Concepts | Aromatherapy and the power of smell

Our sense of smell is, for most people, the strongest of the five senses, and our noses are at their very best when it comes to triggering memories. We all remember by looking at old photographs, we reminisce by listening to music from our childhood or by eating something that we first tasted on a particularly good holiday many moons ago. Our sense of smell however, is miles ahead of our other senses when it comes to evoking memories. The smell of your dad’s cigars, the smell of baking coming from your grandma’s kitchen, remembering school sports day the moment you smell freshly cut grass, the perfume that your favourite aunt used to wear when she got dressed up to the nines on a Saturday night. Aroma plays a large part in our well-being. Aromatherapy and using smells for therapeutic benefit have been used for centuries because our olfactory nerves link directly to the brain. This is why it is important to treat our sense of smell with the respect that it deserves.

As well as triggering memories, smells can vastly affect our mood. Fragrances can make us feel relaxed, calm, happy, centred, energetic, nostalgic, creative, festive and even sleepy. Scents such as bergamot can cancel out disproportionate emotions and help us to feel content and stable. The delicate scent of Ylang Yang can boost the immune system and when used in skin care it can be anti aging. Frankincense can aid digestion and clary sage can help with anxiety and mood swings and lavender is infamous in its ability to make us relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep. There are many other scents that can help with our physical and mental well-being, take a look.

Here at Reste, we fully appreciate the power of smell and all of our essential oils, soaps, candles, facial oils and incense sticks are completely natural so as not to remove any of the valuable properties with artificial fragrances. Aromatherapy can come in many different guises: use essential oils in a burner, pop a couple of drops into your bath water or add them to a carrier oil and use in massage. Sit down with a good book while some of our wax melts or scented candles enhance your relaxation.

Your sense of smell is a vital part of your well-being, treat it kindly.

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Concepts | Boro, the Japanese art of mending

boro boro stitching

"Boro" is the Japanese word for a type of repairing and mending clothes and bedlinen by careful stitching and patching, which in truth follows much of the British wartime tradition of ‘make do and mend'. But the Japanese word for a similar technique has perhaps come to greater prominence as it does without the dour and joyless connotations, deriving from the more positive sense of ‘mottainai’ or ‘too good to waste’.To modern eyes Boro mending also has an esoteric cultural appeal through a sense of a Japanese attention to detail, expressed through precise technique in the meticulous handling of stitches, pattern and colour.

In the same way as the British mending tradition, it came to the fore during and immediately after WW2 out of pure necessity as a way to preserve and extend the life of clothing and other items, caused by the severe shortages of rationing and general poverty. The repair work often uses a method of stitched mending called "Sashiko" meaning "little stabs" or "little pierce", which has existed in Japan for many centuries.


In some especially sought after examples, a boro garment with multi-layered sashiko stitching might have been handed down over many generations, eventually resembling a mosaic of mending made decades apart.

In the west today, as we become ever more our throw-away society piles more pressure on the planet, through over-production and the despoliation caused by plastic waste, a new yearning has perhaps emerged for a return to humble and sincere forms of recycling through re-use, and to a renewed appreciation in the beauty of good mending.

Modern ideas such as "mindfulness" have also renewed interest in this type of stitch work and embroidery, as the necessary patience, application and contemplation can open up an interesting emotional or spiritual dimension to the process

Further adding to its modern appeal is the indigo colour of many items, a result of the dye often used to bring uniformity to the layers of patchwork. This eventually lead to an association with denim and jeans, as the international work-wear uniform arrived in the 1950's from American servicemen and women stationed there.

Perhaps Boro teaches us that time spent mending what we already own has a value equal to or over the money spent on new, and that the evidence of such quiet practicality can also be worn as an artform itself.

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Concepts | Hygge

hygge-resteProducts: Stumpie beeswax candleOjo De Dios blanket

Hygge has become the go to concept for marketing executives this winter. Perhaps with such global instability, it is no mystery why this Danish word has become foremost in people's minds. The irony is that hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. The idea that real wealth is not what we can accumulate but what we have to share.

So what is Hygge? "Hygge has been translated as everything from 'the art of creating intimacy' to 'cosiness of the soul' to 'taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things'," claims Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book Of Hygge. Pronounced Hue-gah, hygge is about being, not having.

Our philosophy at reste is to live simply, to buy less and buy better. We work alongside artisans and makers who contribute to a simpler life through design, function and sustainability. We believe that by filling your home with tools you cherish and allowing their stories to integrate into your every day, you can live a more hyggeligt life.

Louisa Thomsen Brits says in The Book of Hygge "If we consider and care for each object that we keep, we become producers of meaning rather than consumers of goods.

"When we use a simple, handmade item, there is an interplay that takes place between the object and our own emotions and state of mind. We encounter the possibility of simplicity in ourselves in what we hold in our hands. And we touch the life of the maker."

It is clear that we cannot buy our way to a more hyggeligt life but by choosing handmade and well crafted things we can definitely evoke Hygge.

As British designer, Ilse Crawford says, "Craft makes our homes more human."

hygge6Products: Ojo De Dios blanket
hygge-reste-compPhoto: Audrie Storme;
hygge6Photo: Fernando Morrisoniesko
hygge-6Photo: The Healthy Chef
Products: Open weave wool blanket
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