The reason essential oils are essential!

We all know too well now that being at home and working from home brings its challenges.

Staying focused and staying calm in the upheaval and varying work environment may require you to hit the reset button. Just when we all thought we were ready to resume more ‘normal’ work life practice, here we are again!

Add to this the added layer of home schooling returning and your ability to maintain productivity, focus and balance may be hampered. Rather than simply ‘winging it’, it’s helpful to purposefully create a productive environment.

Consider where you are working. Is it time to create something more permanent and user-friendly, with good lighting and a place that is not cramped but your own dedicated place of productivity? 

What is around you? What is on your desk? And what music might you play when needing to be focussed and productive? And what can you smell?

The power of scent has been identified as a trigger for focus and productivity. I have found my son Ned, who is currently doing year 12, studies with focus when I have the electric diffuser on providing a calm, scented environment which helps him to gain studious momentum.

For Ned, I use iKOU ‘Breathe Wellness’ a powerful blend of Fir Needle, Lavender, Patchouli, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Bergamot, Peppermint, Cedarwood, Geranium, Rosewood, Black Pepper & Vetiver. A wonderful combination to open the senses. 

At my work desk, if I find myself in overwhelm or being unproductive, I take a brief walk, stretch, and hydrate with a cup of herbal tea. I then use essential oils to reset, refocus and gain clarity. I find this combination shifts my mood and environment to create a positive workspace. 

The essentials that will keep your energy up, uplift, focus and inspire your mind are:

iKOU De-stress ~ creates calm and renewal with Geranium, Clementine, Lemon, Lavender, Patchouli.

iKOU Inspire ~ love the life you live with Lemon, Lime and Mandarin.

iKOU Restore ~  replenish strengthen, cleanse and feel free with Bergamot, May Chang, Cedarwood, Lime

You can also use an iKOU aromatherapy roll-on, which allows your senses to really breathe in the scent, along with a face mist to rehydrate, freshen up and restart with vigour and renewed energy. 

Stay warm and stay safe!

Gina 🙏


Fresh cut grass? The unusual smells we love.

Over the years I’ve been asked about the kinds of scents that can go into the creation of a candle. And while those made with essential oils and natural products are by far the best, there are some interesting candles derived from the ‘smells of life’ that are worth a look!

One such company producing unlikely candles is Lily-flame. They have an unusual range of candle scents and at Embrace we are featuring their delicious and mouth-watering Coffee Galore and Chocolate Truffle. However, they do also go as far as Freshly Cut Grass, Christmas Pudding and Rhubarb & Custard!

We recently featured the new Etiquette Candles, who have created a range of scents to remind us of a region or flavours of Australia. Their Figgy Pudding and Sea Salt Caramel are divine, as is the Sweet Citrus and Basil.

So it got me thinking about a couple of my personal favourite food smells ~ hot jam donuts and frying bacon! Too far? 😉

Stay warm and stay safe!

Gina 🙏


Deep Calm & the Power of Scent

What’s inside my calming toolkit…let’s take a look!

Following last week’s discussion, I wanted to again look at the power of scent and its connection to our emotions.

If you are looking for an elevation of peace, calm, rest and relaxation in your day and night, it is well known that lavender speaks to these emotional states. Some people still think of lavender as being a grandma’s closet scent, however it has been elevated to new heights and combined with the right scents can be one of the most effective scents for relaxation, decreasing anxiety and quieting the mind.

Lavender, clementine, patchouli, geranium, rosemary, cedarwood, rose are all scents that are restful and promote relaxation and restfulness. 

My Calming Toolkit:

~ Myrtle & Moss Divine Lavender, Cedarwood and Rosemary Candle 
~ iKOU Linen & Sleep Mist
~ iKOU Destress Candle
~ iKOU Sleepyhead Roll-on
~ iKOU Rest, Destress, Relax essential oil blend

Sometimes when our emotions run a little flat (as in covid times!!) we could do with an energising uplift. The citrus based scents of lemon, lime, mandarin, grapefruit and geranium can assist in uplifting emotions and bring about a positive state of wellbeing.

My Energising Toolkit:

~ iKOU Lemon Myrtle & Tahitian Lime Body Cream 
~ Myrtle & Moss, Mandarin, Lemon Myrtle & Orange Peel Cream and Hand & Body Wash

I find using these products as part of my morning routine engulfs me and my senses in an uplifting scent to start the day off energised. And if you can bear it, add a cold shower to the mix (full disclosure – I struggle to manage it!)  

Let’s chat more if you’d like to discuss which emotions you’d like to elevate!

Stay warm and stay safe!

Gina 🙏


Mindfulness & The Power of Scent

Last week we looked at how certain smells can take us back through time and remind us vividly of people in our lives and the places we visited in the past.

Today, let’s think about how scent can make us feel.

Emotionally, scent has been found to have a profound effect on our feelings and emotions. This can tie in with memories that stir emotions. Think of happy holidays on the beach and the memories of coconut and reef oil evoking emotions of fun and happiness!

It is very clear that scent can elevate different emotions and have an impact and purpose in allowing us to use different scents for different purposes in relation to how we are feeling. 

This also ties in with mindfulness and becoming aware of what type of scent stirs varying emotions within us, and how we respond to these specific scents. 

For example, Winter for me is one of reassessing and reflecting. I am looking for comfort, safety, security, stability. I want to feel that my soul is comforted and aligned.

The scents of vanilla, sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, ylang ylang, orange, cardamom, frankincense all enable me to feel centred, comforted and calm. The candles that I use at home for this is iKOU’s Sandalwood or Vanilla, the iKOU essential oils of ground and balance, and the Inoko Candle in Amber & Fig.

So if you’re in need of an emotional lift, let’s talk about the scents that may make your spirit soar!

Stay warm and stay safe!

Gina 🙏


How I travel through time with the power of scent!

Ever noticed how some aromas can take us back to a time in our lives and the memories are so vivid? Of all our senses, smell is most closely linked to memory. 

I have so many memories connected to scent, and my acute nose brings many flooding back, especially because of my line of work.

My earliest and fondest memory connected to scent is when I was a flower girl for my Aunty at her wedding. I am an only child, and this was my one and only opportunity. I can remember being absolutely beside myself with excitement. I also thought my Aunty was so stylish, cool and wonderful.

I received my bouquet of pale pink carnations to go with my pale blue chiffon overlay dress. The pink carnations complete with satin ribbon were so exquisite to me and smelt heavenly, like carnations did back then! Very occasionally I might get to smell something similar which transports me back to one of my best memories ever.

Here I am taking my flower girl role very seriously…

Being surrounded in my store by exquisite aromas, enables me to remember other wonderful times in my life that nourishes my soul. 

~ Pine & Cypress, these woody earthy smells remind me of playing in our cubby house which was built in the huge cypress pine trees in Warrnambool. A favourite time for me and our Voluspa French Cade Lavender candles transport me to this time.

~ Jasmine, walking along the streets of Williamstown as the jasmine blooms in Spring. A lovely heady scent and for me a signal that the warmer weather is coming.

~ Roses, especially Dark Red Mr. Lincoln and the beautiful yellow of Graham Thomas. Reminds me of gardening with my Nan, especially picking the roses and bringing them inside. The SOH Grace le Rose is one of my favourites in store and takes me back to time with my Nan.

~ Tahitian Gardenia, holidays in the tropics, a floral mix that transports me back to Hawaii and Bali brought back to me in body lotions and candles.

What memories would you like to revisit? Perhaps the next one awaits you in a candle, a lotion or an essential oil. Close your eyes, breathe in and travel through time. 

Stay warm and stay safe!

Gina 🙏


The Anzac Generation did it like this…

Saturday, April 25th 2020 marks ANZAC Day. My reflections will turn to how much our older generations gave up, to pave the way for us to have our freedom. I am forever grateful for this.

~ Lest We Forget ~

In this present day, we now find ourselves forced to stop, to pause, to reflect and to give thanks. I have been reflecting on how my parents, grandparents and great grandparents lived.

They were not wasteful, they were measured, they didn’t do ‘fast pace’ and they didn’t do excess. They didn’t do “mine is bigger, better, faster!”

They did do thoughtful, they did make do, they did reuse, they did resourceful and they did family. Sunday roasts, gardening, cubbies, meals made from scratch and then leftovers. Simplified living and often unplanned.  

They didn’t do, ‘let’s run our day like a corporate business’, and they didn’t wear busy as a badge of honour.

They did days like this: let’s wake up, have a cuddle and a play, have breakfast, read the newspaper, feed the birds, check the garden for snails, wander to the shops, make lunch at home, some more gardening, check the breakwater or ocean conditions, buy some kabana and watch wide world of sport, cook dinner, watch some after school TV,  the news and a family show, read stories and then…bedtime. 
I find it fascinating that the world today has granted us the opportunity to reflect, to consider the simple pleasures of life. Pleasures that our predecessors were grateful for, and that we seemed to have move on from, but hopefully now will return to.
I wanted to share this quote I discovered over the weekend.

“When we rush back to “normal” consider which parts of “normal” are worth rushing back to.”

Wishing you a life of calm in this challenging time.

Gina 🙏


Living Your Best Life through Coronavirus




“Live less out of habit and more out of intent”

Things that help me regain my perspective…

An important thing to remember when we are under stress, out of alignment and feeling unhinged, is to return to the basics. For me it is about embracing simplicity and regrounding myself to regain perspective.

To do this I concentrate on being organised, implementing rituals and mindfully acting with intent.

I see each day as a fresh start with a new beginning. I give thanks and take time to be grateful for the life I have been given. I become consciously grateful for the simple things in life… breathing fresh air and living in this remarkably beautiful country.

I think about my priorities, my values and what are the most important elements in my life that contribute to me living my best life, my most functional life, and living a life of synchronicity in both mind and body.

Out of a mindset of intention I develop a plan centred around these three areas.

Physical Wellbeing ~ Whether it be a walk, a bike ride or exercises on the lounge room floor. Exercise for physical and mental wellbeing is critical and non-negotiable. I become aware of my nutrition and work towards eating for health and to nourish my body.

Mental Wellbeing ~ I consciously bring to my attention that I am uncomfortable and in a state of change. I control my thought processes and become determined to act with intent and positivity. I intentionally reduce the excess noise and mindfully choose to think about the priorities and the necessities and become aware of the power of a simplistic and grateful life.

Environmental Wellbeing ~ I retreat to my home environment, to create a sanctuary of comfort. A calm, organised oasis that reflects my character, including surrounding myself with my favorite things … textures, flowers, music, scent, family and calm.

Wishing you a life of calm in this challenging time,

Gina 🙏

The four R’s… are these the new Easter rituals?

Easter for me is a time to reflect, a time to reassess, a time to relax and a time to reinvigorate.

Given our current world environment these four rituals have never been more important and poignant. Allow yourself some quiet time to ponder on these.

Reflect ~ What have I really, honestly, truthfully always been wanting to do?

Reassess ~ What doesn’t serve me anymore?

Relax ~ How can I simplify life in order to focus on the important?

Reinvigorate ~ What can I do better? What can I do to live my best life?

Take the time over Easter to simply jot down the thoughts that freely come to your mind when asking these questions. Don’t force it, the answers will be there. Just breathe and allow them to surface.

We now have the time and space to really find our truth, to focus and delve into our priorities, to place importance on what really matters, and to spend time with our family and friends (through technology).

It feels as though we have been given the opportunity to really have a good hard look at ourselves, make a fresh start, leave the past behind, appreciate what we have and love, and look forward to what our future will be. Create new beginnings and continue towards living our best life.

And when we continue to work towards our best life, we may get to this ….

“It eventually gets better, without any sort of explanation. One day you just realise that you’re no longer upset, you’re no longer mad, hurt or bothered by the things that took so much of your energy and thoughts. You will find yourself in a peaceful place and enjoy that feeling.”

Wishing you a life of calmness in this challenging time,

Gina 🙏

Inviting uncertainty into the picture…

There is so much that we cannot control at the moment. Our minds may be filled with a mix of fear, apprehension, anxiety, uncertainty all combined to be a heady mix of discomfort and restlessness.

As humans, we like to be certain, clear, informed and definite!

When the situation arises that this is not the case, we can struggle to find our grounding and stability. I would put it to you that in these times it’s simply not possible to be definitive and certain.

As our situation changes ever so rapidly, and we are learning as we go, it is actually necessary to be able to invite uncertainty into the picture. Remember, we still have the ability to bring about acceptance.

Embrace the concept that life is not perfect.

Embrace that life is not certain.

Embrace becoming comfortable with ‘not’ being comfortable.

By reacting this way, we bring understanding and empathy to ourselves and to others. Understanding that we don’t have all the answers but are working towards trying our best to do the right thing.

Over the coming months, if you allow, I will pop into your inbox every now and then with thoughts and concepts to help you with your current mindset, and to help you move to a place of calm and wellness.

Our home is our sanctuary and we need to allow it to wrap its arms around us and bring comfort.

Wishing you a life of calmness in this challenging time,

Gina 🙏