Our Featured Product this week is our Patchouli Groves Soap. Named for and inspired by a friend, Patchouli Groves is one of the most labor-intensive soaps that Newport’s Naturals produces. That’s why I’ve chosen to give it a little highlight. Some people see the bar of Patchouli Groves and gravitate toward it. They pick it up, hold it beneath their nose, inhale deeply while their eyes slowly close. For a moment they are transported. Yet, for others, simply reading the word Patchouli is enough to cause facial contortions.
A fragrant member of the mint family, Patchouli is native to tropical Asia and has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicinal Practices. King Tut was apparently buried with 10 gallons of Patchouli Essential Oil in his Tomb. Must have been his fave. In more recent history it’s been associated with hippies of the 1960s. Some have posited that hippies gravitated toward this smell because of his heady and unabashedly earthy aroma. For them, the aroma was evocative of being “of the earth” and therefore represented hippie culture. Some people say it’s because hippies used it to cover up the smell of marijuana. Whatever. I love it. Don’t you?
Getting back to the soap. There are only two soaps I make with aloe. If you know me personally, you are probably aware that I sweat the details. It’s just a small part of my particular strain of crazy. When I began formulating this soap, I knew it needed to include aloe. As I researched aloe for soapmaking it was always in a bottled liquid that had preservatives and who knows what else in it. That’s not how I roll. I decided to learn how to harvest the gel from whole fresh leaves and how to process it. I’ve been making it that way ever since. Yes, it takes more time, but I’ve never been one for shortcuts. The combination of fresh aloe and the deep, earthy scent of Patchouli just makes me smile.
If you’ve ever tried the Patchouli Groves Soap, please let me know what you think. It’s a labor of love so it’s important that you enjoy it. If you haven’t tried Patchouli Groves Soap yet, check it out next time you are shopping with Newport’s Naturals. You may be surprised at how wonderful it can be.