In a recent post about the ways in which I'm WAY healthier when I travel than I am at home, I totally fangirled out on Bath and Body Works hand soaps. So hardcore that someone actually asked in the comments, "Is this a product review?"
No, it was not... But this is. A lifelong lover of anything lavender (wine, deodorant, latte -- and, of course, essential oils), I was delighted to receive a PtahTex ColdAroma Pure Essential Oil Diffuser Introductory Kit for product review.
I was not compensated for this post, and the opinions expressed here are my honest reactions to the product.
I'll start by saying that I have, over the last few years, been meaning to purchase an essential oil diffuser -- less because I'm a believer in the health benefits (I'm very skeptical of any kind of health claim, and have been known to accuse Whole Foods of selling snake oil), and more because I love good, healthy fragrances.
But the thing about most fragrances is... what even ARE they?
According to Florence Williams, author of Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, many fragrances, whether in soaps or candles or air fresheners, contain chemicals that can mimic estrogen and disrupt your normal endocrine activity. They can also accumulate in your breast tissue... which means that, someday, should you choose to breastfeed, you could end up putting these fragrances right into your baby's mouth.
I'm not a doctor, but Williams' citations checked out. I'm not horrified enough that I stopped taking bubble baths and washing my hands... but I definitely wanted a home fragrance that was pure essential oil, and not whatever unregulated cocktail was found in cans and sprays.
So that was the first thing I loved about PtahTex -- all their blends are 100% pure oils. The Relaxation Kit includes one bottle of pure lavender oil, and one bottle of Relax, which is a mix of angelica, lavender, geranium, marjoram, and cedarwood.
Although I'm not a doctor, I am a psychologist. I've read some pretty compelling studies on the topic of priming, or the implicit memory effect. In short, priming happens when exposure to a stimulus influences response to a later stimulus.
For example, people who completed crosswords with words associated with the elderly (e.g., wrinkle, Florida) actually walked more slowly than people who had completed a crossword with neutral words. (Yes, there have been some issues with reproducibility on this particular study -- but deCoster and Claypool's 2004 meta-analytic review over 25 years of priming research showed statistically reliable effect sizes across these studies.)
People who see pictures of oranges are more l likely to complete so_p with a -u, forming the word soup, while people who see photos of a towel will complete it with an -a, forming soap.
And, for me, walking into a room that smells healthy... primes me to feel and act certain ways. Whether this is happening because of biology or psychology, I don't know. But I do know that I become more mindful or my health when my office or bedroom smells healthy.
I'm more likely to get up and walk around at least once per hour. I'm more likely to stay hydrated. I'm more likely to think about stretching or going to the gym. These are all very good things.
Other things I loved about this product:
1. Unlike many of the products I order on Amazon, which arrive in a giant box with yards and yards of bubblewrap, this product arrived in a small box with way less plastic and weight.
2. I loved the internal packaging, as well. The box was too pretty to throw away, the charging cable came in a pretty velvet bag, and opening the box to perfect organization was a delight. So often, when I order from Amazon, it's like the seller just threw a bunch of stuff into a shipping envelope. This was more like opening an Apple product. Moreover, the diffuser arrived charged and ready to go.
3. Setting it up was so easy, my grandma could have done it.
4. It is heat-free. Many of the essential oil products I'd considered purchasing before this product rely on heat to diffuse the oil... which makes them a little less usable on a hot day. Who wants to heat up the house even more?
But it also reduces fire risk. Thanks to flame retardants, Americans die in way few fires than they used to (though, as Florence Williams discusses in Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, flame retardants also accumulate in breast tissue and can cause weird health problems related to your hormones). However, house fires still happen -- often as a result of candles or other heat-generating products.
The PtahTex ColdAroma Pure Essential Oil Diffuser "atomizes" oil into 2-5 micron size mist, according to the website. I'm not sure exactly how that works or what it means, but I do know that it is heatless and waterless, which is ideal for purity and safety.
5. It is small, light, and portable. It comes with a USB charger, but it doesn't need to be plugged in to work. It has a lithium ion battery. One of the recommended uses is in RVs, and another is in offices. I can see myself using the diffuser in either of these places.
6. Again, set-up is easy, and changing oil bottles only takes a few seconds. If you need help figuring it out, refer to this image:
Or check out this instructional YouTube video:
7. If you're not into pink and/or lavender, you can also try out the blue diffuser, which comes with the InForest (cypress, rosemary, gaultheria, eucalyptus, and pine needle) and Relax blends
Or the gold diffuser:
The major drawback I saw was the price -- the diffusers run from $99-129. I thought this was a bit much, until I compared it to similar products.
I almost listed "hard to find refills" on my criticisms list -- I looked on PtahTex's seller page, and there were no refills available there. I was worried that ordering other kinds of oil would present compatibility issues with the diffuser...
But then I realized I was being ridiculous. If I order a new bottle of oil from another seller and it doesn't fit inside the diffuser, I can use the third, empty bottle that came in the Introductory Kit for the new oil.
So, long story short, I'm extremely happy with the PtahTex's oil diffuser -- and if you have any additional questions about the product, I'm happy to try to answer them, either in the comments, or via Facebook or Twitter.
Enjoy your aromas!
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