Each of these soaps is crafted from a well-researched antiquarian recipe, using all-natural vegetable & fruit oils, herbs, flowers, pure essential oils, and other Earthly delights! Some recipes were originally discovered as herbal healing poultices or tonics which we've adapted into soaps!
It's the infusions.....
Each soap batch is made using a very important step. What defines the exquisiteness of our soaps is we infuse our oils with precious herbs and botanicals, maximizing their benefits for your skin in the final soap!
These soaps weigh no less than 4.5 oz. Each (if you choose "labeled") is wrapped in a parchment wrapper. Each soap priced as per ingredients used therefore some are more expensive than the others.
story of how I started seeking antiquarian recipes:
Botanicals! Through the centuries, they've been gathered, grown, eaten, applied, and ...wrapped in mystique! From simple wild-harvested origins, to exotic locations from all corners of the globe; incorporated into food preparation, medicine, sacred rituals, beauty regimes, and sorcery. They nourish, soothe, heal, beautify, and enchant! Botanicals truly are the roots of culture....
One day, prowling an antique bookstore, I found an over 150 year old find-of-a-lifetime; an aged journal with fading notes (entries dated as early as "July 19, 1851")!
I couldn't believe my good fortune coming upon this genuine piece of Victorian era and the perspective of someone who'd lived then! Being as I'm a soapmaker, as well as someone who has always felt out of place in the 21rst Century anyway, it was a Holy Grail of sorts to me... for in it was recorded hand-penned toiletry, soap, perfume, poultice and remedy recipes!
Parting with a hefty sum for the journal, I raced home, clutching it protectively, to study every still-readable word, decipher and convert the Victorian era language and measurements ("put here to with" and "drachmas") into useable instruction, and eventually create--or more accurately RE-create the recipes journalized! THIS was the beginning of what felt to me, like my TRUE education in botanical potion making! Yes....something awakened in me that day...
That journal created a thirst for old-way knowledge in me, a desire to re-connect with nature and ancestral knowledge in as pure a form as possible, devoid of modern-day chemicals. It launched an obsession for finding every old recipe book and course of natural study I could to study plant medicine and learn more!
In my exhaustive and continuing-to-this-day explorations I discovered fascinating history, legend, ritual, and science ...most plant alchemy originally was passed "by story" from family-to-family, tribe-to-tribe, before eventual written documentation in journals and published works in more modern times. Before that, most practical knowledge existed only in the "showing" and "telling" of making concoctions & remedies through apprenticeships of chosen acolytes by skilled shaman or medicine men/women, to carry on the knowledge.
Herbal preparations in Dark Times became obtainable by secret arrangement, or as sacred wisdom whispered. "Wise Woman" was the medieval name bestowed on those whom nobility and servant alike discreetly turned to for herbal potions to soothe ills and enhance beauty. Wise Woman knowledge, entrusted to respectful acolytes, wove it's way via story & practice through the ages, and natural magic survived!
Fast-forward to the 21rst Century. When did using ingredients like: parabens, synthetic colors, fragrance with phthalates, triclosan, sodium laurel sulfate (SLS)/sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), formaldehyde, toluene become "the norm"? And WHY?How many of us today grow herbs, know plant magic, or are knowledgeable enough to teach our children botanical values to use and pass on? Abandoned today are the rituals and camaraderie of 'round the kitchen table or garden row story-telling, remedy-sharing, and garden beauty treatments from those most likely to pass this knowledge on: ...mothers, aunts, grandmothers, as Wise Women of the past did.
Somehow as modern mankind moved forward, we also moved AWAY from simple purity. We've lost ourselves to chemical synthetics & detergent ingredients that while doing a basic job of cleaning, are unquestionably inferior substitutes for the genuine power and pure magic of plant-based ingredients. Most of us have known no different, nor had a frame of reference to compare to ancient ways unless we were gifted with a Wise Woman in our family to share this sacred knowledge, or a spark of interest that generated our own pursuit of "the old ways".
At Ancient Alchemy we would like to prevent the rich legacy & craft of ancient alchemy from slipping away. "Ancient alchemy", "Earth magic", "herbalism", ...whatever name you know it by, continues, whether others believe in it yet or not, discover a synthetic substitute for it or not......because nothing can ever compare to Earth’s natural magic! We embrace the ancient ways, and welcome you to learn about and share them with us!