To kick 2019 off with a bang we decided to do something outrageous. Refill your little essential oil bottles. We weren’t sure how exactly to do this so we teamed up with Zurma Botanical Oils and came up with a plan, slept on it and made it happen.

Throwing out those pesky little bottles always irked us a little on the inside – so much design and material in one small glass bottle – and they’re expensive too, what a waste to throw it away! The culture of reuse is far more practical than recycling in our opinion and because we use our local company Zurma for our supplies we can now bring those local benefits to you.

So, here’s what you need to know:

  • Bring your botte in to the Apothecary (open 7 days a week) at the Tannery, and ask us to refill it. Its that simple!
  • You don’t need to wash your bottle, but we do need to refill it with the same oil, because the residue is hard to get off the dripolator and lid, and the label is already on the bottle. You don’t need to wash it, in fact we prefer you don’t wash it because the water may contaminate it. If you are like me, when I get to the end of the bottle I remove the dripolator and empty the last drops into my diffuser and pop that dripolator and lid back on. All you need to do next is put that baby in your handbag and next time you come in we can refill it.
  • Save money and resources. Cost is about 1/2 to 2/3 depending on the oil so expect a massive price dip from when you first bought it.
  • We accept bottles from any brand so long as we refill it with the same oil that has been in it.
  • The only thing you may want to do initially is call us first to see that we have that oil you need available for refilling. We are taking several months (from March ’19) to build our own refill station up so we ask for patience but also, when you call and ask if we have it in, we will make your oil a priority for that weeks orders.
  • The only other thing we prefer is that the bottles aren’t too old, some oils can oxidise and this would contaminate the new oil going into the bottle. If in doubt, sniff your essential oil bottle and if it smells ‘not quite right’ or ‘not quite the same’ then it can go into the recycling. Citrus oils like orange, lime and lemon are the type to go off the most often.

There are some oils we won’t be able to refill simply because they are too resinous or thick. This includes the following: Vetiver, Myrrh, Sandalwood, Patchouli & Vanilla. However you can order in larger quantities if you wish. 

Oils we have on-hand to refill so far:


  • Lavender organic & NZ; Eucalyptus; Peppermint; Tea tree; Frankincense serrata; Frankincense sacra, Citronella,


  • Oregano; Rosemary, Aniseed, Manuka


  • Orange sweet; Lemon; Lemongrass; Grapefruit; Mandarin; Bergamont


  • Rose 5%; Neroli 5%; Jasmine 5%; Geranium; Rose Geranium; Ylangylang, Clary sage


  • Cinnamon cassia, Clove bud


  • Cedarwood, Cinnamon

Zurma Blends:

  • Balanced woman, Candy fruit, Citrus burst, Dusky Rose, Happy, Joy, Positive, Reminisce, Rest & Recovery, Sleep & Reboot, Soul food, Thieves oil; Uplifting, Wise Woman


  • Rosewater; Lavender water; Orange Blossom, Witchazel; The Apothecary Room Spray

Oils: Argan oil organic, Almond oil, Avocado oil organic, Sesame oil, Jojoba oil organic, Castor oil, Rosehip oil

Skincare essentials: Aloe vera gel, Castile soap

UPDATED: February 2020

Please request the ones you would like us to have in store for you  – we keep adding to it weekly.

So team #Woolston #Christchurch and #Sustainability we will see you soon!


Simone Reddington is the founder of the Apothecary, a Medical Herbalist and thinker. She holds a degree in Psychology and is a professional member of the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists.