21/04/2024 6:06 PM


The Queen Of Beauty

From candles to diffusers, we put it to the test

<p>The range includes a new diffuser with fine mist waterless innovation and accompanying essential oils, plus candles in the brand’s bestselling scents</p> (iStock/The Independent)

The range includes a new diffuser with fine mist waterless innovation and accompanying essential oils, plus candles in the brand’s bestselling scents

(iStock/The Independent)

Aromatherapy Associates is famous for its essential oil formulas – with product ranges encompassing key scent blends across home fragrance, skincare, and body.

A brand established over 30 years ago, founders Geraldine Howard and Sue Beechey set about making the benefits of aromatherapy more accessible. Which, in a nutshell, is a practice using aroma to boost emotional and physical wellbeing.

Today, its aromatics are separated into categories such as de-stress, relax, inner strength and revive. Whether you’re looking for a calming mist, exfoliator or soothing bath oil, a purchase can fit around your specific scent needs.

And with more of us looking for at home relaxation than ever before, it’s safe to say we’ve seen a spotlight on managing our health and stress levels in the past year. Combine this with Scandi minimalism interior vibes having a major moment, and Aromatherapy Associates’s latest pure wellbeing home fragrance collection reaches both angles.

The range includes a brand-new diffuser with fine mist waterless innovation and accompanying essential oils, plus candles in its bestselling scents. All packaged in chic white ceramic holders.

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But will this hot off the press collection combine both style and substance? After a couple of weeks testing all the brands latest buys, here is our verdict.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

The best products in Aromatherapy Associates pure wellbeing home collection are:

The atomiser

Best: Overall

Presented in a dark blue recyclable cardboard box with removable ribbon tie, this makes for easy opening and portable storage. Inside is the tall, sleek ceramic diffuser with seamless raised letter branding. Our tester also unwrapped a plug power adaptor, USB cable, essential oil opener, spare diffusion head, empty bottle, and six replacement oil pipes, plus instruction booklet.

Complete with metal top cover, we noticed it lifts off easily to reveal a main diffusion head – which is an attachment securing onto your essential oil bottle with an oil pipe to stream scent through. You remove the screw top lid from your chosen essential oils bottle before using the flat disc shaped metal essential oil opener to take out its droplet stopper too. Then resealing the bottle with said enclosed diffusion head, we placed back in the open slot pointing upwards and clicked it into place. Finally, we slid the metal lid on too and that, refreshingly, is all you need to do for setup.

To initially use the diffuser without a wire, we needed to charge it and did so while testing for the first time. You can still have the diffuser in action without, but it will be plugged into a wall. Charging the atomiser took us 90 minutes from being new out of the box to fully usable without a wire, at which point a red light going off alerts you.

We pressed the on-off button to start and saw a soft ring of light below the metal top. You can leave this on or turn it off, but we are big fans of its gently glowing presence adding to the cosiness. Straight away, scent begins releasing. At this stage you can choose using buttons between standard or boost, and a 30 minute, one or three-hour duration, after which it automatically stops. The standard mode alternates between 13 seconds of diffusion and 47 seconds without, for the run time length selected.

Meanwhile, boost mode switches between four minutes of diffusion and six minutes without. The diffusion releasing moments are marked by a quiet, not at all distracting, whirring noise. Because the boost is quite a strong amount of scent, we were advised to use this for 30 minutes at a time and only once a day. Probably depending on the size of your living space, for our small lounge, 30 minutes on standard mode was enough to bring sufficient fragrance. Any more than this and the scent became too much. While working, thanks to its air compression waterless technology, the oil disperses into a micro-fine mist that you can’t see, making the experience feel clean.

Lightweight, easily transportable, and wireless when fully charged, we love the atmospheric quick scent option, without a flame, messiness, or visible mist. And when you’d like to swap over essential oil bottles? After lifting the one in situ out and reattaching its original top, we put a fresh diffusion head onto our next bottle as outlined earlier.

For maintenance cleaning, there is an empty bottle provided, which we popped into the atomiser before turning it on for five minutes on standard mode. Alternatively, rubbing alcohol like surgical spirit can be used for rinsing bottles, to brush around the diffusion heads and remove oil residue. A soft, damp cloth works on the atomiser’s ceramic body and disc, ensuring you dry the metal lid with a dry cloth afterwards.

Straightforward to use and maintain, we really rate how comprehensible this home fragrance luxury buy is. It’s undoubtedly a decent investment, however, as you do need to buy an essential oil bottle too. But we felt the price point was justified given its user-friendly technology. Plus, the stunning white ceramic holder makes for a covetable interior accessory too, even when not in use.

Buy now £120.00, Aromatherapyassociates.com

De-stress candle

Best: Awakening bland

Each candle within this collection of Aromatherapy Associates’s bestselling blends is presented in a smooth, curved white ceramic holder. Finished like the diffuser with branding in raised letters emblazoned on its side, we really like its midweight aesthetic. We think these candles look as stylish on a shelf as they do in action and will be great recyclable interior accessories long after they run out too.

You get a decent 40 hours burn time from the vegan product, which is made of a 100 per cent natural wax blend hand poured in the UK. Coming in a recyclable cardboard box with removable ribbon pull to open, there’s an equivalent of two 10ml essential oil bottles inside. Plus, one thing we noticed due to its holder composition is that ceramic doesn’t become red hot to touch like glass candles do. These are candles at high end prices, but the robust, centrepiece holder does impress us.

After lighting the wick, scent gently releases into the air which is enrobing rather than overbearing. An aromatic blend of frankincense, wild camomile and petitgrain, our tester described this particular mix as clean and lifting. With a bit of a kick to the fragrance, it is quite awakening. After about 20 minutes the scent feels as though it has dispersed to fill our living room. Making us want to take a mindful breath after our busy week, we lit this on a Friday night and took a very centring inhale. Each candle bringing an even burn in a circular pool, there were no deep dips in the wax, with the flame a still presence minus any smokiness.

Buy now £48.00, Aromatherapyassociates.com

Deep relax candle

Best for: Comfort

A calming and warming scent of vetivert, camomile and sandalwood, this candle is noticeably quietening and lulled us into a settled mood. Sniffing it made us feel sleepy, which makes sense as the scent is part of Aromatherapy Associates’ sleep and tranquillity range. Because of how chilled out and at ease we were after lighting, it’s maybe not one to use when you need mental clarity or focus. Cosy and comforting, the fragrance in this form is however subtle unless you consciously inhale. There’s definitely something about this candle scent that makes you feel happily soothed. We used when struggling to unwind thanks to a tension headache, and it worked a relaxation treat.

Buy now £48.00, Aromatherapyassociates.com

Revive candle

Best: Restorative fragrance

We lit this candle on a dull grey rainy day, and instantly noticed the rallying happy scent that felt sharpening to our senses. An awakening blend of grapefruit, rosemary and juniper berry, the citrus component particularly is energy boosting. Quite an enticing and noticeably brightening fragrance, its smell is strongest of the four candles if you go for a definitive scent. For that reason, we leant towards this candle on days requiring a richer ambiance and lift. A beauty treatment room-esque aroma, combined with the still flame calmly burning feels restorative. And the scent lingers long afterwards too.

Buy now £48.00, Aromatherapyassociates.com

Rose candle

Best: Floral mix

Bringing a botanical floral blend, the rose and citrusy geranium scent made our tester think of a wild garden. Meanwhile, palmarosa essential oil maximises that great outdoors vibe, with it originating from a grassy plant. This contemporary take on rose is subtly fresh and peaceful, and not at all sickly or domineering. Sweet but pure, we picked up on a delicate and airy fragrance. It’s worth pointing out though, this isn’t strong if you do go for bolder candle scent. But, we smelt natural notes akin to having your favourite bunch of flowers in the room.

Buy now £48.00, Aromatherapyassociates.com

Essential oil blends

Best for: Aromatherapy scent potency

Available in five different scents, you can shop the aforementioned deep relax, revive and de-stress as well as breathe and forest therapy. Designed for adding into the atomiser diffuser (£120, Aromatherapyassociates.com) or to inhale on their own, the tiny bottles bring maximum essential oil potency.

For those scents covered in candle form above, our tester noticed a much more concentrated version was emitted from the diffuser. So, you’ll get a stronger fragrance hitting the air faster, but this means not being too heavy handed with droplets used minus the device. We did add a couple of drops of the sleep-inducing deep relax onto our pillow to make the most of scent strength in simple form.

Forest therapy, the brands ground and restore scent, is an ingredient mix of pink pepper, cypress and ho wood, as well as cypress and Sicilian lemon. Our tester notes this to be an invigorating spa-style scent, which is brisk but stimulating for your senses. The citrussy and leafy elements feel revitalising.

Breathe does what it says on the label, being a nose and mind clearing eucalyptus, pine and tea-tree. For that reason, our tester reckons this scent would work wonders dropped onto a tissue for a cold or hay fever symptoms. While it is sharp, the blend is also balancing for senses and doesn’t feel too intense.

In terms of value for money, in the diffuser minimal drops are drained per use. We’ve barely noticed any missing from the bottle after several turns. These luxurious essential oil bottles are the definition of a little bit going a really, long way.

Buy now £25.00, Aromatherapyassociates.com

The verdict: Aromatherapy Associates pure wellbeing home collection

For a piece of technical equipment, the atomiser achieves elegant simplicity and easy-to-use scent luxury. The matching candles offer a different experience with more subtle effect, while each essential oil brings its own aromatherapy option. Getting top marks for both aesthetic look and scent blends, we see these investment buys as a home fragrance treat well worth the splurge.

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