Fancy Soap For a Fancy Girl
This past weekend, Frannie and I had the good fortune to spend some time in the East Bay. Maybe I’m a little biased because I went to college out there and have more than a few friends who live there and absolutely love it, but East Bay actually is pretty damned cool. If Frannie and I didn’t work in South Bay or down the Peninsula, I would have pushed for us to move to the East Bay, especially Oakland or Berkeley. I especially love how much personality those two cities have, and would have liked to have a chance to live near there again.
We visited most recently to check out the Chocolate and Chalk Festival in Berkeley, which happened to coincide with the Live Oak Park Fair (the original date for the Chocolate and Chalk Festival was rained out). The whole thing was actually smaller than we thought it would be, but we still had a lot of fun walking around all the booths and seeing the chalk art people were making on the sidewalks. We were both glad it wasn’t so crowded since it made walking around that much more pleasant.
There were a number of booths selling jewellery, children’s toys, hand-printed/sewn clothing, and handmade bath products. Out of all the booths, I liked the handmade soaps at one booth the most. He had a number of soaps on display, all of them highly fragrant. The interesting thing was that he had a selection of chai-flavoured soaps (mocha chai, vanilla chai, etc.) that smelled really spicy and good. He also took all the trimmings and put them together into a miscellaneous chai soap, which I thought smelled really good, so I bought a bar.
And now our bath smells like chai tea, which is a bit strange, but really not that weird when you think about how successful a business like Lush is. I’ve never been able to stand going into any of their stores because of the overpowering stink, but I would probably be okay with having one of their soaps in the bath. I don’t know if I’ve ever owned anything from Lush because I can’t stand to go into the store to buy or and refuse to buy it online without smelling it first, but I can’t do that without going into the store first.
It’s a cyclical thing.
I’m pretty happy with this random bar of mixed chai soap. I got to buy it outdoors so I wasn’t overwhelmed by the smell of all the different soaps, and I got to support a small business. Maybe I’ll make it my thing to treat myself to a nice smelling soap or lotion when I go to these outdoor festivals in California. There is usually a soap vendor there, and I feel better buying from someone who makes all the soap him/her-self. Plus, I can ask them questions about what’s in the soaps and how they’re made.
By the way, I don’t think the chai smell stays on your skin after you rinse off the soap. At least, I haven’t noticed that I smell of chai spices afterwards. Also, the soaps made by this guy in particular do not contain any sulfates, and are made from saponified oils, similar to how they make Castile soap.