Does the term beautifully packaged have to be an oxymoron?
I don't think so.
Case in point...
(Ooh don't you just love an LA Law style opening to a blog - sorry!)
Aesop products - plastic yes - but with screw top lids so the bottles can be used again*
Seraphic "old world apothecary style" design, fabulous range & typography that is heaven sent.
Miesna Ceylon Teas in little wooden boxes. Not only a pleasure to look at but all the boxes are the same size so they stack perfectly. I finished this tea ages ago and now the box houses some of my craft paraphernalia.
I just have to look at this cutie tea party and I'm smiling.
(From: Sri Lanka)
Henry Langdon Chili Cocoa Powder. The photo does not do the artwork justice. Paper is removable so you can relabel the tin if you wish. The ingredients are clearly listed - bonus they're all natural!
Hint Mints. I'm not even gonna prattle on here! Just visit the website and read all about them - ethical, yummy, cool, pocket sized...oops I'm prattling. Ok just one more thing - the tin is perfect for keeping bobby pins tidy in your bag thereby eliminating the ever present danger of bobby pin piercing and/or handbag lining perforation - a real issue peoples!
Voluspa candles - a little glass jar of bliss.
Pricey but worth it since the whole promise of burning time, less smoking and long lasting fragrance IS actually kept here. My sister gave me this one for my birthday and once the candle burns away I plan to use this little ceramic darling to plant a small succulent or some such!
Tokyo Milk Soaps - paper that can of course be recycled - or framed!! Now I love me a great triple milled soap and if it comes wrapped in a small artistic masterpiece well then you've got my attention. As with the box of tea I seem to be a sucker for anything that looks like Mr Darcy might be wooing Miss Bennet (??)
Speaking of soaps. Glasshouse Fragrances wrap their soaps in paper too - funky patterned paper with loads of choices, like seriously LOADS of choices. I love giving these to people as gifts even of they do not use soap for bathing... I suggest they place them in a drawer or cupboard for an olfactory thrill!
Like I said - I'm a sucker for triple milled, fragrant, carved loveliness! Look at this little guy?
When I spotted him I said "Right - you have to live with me and all my other.. um... soaps"
Does that sound crazy? Actually I really do USE these soaps - but some are just so darn cute that I find it a tad difficult to drown them. Humanising soap - a new psychological disorder (red face)
(Banks & Noble - from Australia)
And if I can love a critter on a bar of soap imagine how attached I can get to Mr Lellyphant on a Williamson Tea tin (soap, tea, soap, tea... is there a rehab clinic for this kind of addiction?)
He now lives at my study desk housing my miniature wooden clothes pegs - you know just in case the Lilliputians drop by and need to do some washing?
And last, but certainly not least - Badger Balms.
Certified Organic (tick) Reusable tins (tick) Assorted choices, scents and sizes (tick)
Heart melting, fur clad face... TICK!
How in heavens name can one resist?
So you see even though packaging can be a dirty word - it does not have to be.
Maybe we have to save up to buy them (yes these products are definitely pricier than your average supermarket equivalent) but I see it as a sort of "four for the price of two deal" - twice as expensive, but four times the value - quality, function, form, ethical and aesthetic - that's five actually!
And just to clarify - I do not receive any kick backs for endorsing any of these lovelies.
But if I could, I so shamelessly would!
PS - *I re-use these bottles to store my "cleaning concoctions" in. My favourite is:
3 parts distilled water, 1 part Vodka and half a part of water soluble essential oil.
Here in Oz we have Lavender, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus available in this form. You can use regular E.Oils - just shake the bottle before using. Smells deeeeeevine!