I think we will nearly all be in agreement on this point……I love a spa. When I lived in Paris I used to love visiting the amazing Turkish hamam style spas they had there that were quite cheap but still amazing. It’s one of the many things I miss now I live in London as here it seems that you need to be at least second generation royalty to be able to afford to go to any of the spas. I was lucky recently in that when my boyfriend was performing at the Scottish fashion awards we were both given a free voucher for the spa at the stunning Corinthia hotel. We had such a relaxing day and felt like we had been whisked away from the stress, oppression and confinement that cities often make you feel. It was obviously quite a well known retreat for many celebrities in London as we were sat in the sauna next to Alesha Dixon from Britain’s Got Talent to name just one of the many we saw in there that day! We walked out of there feeling so refreshed and invigorated and wished we could live this style of life every day of the week. Even when I visited Thailand I made sure to take advantage of the vastly cheaper price of spa treatments (it nearly entirely made up for the price of the trip itself when compared to London prices). Anyway the point I am trying to make is…..I love a spa! So one thing I am always trying to replicate at home is the feeling of going to a spa without the price or the time it takes. One way I have found to do this is using essential oils to relax your body during a pampering session in an attempt to replicate similar results to when you leave a spa. I recently found one amazing product that I want to talk about now that has done a brilliant job in this area.
One day on one of our numerous missions across London (for one reason or another I can barely remember but there always seems to be something that needs to be done) I found myself in South Kensington and as we were passing Harrods I decided to have a little look inside. I was with my boyfriend and we both enjoy visiting high end department stores like Selfridges and Harrods and treating them more like museums than shops. We pop in and wander around checking out the beautiful artefacts and designs much in the same way you might do with the Tate Modern or the National Gallery when you are in central London and have half an hour between meetings. It’s a great way to soak up some culture and admire the latest design trends…….but make sure you never ever grow weak and get tempted to buy anything! Strangely though and perhaps slightly worryingly (due to his degree in Product Design) he seems to like admiring and investigating handbags nearly as much as i do! So we wandered through the shop taking in the amazing sights and designs and when we came out the other side I noticed a Space NK and left my boyfriend outside while I sped around the shop. It was then that I stumbled across a little gem. I noticed that the Ultimate Bath & Shower Collection, a multi award winning collection of 9 therapeutic bath and shower oil blends from Aromatherapy Associates (that I had admired many times previously), was discounted by a whopping 50%. Now at their original price that I have seen anywhere between £40-£50 I would not have even thought once (let alone twice) about a purchase as extravagant as this but I have never seen them on sale for such a reduced price so I took my chance and bought a set!
This delightful little 9 bottles selection had been on my wish list for quite some time particularly as the brand claims that the oils will relax, de-stress, support and invigorate your senses. The instructions say that you just add one third of the 7.5 ml bottle to a bath or alternatively smooth it over your body before showering to get the prescribed results. Each bottle has a different blend of oils and essential oils focussing on the specific and particular result you desire. From left to right in my box were: Support (Lavender & Peppermint), Revive (Evening), De-Stress (Muscle), De-Stress (Mind), Support (Equilibrium), Support (Breathe), Revive (Morning) & Relax (Light). I should note however that they recommend that this product should not be used during pregnancy but that advice is recommended with most essential oils so no surprise there.
I have to say now that I absolutely love all of these oils. They relax me so much and transport me to a happy and chilled place every time I use them. Now I have no idea if this is the placebo effect, as the ritual undertaken when using them along with the bath and the time set aside for yourself, is the reason behind this but to me it doesn’t matter at all. What matters is that once I have finished using them I have transcended to a place of bliss and relaxation. I rarely feel the same when having a bath without them so they must be doing something pretty amazing and lots of other products I have used that claim the same results rarely ever manage as well as these little beauties do. I would advise using these oils before sleeping as on each usage I have fallen into such a calm and deep sleep as soon as my head has hit the pillow. I am usually a very light sleeper but these oils do such a great job that I just want to curl up in bed as soon as I get out of the bath. My favorite one is the De-Stress (Mind) a combination of coconut oil, rosewood, ho wood, petit grain, rosemary, wild chamomile and frankincense essential oils which smells amazing and really de-stresses my mind!
If like me you have a hectic job, busy lifestyle and never seem to get enough time to relax then I would advise you getting a set of these oils (or even a smaller set) and using them as often as you can find the time to. They will revolutionise your life and make you feel so much better hopefully helping you to achieve that deep REM sleep that I think many inhabitants of cities miss due to the unrelenting noise, work, stress and just city life in general! Get in touch and tell me if you have had similar experiences with these essential oils or any others. I have started researching into how to make my own DIY mixtures so that sometime soon I can try them out and blog my results. If they do as good a job as these then I will definitely put up some recipes but for now I have had such great results with these Aromatherapy Associates range that I will be sticking to their professional expertise until I run out and forced to make batches of my own! Also if you have any ‘tried and tested’ recipes that you have used, developed or had handed down to you please feel free to add them in the comments section (as long as they aren’t family recipes that you have been sworn never to disclose by a long lost aunt!!).