A few weeks ago I wrote about importance of relaxing during pregnancy. It is very beneficial for both mother and the baby. But taking time to relax is not just the privilege of pregnancy. It is important to take time to relax on regular basis. Meditating is an easy way to relax and a 15 minute session can make a big difference to your day – you can read more about benefits of meditation here. One of the important elements of a relaxing environment is smell. It is one of my favourite natural relaxation aids, because of its power to transport you immediately to a calmer state of mind.
There are many ways to naturally create a nice smell in the room: open the window (if you live in a forest that is!), put on a nice candle, use aromatherapy oils. I have recently been introduced to a new way of creating smells – wax melts. A Welsh company – Valley Mill – has approached me to review their soy wax melts. I was intrigued by the new method of creating smells and the interesting aromas included in their range. I also loved that their melts are hand poured in Wales. There is magic in something, which was made by human hands.
What is soy wax?
Apart from the wax melts being a novelty to me I also never heard of soy wax. So what is it? It’s a pure vegetable fat made from soybeans. It is mostly sourced from North America, which is a long way from Europe (lots of air miles). Nevertheless it is a green alternative to paraffin wax, made out of oil. It is bio-degradable and renewable. The husks left from the process are usually used as animal feed, so nothing goes to waste.
It is popular with candle-makers because it holds scents well, gives a clean burn (no soot) and lasts longer than paraffin candles. It is also easy to clean the burner from remnants of wax with mild soap and hot water.
Valley Mill wax melts review
As I have mentioned Valley Mill offers a range of interesting aromas and the one I was most intrigued with was passion fruit. I love its sour flavour in desserts, so I was curious to see how the smell translates into a wax melt. When the package arrived I was hit with the smell as soon as I have opened the box. It was strong and sweet, but fresh. I have put it into a drawer, away from my toddler’s curious hands. When I came back to it a couple of weeks later the whole drawer was filled with the smell!
I chose an evening when Daddy was out watching rugby and Little F was tucked in bed. I was determined to have a quiet and relaxing evening, something my pregnant body and mind needs after running around all day looking after Little F and doing chores. I’ve made myself a pot of fruit tea and put the wax melt burner on (it’s essentially just a large aromatherapy oil diffuser).
The wax melted quickly and the smell instantly started spreading in the room. It is very pleasant and quite complex, though a little too sweet (it might just be my overactive sense of smell, courtesy of pregnancy hormones).
The box states that each disk burns for 12 hours. I have used the same disk over about 3 weeks and the smell is still strong. Daddy likes to put it on if a particularly smelly nappy has been changed in the room!
I really like the intricate design of he discs. It’s always a pleasure to handle nice objects. It also shows the care that went into creating this product. Each box contains 5 disks.
A minus for me is that you have to finish the melt, so you can’t change fragrances. I am now preparing for hypnobirthing and the smell I am using to help with that is lavender essential oil. I find it naturally relaxing and I have already used it with my first hypnobirth, so it’s not something I want to change. I might need a separate burner for oils and a second one for wax melts…
Vallley Mill has a little video showing how soy candles are made by hand (soy melts are made by pouring wax into moulds instead of tumblers). I’ve enjoyed seeing how simple the process is and that no heavy machinery hides behind the scenes. It’s reassuring to know how things are made and that the process is simple enough to understand (unlike the complex conveyor belt systems in large factories).
The wax melts are hand-made in Wales, which is great. The packaging is recyclable. Soy wax is an eco-friendly and biodegradable alternative to paraffin wax, even though it is mostly sourced from North America which incurrs air-miles. The soybeans are a renewable material and the leftover husks are usually used as animal feed (nothing goes to waste).
Looking at the labels on the packaging I was surprised to see that these melts are toxic to aquatic life. The soy wax itself is a natural product, though various additives can be added to control the melting temperature. And of course the aroma is also an added element. I am not sure how the toxicity enters this natural product and there is no official legislation as to labeling soy wax products. The only explanation I have been offered by Valley Mill is that the remains of the wax can be disposed of with regular household waste.
To help you relax and to get you into Festive mood Valley Mill has kindly offered a set of Festive Melts to one lucky winner. The set includes 3 boxes of Valley Mill wax melts: Holly Berry, Roast Chestnut, Spiced Apple. Christmas delivery guaranteed! To enter please complete the box below.
To enter the giveaway please complete the box below
UK entrants only please