Kate Fraser-Hominick loves making soap. It’s an art for her, a hobby, and a passion that drives her incessantly to try new and interesting things. Kate gets to experiment with things that feel good, smell good and do your body good, working with oils, butters, clays, herbal oils, vegetable colours, essential oils and dried flowers: natural ingredients that make some of the most beautiful handmade soap you’ll ever see.
After years of practice and experimentation Kate’s basic soap recipe has settled into a trusted ally that produces a great hard bar with rich foamy lather, allowing her to produce a wonderful selection of soaps with three standard elements: it moisturizes your skin, lathers beautifully and smells GREAT. Typically Kate’s built on this base by following her nose and her imagination to create scent combinations and textures you love to scrub with.
Recently we raved about Kate’s new rosebud soap. It smells like floral heaven. Kate, however, disagrees, saying she finds it too strong. We’re okay with this: we’ll buy every last scrap from that batch and hoard it in order to make sure the bath smells that good as long as possible.
We only represent half of Kate’s soap following though. Much as we love the heady scents she produces occasionally, today’s climate of allergies, scentsitivity and simplicity calls for options that weren’t dreamed up in a florist’s fantasy. The problem with unscented soaps, in Kate’s opinion, has always been that they’re boring. Boring to wash with, boring to look at and – worst of all – boring to make. For a girl with a flower-powered imagination like Kate’s, this has made unscented soaps very low on the list of priorities.
That changed this winter, when the long stretch of rotten weather kept Kate inside and dreaming about ways to make unscented soaps fun to use and fun to make. The cold and snow were good for something: Kate’s come up with a new line of soap products that take unscented to the next level.
Scented and unscented soap fans alike are going to like this. Using healthy, super-moisturizing scentless oils like avocado, rose-hip and pumpkin seed; enriching butters like hemp seed, mango and shea; added goodies like her own honey, coffee grounds, rosehip tea and carrot juice, Kate’s invented a rainbow of colours and textures intended to do your skin good while leaving your nose completely oblivious, in the least boring way possible.
We took home three samples of Kate’s new product: Carrot, Coffee (with a little ground bean for scrub) and Olive Oil. None of them smells of anything except the soap base; all of them have a slippery, buttery feel coming right out of the bag – we can’t wait to try them all! We love the colour of the carrot soap, but the olive oil version looks like it’s going to feel great. The coffee soap we will save for a couple of weeks – it will be GREAT for foot-scrubbing after barefoot gardening.
Kate will be attending the Market Wednesdays and Saturdays through the summer, and promises that this variety will be expanded by fall with other experimental delights like the yogurt soap and the salt soap she’s currently perfecting. Looking forward to it Kate!