As someone who writes about food, I obviously cook, a lot. And one of the hazards of the job can be that my house is often filled with a bunch of different smells if I am cooking multiple dishes at once. I’m often cooking things in the slow cooker overnight. And I mean, let’s face it, living in Canada means that for many months of the year, I can’t just open to window to freshen up the house and rid my kitchen of that fishy or bacon-y smell (although some might argue that smelling like bacon might be a good thing!). So you have the problem of how to get rid of the cooking smells and, in my case, that means, how to get rid of them without filling the house with a strong perfume which I don’t like either.
I am not a huge fan of scented candles (especially with a cat in the house who might just knock them over) and regular spray air fresheners and those plug-in type affairs are too strong for me (and often simply mask the smells, not neutralize them) so I was extremely interested when I was offered a Lampe Berger to try out. I know about the Lampe Berger from living in Europe and I remember even from years ago that the perfumes are subtle and that they really do work to neuralize, rather than mask cooking smells. Not familiar with the Lampe Berger? Developed in France in 1898 in response to a major preoccupation of the time – sepsis in hospitals – by Maurice Berger, a pharmaceutical dispenser, this is a system of scent diffusion which purifies the air in enclosed rooms. This was quickly adopted for use in private homes, giving birth to the Lampe Berger company.
Very popular in the 1930s, the Lampe Berger quickly became a collector’s item, each lamp being associated with a famous name designer such as Cristal de Baccarat or René Lalique. Coco Chanel, Jean Cocteau, Colette and Picasso each had a Lampe named for them. Today, there are over 5 million litres of fragrances and 800,000 lamps sold every year around the world and Lampe Berger is distributed in 56 countries.
So, how does it work, exactly?
It’s easy! Simply fill your lamp with your fragrance (or non-fragrance) of choice. If it’s your first time using the lamp, wait 20 minutes while the wick soaks in the liquid. Light the lamp and allow the flame to burn for 2 minutes, then blow it out and replace the decorative cap. You should allow 20 minutes of “burn time” for each 8 metres squared you are treating. When you are finished, simple replace the stopper. No mess, no fuss.
Apart from looking pretty stylish (there are 80 different lamp styles!), the Lampes come with a variety of over 40 fragrances, including the one I most wanted to try out – Neutral. This is a “non fragrance” which deodorises and purifies the air but does not release any fragrance. It can also be used to dilute other fragrances to control their intensity and when used in between 2 fragrances, it will optimise the functioning of the oil burner, cleaning it and therefore increasing its lifespan.
I’ve tried out the Lampe and the “Neutral” oil during and after cooking three pretty strong smelling foods – fish, lamb and bacon – and have been pretty impressed at how it was able to diminish the smell of these foods once I had finished cooking. It doesn’t completely take away the smells (which I like – I like to smell the food I am cooking when I am cooking it!) and it even has a tiny scent of its own – hard to describe but it’s there briefly when the Lampe is lit. It does a great job of making sure smells don’t linger long after you’ve enjoyed your meal which is perfect for those of us who cook in cold climates that don’t always allow us to open windows when we are cooking! I love that the Lampe is so very compact and fuss, mess and flame-free too! I haven’t tried out any of the scents to be honest because they are not my thing, but I am loving the Neutral!
Win a Lampe Berger prize pack ($200 value) – Canada only
That’s right – thanks to the kind folks at Lampe Berger Canada, I have one prize pack valued at $200 to give away to one lucky reader in Canada. The prize pack contains 1 x LONDON (white) lamp, 2 x trio packs (3x180ml) and 1 x 500ml neutral oil.
1. Leave a comment below telling me what’s the one food/ cooking smell you have a hard time getting rid of.
2. For a bonus entry, tweet the following message:
Enter to win a @LampeBerger_CAN prize pack from @eatlivtravwrite ! Details: http://bit.ly/1BbS0QI #lampeberger
Then come back to leave me a comment telling me you did.
Eligibility and contest rules
- Open to to Canadian residents only.
- No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
- Winner will be chosen using Random.org from all qualified entries on Tuesday December 9th 2014 after 6pm EST.
- Winner will be contacted via email on Wednesday December 10th 2014 and will have 48 hours to respond.
Disclosure: Lampe Berger Canada provided me with a lamp and some oils for review purposes. I was not compensated for writing this post and all opinions are my own.