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AROMATHERAPY DIFFUSER: ESSIO IS THE ESSENCE OF GIFT-WORTHY COMFORT

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The angst of the holiday season leads many to road rage, acts of wanton gluttony (I ask you: does the world really need FREE Mexican S'Mores at El Pollo Loco?), or just rolling up in a fetal position, whimpering softly over a photo of Daniel Tosh. Me, my therapeutic needs are simple. I hit the showers, then hit the (flannel) sheets.

Now, at last, it's here: the device which turns my shower into the ultimate aromatherapy diffuser.

It's a patented new design from Santa Monica-based lifestyle innovations brand, ESSIO. This cool, sort of Japanese-Nordic looking device accomplishes what centuries of aromatherapists could not. It delivers 100% USDA organic essential oils into the warm downpour of my home shower, making my watery sanctuary the world's best aromatherapy diffuser.

I've always loved botanical aromatics. And I'm one of those people who actually enjoys being drenched in gallons of fragrant oils-- some of my most blissed-out moments left me glistening like a well-pummelled leg of lamb on the rack, gleaming with rosemary-scented grease.

Most people I know do not like this sensation, which, by the way, ESSIO does not deliver. But until now, coating yourself with a silky, slippery skin of essential oil-- either on a massage table or in your bathtub, has been the only way to introduce aromatherapy into a body / bath experience. Floating a slick of oil on the surface of the bathwater leaves a sweet slime behind, something else ESSIO does not do.

The other alternative until now has been to place an aromatherapy cake or bomb on the floor of your shower. This makes no sense. Those solid aromatherapy products are made for dissolving in a warm tub, so the intermittent water-drops from the shower do not release the magic.

ESSIO has blended six original signature formulas, and packaged them in (cute!) lil brightly colored pods which have a porous tip, sort of like a magic marker. The pod snaps into a white resin armature which clips onto the shower pipe. When steam and water pass over the porous tip, the pod releases its bouquet of organic essential oils. Thus, your shower has become a spa-like aromatherapy diffuser.

I've only tested three of the blends, which are packaged at part of the ESSIO Aromatherapy Starter Kit, a real steal for under $50. The perfect holiday gift, especially because men like it, too. The blend-aromas are subtle, and vanish into thin air once you towel off, so a guy doesn't need to worry about coming off girly in the olfactory sense. And, the ESSIO oil blend is so microfine that it doesn't slime your hair. Very, very, very, cool.

Of the three ESSIO blends in my Aromatherapy Starter Kit, my fave so far is Passion, in its romantic-red pod. The blend of gorgeous Rose Maroc oil with a whiff of trippy, spicy San Francisco-style Patchouli is brightened by a zing of astringent Mandarin Orange, so the whole shebang doesn't get too morose and sodden and clingy. So key this time of year, don't you think? Almost everyone I know is hooked-up for the holidays, but we all know it will be over by Valentine's Day, so the guy doesn't feel pressured to use the "L" word, GOD FORBID.

Back to turning your shower into an aromatherapy diffuser. You can change the pods in a snap, no tools needed. Each of the six blends was created for different moods and times-- there's one for energy-boost, one for sleep, etc. And you can purchase replacement packs of your favorite blend!

Back to the gifting: you have to order ESSIO your before December 17 to guarantee Xmas delivery. I suggest that you order TODAY since you seem to be all stressed and nervous and jerky, racing around to every mall and galleria in town looking for the perfect something for that someone who already seems to have everything (but definitely still expects an epically rad gift this holiday season).

VICTORIA THOMAS

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