Friday, September 2, 2011

Syrian Soap Factory

Its been so long that it took me nearly five min to remember what my blog password was. Oops! We have been running around like chickens with their heads cut off in the last couple of months working on all sorts of exciting projects that I cannot wait to tell you all about. In the meantime, here's a little vid on soap making in Syria which I find fascinating. Its not quite the same way we make our soaps but its worth a little look-see ;-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I am not impressed by other soap companies too often. To be honest its hard to find smaller soap companies nowadays (unless of course you're browsing through Etsy, but even those are pretty much the same cold processed soaps you can find anywhere).

I just stumbled onto this lil company (well they might not be so lil, but at least I've never heard of them before). They're called Maak Soap Lab and they're out of Portland, OR. Well I've never been to Portland but if this is an indication of what else is in that city, I'm about to be on the next flight out.

I truly have soap envy... I don't think they could have created a more perfect bar of soap. Its delightfully simple packaging and textured label is enough to keep me completely fascinated. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Maak Soap Lab mailer on the way

I can seriously stare at this image for hours

How meticulously placed

Maak soaps in one of their Retailers

Maak Soap Lab soaps

Soap Shavings - have you ever seen anything more beautiful

Even their shipments look ridiculously cute! And is that the date of shipment on top - ugh it couldn't be more perfect.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hotel Toiletries

We have officially decided to enter the incredibly competitive hotel toiletry world. And we have amazing ideas on how to turn the somewhat boring phase that's taken over most hotels. I want us to create amazing pieces of art that will be the showpiece of any bathroom! Nothing gets to me more than checking into a beautifully decorated hotel and finding out that the bath and body products are so bad that I need to run out and buy my own. Not to even mention that the packaging of most toiletries is so unimpressive and it almost shows that noone put some thought into it.
I have included some of the most popular hotel toiletries from around the world. Some are good, some are awful - you'll have to decide for yourself. What are your favorite hotel toiletries?

Penhaligon Hotel Toiletries
Fabulous packaging and by looking at it, I can just imagine how nice the products are.

Molton Brown Hotel Toiletries
I love Molton Brown - I love the fragrances and I even love the little belly button on their bottles. I hope they never change them.

Kiehls Hotel Toiletries
Will anyone really spend the time to read what's on those labels... makes you wonder.

Hermes Hotel Toiletries
I think they were trying to appeal to men more than women with the rectangle shape of the bottles. I like it

Fresh Hotel Toiletries
Fresh somehow always finds a way to stay simple and decadent at the same time. I'm a fan.

Floris Hotel Toiletries
I love the dark packaging, why is everyone else doing white or clear bottles??

Etro Hotel Toiletries

CO Bigelow Hotel Toiletries
Dark amber bottle with a vintage sign. Totally speaks of the brand and the fact that they've been around forever.

Bulgari Hotel Toiletries
I realize they're trying to appeal to the high end bracket, but couldn't they come up with something that looks a little less generic? I am not trying to be rude, but if a brand is known for their luxurious items, I think they should spend some time on pushing the envelope.

Bliss Hotel Toiletries
Bought by W Hotels, Bliss does a great job at spa-looking products

Aveda Hotel Toiletries

Acqua di Parma Hotel Toiletries
Love the vibrant colors, the shapes, and the overall simplicity. This is quite possibly the most expensive line of the bunch and I think their packaging delivers.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Carthusia | Sabater Hnos | Fragonard

There are way too many photos of my trip to Europe but the ones that I cherish the most (for obvious reasons) are the incredible soap stores that we had the chance to visit. Here are some of the most famous factories in Europe: Carthusia (known for their perfumes), Fragonard (a very impressive company that's more than a century old) and my personal favorite Sabater Hnos (the geniuses behind the most inventive soaps I've ever seen).

First stop, Sabater Hnos. The store is positioned in Barcelona's tiny winding roads and it was challenging to find but once we got there - it was all worth it! They had so many fragrances to choose from and each one unique to their names (which is such a rarity nowadays). It was a tiny but very packed store, positioned right next to a fancy shmancy boutique hotel in the center of downtown.

The gift sets are to die for. You can fill up the boxes with confetti soaps as filler and then place the soapy creations on top. Really simple and really impressive.

The sales person only spoke Spanish so I tried to take as much information from her about the store as I could with my broken Spanglish. Turns out they make all the soaps in the back room and while I was talking to her, she was actually peeling some of the petal soaps so they don't stick to each other.

Up next, Carthusia. They were such a treat to see, we went to Capri just for the sights and didn't even know they were on the island until we stumbled onto their factory. They were so nice and let us take pictures of everything (that's one thing I hate about NYers, noone lets you take photos in the stores).

Glycerine gift set soaps, Orange soaps and Lemon soaps. They were so realistic, you almost want to take a bite.

The factory was incredible. They had so many fragrance oils that they worked with and everything was so organized.

Carthusia Candles wrapped after production.

One of their stores in Capri. Diffusers, Candles, Soaps... they had it all.

Another store display.

The only reason we went to Nice, France in the first place was to visit Fragonard's factory but to our amazement that never happened due to scheduling conflicts. We did walk into their store in Eze though which wasn't as exciting but nevertheless we got a little Fragonard in our hands to play with.

Their store was very orange (literally - all the lighting had an orange tint to it). It was wonderful to see such an old company thrive but I have to be honest I was a little disappointed with their products. The soaps didn't smell like the names they described (am I crazy to want a Rose to smell like the real thing?) and the packaging seemed to be a little too "crabtree and evelyn" for my taste.

I couldn't leave Spain without snapping a picture of their Mosaic soaps, inspired by all the statues in Park Guell.

I hope you enjoyed this post - I wish that one day my job could be just traveling the world and visiting amazing soap stores such as these. Til next time!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mathilde M. Soaps in Nice, France

A couple of months ago I had the privilege of visiting Nice, France for a very short time (but that didn't stop me from finding the coolest little soap store in the city). The store couldn't have been more than 150 sq ft and it was packed with bars of soap from top to bottom. From what I remember they all smelled very similar but a fragrance that would appeal to anyone. Hope you enjoy some of the photos and if you click on them, you'll see them in a larger format.

Round soaps with a Soap Dish tied with a silk ribbon

Matilde M. Soaps (french soaps)

Heart Soap

The top boxes were filled with miniature angel soaps

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Incredible Soap Carvings

This is the neatest thing I've seen done with soap in a really long time. Sharpen your knives kids, because we're going soap carving! Images provided by Mrs. Miller's Art Class:

Turtle Soap

Bear Soap

Fish Soap and Butterfly Soap

Turtle Soap in Progress

Fish Soap eating Turtle Soap

Bird Soap

Car Soap

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Whole Foods Soaps

I adore Whole Foods and honestly who doesn't? Since we recently moved our offices downtown, I am within walking distance to a Whole Foods and usually go there to grab my lunch. So it occurred to me that I have never done a post on all the soaps in my local Whole Foods. So here we go:

1. Whole Foods Brand French Milled Soap. I am CRAZY about their sandalwood fragrance, which oddly enough smells nothing like sandalwood but primarily resembles a sweet candy fragrance. It's incredible and although I never buy soaps from other companies, this lil guy might be the first one I might have to eventually purchase because its seriously that delicious smelling.

2. Pacifica Soaps - Although they're pretty cool, I find it sad that Whole Foods ships them from ALL across the country in California to deliver them to NY. Doesn't really go with their "save the planet" approach, does it?

3. Zum Bar - Im not the biggest Zum Bar fan but I'm sure they're someone's favorite because I see millions of them in the store so apparently someone must be buying them.

4. EO Handmade Soap

5. Pangea Organics Soap - Pangea was really popular a couple of years ago but now I've noticed that its died down a little since a lot of my local stores do not carry it anymore.