A few years ago, I received a lovely Lampe Berger for Christmas.
And I’ve hardly used it. But why?
Over the last few months I’ve been thinking more about how I tend to “save” nice things. What obscure future are they being saved for? And is any future even guaranteed? Well, no, it’s not.
This tendency is actually a fear of lack, not of gratitude for receiving them in the first place. A sense that once items are used, they’ll be gone. However, there is always more, if we trust in and appreciate the abundance of life!
So, I’ve been making a point of using the things I already own.
Which leads me to today, when I realized that my Lampe Berger falls into this category of too-often-unused-luxuries, after being confronted by the wafting odours of drying hockey equipment.
What is a Lampe Berger?
It was in 1898 , that the amazing Lampe Berger story started.
In response to a major preoccupation at that time – a sepsis in hospitals – Maurice Berger, a pharmaceutical dispenser, invented a system of diffusion by catalysis, for which he filed a patent. This revolutionary technology, which purifies the air in enclosed rooms, was soon to be applied for private use , giving birth to the Lampe Berger company.
The little lamp which destroys bad smells saw its apogee during the1930s: fragrance provided the dimension of pleasure; the Lampe Berger became a collector’s item, each lamp being associated with a designer and major manufacturer such as Cristal de Baccarat, Cristalleries de Saint Louis, Emile Gallé, René Lalique, and then the top porcelain producers of the 1950s… Coco Chanel, Jean Cocteau, Colette or Picasso each had their own Lampe Berger.
– Lampe Berger Paris
The fuel is fairly pricey, and it takes a bit of effort to prepare the lamp for burning, but doing so is a kind of ritual that says you care about your home. After a short refresher on how to use it (I’ve included a video version of the instructions below), I was back in business.
Another great thing I discovered today? You can make your own fuel for a Lampe Berger by blending:
- 12 ounces of 90% isopropyl alcohol from the drug store (not 70%), and
- 1/2 teaspoon of a high quality, pure essential oil.
It is important not to add more oil, as it won’t burn as well. And if a lamp is new, it’s a good idea to first season the stone with a bottle of Berger brand fuel. Sites that sell brand name fuel will tell you that this recipe won’t burn properly, but my burner is seasoned, so I’m willing to try it.
It’s exciting to think of the various subtle blends that can be devised using favourite oils. Of course, if someone wants to give me a bottle or two of Berger scent for Christmas, I’ll be happy to burn them as well. Either way, my home will be beautifully scented every day.
And the hockey equipment stench that motivated today’s lamp/life epiphany? Gone. So for that, yeah, I’m pretty grateful.