Monthly Archives: December 2013

Dec
31

White Sage Uses

This entry was posted in herb, herbal oil infusion, herbal tea, herbs, Uncategorized, white sage and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

white sageWhite Sage was considered a Holy herb by the American Indians who used it for smudging ceremonies, for bathing, for deodorant, and for medicinal purposes.  Natures Garden sells our white sage for external applications only, but in the following article, we will discuss how this wonderful herb has been used throughout history.  Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice; consult your doctor before using any herbs for treatment purposes. We provide this data for educational purposes only.    

White Sage (Salvia apiana) is an evergreen shrub that grows to 4-5 feet in height.  White sage grows well in climates that provide lots of sunlight, well-drained soil, mild winters, and little water.  Over-watering white sage can kill the plant. The leaves of white sage contain essential oils and resins that provide a wonderful aroma when rubbed together.  White sage’s scientific name is salvia apiana (apiana refers to the fact that bees are attracted to this plant); salvia means salvation.

The American Indians referred to white sage as the king of all sages, and frequently used this herb for medicinal and ceremonial purposes.  In fact, it is believed that the term “Holy Smoke” originated from the American Indians “smudging” white sage to rid people and places of unwanted evil spirits, and to protect themselves from those spirits.  In addition, they believe that the smoke of sage attaches itself to negative energy found within a person, and removes it from their body.   

White sage is still used today for smudging purposes.  The smudging process involves lighting the tips of dried sage leaves, blowing them out, and allowing the smoke to escape into the air.  Smudging is typically done using a sage wand (smudge stick), but loose white sage leaves can be used instead.  Sage wands are sage leaves wrapped tightly together.  To burn a smudge stick, light the tip of a few leaves and blow it out.  You can either wave the stick in air or place stick in a fire-safe container that contains salt or sand. The salt or sand will allow the smudge stick to stand erect while burning. To extinguish the smudge stick, place smoking end of the stick into the salt or sand and smolder. The smoke created from burning sage produces a calming effect on those who inhale it.  (Always use caution when burning sage, as anything that is on fire can potentially catch other things on fire.  Also, keep anything that is burning away from children and pets).

In addition to smudging, white sage may be used for topical applications by preparing teas, poultices, and/or oil infusions.  White sage is used in these applications because it has anti-fungal, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, calming, deodorizing, and healing properties.  White sage contains diterpenoids, which are compounds which have been shown to fight bacterial infections, and reduce allergy symptoms.  It also contains cineole, which acts as an anti-inflammatory/anti-bacterial agent.  Tannic acid content provides anti-fungal properties.  Sage is also used as an antipyretic; used as a sweat bath to reduce fever. White sage has a calming effect on the body and soul.  This is likely due to its miltirone content (a compound which performs similar to valium to reduce anxiety).  Finally, white sage contains phytoestrogens, which are compounds very similar to the female hormone estrogen.  Herbalists have used white sage to help treat the hot flashes that accompany menopause.

 

White sage tea is prepared by steeping sage leaves in hot water.  Care is taken not to add white sage leaves to boiling water, as boiling water will destroy some of its medicinal value.  Once this tea is made, it can be used to make natural lotions and creams, soap, and hair care products.  The American Indians used white sage tea as a “soapless” shampoo.  Since white sage has deodorant qualities, sage tea can be used as a fabulous hair rinse that leaves your hair soft and manageable.  Sage tea can be used in place of plain water to make wonderful homemade soaps.  Natural lotions and creams can also be made using white sage tea in place of plain water.  This tea can also be added directly to your bathtub for a relaxing herbal bath.  Due to its tannic acid content (which has anti-fungal properties), white sage tea can be used as a foot bath to treat athlete’s foot.  White sage tea can also be used as a refreshing, natural vaginal deodorant.

White sage can be infused into oils to make fabulous massage oils, ointments, body butters, salves, lip balms, ect.  To prepare a white sage oil infusion, crush 1 cup dried white sage into 16 oz. olive oil (or another light oil such as sweet almond oil or sunflower oil), warm it gently in a double boiler for about 1 hour covered, pour the solution (including the herbs) into a jar and lid.  Allow this to set for 4-6 weeks; strain and use.  Your oil infusion will have a shelf life of about 1 year.  This white sage oil infusion can be used to make soaps, lotions, massage oils, ointments, salves, deodorants, creams, lip balms, scrubs, and other body products.

Finally, it is reported that white sage can be used internally (in small amounts) in the form of a tea for an array of medicinal treatments. Never should sage essential oil be ingested.  Before ingesting any type of herbs, you should consult with your doctor first. Herbalists use white sage as a tea, for soothing sore throats, for relaxation, for hormonal imbalances, for diarrhea, for indigestion, for ulcers, and for treating congestion in the respiratory tract.  Since white sage is a natural deodorant, it can be used to make natural douches.

White sage contains a compound known as thujone. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this compound increases your heart rate and causes mental confusion. It can also lead to vomiting, restlessness and kidney complications when used in excess. Hence, you should exercise caution when using white sage.

A study performed at the University of Arizona in 1991 demonstrated that Salvia apiana has potential antibacterial properties against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Candida brassicae.   It was also published in March 2005 in “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine” that scientists at the University of Southern California found white sage to contain eucalyptol, or cineole.  This compound is known to kill bacteria and can help clear a sinus infection. 

Dec
29

Soy Candles

This entry was posted in candle fragrance oils, candle making, candle making questions, candle making supplies, candle scents, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Soy wax Candles Anyone who works with soy wax knows that candles produced with this wax will have great cold throw.  Cold throw is the scent of the candle when it is not lit.  Typically with soy wax, this throw will always be strong.  However, when it comes to hot throw with soy wax you may be left desiring more.

Why does my candle not have hot throw?

When using soy wax to craft your candles, a lack of hot throw is just the nature of the wax.  However, it could be possible that there was not enough fragrance or scent added to the melted wax.  When it comes to adding the scent to the wax, temperature is everything; and be careful not to add the fragrance when the temperature is too high.  Finally, the last thing to consider is the wick.  This will also have a direct effect on the hot throw in your candle.

How to Solve It

If you are just not satisfied with the hot throw of your soy candles and have carefully examined all of the possible problems that may have inhibited your hot scent throw; you may want to consider changing your wax.   Paraffin based waxes have very strong hot throw.  You can also switch your wax to a blend of both soy and paraffin.  Natures Garden’s Joy Wax is a great example of this blend; providing candles with excellent hot and cold throw.

With soy wax, you are able to add up to 1.5 ounces of fragrance oil per pound of soy wax.  This fragrance load will provide the best possible scent for soy wax candles.  Also, if you are interested in seeing if a fragrance oil performs in soy wax, check out the fragrance oil’s customer reviews.  People often post what medium they used the fragrance oil in, especially if it works in soy wax.

Also, when making candles, waxes vary in the degree in which you can add the fragrance.  If you are noticing that your candles are not producing a strong enough hot throw, you may want to lower the temperature at which you add the fragrance oil.  It can be possible that some of the fragrance is burning off simply by the heat of the melted wax.  Adding your fragrance at too high of a temperature will do this.

Selecting a hotter burning wick for your candles will also help with a candle’s hot throw.  Some great hotter burning wicks to select from are Hemp or CD wicks.  But as always, testing is key.

Dec
28

How to Increase Sales

This entry was posted in bath products, business advice, candle making supplies, Fragrance Oils, how to increase sales, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

business womanHiring Wholesale Distributors

Beginning your own wholesale distributor program can be a little scary at first, but well worth the opportunity of increased sales.  Regardless of whether you are trying to jump start your business, extend your client list, or just want to start selling at home parties; hiring wholesale distributors is one very smart move to start bringing in additional sales.

What is a Wholesale Distributor?

Wholesale Distributors are essentially the same thing as Sales Representatives.   However, wholesale distributors do not directly work for your company.  Instead, they are independent contractors.  As independent contractors, it is their responsibility to attain sales through various means.  Many wholesale distributors receive these sales by selling at home parties, craft bazaars, direct sales, etc.

Now, because your wholesale distributor is independently contracted, they are literally in charge of themselves.  This means they work their own schedules, find their own leads, close all of their sales, and file their own taxes accordingly.

How to Start a Wholesale Distributor Program

The first thing you need to establish before hiring any wholesale distributors is a starter kit.  A starter kit is an all encompassing kit that the wholesale distributors take with them to encourage sales everywhere they go.  These starter kits should contain samples of your best sellers, notable products, product lists, bags, business cards, etc. These starter kits are offered at an affordable set price for the wholesale distributors to purchase.

Generally speaking, most companies offer three different sized starter kits:  large, medium, and small.  Nine times out of ten, the majority of people will purchase the medium kit.  You will want to ensure that your medium starter kit contains all of the key products you want your wholesale distributor to highlight during their sales.

Regardless, all starter kits should include at least the following:  samples, receipt books, catalogs, post cards, and a carrying case.

What Does a Wholesale Distributor Need to Know

It is the responsibility of any new wholesale distributor to read and know your company’s policies and rules.  For example, if you are in the candle industry, you would especially want them to know why your candles are superior over the competition.  They would also need to know things like the wax you use, burn times, and even fragrance strength of the candles.  These are all great selling points for them to mention during their sales pitch.

Earnings

Something to establish with your wholesale distributor is their earnings scale.  This scale should be a win-win for both parties involved.  The more sales they are able to bring to you, the higher their earnings will be.  For example, when the wholesale distributor starts, they earn 25% of the total net sales before taxes.  But, a way that you can sweeten their deal is to give them a goal.  An example of this would be: when a wholesale distributor has acquired $5000 in sales of products, they are then able to earn 30% of the sales (instead of the 25%).  Having various goals established for your wholesale distributors will constantly give them new heights to strive for, therefore also an increase in sales for you as well as possible repeat customers.

How the Wholesale Distributor is Paid

For this example, we are going to use a home party.  Regardless of the form in which the sale was made, here is the breakdown of how the wholesale distributor is paid.

When the wholesale distributor books a home party, attends, and makes the sales, he/she adds together the total amount of sales from the party.  Next, the wholesale distributor would then subtract their earnings (the 25%).  The total of what is left is what is due to the company for the products sold.

Ideally, no tax is collected on the products that are sold to the wholesale distributor because they have a tax exemption certificate.  Remember once again, it is the responsibility of the sales rep to pay the sales tax since they are independently contracted.

Dec
27

Smells Men Like

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Wild Wild West ScentWild Wild West Fragrance Oil - Fragrance Oil Spotlight

A clean and masculine type aroma, Wild Wild West Fragrance Oil is definitely one of the rugged smells men like.  This sexy scent works perfectly in any medium from car fresheners, to colognes, to soaps, and even candles.  This manly man’s scent is considered a keeper by many of our customers.  In fact, this wonderful leather based scent even receives compliments from our southern states customers who feel this scent smells just like home.

What does Wild Wild West Smell Like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is a wild and sexy accord, combining top notes of Tumble Weeds, Basil Leaves, and Tonka Beans; followed by middle notes of Brushed Suede, Earthy Patchouli, and Amber Stone; all sitting on manly base notes of Aged Saddle Leather, Red Cedar, and Full Musk.  Gitty Up Cowboy! An NG Original Fragrance!

How Do Our Customers Use Wild Wild West Fragrance Oil?

For all of you candle crafters or home scenters, Wild Wild West Fragrance Oil is used in soy, WOW, Joy, Palm, and paraffin blend waxes.  This masculine fragrance oil has amazing scent throw and makes wonderfully strong tarts as well.  This scent also works very well in electric warmers, hanging car fresheners, and room sprays because of the aromas long lasting scent impression.

For bath and body crafters, this fragrance oil is a huge hit with male clientele.  Wild Wild West has a usage percentage of 5%, and is used to make: shave soap, shave gels, solid lotion bars, cologne, foaming body scrubs, melt and pour soaps, and even aftershave.  Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance oil is easy to work with and makes perfect beer soap.  Here are the official results:  Perfect Pour.  No ricing, no acceleration.  No discoloration.  Scent is amazing!

Dec
26

Sexy as Sin Fragrance Oil

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

sexy as sin fragrance oilSexy as Sin Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

This best selling fragrance oil is very sensual, sexy, and feminine.  After one whiff of this scent, many of our customers are speechless; this fragrance oil is just that good.  Sexy as Sin has that WOW factor that many people are looking for.  A pleasing scent for everyone, even the men like it too!  This amazing scent lingers for a long time.  Our customers highly recommend this fragrance as a must have in your lines because customers just can’t get enough. 

What does Sexy as Sin Smell Like?

This irresistible fragrance oil by Natures Garden is a floral bouquet of gardenia, tuberose, sweet vanilla and exotic musk which is sure to intoxicate your senses. The name sexy as sin says it all!  A Best Seller! 

How Do Our Customers Use Sexy as Sin Fragrance Oil?

For anyone who is a candle crafter or home scenter; Sexy as Sin Fragrance Oil is used in parasoy blends, soy, WOW, and Joy waxes.  This scent is even used in Pillar of Bliss wax to make amazing tarts and votives.  Since this fragrance oil is extremely aromatic both the hot and cold throw are great! This fragrance oil also works very well for air fresheners, room sprays, reed diffusers, and smelly jellies.

For bath and body crafters, this fragrance is one HOT SELLER!  The usage percent for this fragrance oil is 5% and the Vanillin Content is 7% so Vanilla White Color Stabilizer is advised by our customers to stabilize discoloration in finished products.  This spectacular fragrance oil is used to make: melt and pour soaps, roll on perfumes, body mists, bath bombs, body lotions, and spray perfumes.  Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance is intoxicating.  Here are the official results:  Moderate acceleration but definitely manageable.  Recommend to soap at cooler temperatures.  Do not use a water discount.  Discolored to milk chocolate after cure.  Scent stayed nice and strong. 

Dec
26

Great Apple Scent

This entry was posted in air freshening scents, bath and body, bath products, candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, cold process soap scents, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Apple Jack Peel Fragrance OilApple Jack Peel Fragrance OilFragrance Oil Spotlight

A well blended fragrance oil that is not only a huge hit with Natures Garden’s customers but also their customers as well.  When homemade products have this scent in them, they seem to fly off the shelves because of their incredibly long lasting aroma.  Apple Jack Peel scent is more than your typical apple cinnamon.  This scent is adored because of the unique balance of apples and cloves.  This fantastic smelling scent is very house warming and inviting.  A must have fragrance oil for any line; this best selling fragrance is a perfect scent any time of the year.

What does Apple Jack Peel Smell Like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is a Claire Burke duplication. Wonderful fresh apple aroma with spicy notes of cinnamon and clove. Fantastic! A Best Seller!

How Do Our Customers Use Apple Jack Peel Fragrance Oil?

For any candle crafters or home scenters out there- rejoice it is time to get super excited, this fragrance oil has unbelievable scent throw.  Apple Jack Peel Fragrance Oil has extremely strong hot and cold throw in candles and is used in Wow, Joy, soy, Pillar of Bliss, paraffin, and palm waxes.  This very aromatic fragrance oil is used in electric oil burners, reed diffusers, air fresheners, incense, potpourri, aroma beads, and smelly jellies.  Apple Jack Peel scent is even used to make room sprays; which also have long lasting and staying power.

For any bath and body crafters, this fragrance oil is a delicious apple scent; you can even smell the crisp apple peels.  The usage percent for this fresh fragrance oil 1%, but the scent is so strong; you will not notice the difference.  The most common products that customers use this fragrance oil to make are: melt and pour soaps, lotions, bath bombs, whipped body butters, and solid perfumes.  Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance oil is one dominant scent.  Here are the official results:  Perfect Pour, no ricing, no acceleration.  No discoloration. Yummy!  The perfect combination of cloves and apples.  Nice and strong!

Dec
23

Strong Berry Scent

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

twigs n berriesTwigs n Berries Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

This unique berry scent is very wonderful and uplifting.  This perfect outdoorsy scent is the perfect combination of sweet and juicy berries contrasted against earthy wood tones.  Twigs n Berries scent is considered a keeper by many of our customers.  This tangy berry mixture is super strong and sells products out in no time.

What does Twigs n Berries Smell Like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is a fruity floral combination of strawberries, oranges, and apples; accompanied by sweet floral aromas of jasmine, rose geranium, and oakmoss. A Best Seller!

How Do Our Customers Use Twigs n Berries Fragrance Oil?

For those of you that are candle crafters; our customers use this fragrance oil in their paraffin soy blend, WOW, pillar of bliss, soy, and Joy wax candles.  The scent throw is terrifically strong from beginning to end in both the hot and cold throw.  Twigs n Berries Fragrance Oil also works well in oil burners and in sachet beads.  For extra room scenting fun, this scent can also be made into room sprays to bring a little of the outside, in.

On the bath and body end, Twigs n Berries Fragrance Oil is very well liked.  The usage percent for this fragrance oil is 5%, and is used to make:  lotions, melt and pour soaps, bubble baths, foaming sugar scrubs, bath splashes, lotions bars, and bubble bombs.  Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this scent is awesome.   Here are the official results:  Perfect Pour, no ricing, no acceleration, yummy scent.  Discolors to a light cream.

Dec
22

Strawberry Fragrance

This entry was posted in air freshening scents, bath and body, bath products, candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

strawberry & champagne fragrance oilNG Strawberry & Champagne Type Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

This fragrance oil is a crisp, dead on duplication of the original.  A huge hit with female clientele, NG Strawberry & Champagne Type is a scent that is sweet and romantic.  This fragrance has just the right amount of balance between strawberry and champagne notes, but don’t judge this scent out of the bottle.  This fragrance really awakens in the products.  Both flirty and irresistible, this scent is fabulous and is the perfect fit for every product line.

What does NG Strawberry & Champagne Type Smell Like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is a sweet blend of red fruits boosted by lily of the valley and apple cider.  A Best Seller!

How Do Our Customers Use Strawberry & Champagne Type Fragrance Oil?

For those of you that are candle crafters; our customers use this fragrance oil in their soy, Pillar of Bliss, WOW, Palm, paraffin, and Joy wax candles.  The scent has a very strong hot and cold throw in candles.  If you are in the home scenting industry, this aroma is very well received.  NG Strawberry & Champagne Fragrance oil is used in electric burners, tart burners, sachet beads, and to scent Natures Garden’s odor eliminator base.

For bath and body crafters, this fragrance oil is a huge winner.  The usage percent for this fragrance oil is 5%, and is used to make:  conditioners, sugar scrubs, foaming sugar scrubs, melt and pour soaps, body butters, lotions, shower gels, body splashes, and even perfume oils.  Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance is perfect for soaping.  Here are the official results:  Perfect Pour, no ricing, no acceleration, no discoloration, scent is nice.

Dec
21

Vanilla Scent

This entry was posted in Air Fresheners, bath and body, bath products, candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, cold process soap scents, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

vanilla extract fragrance oilVanilla Extract Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

Vanilla lovers rejoice, this vanilla scent is phenomenal.  For those of you that are seeking the perfect vanilla fragrance without any bakery or buttery notes, this is it.  A true to name vanilla scent, and a personal favorite among many of our customers; Vanilla Extract Fragrance is a must have staple for any line.  This scent in products makes for repeat sales every time.  Vanilla Extract fragrance also works as a fantastic mixer to create delicious scents too.

What does Vanilla Extract Smell Like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden has vanilla that is crisp and fresh, not buttery. Smells just like real vanilla extract.

How Do Our Customers Use Vanilla Extract Fragrance Oil?

If you are a candle crafter, or in the home scenting industry; Vanilla Extract Fragrance Oil is used in Joy, Soy, Palm, and Pillar of Bliss waxes.  This scent has superb scent throw.  Vanilla Extract Fragrance Oil also works well in sachet ornaments and room freshening sprays too.

For bath and body crafters, this fragrance oil is amazing.  Vanilla Extract is a great gift scent that anyone will enjoy.  The usage percent for this fragrance oil is 5%, and the Vanillin Content is 6% so Vanilla White Color Stabilizer is advised by our customers to stabilize discoloration in finished products.  This deep vanilla fragrance is used to make: body scrubs, bath bombs, lotions, melt and pour soaps, bath gels, and foaming body butters.  Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance soaped well.  Here are the official results:  Perfect Pour, no ricing, no acceleration, immediate discolor to a lemon pudding color, final discoloration to a dark chocolate.

Dec
20

Gel Wax Scents

This entry was posted in candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, Fragrance Oils, gel wax, gel wax scents, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Gel Wax Wine Candle Since gel wax is composed of 95% mineral oil and 5% polymer resin, the fragrance oils or scents that you select have to be soluble in this mixture.  It is believed in the candle making industry that if you are working with gel wax, the scents you use have to be non-polar.  This however, is simply not the case.

It is chemically impossible to make fragrance oils non-polar.  This is because the aldehydes, ketones, resins, esters, and essential oils used in the creation of scents are all polar to some degree.  Now, perfumists are able to keep the polarity low by using isopar solvents. But, in the end; every scent has some level of polarity to them.  Fragrances can NEVER be NON polar, there will always be varying levels of polarity in fragrance.

In order for fragrance oils to work in gel wax, they need to be on the lesser end of being polar.  By lowering the polarity, fragrances are more readily able to be mixed with the mineral oil of gel wax.  But, before using a fragrance oil that you are not sure is gel safe; there are two steps you can take to find out.

Gel Wax and Scent Flashpoint-

In order for a scent to be gel wax compatible, the flashpoint of the fragrance must be 170 degrees or higher.  This degree of flashpoint is important because gel wax burns at a higher temperature. Using a scent with a flashpoint lower than 170 degrees Fahrenheit results in too big of a difference in your melt point and flashpoint; this makes for an unstable and unsafe candle.

You can easily check the flashpoint for every fragrance oil that Natures Garden carries in the Important Fragrance Specifics listed under each scent.

Mineral Oil Miscibility Test-

If you need to test that a fragrance oil is gel wax safe, you can easily do so.  This test is called the mineral oil miscibility test.  To test for gel wax solubility mix 1 part fragrance to 3 parts mineral oil in a glass container.  Then, give the mixture a shake and set it down.  After a few minutes, check the mixture to see if it blended.

Next, in a glass container, mix 3 parts fragrance oil to 1 part mineral oil.  Give the container a shake and once again allow it to sit.  After a few minutes, check to see if the mixture is thoroughly blended.

If you notice the mixture is insoluble or has any cloudiness in the solution, the fragrance is not gel safe.  If the mixture is transparent and dissolved, the fragrance oil is gel wax compatible.

If you are interested in making the gel wax wine candles pictured in this blog post, please click here.  View this recipe plus many more by looking at the Free Recipes and Classes area of the Natures Garden website.