Saturday, March 19, 2016

When the Nose DOESN'T Know

Jasmine Flowers
"Our sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than any other of our senses and recognition of smell is immediate. Other senses like touch and taste must travel through the body via neurons and the spinal cord before reaching the brain whereas the olfactory response is immediate, extending directly to the brain. This is the only place where our central nervous system is directly exposed to the environment" (von Have, Serene Aromatherapy)

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has strict guidelines for safe usage of fragrant chemicals and essential oils in perfumes and skincare. And we are bound by law and by a Code of Ethics to adhere to those percentages. Having been in this business for over 20 years now, we've learned a thing or two about the dangers of over scenting products are inhaled and those which come in contact with our skin. Valhalla has always had our own percentage rates which we deem as safe that we use to scent each of our products. They fall well within the IFRA guidelines while also giving us a little "wiggle" room for the occasional stubborn or delicate scents that don't stick well or are very light in their nature.

When you work around different scents all day long like we do there will be occasions when your nose fails you and takes a vacation. When it just can't possibly smell one...more...smell. We find this to sometimes be true with some of our customers as well. Especially those who like to burn candles or melt tarts allot in their homes.

The olfactory system is uber sensitive and there are a myriad of factors that can interfere with our sense of smell. Allergies, medications, past medication or drug use, illness or disease, age, what was cooked in the house recently, chronic exposure to over scented products like tarts, B&B products (especially B&B Works and LUSH who is notorious for overly scenting their products), chronic exposure to over scented candles which can create soot which gets in the nose clogging it, environment (air pollution, smog, smoke, etc.), cigarette smoking, mineral deficiencies, and so on. The list is exhaustive.

If you're finding that all your Valhalla smell goods are starting to smell the same, or not at all, then it is very likely that you have a one or more of the listed factors going on. We suggest giving the the following tips a try:

 A). Fill a glass jar with good quality coffee beans and when you notice that you're having trouble telling different scents apart, or smelling anything at all, take the lid off your jar of coffee beans, stick your nose down in it and take a few good deep sniffs. This will cleanse your palate. Then seal your jar back up, put it away in a handy place and take a few breathes of clean air. Now try sniffing your various scents again. This will usually clear out your palate. If it doesn't work, move on to step B.

B). If step A. was not successful in clearing your palate, then we suggest you pick up a bottle of Ocean Nasal Spray which is an all natural saline solution and can be found in the pharmacy section of most stores. Follow the directions on the bottle for both nostrils. You may have to do it a couple times. This WILL make your nose run for a few minutes so have some tissue ready. Then try sniffing your various scents again.

If either of these tricks fail to work for you, then you may have something more serious going on medically, like a sinus infection or polyps on your sinuses or whatnot and we suggest you seek medical advice.  

More interesting reading about our sense of smell:

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Our 5 Golden Rules

Valhalla Soap Company's Five Golden Rules

1). Don't put out any product to our customers that we wouldn't use ourselves. 
And we are very picky about what we put on our own bodies. Our skin is our largest organ. 
Imagine what that much surface space can absorb! That said, we are driven to use only the best ingredients, organic when possible to keep ours and your skin as healthy as we can.  

2). Be Kind to Mother. We do our best to be kind to our planet by using ingredients and packaging that are sustainable and/or recyclable and/or biodegradable whenever possible. Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose! We reuse as much shipping material a we can (peanuts, bubble wrap, boxes, etc.). We recycle all eligible materials be it paper, plastic, glass, etc. We will not use disposable dishes to mix, make, formulate. This just added to the growing waste issue. It only takes a few minutes to wash the dishes at the end of the day. Support other small businesses and shop local when feasible. Bottom Line: We will do our best to reduce our carbon footprint.

3). Be Humble and always have a grateful heart. We try to stay humble and remember that are just one fish in a vast sea of amazingly talented and inspiring Indie Makers. We are grateful every day for our awesome Clan of customers many of whom we have become close friends with over the all. And ALL of whom we consider family. Without them, Valhalla Soap Co. would cease to exist. Our Clan is the catalyst. They are the fire, our muses. We are driven to do better by their daily encouragement and support.

4). Pay It Forward. We have always believed that even at our lowest times we were still blessed because we've had love, family and shelter when so many have not. So we do what we can to give back. Over the years it has been in many different ways. The last 3+ years we have been giving back to an organization called Imagine Africa. As well as random situations when Spirit provides the opportunity. 

5.) Always be yourself. Never follow the crowd. We are a unique company with a unique brand. That is because we are unique people that haven't always "fit" with the "in" crowd. Most of the time we are swimming against the flow. We had our freak flag flying long before it was the cool thing to do. We will not compromise who we are or our company for the squeaky wheel demanding that we "conform". 
"Go Within, Trust Yourself, Follow Your Heart, Know You are Loved" - Unknown