Product Packaging – What a Waste!

Did you know that the average Australian discards around 200 kg of packaging waste per year? That’s a lot of valuable resources being wasted. Packaging waste is an environmental problem for these main reasons:

  1. It pollutes our air, water and soil
  2. It produces a lot of greenhouse gas emissions
  3. It takes a lot of energy to produce

So what’s the solution? Reducing the amount of packaging we use, (or avoiding it all together) is one of the most effective ways of reducing the total footprint of gas emissions produced as a result of waste going to landfill. Also, by using recycled materials for packaging, we can recover some of the energy used to create it. For example, the process required to produce glass initially from raw starting materials involves a lot of heat. The obvious benefits of recycling glass packaging materials is to reuse and save our natural resources  – but the most important benefit of using recycled glass is that the energy required to produce it is considerably less than the energy required to produce glass from raw starting materials.

For the discerning and educated consumer, product design capability extends beyond the product itself to also include the brand philosophy. A progressive brand will always consider the environmental impact of their products and packaging. The philosophy here at Mood Alchemy is simple – “Clean and Green”. Every product in our holistic aromatherapy range of soy candles, reed diffusers, massage oils, room fragrance sprays and goats milk soaps stays true to our eco-friendly brand philosophy:

cropped_logoNatural product ingredients (sustainably sourced)

cropped_logoEnvironmentally responsible

cropped_logoMinimal packaging made from recycled materials

cropped_logoHandmade in Australia

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When comparing product value in a particular market category, make sure you are comparing “apples with apples”. Consider the lifecycle management of the product, and ask yourself these important questions:

  • What function does the product packaging serve – and is it absolutely necessary?
  • Is the packaging made from recycled materials? Can the packaging be reused?
  • Have the product ingredients been sourced from sustainable and renewable sources?
  • Is the product Made in Australia – and all the positive economic benefits to society that come with that? (Remember that buying locally from small business means that the money cycles back through the local community for everyone’s benefit.)

As the discerning consumer, you have a choice as to how to spend your dollars – so make sure you choose wisely with a long-term view. Choosing Mood Alchemy products – which are made from recycled packaging materials with minimal outer packaging – is a positive way to participate in the reduction of environmental damage. Lets keep moving together towards a culture of sustainability.cropped_logo

Essential Oils as Natural Insect Repellents

Aromatic plants and their essential oils have been used since antiquity to repel insects. The repellency of certain essential oils appears to be generally associated with the presence of one or more volatile mono-terpenoid constituents.

Based on several scientific studies, the most effective plant derived mosquito repellent compounds have been found to be:

  • Eugenol
  • Citronellol
  • Geraniol
  • Cineole

Naturally derived essential oils are a complex mixture of components including minor constituents, in contrast to synthetic pesticides which are based on a single product. A synergistic combination of natural compounds provides a broad-spectrum approach to repelling a range of insects, and they are more likely to be durable towards an evolving insect resistance.

How do natural insect repellents work?

Insects such as mosquitoes are attracted to odours emitted by the skin (lactic acid and moisture) and from the breath (carbon dioxide).

Female mosquitos bite animals and humans for the protein found in blood, which helps in the development of mosquito larvae. Natural insect repellents work by covering or neutralizing the alluring human scent, making a person unattractive for feeding. In addition, insect repellents also irritate the feet of mosquitos – preventing them from landing on a person or surface that is in close proximity.

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Mood Alchemy’s “Al Fresco” range of natural insect repellent candles, reed diffusers and mists has been purposely designed to enhance your enjoyment of the Great Australian Outdoors. The all-natural fragrance is a synergistic combination of the most effective plant derived insect repellent compounds. Products in Mood Alchemy’s “Al Fresco” range have been formulated with the most effective concentration of insect repelling essential oils – based on scientific evidence. With a natural fragrance designed to complement the Australian outdoors, Mood Alchemy’s “Al Fresco” range is environmentally responsible and stays true to our eco-friendly philosophy.

Using natural insect repellents is a positive way to participate in the reduction of environmental damage. Just as nature intended!

Essential oils as Natural Antimicrobial Agents

The use of essential oils as natural antimicrobial compounds has attracted growing interest in recent times. Antimicrobial agents destroy the airborne microorganisms which are typically the source of unpleasant odours. The effective antimicrobial action of various essential oils and their discrete components on different species of microorganisms, such as Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus delbrueckii and Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been previously observed and reported.[1]

The measurable antimicrobial activity of essential oils can be increased by the efficient encapsulation of the oil in a solubilizing carrier. This encapsulation increases the equilibrium concentration of essential oils in the aqueous phase, and the antimicrobial activity has been found to increase with increased essential oil concentration.

In general, if a microbial disinfection action is desired, the best option appears to be the use of a delivery system formulated with an emulsifier with high affinity with the essential oil components. This enables the solubilisation of the component molecules in aqueous phase at a high concentration, preferably higher than the water solubility.

Natural sugar eglucose estersters obtained from renewable raw materials of vegetable origin have proven to be very effective essential oils emulsifiers. These non-ionic solubilisers consist of fatty acid molecules as a lipophilic group with a glucose molecule attached as a hydrophilic group. The requisite antimicrobial compounds are immediately available on emulsification, and antimicrobial activity is evident over short time scales.

Each Mood Alchemy Mood Altering Mist is a premium room fragrance spray that is environmentally responsible. Formulated only from all natural ingredients including a high concentration of pure essential oils, and a non-ionic vegetable derived solubiliser, they are a highly effective natural room deodoriser. In addition, Mood Alchemy Mood Altering Mists are a PEG-free and non-ethoxylated product. They are as natural as can be!cropped_logo



[1] Journal of Biotechnology 159 (2012) 342–350.

 

Handmade Canberra’s Upmarket

Mood Alchemy recently exhibited at the Handmade markets, a quarterly upmarket held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra.

Handmade Market & Shop Handmade is a unique concept, created to connect the makers of beautiful things to people who appreciate them – in other words Mood Alchemy and our discerning clientele!

The uniqueness of our luxury mood altering aromatic products was on display, and confirmed that there is a real and obvious need for people to “chill out and unwind” after a stressful day at work. Mood Alchemy’s Cruisy blend was a top-seller – our signature mood blends clearly resonate with the Canberra community!

Some points of difference that define the Mood Alchemy brand are:

 We have created a holistic range of all natural aromatherapy products – including soy candles, reed diffusers, massage oils, room fragrance mists and goats milk soaps.

cropped_logoOur luxury range of mood altering aromatic products are packaged in unique artisan glassware – made from eco friendly recycled materials.

cropped_logoWe design our own fragrances – using the power of natural aromatic essential oils to influence the mood and hence reduce stress levels.

cropped_logoOur signature mood altering fragrance blends are created entirely from pure essential oils – we DO NOT use synthetic “fragrance oils”.

Do not be deceived – these synthetic fragrance compounds ARE NOT the same and they do not offer the therapeutic benefits of the natural essential oils extracted from sustainably grown plants (see our article “The Benefits of Natural Aromatics” which explains why!)

Generally, synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemical products (often toxic) and/or are a structural modification of a natural product. Synthetic fragrances are typically easier to manufacture and hence less expensive.

However, the demand for natural aromatics continues to increase rapidly, as the more informed and discerning consumer places increasing importance on environmental and health considerations when assessing product value in this market category.

Mood Alchemy’s Mood Altering Aromatic products are fragranced only with pure and natural essential oils. Using all natural eco-friendly ingredients and hand made techniques is a more expensive and time consuming method of product fabrication – but we believe the end result is a higher quality product which is so much more satisfying. We hope you agree.cropped_logo

 

Colour Therapy

Mood Alchemy is excited to announce the introduction of Colour Therapy to complement the mood altering properties of our luxury aromatherapy products.

The use of Colour is a truly holistic therapy which dates back thousands of years to ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Indian cultures. These ancient cultures believed that when energy did not flow harmoniously through the body, a phase of unbalance was entered into and psychic and physical pathologies were created, resulting in illness.

Colour Therapy (also known as Chromotherapy) aims to balance and enhance the body’s energy centres (chakras) by using the colours of the light spectrum to heal the mind, body and spirit. Put simply, colors are certain wavelengths of electro-magnetic energy, and these individual colours can resonate with the energy of each of the seven main chakras of the body, restoring balance. Balance in the body’s energy centres is essential for holistic health and wellbeing.

In modern times, there is now a wide professional acceptance of the link between colour and mood. For example, architects and interior designers use colour to influence a work space or retail outlet. When the eye observes light of a particular wavelength (colour), it is thought to stimulate the cortical and hypothalamic regions of the brain, which are associated with our emotional responses. Hence certain colours can influence your mood just by looking at them, and in doing so trigger a sense of wellbeing – making you feel good about yourself.

To complement Mood Alchemy’s unique aromatherapy essential oil blends, we have now introduced specific coloured glassware packaging to enhance the mood altering properties of our products.

 

Cruisy & Blue Colour Therapy = soothincolor_mang and relaxing.

Reminding one of the colour of the sea and the sky, Blue is the colour of peace and sensitivity; it indicates that the person is interested in matters of a metaphysical nature. Blue invokes balance, serenity, peace, flexibility and mental promptness, emotional control.

Healing properties: Blue is cooling, calms strong emotions like anger, aggression or hysteria. Brings tranquility.

Blue links with and stimulates the throat chakra. The throat chakra is often referenced as the “power center” and “the greatest center in the body” because it is the primary center of expression and communication, through speech.

Blue Colour Therapy is available in Cruisy Mood Altering Candles, Mood Reed Diffusers, Mini Mood Candles and Mood Massage Oils.

 

 

Feisty & Red Colour Therapy = stimulating and forceful

Red is the colour of the vitality of energy, of warmth, of passion, of dynamism. It can be a sign of an exuberant personality subject to frequent mood changes and presenting intense feelings.

Healing properties: Brings warmth, energy and stimulation, therefore good for energy, fatigue, colds, chilly and passive people.

Red links with and stimulates the root chakra, at the base of the spine, causing the adrenal glands to release adrenalin. This results in greater strength.

Red Colour Therapy is available in Feisty Mood Reed Diffusers, Mini Mood Candles and Mood Massage Oils.

 

Zesty & Green Colour Therapy = growth and renewal.

Green is the colour of awareness and a tendency to self-realization.

Healing properties:  Releases emotionally suppressed trauma. Green is balance and harmony in essence and possesses a soothing influence upon both mind and body.

Green links with and stimulates the heart chakra. Green affects blood pressure and all conditions of the heart. It has both an energizing effect and a moderating or soothing effect.

Green Colour Therapy is available in Zesty Mood Altering Candles, Mood Reed Diffusers, Mini Mood Candles and Mood Massage Oils.

 

Foxy & Pink Colour Therapy = nurturing unconditional love.

Pink is associated with a positive view of life.

Healing properties:  Pink is a soothing colour on all levels – physical, mental and emotional. It can be used to soothe conditions of anger and feelings of neglect. Pink can be used to awaken compassion, love, and purity. This colour encourages unconditional love

Pink Colour Therapy is available in Foxy Mood Reed Diffusers and Mood Massage Oils. Also available in Pregnancy Mood Massage Oil.

 

Clarity & White Colour Therapy = illumination and focus.

White contains all the colours of the electromagnetic spectrum. It emphasizes purity and illuminates our thoughts, giving us clarity.

Healing properties: White is the perfect color; for it is all colors in perfect balance and harmony. White light raises the vibration of one’s consciousness and the body, bringing clarity in all aspects of one’s life.

White Colour Therapy is available in Clarity Mood Altering Candles, Mood Reed Diffusers, Mini Mood Candles and Mood Massage Oils.

 

The Synergy of Mood Alchemy’s Aromatherapy Blends

Mood Alchemy has created a unique range of mood altering aromatic blends – especially suited to the modern lifestyle. Each of our mood altering blends has been developed specifically to encourage a particular mood state – based on the spectrum of action of particular essential oils (the volatile liquid components of aromatic plants).

There are two biosynthetic pathways present in nature that are responsible for the two main chemical constituents of essential oils:

1)     The Terpenoid biosynthetic pathway – this produces Terpenes: Monoterpenes, Sesquiterpenes & derivative compounds such as alcohols, esters and aldehydes. (These organic compounds are the major synthetic building blocks within most living organisms.)

2)     The amino acid metabolism – this produces Phenylpropane derivatives.

The mood altering effects of essential oils can be traced back to these two main active constituents and their interaction with the emotional centres of the brain via olfaction.

The synergistic effects of each unique Mood Alchemy aromatherapy blend is outlined below:

 

Cruisy

Mood Alchemy developed the Cruisy mood altering aromatic blend to encourage a relaxing mood state. Our Cruisy blend utilises the properties of Terpent alcohols and esters, which combine synergistically to create a calmative effect  – hence improving the mood. These compounds also have the potential to relieve anxiety and stress. Cruisy has a fresh grassy scent interspersed with the floral influences of Lavender.

Monoterpenoid ester compounds have a distinct and rapid relaxing effect on the central nervous system. Controlled trials and observation studies have indicated the ability to reduce anxiety and facilitate better sleep.

Sesquiterpene alcohol compounds participate in active communication with a number of receptor systems in the human body to impart very specific effects. During clinical trials these compounds have been found to be useful in the treatment of insomnia.

Mood Alchemy Products available in the Cruisy mood altering blend include aromatherapy soy candles, mood reed diffusers, mood massage oils, mood mists, mood bars, and mood oils for vaporisation.

 

Feisty

Mood Alchemy developed the Feisty mood altering aromatic blend to encourage a stimulating mood state. Our Feisty blend primarily utilises the properties of Terpent alcohols and oxides, which combine synergistically to create a stimulating effect, resulting in improved concentration levels.

Feisty has a highly penetrating minty / camphoraceous scent.

The active components also have a stimulant effect on the cold receptors inside the nasal passage – which facilitates easier breathing. Mood Alchemy’s  Feisty blend may act as an effective nasal decongestant.

Mood Alchemy Products available in the Feisty mood altering blend include aromatherapy soy candles, mood reed diffusers, mood massage oils, mood mists, mood bars, and mood oils for vaporisation.

 

Foxy

Mood Alchemy developed the Foxy mood altering aromatic blend to encourage an aphrodisiac mood state. Our Foxy blend utilises the active components found in Monoterpene esters and Sesquiterpenes to equilibrate the nervous system and to help combat nervous disorders. These actions may assist with impotence and frigidity problems.

Foxy has a distinctly sensual oriental floral scent with earthy undertones.

Sesquiterpenoid compounds participate in active communication with a number of transmitter – receptor systems in the human body. They aid in strengthening the nervous system, while Citrus sinensis is traditionally known as the “oil of communication and happiness” – and may be particularly useful for reducing anxiety and nervousness.

Mood Alchemy Products available in the Foxy mood altering blend include aromatherapy soy candles, mood reed diffusers, mood massage oils, mood mists, mood bars, and mood oils for vaporisation.

 

Zesty

Mood Alchemy developed the Zesty mood altering aromatic blend to encourage an uplifting mood state. This particular blend utilises the properties of Monoterpene hydrocarbons (the major constituent of citrus peel oils) and Sesquiterpenes, which combine synergistically to help cope with stress and aid recovery from emotional trauma.

Citrus peel oils typically consist of a very high content of Limonene, which has powerful antiseptic properties. They also contain a large assortment of trace compounds, (eg sequiterpene nootkatone) which are responsible for the complexity and depth of the fragrance. The olfactory character is pleasant and refreshing, and this gives rise to an uplifting interaction with the emotional centres in the brain.

Mood Alchemy Products available in the Zesty mood altering blend include aromatherapy soy candles, mood reed diffusers, mood massage oils, mood mists, mood bars, and mood oils for vaporisation.

 

 

NEW – Clarity

Mood Alchemy developed the Clarity mood altering aromatic blend to encourage a focusing mood state. Our Clarity blend primarily utilises the properties of the Monoterpene hydrocarbons, (in particular pinene), and Phenylpropanes which combine synergistically to bring mental Clarity while assisting with the alleviation of tension and stress – hence improving the ability to focus. In particular, Frankincense is renowned for its ability to slow down and deepen the breath – making this blend conducive to meditation.

The high Monoterpene concentrations present in this blend also provide a detoxifying effect, due to the action of free radical scavengers. The associated powerful diuretic properties may assist to expel the build up of uric acid in bodily joints.

Mood Alchemy Products available in the Clarity mood altering blend include aromatherapy soy candles, mood reed diffusers, mood massage oils, mood mists, mood bars, and mood oils for vaporisation.

 

DISCLAIMER:

For any medical condition – always consult a qualified medical practitioner.

Aromatherapy is a complementary healing practice and should be used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment.

Individuals should exercise their independent judgment in determining the appropriateness for a particular purpose or use.

The Chemistry of Soy Candles

Long ago, candles were a necessity of life, providing a source of lighting after sunset. Today, scented candles are a luxury – using fragrance to create different moods, while their flickering flame relaxes the mind.

Candles consist of two basic elements: 1) a fuel source eg soy wax and 2) a wick. The wick is crucial to the candle function as it serves as the fuel delivery system.

A naked flame is used to ignite the wick, which then melts some of the soy wax at the candle surface. The liquefied soy wax is drawn up through the wick fibres by capillary action – this action occurs due to the cohesion between soy wax molecules and their adhesion to the wick fibres.

After the soy wax travels to the top of the wick, it vaporizes upon contact with the burning flame. Combustion occurs as hot soy wax vapour combines with oxygen, producing the candle flame. The combustion of hydrocarbons is a rapidly occurring exothermic reaction that produces heat and light.

Only the very tip of the wick actually burns. The rest of the wick is involved in capillary action, and is shielded from burning by the vaporisation of the fuel. This has to do with a chemical property called the heat of vaporisation, whereby the fuel absorbs much of the surrounding heat in order to change states from liquid to gas. This vaporisation, in turn, keeps the wick cooler than it would otherwise be.

The flame continues to burn – producing more liquid soy wax, which is used as a fuel and vaporised. This releases the highly fragrant essential oils into the air.

The benefits of natural soy wax candles

Soy is a native East Asian plant that is both a renewable resource and biodegradable – hence it is an eco-friendly choice for the responsible consumer. The soy plant can be continually produced without damaging the natural ecosystem.

To make soy wax, the soy beans are harvested from the plant and processed into oil, which is then purified and hydrogenated. This converts unsaturated fatty acids into saturated fat – producing a solid creamy white wax.

Soy wax has the advantage that it is slow burning due to it low melting temperature, resulting in longer burn times for soy candles. It is also a very clean burning wax, and does not release hazardous chemicals such as toluene and benzene like paraffin based candles can.

The consistency of soy wax allows for candles with a stronger scent and a purer scent throw.

Mood Alchemy Mood Altering Candles are made from 100% natural soy wax with a centrally embedded wick and fragranced with pure essential oils – for your ultimate enjoyment.