After a break of ummm…..4 months….I am back to my blog and inspired with the newish direction I plan to take.  So while the look of my blog will remain the same (relaxed, coastal, Scandi, rustic), what I choose to write about has shifted…

I’ve long had a strong interest in natural products, organic food, fair trade, and in supporting smaller, local businesses.  In recent years there has been a noticeable shift in awareness of these issues, as concern for the state of our planet and our wellbeing increases.

Design has also been a big part of my life; I studied fashion design, but ended up working in visual display and interior design, so I appreciate well-designed interiors, products and images.  In my blog I now hope to connect these two areas of my life as I explore ways to create a home and lifestyle with a planet-friendly, sustainable focus.  I hope you’ll join me….


Here in New Zealand it’s summer right now, and the flies have been relentless.  After putting up with this for weeks – refusing to resort to the usual chemical-laden sprays – I’ve come across this gorgeously presented, natural product from Japan.  (Now available in NZ.)  All products in the range are based on Camphor wood and pure essential camphor oil.  While I love the earthy smell, similar to Eucalyptus, insects don’t!  (Mosquitos, flies and moths are some of the insects mentioned on their website).  Other uses for camphor oil are as a decongestant, an anti-inflammatory, and in cleaning products.

Most importantly however, I was keen to rid my house of flies!  I bought a set containing four little blocks and a bottle of oil.  While the camphor wood obviously contains the oil naturally, for a more powerful effect, I simply drop additional oil onto the blocks.

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Now I haven’t had the total elimination of flies as hoped, but there’s been a big reduction.  I’ve found that by putting blocks in strategic spots around my kitchen/dining room and office space, the effects have been really quite good.


Cooking time obviously attracts more flies than usual, so I’ve dropped camphor oil into my diffuser and switched this on while making dinner, and that’s made a difference.  (With the added benefit of creating a calming pre-dinner space!)  Obviously little things like removing food scraps quickly helps too.

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KUSU HANDMADE claim to only use waste product from the edges of the camphor tree, once it has been cut and used for various timber products.  They only source from trees logged in forest maintenance.


I’ve read that basil, bay leaf, lavender and mint are effective fly-dettering herbs.  I have been adding lavender essential oil to my diffuser, but have all these herbs in the garden (and many of you will too).  Apparently fresh and dried work well.

Wishing you luck in reducing fly numbers in your home this Summer!  I’d love to hear if you’ve had success with any other natural remedies?

Till next week,


Please subscribe to my blog if you wish to be kept in the loop about creating a natural home and lifestyle, written in my home by sea in Auckland, New Zealand.







Author: The Coastal Creative

Living close to the beach encourages a relaxed way of living and this influences my work as an interior designer. I am drawn to the eclectic, faded colours, rustic timber, the imperfection of things hand made, and objects that tell a story.

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