AWARDS – They come like buses …

Best Creative Business

The week before last we were celebrating Judith’s win at The North East Women Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Awards when she won the Award for Best Creative Business.  Obviously the whole Home Scents team were over the moon, grinning from ear to ear, relishing in her amazing achievement.

Last Thursday at Linden Hall was the ceremony for Northumberland Business Awards and Judith had been short listed for a green business award.  These awards were organised by Northeast Press, publishers of the Northumberland Gazette, Morpeth Herald and News Post Leader, and Tweeddale Press’s Berwick Advertiser.

Judith and Izzy

On Thursday evening Judith attended the ceremony with her gorgeous grand-daughter Izzy and John stayed home to look after mischievous Shaun.

Judith had no idea that she had been entered for Entrepreneur of the Year until her picture appeared on the large screen!

Entrepreneur Of The Year

We are all so pleased for Judith, these awards are so well deserved and it is an excellent way to recognise all the hard work she puts in to her business. Judith is a passionate and  enthusiastic lady who has amazing abilities and vision and she is complimented so well by her husband John – they are a fabulous team.



Exciting Times at Home Scents

We have some excellent news to share with you.  Judith recently entered the North East Women Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Awards and was over the moon to be shortlisted for two awards.

The 13th Annual Awards ceremony took place at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead on Friday evening, Izzy came over not only to help Judith with her nails but also to look after Shaun; so John and Judith donned their glad rags (don’t they scrub up well!)

The Hilton Hotel was among a number of key sponsors for the awards, including UKTI, Barbour, NETPark NET, Darlington Building Society, Spacecraft Events Ltd, North East Social Enterprise Partnership (NESEP) and the Susan Dobson Memorial Fund.

They had a fabulous evening, full of glitz and glamour, some delicious food and then the prestigious Award ceremony began and on to the category of …..

BEST CREATIVE BUSINESS 2012/13 and guess what!

Judith WON!

Many thanks to Bill Allon for the Photograph

I asked Judith how she felt about the award, what it really meant to her and she told me:

“I was overwhelmed and really thrilled on the night as the category “Best Creative business” really re-enforced how we feel about what we do at Home scents and was the one I really wanted to win.

The award really is shared with Donna, Rosie, Claire, Amanda and John who have contributed so much over the past 3 years. Now, I feel uplifted and ready to take on any challenge to take our company to the very top.

These Awards are wonderful, recognising the hard word and efforts, particularly of women here in the North East.”

For my part, I am so happy for Judith and absolutely love being a part of her team. She is one inspirational, hard working lady with great foresight and amazing enthusiasm, this coupled with her marvellous, witty, husband John makes every trip to Hexham for me enjoyable.

Goodies !!!

Well hello there.  A couple of blogs ago we reminded you about one of our “baddies” featured in a previous newsletter and now ….. for one of our “goodies”

Ocimum Basilicum aka  Basil, the French type.

Nothing to do with man who ran a hotel in Torquay so badly.

It is also known as “true sweet basil” and is a tender annual herb with dark green leaves and has a powerful aromatic scent.


Basil, originally from India, some 5000 years ago and is a half-hardy annual plant and is most favoured in Italian cuisine – although it also plays a major role in cuisines of Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

While most common varieties of basil are treated as annuals, some are pereninial in warm, tropical climates, including holy basil and a cultivar known as “African Blue”.

The various basils have such different scents because the herb has a number of different essential oils that come together in different proportions for various breeds. The strong clove scent of sweet basil is derived from eugenol,  the same chemical as actual cloves.

The citrus scent of lemon basil and lime basil reflects their higher portion of citral, which causes this effect in several plants including lemon mint and of limonene, which gives actual lemon peel its scent.

African blue basil has a strong camphor smell because it contains camphor and camphene in higher proportions.

Licorice basil contains anethole, the same chemical that makes anise smell like licorice, and in fact is sometimes called “anise basil.”


And all that from a leaf – I just thought it was nice chopped up in my bolognaise sauce!

To have a Company Motto or not – that is the question

Hi there,

In our most recent newsletter we published our Company Motto.

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

We are strong believers in pushing yourself to achieve your maximum goals and felt that this Motto, though written by someone else not us, is perfect for us.

If you were thinking about having a Company motto or a slogan, a message that sends a message to your customers about your personality, your product, your service, how would you choose?

You could simply write a list of words, keywords, adjectives that best describe your organisation or business, punch them in to google and see what comes up!

I found this video on you tube “speak in slogans” which I love, shows some of the best every used.

We found this fun piece of sofware online that turned our motto in to this – love it

If you have a play with this, we’d love to see the outcome - please feel free to upload your motto images to our Facebook Page we’d love to see them.

Dont forget to read July newsletter and take advantage of our Special Offer – available for another 10 days on Bouquet of Roses Bath and Body Shower Gel -Botanical Shampoo - and for the boys T.N. Men’s Shower & Shampoo

Enjoy and have a fabulous weekend!!

Washing / Laundry tips

Good morning, hope you are well and hoping we all have a much drier weekend.  We have lots of different cleaning tips on our website and today I thought I would hi-light to you some tips when it comes to washing ………….

Cashmere Goats


These days delicate items can be washed by machine on a delicate cool cycle. If you do this then please turn items inside out and place in a Mesh laundry washing bag  and, of course, use Violet’s Magic Laundry Liquid

However, handwashing special items is stressfree for your fabric and can be relaxing for you. Pre-treat any stains by dampening the area and gently patting on a little undiluted Violet’s Delicate Laundry Wash. Allow the time to enjoy caring for your special items.

Half fill a large bowl with warm water, add 1 or 2 capfuls of Violet’s Delicate Laundry Washswish around then add your garment. Gently pat it into the water and gently knead the item in the water taking care not to pull, stretch or wring the fabric.

Leave to soak in its gentle warm bath for 30 mins. Then take the bowl to the sink, pour off the water and add a continual stream of room temperature water, gently patting the garment and tipping out the soapy water and topping up with fresh.

Don’t hurry this process, take care to rinse thoroughly and gently. Do not wring but gently press the water out of the item. Lay a couple of towels on the worksurface and lay out your garment, putting it into its natural shape, then roll up the towels like a swiss roll with your garment inside until the towels have absorbed most of the water. Unroll and if necessary repeat this process with fresh towels until your garment is simply damp, not dripping wet.

Then unroll and lay your garment flat and into its natural shape onto a fresh clean towel on a flat drying rack or if it is not a strechy fabric hang on a coathanger to dry.

All our Laundry products have been developed by us to really look after your fabrics. We know that just putting everything in together with an ordinary powder is not the best way. Some garments and fabrics do need special care to prolong their life and appearance.

Hope this helps. give it a go and let us know what you think!  Don;t forget to like our Facebook page – lots of fun competitions and freebies coming soon. Have a great weekend.


Over the past few months we have hi-lighted some “goodies” and “baddies” in our Home Scents Newsletter.

John Mathias, Home Scents and Baby Scents Team

When I say “we” of course I mean the ever articulate John who writes our Newsletters.  If you haven’t read one before then I say please sign up!  You don’t know what you are missing.  John writes naturally and from the heart and I, although maybe slightly biased, love reading his prose!

Well some time ago, John shared his thoughts with us about Optical Brighteners and incase you missed it, this is what he had to say:

“Optical Brighteners

These are dyes that absorb light in the ultraviolet and violet parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, releasing the light to the blue area — that’s grabbed your attention, I bet!  Don’t nod off just yet, it gets more interesting. Basically, OBs make fabrics, paper, etc look brilliant white, while having little effect on cleanliness. Added to laundry detergents, they make clothes APPEAR cleaner. They have taken the place of the old fashioned “ blu-ing” which did much the same job.

Some of these brighteners can cause allergic reactions on contact with the skin as they are designed to remain in the fabric.

OBs are toxic to fish and cause bacterial mutations; not doing the planet much good, especially as they are slow to degrade.

Also of much concern just now is how much residue they leave in Washable nappies. More and more mothers are reporting leaking and wicking in the nappies when washed in mainstream detergents. The chemicals in these products leave residues that stay on the fabrics, increasing the chances of being absorbed through the skin. Promises of “brighter” “cleaner” “whiter” etc on packets may well point to that packet being full of OBs.

Thankfully, Judith got me out of nappies some time back.

Look on the back label of any of the Supermarket Suspects and you will find a distinct lack of ingredient info. Look on the back of any Home Scents product and you will find every ingredient listed….all Good things, so there!
Optical Brighteners can be found in some cosmetics. When used to wash and condition grey or blonde hair, they help increase the sparkle. They are also used in face powders and eye make-up. “Ugh”, as Tonto said to The Lone Ranger.

As yet, the actual harm they do is not fully understood.

Finally, this report gives a different slant to the problem.
9/4/2007 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska –

“ Laundry additives known as “optical brighteners” should not be used for washing the Airman Battle Uniform.

Laundry instructions for ABUs (Airman Battle Uniform) specify not using any laundry detergents that contain optical brighteners.

Optical Brighteners make the ABU more detectable by night vision equipment and make the ABU more visible in a low-light environment of any kind, by reflecting more of any available light.

Optical brighteners are chemicals that absorb the ultraviolet and violet region of colors in a fabric. They trick the eye into seeing a brighter shade and reflect more light.

Near Infrared (NIR) capability of the ABU is degraded when washed with detergents containing optical brighteners. Because most commercial detergents contain optical brighteners, there is generally no indication on the packaging.
The Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) is the service-distinctive Camouflage Battledress  uniform for the United States Air Force “__

Personally – I think I will stick to Laundry Detergents without Optical Brighteners! I would rather not be covered in a rash and not being picked up by Infrared cameras has surely got to be a benefit – ha ha ha

Take a look at our Violets Range – no Optical Brighteners will be found there :-)