So some of my friends have been asking me if there is a way to get cold process soaps at a store. I can totally relate to this wish – the biggest downside of etailers (whether for soaps or any other products) is that you have to rely on scent and product reviews rather than sniff and see for yourself before buying. Not to mention a girl’s need for instant product gratification.
In New York, I would recommend checking out COPA soaps (full name: Beekman’s C.O.P.A. Soaps). This is a Philadelphia-based small business, but the owners come to New York every weekend and have stands at several of the street fairs (for example: this weekend they are at 3rd Ave and 12th and 6th and 19th on Saturday for example, and at other locations on Sunday. Venues they will be at each weekend is updated mid week on their site)
COPA soaps are olive oil based cold process soaps. I have stopped by their stands twice now, and have sniffed the whole collection and tried some of their soaps at home. I would say COPA soaps generally have more of an earthy or herbal undertone. If you like lavender, you will LOVE their products – over half their soaps have lavender essential oils. I used to love lavender, but after my Great Lavender Phase of 2001 to 2003, I am SO over it (apparently my current phase is honey). Fortunately, COPA has a wonderful Jojoba soap which has a lovely citrusy scent, with an herbal clean undertone, and a Mango soap which is more of a citrus tropical scent (with just a little lavender. I can deal with a little). I have also really liked their Cocoa Tea Tree bar – it’s a great natural antiseptic soap, good for a day your face or hair feel oily or for freshly waxed skin. Tea Tree is a pretty strong antiseptic, but mixed with Cocoa butter is soothing and does not cause redness. If you are looking for something deep cleansing, try the Tea Tree with Mint soap.
I also discovered Savon Jardin a few weeks ago. I was at Crafts on Columbus, a great street fair showcasing all sorts of higher end crafts. Savon Jardin is based in Brooklyn and they have a truly wonderful selection. They are the first soap company I have found that does things like using dill to make a soap green. A few had artificial colors, but most were colored in natural ways, ie dill for green, carrot for orange and so forth.
I spoke with the Savon Jardin owner, and found out that unlike some of the smaller soap makers who work out of a workshop (or kitchen), Savon Jardin has a whole factory. I was very impressed that despite the size of production, they continue to use a hot process and curing system. So far I have loved their Ginger Carrot and Mango Tango, both very soft and emollient soaps, and my husband likes their Cucumber Lime and Ginger Carrot (he still bemoans the fact the first cold process soap I introduced him to, Wylde Ivy’s Lime Margarita, is not available currently).
The venues part of the Savon Jardin site, has not been updated, but the owner (whose name totally escapes me right now) was very nice and said customers can email any time to find out when and where they will next be selling their soaps at a show or market. They also offer free shipping if you order online. I should add that the Savon Jardin selection at Crafts on Columbus was easily double the number of scents on the website. Hmmm, I just noticed a Vanilla Almond Oatmeal soap recently added to the site. I might have to email him myself soon to find out when I can next purchase it or if I should just order online. Speaking of ordering online, I just clicked on their shopping site, Savon Jardin is part of the Green Tea Network, which is like a natural products etsy.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers