Sunday, August 15, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, I made a visit to a really cool company in Auburn, Maine called Paine Balsam Products. What an awesome place to visit and to work.
Do you know what balsam is? It is a lovely smelling scent, often called a pine scent. This balsam scent comes from the balsam fir tree which is an evergreen that is found throughout the northern forests, especially in Maine! Many Christmas wreaths are made from these fragrant tips. The folks at Paine Products, take these dried branch tips and put them into beautifully scented pillows and incense logs.
In fact, they use 4,000 to 5,000 pounds of these dried tips every week! Local loggers and tree farmers bring in their remaining tips from their operations and these are recycled into pillows and incense sticks. When the tips are received, they grind them down and put them in the pillows and they make the most aromatic smell! The leftover sawdust is used to create the infamous scented sticks that can be burned in the log cabins incense holders. Many people remember these log cabins from long ago.
The company was started in 1931 by Elliot Paine. In the 1940s, the Wentworth family purchased the business and owned through two generations of the family until 1988 when a fire destroyed the entire business. Fran Wentworth, owner at the time of the fire, at age 72, decided she did not want to rebuild the business. Guy Vigue, having retired the previously year, decided he wanted to purchase the rights to the business. He and a couple other friends rebuilt the business in 1989.
Soon after, Guy bought out his two partners and with his sons and daughter rebuilt the business to where it is today. Current owners, John and David Vigue and Anne Vigue Loomis, have plans to continue with growth and keep it as a family business long into the future.
Fans send mail often talking about remembering how their grandmother used to have one of those famous log cabins with the incense sticks always burning. They receive much thanks and praise for keeping the business thriving. You can see one of those famous log cabin burners here.
It is one of the only natural, non-oil based, incense that is on the market today. And just think, it is made right here in the Maine woods where the moose roam and help the balsam trees grow! These incense and gifts date all the way back to the Native Americans. Balsam has been a sign of friendship for hundreds of years.
So, my visit was not only fun but also very informational. I know when I walk through the woods now I will look at the trees all a little bit differently. You should try some of those balsam pillows or the incense sticks. Bring that sweet, woodsy scent into your home. Check out all the balsam pillows here at Mooseville or even visit Paine Products website here! See more pictures of my visit at the Mooseville Facebook page here!