Frequently Asked Questions

Why cater to our sense of smell?
Our sense of smell is often ignored or taken for granted.  In a questionnaire study designed by Paul Rozin at the University of Pennsylvania, it was found that when asked to rank the value of losing various physical attributes, the sense of smell was at the bottom. People ranked the loss of their big toe as equivalent to losing their sense of smell.  (Source: Rachel Herz, The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell. New York: HarperCollins. 2007).

 Despite the lack of importance we give it, our sense of smell plays a large role in many aspects of our lives because it is inextricably linked to our memories and emotions.  Increasingly, olfactory researchers are publishing studies on the impact of exposure to certain aromas and how we can use aromas to trigger memories, alter mood, enhance performance, and improve our health.  By becoming more aware of how specific odors affect you personally, you may be able to enhance, improve and deepen your sense of well-being.

What do you mean by Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy can be generally described as the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being by altering a person's mind, mood, cognitive function, or health.  There are of course differing views on aromatherapy, specifically with regards to the validity of its claims.  While some believe that particular plant extracts have intrinsic and universal effects (lavender is calming, for example), others believe that we are impacted in a particular way by an aroma because we have developed a learned association with that aroma.  At Gridley's, we believe that scent preferences are very personal and unique to each individual.  By aroma”therapy” we mean that the smelling of aromas found to be pleasing can have helpful effects on a person and their sense of well-being.  We are not certified aromatherapists prescribing specific essential oils for specific ailments.  Additionally, aromatherapy is restricted to the effects of natural essential oils.  We believe that the impacts of aroma can be obtained through exposure to fragrances as well.

 In what ways can I use your products?

It is our belief that by increasing your awareness of your sense of smell and incorporating practices into your daily life, that you can enrich and deepen your life experiences through aroma.  Here are some ways:
  • Lift your spirits with our body-care products in fragrances you find pleasing – When we feel happy, we act happy.  This can include being more tolerant, attentive, creative, inclined to help others, and improved pain tolerance.
  • Practice Self-Care – Stress and anxiety overwhelming you?  Having trouble sleeping? We carry many different scents. Find the one that you experience as calming (It’s cheaper and more convenient than going to a spa!).
  • Recreate positive feelings – Known as odor-emotional conditioning, we can expose ourselves to aromas and learn to associate them with particular emotions.  Later, exposure to the same scent reproduces the emotion, ie feeling intellectually competent.
  • Create the perfect ambiance – Whether you are throwing a lively party or planning the perfect romantic evening, in addition to selecting appropriate music, scenting the room can be a great way to set the mood!
  • Enhance your memories – Ever encounter a particular smell and instantly experience vivid, emotionally-rich memories? Now you can create those memories.  Select a fragrance for your wedding, a special gathering or that trip you’re about to take.  For years to come, you can remember those special times with just a whiff.  You can also try this when studying for a test to help you remember information.
  • Make an impression – Select body-care products in a unique fragrances that make you feel good.  When you feel good about yourself, you are more likely to be positively remembered by those you encounter.  A pleasent yet unusual aroma will also make you more memorable.
  • Improve performance – Studies show that inhaling aromas that we find stimulating can enhance our performance at physical activities.
  • Avoid the sweets! – Studies also show that smelling a sweet fragrance such as vanilla after a meal can replace the pleasure of eating sweets.
  • Unscented products – Looking for soap and other personal care products sans scent? We have those too!
Why use handmade soap?
Many of the products that you see in the soap section of the grocery store are not really soap at all.  Commercial “soaps” are often petroleum-based and made with chemicals and detergents which are much harsher than soap.  Take a look and you will see that many contain labels like  “beauty bar” or “deodorant bar”, for example.  Since they don’t contain soap, they cannot be labelled as such.
Handmade soap, on the other hand, is made from natural oils (such as vegetable, coconut and palm) and is a gentle cleansing product more appropriate for use on skin and much more mild than detergents.  Handmade soap also contains glycerin, a natural by-product of the soapmaking process that is wonderful for your skin!  Commercial soap manufacturers extract the glycerin for use in their more profitable products such as creams and lotions.   That is why skin can feel dry and itchy after using them, coincidentally prompting you to buy those creams and lotions.
When properly made, handmade soaps contain both soap and moisture-rich glycerin.  They are better for you and the environment.
How is handcrafted soap made?
Gridley's makes soap using the cold process method. Cold process soap-making involves working with oils and mixing them with sodium hydroxide (more commonly known as “lye”) and distilled water. Soap is created when the oils are blended with the sodium hydroxide/water mixture. As the two are stirred together, a chemical reaction called saponification begins in which all the ingredients are turned into soap. We then add our fragrances, additives, and colourants (depending on the batch) and pour the mixture into molds. One to two days later, the soap is taken out of the molds, and cut into bars. Three weeks later - and voila! You've got soap! A properly made bar has no free lye in it, and is gentle and cleansing.
How long do your products last?
This depends on a number of variables including how often you use the product and how well you take care of/store it.  
An unused bar of soap has an indefinite shelf life.  Over time, the colour will change and the fragrance will fade but it will still provide a lather and clean you.  In order to make your soaps last longer while in use, remember to store them in a proper soap dish or holder that provides for good drainage, and keep dry as possible and out of damp locations.  Exposure to air will also aid in lengthening the life of your soap.  
For all other products, we recommend that you keep in them in a cool, dry location and use them within twelve months of purchase.
Why do some of your products use natural ingredients such as essential oils while others contain fragrance oils and/or cosmetic grade colourants?
Gridley’s endeavours to offer a variety of products to meet the differing needs of our customers.  We carry completely unscented products for those who prefer pure soap/products, naturally scented/coloured products for those who prefer 100% natural, and products in a variety of fragrances, or containing FD&C/D&C Dye(s) for those who prefer the variety this provides and who do not have concerns about these ingredients.  In all cases, Gridley’s is committed to being mindful of the ingredients we use with an interest in choosing non-harmful, ethically produced ingredients.  If you have any helpful information, questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.