Situated on the South West Highway in the pretty hamlet of Balingup, the bold brick-red shop frontage of Tinderbox Herbals is hard to miss. One of Australia's best-known herbal companies, Tinderbox was established in 1982 and continues to go from strength to strength, creating and purveying a bedazzling range of exquisite potions ranging from herbal teas and essential oils to sensual fragrances, healing balms, and even aphrodisiacs.
While some people may question the wisdom of setting up business in a tiny little town in Western Australia's south-west, this certainly has never been an obstacle in making Tinderbox the household name it is today. The shop's bright-coloured exterior make it difficult to miss from the road, while inside it's a herbal-scented sanctuary of earthy tranquillity, adorned with rustic bush furniture, a cosy wood-burning stove, decorative iron candelabras and local artworks. It's unique ambiance certainly attracts customers, and when I last visited, on a Saturday during the Easter long weekend, the shop was pumping with visitors, many of them with arms laden full of herbal delights.
Amongst Australia's herbal companies Tinderbox is one-of-a-kind, in the sheer quantity and variety of products it sells. However, although it sells to a ever-expanding number of customers, both within Australia and overseas, it still manages to maintain its humble, almost hippyish small business vibe: something that many of its regular customers always find endearing.
Tinderbox's products are many and varied. Amongst the first that I sampled many years ago were their herbal ointments, and their antiseptic tea tree balm, healing calendula balm and special healer's ointment have been an integral part of my family's first-aid kit ever since. Other ointments which are a popular in this part of the Tinderbox range include the Funga-fight balm (great for taking on holidays to tropical Bali), Breathe Easy Chest Rub, Lavender Balm, Witchazel Ointment and a beautifully soothing natural lip salve.
There are also gorgeous natural body, hair and personal care ranges, as well as bathing oils and salts, herbal tinctures, oil infusions, exquisite perfumes from pure essential oils, chakra-empowering fragrances, hand-rolled incense, massage oils and home accessories. Also becoming increasingly popular are the yummy Tinderbox elixirs, brews and blends including Dandelion Coffee, Fruity Ginseng Refresher, Plant Power Superfood Smoothie Blend, Rooibos Chai Herbal Brew and Cacao Maca Chai Herbal Brew as well as a comprehensive range of almost twenty herbal tea blends. If this wasn't enough, there is also a range of pure aromatherapy oils, something for the family pet (with the Cheeky Dogs range), a mind-boggling assortment of divine gift sets and much, much more. If the infinite array of gorgeous, heavenly-scented goodies makes it too difficult to concentrate on what gift to get for a dear friend, it's also possible to purchase gift vouchers so they can decide for themselves.
Although Tinderbox is situated far away from most major population centres, fortunately its products are sold in many health food shops throughout Australia and beyond. Alternatively, if you would like access to the full range of products, regardless of where you reside, why not go to the Tinderbox website and purchase from them directly? However, if you live in Western Australia's south-west or are passing through, be sure to drop in and check out their latest range of beautiful herbal wares. Balingup is situated on the South West Highway, approximately 241 kilometres south of Perth and 62 kilometres from Bunbury.
To learn more about Tinderbox and their fabulous range of products, or to make an order, check out the Tinderbox website.
Address: South West Highway, Balingup, Western Australia, 6253