How to smell like a cookie: Extracts vs. Essential Oils

Geeks are Cute. 

Geeks are Cute. 

As you probably know already, we're really into reading and researching labels.  Call us super-geeks, but hey, we'd rather know what we're putting on our bodies!

Have you ever noticed that sometimes an ingredient list will have "{insert flower here} extract" and sometimes it will say "{insert flower here} essential oil"?  What exactly is the difference?  So glad you asked!

Essential oils are the concentrated aromatic compounds of a plant, that is, the yummy, delicious smelling parts. Separating this from the rest of the plant is usually done through steam distillation.  If you're a geekier geek than we are, read about steam distillation here

 Now. Extracts.  Put in the simplest of terms, extracts are kind of like a tea.  Get the plant and boil in water or oil for a long time. You can also do this in alcohol (not the drinking kind.  Or maybe the drinking kind?  We've never tried - if you do, let us know how that went!) and this is called a tincture. 

What's the main difference between the two?

Well, both can be used for aromatherapy, but only essential oils have true medicinal properties.  Essential oils are also a lot stronger and more concentrated, and for that reason, very few essential oils should be put directly on the skin with no carrier oil.  Lavender oil and Tea Tree oil are examples of two essential oils that you can put directly on the skin. 

Essential oils are also a lot more expensive because it's darn difficult to separate the oils from the plants!  One thing extracts and oils have in common?  They both can be used as a non synthetic, all natural perfume.  So instead of buying fake vanilla perfume, just raid your baking cabinet and use some high quality vanilla extract and smell like a cookie all day long…

Gotta Have It: Get Your Bag Ready For Fall

Our mothers told us to do three things every change of season:  1) get a facial,  2) flip your mattress, and 3) take stock of what's in your bag.

We can't help you with the first two, but we've done the legwork on #3.  

First up - Time to buy a new Fall Bag! (As if you needed an excuse).  Here's a roundup of our faves:

Left to right: Botkier Python Embossed Soho Tote ($298), Topshop Leather Bucket Bag ($240), Alexander Wang The Rocco ($875).

Now, for the goodies that lie within your new Fall bag: 

A good hand creme:  Fall means cold weather so get ahead of dry hands with  Desert Essence Pumpkin Spice Hand Repair Cream.   Its super high concentration of organic oils will supercharge your skin with moisture.  And it answers your need for more Pumpkin Spice magic in your life.

A yummy lip balm:  We love the philosophy behind Hurraw's products: premium ingredients that are organic, vegan, and raw.   Raw?  Yes, raw!  The result is the softest, smoothest lip balm we've ever tried.  

A ruthless germ killer: With cold and flu season getting close, take no chances! Burt's Bees has a 100% natural aloe and witch hazel sanitizer spray that checks all the boxes. It dries quickly, the witch hazel softens your skin, and the scent is light and fresh. 

A new Fall scent:  What does Fall smell like?  Brisk air, hot apple cider, rain soaked leaves, and ... spices. Dab Cinnamon or Clove essential oil onto your skin (test first for sensitivities!) or mix into unfragranced lotion.  Be forewarned, it may result in excessive consumption of apple pie...

A new nail laquer:  Zoya's nail polish in Pepper is the perfect Autumn color - rustic, warm, cozy, of all, it's Big 5 Free (No Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor).

Fall Colors Ombre Hair Ties:  Because all the Summer ones are lost anyway...

Now, that your bag is ready for fall, the world is your oyster! Don't forget to kick every single pile of leaves you see... it's only fall once a year. ;)


Festival Essentials

Whether it's a day trip or several nights camping/sleeping in your car/sleeping ON your car/not sleeping at all, it's important to pack wisely for any music festival.  Here's what we bring: 

A flower crown: It's completely necessary, and you can DIY!

A cross body bag:  You need a hands free purse so you can dance freely and maniacally (don't worry, no one is judging unless your name is Leo) – and the cross body bag solves this great dilemma (only a small exaggeration). We like this one by Free People

Sunnies:  Since so many music festivals are in sunny places, eye protection is as crucial as skin protection.  We love the iconic Clubmaster from Ray Ban - it goes with everything and is very retro-cool. 

Lip Balm: Yes, we beat a dead horse when it comes to sun damage, but it'll pay off in 15 years when your kissers are as smooth and buttery as ever.  Choose a lip balm with SPF.  We are partial to FRESH Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15.  Comes in untinted and a whole host of sheer colors. Plus, if you manage to wrangle a kiss from a drummer (or are you more of a lead singer kinda gal?), you'll taste super yummy!

Hair Ties:  Pretty on the wrist as well as in your hair, these thin, glittery hair ties from Etsy are a no brainer....

Healthy Munchies:  Uh, 5 super grains and DARK CHOCOLATE?  Yes, please!  KIND Dark Chocolate Chunk granola bars is the perfect snack for in between sets.  

iPhone Case with Card Holder:  Do you really need that Pinkberry Loyalty Card at Coachella? Leave your wallet in the car or at home, and travel with cash, your ID, and a credit card.  Use this super chic Kate Spade iPhone case to keep it all together.  Just don't lose it, for goodness sake. 

iPhone charger:  You'll have better luck running into a unicorn than an outlet at a music festival so make sure you have a power booster for your phone.  Doesn't hurt that it's as cute as this one from  

Dry Shampoo:  Listen, if you want to not shower for 3 days, we're cool with that.  But just in case, please bring some of this Bumble and Bumble dry shampoo.

Hand Sanitizer:  This natural, non alcoholic hand sanitizer from Cleanwell doesn't burn hands, kills germs, and smells like thyme.  That's pretty much all we ask for!

First Aid Kit:  No need to go crazy, just DIY and stuff an Altoid's tin full of Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, Ibuprofen, and some Vitamin B-12 for an energy boost. 

Sunscreen:  Non-greasy, light, and fragrance free, La Roche Posay's line up of sunscreens is seemingly endless.  We like the how this one comes in a little compact with sponge. 

Towelettes!! You didn't really think we'd write this blog and not mention towelettes, did ya?  BOX products can be used to clean your face, your hands and your other places - especially because you KNOW that porta-potty is not going to have any toilet paper left!  And while you're at it, you might want to hand some to that sweaty guy who keeps bumping you - he may not appreciate it, but YOU definitely will! 

Now go forth, you gorgeous people, and dance the night away. 


Subscribe and save with GIFT BOX

Our subscriptions service, GIFT BOX, has officially launched and we are so excited! So many of you, our dearest customers, have asked us for this and it is finally here.

What does this mean for you?

  • You never have to worry about re-ordering BOX products ever again
  • You will enjoy free shipping if you sign up by August 1, 2014
  • You will be able to save up to 20% on our retail prices
  • You will be the first to know of upcoming product launches and big news
  • You will receive a birthday gift - because we like you that much :)
  • You will be able to participate in focus groups and have a voice in choosing our next scent and product

Cancel any time with an email to us - but we're sure you won't want to!  Oh, and it's only available in the US for right now - but this may change as we pursue world domination, one towelette at a time...

For more information, and to sign up, click here.