LIFE | Scarlet Delivery, periods, and my first ever cup of tea

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Periods. Lots of people experience them, although it seems in my age group that’s decreasing as IUDs become more popular. Not a lot of people love them, unless they’re having a pregnancy scare moment. Not a lot of people like talking about them either, which is weird. In high school, my friends and I had an elaborate system of codes we’d use to let each other know we needed a tampon or pad (more on that shortly).

Ages back I wrote about wanting to be more open about stuff like this on Hyacinth Girl, and Hannah got in touch to let me know she was launching Scarlet Delivery. It’s a subscription box service for sanitary-related supplies, and today I’ll show you what’s inside.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this much before, but I suffer from terrible migraines. I also suffer from terrible period pain (like, days off work or school, vomiting from the pain type pain). In an attempt to manage both these things I’ve been on and off various hormonal birth control over the past twelve years. At present I’m on a progesterone-only pill that has seen my periods gradually peter out. This is great for the period pain (hasn’t really done anything for the migraines) but it means that my cycle is irregular and unpredictable. I’m telling you this as a disclaimer for why I can’t go into detail about the efficacy of the tampons in this box (and the tampons from Oh Natural I wrote about way back).

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Enter the Scarlet Delivery subscription box. I’m not so awkward as to hide my purchases of pads or tampons anymore, but I definitely was once upon a time. I’m thinking back to high school (at an all girls’ school, mind you) where we called our periods ‘pineapple’, pads were ‘plates’ and tampons were ‘knives’. Let’s not delve deep into this imagery because it’s bizarre and horrific if you think too much about it. I think the most useful thing to take from it is the fact that, as young women, we were ashamed and secretive about an entirely normal biological process, and that’s messed up.

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Scarlet Delivery offer two types of subscription boxes containing everything you need to make it through that time of the month: the Scarlet Package is $28 including delivery, and the Organic Package is $31. I opted to try the Organic Package* so I could try some products I’ve never used before.

It contains a box of Natracare cotton tampons, made from unbleached organic cotton (when you sign up on the site you can select your preference from tampons, pads and liners, as well as specifying absorbency). They use sustainable and renewable sources, which is pretty important when you consider the volume of sanitary products used and disposed of each year.

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The box also contained a cute canvas pouch, which I’ve already loaded with tampons and stashed in my handbag. I’ll admit that up until now I’ve been slack and relying on coworkers if I get caught unprepared at work, and let me tell you that being handed a pad the size of a small foam mattress is almost worse than having nothing at all.

Also included each month are a selection of herbal teas and snacks. This month were some cheekily-coloured meringues from Little & Friday, and some tea from Clipper. I had actually never drank a cup of tea before and assumed I didn’t like it, but I figured if I wasn’t reviewing the tampons then I needed to give the rest of the box a good go. Turns out, I really like tea! Or this one, at least. It’s apple and elderflower flavoured and it was a really pleasant, soothing hot drink that wasn’t coffee. I mean, this much will be obvious to literally everyone else in the world as it seems like everyone else in the world drinks tea, but it was a nice surprise for me.

If you look at it money-wise you really need to consider the utility of the subscription service on top of the monetary value of the contents. Once you’ve subscribed they ship out each box seven days before your period is due, so you’re guaranteed to have everything you need every time. You don’t have to desperately rush out to the dairy or pay too much for the tampons at the pharmacy, just because it’s close. And it’s a nice treat, too, if you’ve got a little disposable income. I can also see this being a really nice, thoughtful gift for a young person who has just started their period.

What do you think? Are periods a regular time of crisis for you, or are you one of the lucky ones who has no problems? Would you subscribe to a service like this?

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  • What a neat idea! I’m on a pill which suppresses my period completely. I do love not having to worry about how wasteful it is anymore (I considered using a Mooncup/Diva Cup for a while) but every two weeks I get a bit paranoid and take a pregnancy test.

  • Maddy de Young

    Da fuck you didn’t know if you liked tea 0.0

    • once I was at a conference and took a cup of tea because I didn’t want to be awkwardly empty-handed and it was so disgusting I had to abandon it behind a plant

  • Christel Hansen

    This post is so good. I love that they have an organic package available too, as I’ve actually come across a few people that can’t use regular pads/tampons because they get allergic reactions to the bleach in them. Crazy! oxo

    • Totally, that’s another reason they’re good! Plus their pads and liners are plastic-free, so they’re biodegradable.

  • Steph Hicks

    I can’t believe you’d never tried tea before! Not even the standard English Breakfast tea??! :O

    • Nope! I don’t know if I would like English Breakfast tbh, I still don’t think I like regular black tea