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!