Everyday we move forward and change. Our bodies change, so do our lifestyles, ambitions, attitudes, mindset and relationships. And sometimes because of that internal change we feel that something that
Jumping into shower is second nature to most of us, but an occasional indulgence with a long bath shouldn’t be underestimated. Elijah Choo, founder & creative force behind Bodhi & Birch, contemplated this, as he hand-blended finest essential oils in his lab in order to create antidotes to the stresses of modern life. With my kids firmly in the grip of a new school year & after school activities, I feel that we all need another holiday & as it isn’t forthcoming until Christmas, running a bath & inhaling the new scents that Elijah crafted, allows me to let go of the worries, while doing poetic escapades in the depth of my mind, aided by intriguing notes that my nose & mind try to decipher.
A beautiful box that fits into the palm of your hand, has beautiful art motives in blues & purples, providing a calm vision before your eyes, before you slide the box cover to reveal three pretty bottles nestled inside. The first intriguing aspect is that while each clear bottle with a black screw-on lid looks one colour against the white box background, it change magically, if you hold each against the light. A little meditation in itself – stop, pause, discover. Longer & deeper breaths that make us feel more grounded & calmer. A journey of discovery begins.
Rosa Verde promises to ‘gently lift your mood, restore the spirit & awaken your soul’. Rose is renowned for its rejuvenating & renewing powers over our senses, while Lime & Geranium help to sooth & uplift the frowns from the forehead & Frankincense grounds & helps to balance the hormones.
The way to use each of the bath & shower oils in this collection is to pour a cupful into a warm bath & enjoy the aromatherapeutic benefits. Alternatively Elijah recommends massaging a few drops onto your torso, breathing in the aroma & making sure you take deeper breaths & then stepping into the shower to wash day’s grime or troubles away.
My eldest is a big fan of Bodhi & Birch bath products & chooses them in the evening before his shower, depending on what kind of a day he has had. Interestingly enough, this one turned out to be his favourite out of the three. Do be aware that those products were developed for adults, not children use, so make your judgement accordingly.
I, on the other hand, found it a little bit too feminine, as the scent developed on my skin after direct application. I thoroughly enjoyed the full renewing benefit though when I poured the oil directly into the the running water, inhaling the scent as the bath filled up. Later, luxuriating in the bath, while reading Maria Sharapova’s biography, I appreciated the olfactory experience provided by this particular oil more fully than in the shower. Not sure if Maria is a bath fan, but I am a big fan of her talent, as well as Elijah’s !
Jasmin de Lune ‘is a powerful blend for helping relax your body & mind’. Jasmine Absolu reduces stress & promotes quality sleep ( I am truly addicted to Jasmine Falls bath & Shower Therapy, which help me sleep like a princess & look as relaxed as a queen in the morning ), High-Altitude Lavender soothes the senses, while Vetiver acts as a natural sedative, without the side effects or drowsiness. It’s worth noting that high-altitude Lavender is more potent compared to other types of lavender, so expect a deeper sense of relaxation all around.
This is the product I would recommend you reach out for when you feel really tired or had a truly stressful day, when stress seems to linger & holds you in its tight grip. This bath & shower oil is up to the task of breaking the uncomfortable grip for good. I also want to note how soothing this & other two oils in this collection feel on the skin when you apply it directly to it – do make sure to do a patch test though, if you are new to essential oils or have skin sensitivities. My skin felt not only nurtured, but well moisturised after the bath, so when I was testing those bath & shower oils I didn’t feel the need to moisturise my skin after gently towel-drying my skin. Part of the reason was that I don’t use the water that is too hot, as it dehydrates the skin. The other contributing factor is that Elijah fuses the essential oil blends with a carrier Safflower oil, which is a potent hydrator. Safflower Oil is also packed with essential vitamins that keep skin soft & supple. It worth noting that using those bath & shower oils isn’t recommended, if you are expecting.
La Botanica, the most intriguing of the trio for me personally, ‘revitalises the body & revives the senses’. Lemon & Eucalyptus oils energise
Elijah created an aromatic trio of body oils to celebrate the scent, colour and culture of Europe and offer women (and men) a range of handcrafted products made of 100% natural botanicals and in small batches, thus offering the freshest quality. When I was on a panel of testers, Elijah sent all of us three samples and after using them, we filled in and sent him back a detailed questionnaire. I also talked to Elijah in detail about my experience with the oils, as one of them smelled particularly strong and another I wasn’t too sure of, as generally I am not a huge fan of rose-scented products, possibly finding them a little too ‘girly’. Having said that, this particular rose-scented body oil took me on a journey of such immense discovery, I was completely taken aback – but more on it later.
After all of the feedback was in, Elijah continued to tweak and refine the final formulas – always a perfectionist when it comes to his products and making sure they live up to customer’s expectations ! – while also enhancing their unique beauty and wellbeing. Only when he was satisfied, did the products launch and I hope you will find them as transformative as I did. One of my own biggest surprises when it came to those body oils, was a truly successful fusion of aromatherapy and perfumery, so much so, that now I wear two of those oils as a natural perfume, dabbing it on my pulse points, behind the ears and on my neck, after I apply it all over the body.
Nordic White Body Oil: the name of this body oil made sure it had me at ‘hello’, and not because ‘hygge’ is the current buzzword. About three years ago, Elijah was in Stockholm, visiting Bodhi & Birch retailers. On his way to one of the meetings, he walked from his hotel, located in central Stockholm, all the way to a more hippie area, where the meeting was supposed to take place. Stockholm is one of Elijah’s favourite cities, as it allows him to walk from one island to another, while observing the beauty of nature, forests and decor of the houses, which he absorbs, nurturing his creative life force. In a way Nordic White is Elijah’s love letter to the city, with an assembly of notes that popped into Elijah’s head as he walked around the city, drinking it in. Original birch notes were taken out, but alpine notes – more wood than leaves, as well as berries, moss, hints of sea and fennel were blended together creating, a ‘fresh, open, balanced white scent’. Elijah had the clearest picture of what this oil should smell and look like out of the three body oils he created , but he went through two versions, before the third satisfied him.
Elijah sees this oil as ‘a curative tonic of Spruce, Cypress and Pine enlivened with the freshness of Sweet fennel with soothing undertones of Frankincense. The scent is clean and reassuring, balanced with a soft lingering sweetness’. To that I can add that to me it feels like a hug from an old, comforting friend who knows what to say on every occasion, be it sad or happy. Before I apply it, I warm it in my hands for a few seconds, savouring the smell and then apply it to my body, rolling my fingers over muscles and circling it in when a certain area feels a little tight or painful. I draw comfort from this scent and as my skin warms up from the massage and the scent settles and changes, I end up drawing my wrist to my nose, inhaling it, as the day progresses, in order to ground & center myself.
‘Nordic White Body Oil is rather special to me. It is my interpretation of a moment when everything about the world is right. There is an open quality
Botanic Dew Hand & Body
I don’t hide the fact that I adore many of Elijah’s creations because he is a truly creative man and a perfectionist. He doesn’t rest until the Bodhi & Birch product or the packaging or some other detail related to the product, is as perfect as can be. Until a few months ago you probably knew his products under the name Bodhi and when Elijah told me about re-branding I was surprised but only for a second, as when he told me the reasons and the new name, a circle became complete. In my mind, as well as Elijah’s, something innately wasn’t complete about the brand’s original name and was confusing for some customers as well.
Bodhi & Birch combines Eastern philosophies and Western knowledge, which leads to a perfect overall balance
August saw the presentation of Bodhi & Birch Rosa Rosa
I have been very lucky to test Bodhi & Birch’s new launch a few months ago and in the middle of winter, when nights were cold and hands felt rough, this hand serum has been a welcome warming delight for my dry hands, as well as the senses, giving an uplifting boost to the whole body with its powerful aroma. Lime Blossom Protecting Hand Serum is oil- based and was created by Elijah, who uses his own hands in the lab, at home and in the garden, so he perfected it thinking about both men and women, and pushing forward with the idea for a hand product that will moisturise, soften and protect the hands.
Lime Blossom Protecting Hand Serum is the first hand serum I have ever come across in the beauty market and it is one of the products in the eight piece collection of Bodhi & Birch Artisan Series, with each product hand-blended and created in small batches in order to ensure optimum performance from the pure botanical essences that can be both fragile and powerful.
When the hand serum was developed, Olive Squalane, Rosehip Seed Oil, Lime & Green Mandarin became the focal ingredients. Why those ingredients I sense you asking? Well, Olive Squalane is an ingredient that seems to be grabbing the headlines this year. It is derived from olives ( and we all know how good olive oil is for one’s skin & health – I have a friend whose grandmother uses nothing but Italian cold pressed olive oil on her skin and even in her 80s she has beautiful plump & moisturised skin that a teenager can envy ) and contains a unique antioxidant that will protect your skin from free-radical damage ( one of the primary causes of ageing ) plus will replenish our own skin’s squalane ( it is naturally present in our skin but its content diminishes as we age ) and diminish blemishes, age spots and lines.
Olive Squalane is combined with Rose Hip Oil which is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins and fused together with moisturising Plum Kernel and Safflower Oils, along with Vitamin E that assists in skin rejuvenation. As our hands come in contact with everything and you can’t and shouldn’t be washing your hands all the time – a balance is needed in everything – one needs to consider the antibacterial element of the products you use on your hands so this serum not only has anti-bacterial properties, it is also antiseptic and antiviral due to the blend of Lime & Green Mandarin essential oils that will protect yours hands, keeping your skin feeling fresh and you feeling uplifted, due to the citrus blossom scent of the serum that lingers on your hands, making you unconsciously lift them closer to your face. Those of us who work on computers would definitely want this bottle on their desks as their practical beauty multi-tasker.
I tend to apply this hand serum once or twice during the day, particularly when there is a lot of washing, cleaning or gardening evolved or even when my hands are feeling tired but in the evening you should apply the serum to your hands after you did all of your face and body cares. Wash all of previous products residue off your hands, leaving them slightly damp, apply a couple of pumps to the palms of your hand and massage them into your hands, fingers, cuticles and wrists. Stretch your fingers, gently pull them away and take deep, generous breaths as your do it. The serum, which does feel like a slightly thicker oil, sinks in almost immediately, leaving behind beautiful hands that will belong to a person who clearly cares how he or she looks. And who know what tomorrow’s handshake can lead to ?
You smell the wonderful oils contained in this product even before you open the jar and once you do, you see a pale pink, grainy scrub but it doesn’t look like any scrub I have tried before-take my word for it, I have seen and used a few of them, in my search to find the perfect one. It smells enticingly refreshing and you just can’t wait to start scrubbing with it. You need to spray yourself with water and then apply the scrub with gentle circular notion from your neck downwards, including the soles of your feet. I prefer to do it part by part, almost meditating, while I apply the scrub and let it melt all over, getting read of the dead skin, opening my pores and releasing stagnant energy. Your head clears, your vision becomes somewhat clearer, as your body starts to release and flush the toxins out ( some of my fellow blogger friends, yes, I mean you Danny and Jessica .) want to use this scrub daily, as they love it so much-in my case I restrain myself to using it twice weekly but do I enjoy every minute of that experience !). You then rinse it off with warm water and I actually don’t even bother to put on any oil or body moisturiser as my skin feels newborn soft, even, clear. After using this scrub your skin has a beautiful sheen to it and water drops linger on its surface, making for a facinating site. The smell, while gentle, lingers on, lulling you to sleep and when I wake up in the morning it still catches my senses and makes me smile, as I get ready to start another hectic day. You can also follow Elijah’s advice and instead of rinsing the scrub in the shower, submerge yourself into a bath and read something nice, while salt scrub granules get dissolved in water and you end up with a deeply relaxing soak-hence I say read something, don’t just close your eyes, as you will be in danger of falling into a dreamy slumber .)
The scrub itself contains