My apologies, this post has been much longer coming than I’d hoped (or planned!). Things got very busy preparing for the festive season, but I finally got it finished. Thank you for your patience 🙂
Six of the participants in this summer’s soap swap were from USA or Canada, and this last post will focus on the lovely soaps that came all the way over the Atlantic into my eager little hands.
Just as in the last post, the following are in no particular order… apart from this first one. Once the soap swap had been set up, and we had decided the date by which all soaps should be with me, all there was for me to do was sit back and wait for the soapy parcels to arrive. I can’t tell you how excited I was the first time the postman knocked on the door with a soap filled parcel. That parcel was from Pam Leis of By The Sea Soap.
Pam was extraordinarily generous and sent me not only the full sized bar that each participant received but also FOUR extra treats. You can see three of them in the picture below – a sample of her Newport Beach Sand soap, a flower shaped Sweetpea & Rhubarb soap, which has some natural sponge embedded in the bottom AND a ‘Black Bamboo – Detox bar, with some amazing white piping on the top.
They are all stunning, but my absolute favourite fragrance is that of the Newport Beach Sand soap. It’s called Sea Moss by BrambleBerry, and I NEED to find something similar in the UK. It’s described as ‘a unique blend of Bergamot, Orchid, Jasmine and Violet with supporting notes of Ozone (air), Sandalwood, Musk and of course, Moss. This fragrance could be described as fresh, green and almost a little kelp-y’. It’s reminiscent of something I’ve come across before, but I just can’t recall it. If anyone has any ideas – please let me know!
Pam also sent me some beautiful dried rosebuds, and I’ll be using them on something special soon!
Here is Pam’s swap soap, and a closeup of the sparkly top. It’s called ‘A Pink Philosophy’ and I’m afraid the photos don’t do justice to this beautiful bar, but I can assure you it’s lovely!
You can find more of Pam’s soaps on her Face Book page
If you’re a fan of soapmaking videos, you’re probably familiar with Emily of Shieh Design Studio. She has her own You Tube channel, and I am only one of a great many people who enjoy watching her make soap. Emily makes her own soap boxes, and they’re a testament to her perfectionism:
It seemed a shame to have to break it open, but, I admit, I didn’t hesitate for long 🙂
The soap I received was called Mayan Gold, and it’s a beautiful riot of colour. The fragrance is a blend of oriental notes and chocolate / vanilla.
The top is decorated with golden chunks of soap
Isn’t that just beautiful?
Next up was Louise of SoGa Artisan Soaperie in Canada. Louise’s bar was fragranced with the ever popular (and delicious!) Black Raspberry Vanilla fragrance, and featured berry colours and a hanger swirl design. Here it is packaged:
And here it is in all its glory. I love the hanger swirls and the overall design really suits the fragrance I think.
The top of the bar also features some lovely shimmery swirls. I tried and tried to take a good enough picture of this top which adequately showed the beauty of the top but this is the best I could do. I can assure you that it looks much better in real life:
Next up was Barbara of Moon Goddess Garden. She sent this lovely flower shaped bar. It came shrink wrapped which kept it in pristine condition during its travels, and all the company info was on a label on the back:
Here it is unwrapped. The petals are decorated with mica and the centre is created from poppy seeds which give a nice bit of exfoliation. It’s called ‘Summertime Taffy’ and the fragrance really is summery – bright and a bit fruity and JUST what I need at this time of year as the rain lashes down outside!!
Do have a look at Barbara’s Facebook to see more of her beautiful soaps.
Melinda, of Melinda’s Naturals, sent us each a bar of ‘Juliet’s Heart’:
Here it is unwrapped and you can see the fine swirls that adorn the inside and the top of the bar:
This soap was a special edition, created just for us, and is scented with a soft, warm floral essential oil blend. It features jojoba oil and illipe butter, and feels very luxurious to use.
Finally we have Zahida of Handmade in Florida. Zahida’s beautiful and hugely popular soaps invariably sell out within hours of their release, and she has a massive following on social media.
Allow me to deviate a little here because the box in which the soaps arrived was so exquisitely packaged I had to take a photograph of every step:
Now, given how difficult it is to get your hands on a bar of Zahida’s soap, imagine my delight when I learnt that Zahida had sent me (by way of a thank you for hosting) not one but TWO bars of her soap to try – Amber and Sensual Oudh. Let me tell you, they both smell wonderful, but my favourite is the Sensual Oudh, described as ‘a deep and complex blending of oudh, sandalwood, cedarwood, leather, patchouli, vetiver, amber, tonka, and vanilla’ – amazing!
And THAT, my friends, brings to an end this year’s International Soap Swap. Of course, it’s not the end for those of us who participated, as we each have a rather large box of lovely soap to keep us going well into the New Year. Mind you, I have a funny feeling it may well happen again at some time in the future, so watch this space!
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back soon!