“ Brand: Shearer Candles / Type: Diffuser / Category: Home Fragrance „
When it comes to candles and candle companies I often steer clear of the additional accessories that the companies sell such as room spray, pot pourri and reed diffusers. Normally these products aren't as long lasting as the candles themselves. Room spray is usually pressurized so it's a no to that for the dangerous gases, pot pourri makes a terrible mess, dries out and often captures dust that I can't vacuum whilst Reed diffusers seem to be the better environmentally friendly idea, even if it is tapping into the market of Feng Shui accessories that exploded a few years ago when everyone had to show hanging reeds or a bit of a tree to show they love the environment in their home. Frankly I've confused a few people by having a bowl full of Twiglets on show, but that's for my personal consumption and not a collection of twigs! Seriously though, I've tried a few reed diffusers from Yankee Candle and most of these products look simple until you discover there's a thick cork wedged into the neck of the bottle to release the oil, that can sometimes release the oil or break the glass onto worktops and thus waste the product because of poor opening mechanisms. Other reed diffusers smell too synthetic or are two poor in their strength delivery.
Well autumn has certainly arrived and yet within the last couple of days it seems Christmas has hit the shops already. Aside from some of my latest candle purchases and months past products, my eye was caught on a reed diffuser by Shearer candles of Scotland under their latest Winter fragrance, "Winter Fig." When I tried one of their candles with the same blend of spices I was really taken with the warming sensuality of fruity fig and warm spices. Compared to Yankee Candle, where my last gift of a reed diffuser cost me £14-95 for half the size of the quantity on offer in an embossed and colourful flowery patterned glass, Shearer Winter Fig diffuser bottle has 200ml of clear, honey gold coloured scented oil and 10 individual bamboo reed stems. Each reed stem measures approximately 18cm in height and the bottle measures 20cm height by 6cm width and a diameter of 5cm. It is also fairly plain compared to Yankee Candle making Shearer's product pretty inoffensive, doesn't have tacky clear stickers on it and only has the understated embossed writing on the glass to show off the company at the bottom half of the bottle's front. It is made complete by a cork-look like reed holder (its actually made out of wood) that matches the colour of the bamboo reeds - very Feng Shui! Cost price? £9-95.
The product comes packaged in a pink tall rectangular with gold writing and the box has a flowery pattern to it making it very professional looking as well as handy for gift considerations. A user booklet is also included showing a few warnings if the reeds are left out of the bottle and the oil can mark painted surfaces or wooden surfaces. Out of the box the bottle is fairly easy to take out and I like the fact that Shearer have added the reeds at the side of the box easy to see & take out from the front due to a view partition. The bottle's release mechanism is far easier than other reed diffusers because the top unscrews to reveal a soft rubber seal that can be picked out using a blunt knife. Then screw the cork-covered holder back into place and simply drop the reeds into the oil. Unlike other reed diffusers I like the fact that the holder can be screwed back on - it keeps everything tight excluding the "free and easy" nature of the reed stems and the thick glass bottle has a good feel as well as a stable flat base, which ensures it is impossible to knock over.
How do reed diffusers work? The way in which bamboo reed stems work is that they suck up the oil that they have been "marinated" in and open up releasing the oil through the natural texture of the bamboo and ripen rooms with releasing fragrance. Once the reeds have dried out at the top, you simply grab them together like straws and reverse them, so that the "wet" ones re-freshen rooms and the dried parts get a new lease of life reviving in the scented oil ready to freshen again. Reeds can be reused time and time again, but sadly I have yet to find any company let alone Shearer who sell reuseable fragrance oils.
So how does it fare? Well the fragrance that emerges from the bottle only takes a couple of minutes to emerge and the first tone that emerges out of the Winter Fig is sweet and positive fig scent but later, inside this scent there is a composition of other fruity tones and spices that I can detect such as blackcurrant and a little pepper but more so once the reed diffuser has been allowed to settle, and with my room door closed over, Winter Fig releases a positive and enlightening array of scent that is good enough to eat! Apples for example are another positive tone that comes off the fragrance, mixed with the tinniest bit of cinnamon, possibly to justify the "Winter," in this product's name. It doesn't take long - less than a minute even - for the reed diffuser to come alive.
However this isn't my first reed diffuser from Shearer. I purchased one as a gift for my mum a couple of months ago with their Vanilla and Coconut scented oil and three months down the line, the bottle is now beginning to fully expire of the oil. I keep the box and the rubber seal though because if my mum doesn't want to smell vanilla and coconut again, the seal can be put back in again, cork holder screwed on and the reeds stuck at the side of the box. All in the name of saving the environment maybe, but at the same time a handy way of keeping the fragrance when not in use - otherwise the oils and the reeds have to be continually used until they run out - and this product will last two to three months on average. One other downside to this oil is that the reeds smell too much of alcohol when smelt closely to the bottle's opening - but in rooms the alcohol smell dissipates easily.
Another downside to this product compared to two other brand products I've recently bought this year is that the Shearer product isn't strong enough to fully freshen a room with massive scent. Sited near my desktop, the Winter Fig allows me to know that its presence is there when all of a sudden I can sense and smell the scent. However when a room door is closed over, not used and say left for a day there is a light and lingering scent in the room but compared to two other brands I've been using from last year purchases, Shearer could up the ante and make the content oil a bit stronger to fully pervade rooms in the home.
Although Shearer Winter Fig doesn't mask tobacco smells - well, it's not supposed to - it does provide rooms with an enlightening and turn of strong seasoned fragrance but in light waves. Out of summer, yet with a lingering reminder of citrus fruits and berries, it is definitely a must for fans of fruits rather than warm spices that Shearer claim this product contains. The spice is there, but it is understated and as the reeds come alive it is evident that Shearer have concentrated hard on trying to evoke the change of season rather than providing something that is too spicy in its backdrop. That may be a downside for some buyers but for the price and its lightness, as we go into the colder months marked by darker nights and possibly changing rough weather, it is a lovely scent to come home to amongst cinnamon and heavy Christmas tainted fragrances everywhere else. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2010
PS: Shearer has started selling some of their ranges at selected Waitrose stores!