasses. Photo: J Wasson

Our grandson, Carter, is learning to drink from a glass. While he’s far too young at 11 months to be trusted with a fragile glass all by himself, he enjoyed slurping from another of Karsjens’s creations while his dad, Kyle, held it.

This juice-sized glass was originally an Orange Crush bottle, cut just the right size for our little guy. I admit to being a bit nervous at the sound of his tiny teeth hitting the rim, but he didn’t actually chomp down on it. And it’s far too tough for him to break even if he had. The glass was made from a soda bottle, after all, which was of necessity designed for tough use.

The soda bottle’s contours make the glass both attractive and easy to grip. Take a look at an Orange Crush (or Grape Crush—we received a sample of each) bottle in the store, and you’ll see what I mean. This glass won’t easily slip even in a child’s hands.

One interesting feature of many of Karsjens upcycled products is that they retain their original labels, as you may be able to see in the photo at right. If you’re a fan of Orange Crush, Grey Goose, or Patron, for example, you can order products bearing those labels for your home bar or kitchen. Or, you can buy products without the labels, and just enjoy the glass itself.

War on Trash

Karsjens got started upcycling wine bottles after her son expressed shock that she would commit to the trash heap glass that takes “thousands of years” to break down. She began her own war on trash, which she describes in her blog of the same name.

She takes this war personally and has committed her resources and time to reducing landfill waste by creating beautiful and useful products. Karsjens says:

What I love most about what I am doing is that I can fill a need with sustainable, recycled and repurposed items, and it helps to reduce the amount of trash we create. Whether a person believes in man-made climate change or not, the truth about trash is that we simply create too much of it as a species.

Watch for our next post on Karsjens’ Aromatic Infusions products from this Iowa ecopreneur.

Where to Shop

Des Moines Farmers Market

300 Court Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa

Meet Karsjens in person!

 

Squiggles

216 5th St.

Historic Valley Junction

Des Moines, IA

 

Green Goods for the Home

East Village

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

Longmont, CO

 

That Iowa Girl

Iowa distributor for UpCycled Style and Aromatic Infusions

Contact Information

Candi Karsjens

Facebook: UpCycled Style

Etsy: AromaticInfusions

Blog: War on Trash

The Small Print

Blue Planet Green Living received complimentary samples of the products reviewed in this post. No other compensation or incentive was provided.

Our policy is to review only those products we feel merit overall positive comments. If we do not like a product more than we dislike it, we do not review it. We are not influenced by free products and provide our honest opinions. For more information, please visit the Policies tab on the top navigation bar.

Julia Wasson

Publisher

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)