I am embarrassed to admit something about the back story to this product review. Initially, the Kinin company contacted me, and asked if I would be interested in reviewing their aromatherapy pens. I thought they meant writing pens that contain essential oils. So, you know, you're sitting at your desk working, or writing out your to do list or grocery list and relaxing with a lil' aromatherapy. Um, no, they meant pens like a vaping type device that you inhale. Oh, that kind of pen! 😜
I was a little suspicious since vaping is not really my thing, um, at all. I even contacted them just to confirm there is no tobacco or nicotine or anything in them. They assured me that there is none. The pens contain safe, organic, essential oils that the pen simply vaporizes and you do, indeed, inhale.
As you know, I am very scent-ual...as in, I love perfumes, and scented products! Though I would not say I regularly practice 'aromatherapy', I do see its value. Even research has supported the link between certain scents and our moods. Things like peppermint and citrus can invigorate, while lavender can enhance relaxation. In fact, I keep lavender essential oil at my counselling office and sometimes sprinkle a few drops around because of its therapeutic benefits.
Anyways, back to Kinin.
The company sent me a selection of their pens:
1. Focus - Nootropics, Cinnamon, Tangerine
2. Relax - Kava Kava, Valerian, Copaiba
3. Recover - Eucalyptus, Peppermint Clary Sage
Apparently these products are generally safe for everyone though their website warns:
We recommend that women who are pregnant or nursing, or people who have specific allergic reactions to any of our listed ingredients avoid our products. There is no age requirement, but if you’re under 18, you should check with your parents.
I had never heard of nootropic before but apparently it is a general term for cognitive enhancer, which could mean anything from caffeine to ginko biloba to prescription drugs. The fact that they don't give any more info about this ingredient is a bit worrisome to me.
Copaiba is another plant derived stimulant.
Apparently clari sage has a myriad of benefits including anti-depressant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, blood pressure lowering, anti-anxiety, and ability to improve mental function. Not a ton of scientific research to back this up, however.
I found all of them pleasant smelling. I would describe the physical experience when you inhale as similar to when you first pop a piece of strong minty gum into your mouth and you get that cold, fresh burst.
My first thought is that this might be a good replacement activity for people trying to quit vaping or smoking. You get the same action with your hands and mouth, and none of the detrimental health effects.
Does it work? Who the heck knows. I suspect it works if you believe it does. But hey, even placebo effect is real.
Do I recommend them? If you believe in the benefits of aromatherapy and essential oils, or are looking to quit smoking/vaping or for healthier ways to get a boost (instead of sugar, coffee, weed, etc.) than absolutely. It is kind of a cool concept. Its also good as an aromatherapy-on-the-go tool, though you might get strange looks if you pull it out on the subway and start inhaling from it.
The pens are $22 USD, and for $45 they are coming out with a refillable/reusable one.
Disclosure: The company sent me the pens but all opinions on this blog are my own.