Friday, February 3, 2017

Free shipping? TANSTAAFL

Years ago I binge read every Robert Heinlein SciFi novel, and first encounted the term TANSTAAFL.  "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch."  Whenever I see discussions of "free shipping" by essential oil suppliers I am reminded of that acronym.

NO company who intends to stay in business for long can afford to give away the cost of shipping.

We are often asked, politely or otherwise, about our shipping costs.  "With all due respect, your shipping costs seem a bit high."  "ONE STAR across the board. "Your shipping costs are outrageous."

I see discussions in various forums where people only will shop when there is free shipping available.

Perhaps Amazon has spoiled us.  Yes, I love Amazon Prime, and will sometimes pay a premium for same identical product and brand to avoid paying shipping elsewhere. But I'm told that when I renew my Prime membership this year it will be $129.00... over $10 a month. Takes a lot of orders to match that. 

Christi recently ordered several small samples from a very well-known artisan West Coast natural perfumer and was quoted and paid actual shipping.  Parcel post to Nashville was close to $9.00 and Fed Ex Ground to her home would've been over $13.  She opted to have it sent here to the business for a $4 savings.  Those were the lowest shipping rates available.  Christi also orders from a well known West Coast herb company and it is also actual shipping which is rarely less than $15.00 for the smallest order.  Christi believes Amazon has spoiled us, and I agree!

A message I recently sent to a client who questioned our shipping charges:

The email's subject was, "I think your shipping charges are too high."

"So do we!!!  But our shopping cart sends the dimensions, the weight, and the VALUE (for insurance purposes) to the USPS and quotes us back the rate you are quoted.

At the end of every quarter we compare what we have billed in shipping to what we PAY for shipping... the totals come within 1%... The USPS keeps increasing pricing.

We are unable to track and insure using lower cost methods (ie, first class)... and of course would have to use boxes that we paid for instead of the postal system's "free" boxes...  so the cost of a box would have to be factored in....   

We are charging our clients our cost to get the orders out.  now, an individual order may actually cost less.. or more! than the quoted amount..  but at month's end.. it is just about on target.

Thanks for your honesty...  and your... politeness?  Some folks can be rude.. I appreciate that you weren't.

and I hope you will love the oils

We have looked at our 'average" shipping charge. And increasing our prices 12% overall would allow us to give free shipping for orders over a specific limit.   We don't think that is fair to our clients.

You may save on shipping charges by placing larger orders. The shipping cost will be higher, but your per item cost will be lower.

I am told that some of the "Free shipping" companies actually ship their essential oils in padded envelopes.  And I hear rumors of breakage.    Please note how well and carefully we package your orders, so that they will arrive intact in spite of the best efforts of the USPS, at times.   We have heard of our orders being crushed (under, instead of on, the forklift?) but still arriving with the contents intact.

In shipping, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Perfume Blending - Guest Blog

Perfume Blending
By Haly JensenHof, MA, RA

 “The scents he could create at Baldini’s were playthings compared with those he carried within him and that he intended to create one day.” Perfume by Patrick Süskind

I blend my own perfumes; however, it doesn’t come easily to me.  I am a Clinical Aromatherapist who formulates and blends for an individual’s physical and emotional needs.  If you need something to help with asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, stress, anxiety, or any other physical complaint or emotional need I am your woman!  I also create luxurious lotions, body butters, salves, and lip balms, but perfumes are not my bailiwick. 
Michel, a colleague of mine, creates the most amazing perfumes, and she has been kind enough to write the following brief description of the blending process for perfumes.  
“Making a perfume blend of essential oil may seem a little daunting to some.  Many might think 
“where do I start?  The best answer to that question is, start with what you like and build from there.  In my experience it also takes patience, trial and error.”
If you need a little help getting started there are books that outline different blends that may inspire you.  Think of it as looking for a good recipe that you can tailor to your liking.   It’s a lot like making chili; you decide how much heat you want, what spices to add, and whether or not you want to add beans.  Mixing essential oils for a perfume blend is essentially the same; made to your taste, mood and likes.
Perfumers will tell you there is a formula to making perfume blends, which includes top, middle and base note essential oils.  I would say that these are good guidelines, with merit, but just that -guidelines.  I haven’t ever been one to color inside the lines. 
Here are a few helpful hints to blending your own perfume:

1.      Think of what you like.  Do you like earthy, spicy, or floral scents?
2.      Are you looking to make a perfume that is more sensual, uplifting, soothing?  Do a little research on the essential oils that have these traits and make note of them.
3.      Get familiar with the scents of different oils, but don’t think too much, let you’re primal self guide you.
4.      If you have an essential oil you really enjoy, build around that one.
5.      Experiment with the essential oils.  Start making different combinations.  I also start with mixing one drop of each essential oil and letting my nose tell me which one needs a bit more.  I have been known to have a number of small little vials throughout the house with various combinations of essential oils.  Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first, or fourth, time you blend, that is part of the fun!
6.      Most importantly don’t over think.  Listen to yourself. What is your reaction to each blend and its different scents?  Let your emotions and body be your guide.  Trust that your intuition will lead you to where you want to go.
7.      Remember to write down what essential oils, and in what concentration, you used.  You don’t want to have the perfect perfume and then not be able to remember what essential oils you used to get there.” 
In blending my own perfumes I like to use a carrier oil, like Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis), instead of alcohol, distilled water, or witch hazel.  I can always smell the alcohol, which detracts from the unique signature of the essential oils. 

Here is a perfume blend that I have developed:
Ethereal Mist Perfume
4 drops Rosewood (Aniba roseodora)
2 drops Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum)
1 drop Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia)
2 drops Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) (NOTE - I would use Bergamot FCF. Marge)
1 drop Neroli (Citrus aurantium)
5 ml. Jojoba
Blend all essential oils in a dark glass 5 ml. bottle.  Roll the blend of essential oils in your hands.  Add 5 ml. Jojoba oil.  The perfume blend can be used right away, but if you allow the blend to mature before use it becomes just that more Ethereal.  
I hope I have inspired you to make your own signature, unique, one-of-a-kind perfume. 
For more information, or if you have questions, please contact me at yourhealthscents  @  gmail.comThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions. You can also find me on Facebook at