Wednesday, 29 December 2010


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! The New Year is approaching and 2011 is going to be a fabulous year for me - I can feel it, and I am going to create it!

I was really excited to blog about my soap stamp but I can’t use my camera right now… my daughter took her camera and our only battery charger to Mexico with her… so I am photo-disabled until she returns… I also wanted to share an interesting colour surprise lately. I was doing one of my usual purple experiments when Voila! I got Green. Green? And it is a niiiiice mint green…. So 2 upcoming posts, as soon as I get the camera working again – 1) Soap Stamp & 2) Mint Green soap.

In follow up to Cocobong’s recent soap review of Sergio’s soaps at Villa Fortuna (Sergio has 2 blogs – & , I wanted to share something with you that Sergio posted a few months back. I have finally gotten around to translating it into English for you. He has come up with something he calls “Sapotherapy”. (From– 14 September, 2010)

Here is what he has to say about it…

"SAPOTherapy” Therapy for the soul, though Soap
I propose that you experiment with something new that I want to share with you, through my latest soap-making experience at my Villa Fortuna laboratory. First, I would like to speak to you a little about Masaru Emoto. I am not sure if you have heard about this Japanese man, but if you haven’t, I will briefly explain about him and post a link if you want more information.

Masaru Emoto became very popular a few years ago with his investigations and taking photos of water crystals, once frozen. In other words, water, when subjected to very low temperatures, produces the most beautiful hexagonal crystals also found in snowflakes. However, what this man observed was very interesting. Apparently not all types of water crystallized in geometrical forms. He observed that water from natural springs, rivers and water that was in contact with nature without negative influences crystallized in beautiful geometrical forms, while water from city taps or some city rivers, or simply polluted water did not crystallize in this way. But Masaru Emoto got even further with his interesting investigation when he carried out various experiments on tap water. In one experiment, he wrote the word “LOVE” on a piece of paper and stuck it on a container with tap water. The result one day later is that the water crystallized in geometrical forms. In another experiment, he placed various people around the container with tap water and he instructed them to think loving and peaceful thoughts. After only a few minutes with the water subjected to these positive thinking vibrations, the water crystallized in beautiful geometrical forms.

Neural Therapy – Water Crystals

These interesting experiments were carried out in a thousand ways, even with food and the result was surprising. For example, 2 bowls with white rice in each one – in one, the word “THANK YOU” was written and on the other one the phrase “I HATE YOU”. The outcome was incredible. The rice in the bowl with “I HATE YOU” started to turn dark and rotten while the rice in the other bowl stayed in perfect condition.

After all this and following various investigations, many serious scientists backed by big corporations are coming to the conclusion that everything in life is “Vibrations” and everything is alive. Each element emits a sort of music, if it can be described that way. This music is not decided by someone else. We decide this music with our emotions and feelings in every moment of our lives. This is why we have to be very conscious of how and what we feel, because we are either creating LOVE or we are creating SADNESS and HATE.

Contemplating Maseru Emoto’s experiment, don’t you wonder that if emotions and feelings affect water and we are made up of 70% water, how would they affect our body and health?

Now I will tell you about my experience and Secret. Lately I have been experiencing levels of peace, love and happiness through making soap that I didn’t feel at the beginning. You could say that it is a type of creative “Ecstasy”, nothing like religious ecstasy, but where I reach these feelings I mentioned. It may sound strange to you, and even farfetched, and I am not really bothered if you believe me or not. I just want to share this with people who can at least partially understand and who have the opportunity to feel it too – what I am calling “SAPOTHERAPY”. These experiences can be subtle for some people and stronger for others, however I have felt the need to share it.

For the ingredients in my soaps, there are two that I never list, but that are basic – Love and Happiness.

A good idea so that the ingredients are filled with positive vibrations would be to write the word Love on all of the oils… but you don’t have to….. hee hee hee. People would think you were crazy. And as we have seen, the important thing is your emotional state and how you are feeling in the moment you are making your soap, as that is what you are going to transmit to the ingredients in the moment you are making them. (Can you imagine soap made by machines?)

Now I will detail what is needed, based on my experience, for “Sapotherapy”:

- Time- Music (It can be modern or classical. The best is if it takes you back to your youth or childhood)

- A peaceful place without noise or people. (Alone, as it is like a Yoga or personal meditation.)

- All of the ingredients and materials to make soap.

And nothing else.

Steps to Follow:

First Step

Before starting, take 10 or 15 minutes to relax, sitting in an armchair comfortably and close your eyes.Think about the project that you are about to undertake, but nothing else. Don’t think about how you are going to do it and how you are going to mix the colours. Forget that. Just be relaxed and think that you are going to create a fabulous soap and give thanks for having all of the ingredients and time to do it. Thankful attitude.

Second Step

The music selection is very important for getting you magically into that “creative dream” in such as way that your hands and body dance, guided by your inspiration. Calculate the time that you are going to take and record a CD for that amount of time, including the clearing up (if you do that right away.)

Third Step
Don’t forget to keep an open attitude in case you need to improvise. This is very important, so that you don’t get blocked in case things don’t go as planned. Don’t forget something: your mind may want one thing but your heart may be wishing for something else, and if you are not open to these subtle messages, there will be no magic. After all, you are the instrument, the intermediary, the channel through which the message is being codified, coming from… God knows where.

Fourth Step

Enjoy in harmony the ritual of the moment and communicate with the ingredients affectionately and familiarly, as they can hear you. Remember that the process of Saponification is pure magic for the alquimists from other times and chemical reactions are being produced constantly and you and your intention are carrying out a very important role, you are playing God. If alter making the soap, you clean all the utensils with the same intensity and enthusiasm, it is because you have done good work and you have been inspired with high levels of concentration.
You will not always reach the same level of concentration, but that doesn’t matter. Your soap will vibrate with two more ingredients: Love and Happiness and because of that, it will be magic.

Hi, this is Jen talking again…. I felt this was an important addition to the Cocobong post, in order to understand Sergio and his soaps better. Hope you enjoyed it!

Thank you Sergio for your theories on Sapotherapy! I know my soap always turns out better when I am in the right frame of mind.

Happy Soaping!!!



Thursday, 23 December 2010

Naturalmente Mediterráneo

First Step – Come Up With the Company Name

It took me ages to come up with the name for my company. I wanted to shift away from Jenora. I knew the focus was natural soap and skin care with ingredients from the area where I live: sea salt, aloe vera, honey, oranges, lemons, olive oil, goat milk, wild hand-picked lavender, rosemary, thyme, etc. As I am passionate about this part of the world, I want to share that through my products with others!!

I finally thought of Mediterranean Natural Skincare... But Skincare does not translate nicely into Spanish and nothing else seemed to fit. So I came up with Naturally Mediterranean. Since we are here in Spain, I decided it should be in Spanish – Naturalmente Mediterráneo. It is a bit long and maybe not that easy to pronounce for people who don’t speak Spanish, so for those who wish, then can simplify it to NM.

Next step – Branding & Logo

Shannon at was raving about the designer: dRE at
Solid Art Collective on Etsy ~,
who did her new logo, so I checked out some of her other designs and loved them so much, I decided to contract dRE to design the logo for Naturalmente Mediterráneo!!

dRE offered a great service at a reasonable price. She promised all the edits needed until I got a logo that I was in love with. And she did it! It must have been really difficult for her because I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted... but she brainstormed based on my basic ideas. She sent me a ton of initial drafts. Then I picked the ones I liked and we narrowed it down. Once we had the basic idea we tweaked and tweaked. It was actually thrilling to work with her. Can you imagine telling an artist what you like and they create what you are describing? And then take it further when you don’t know exactly what you want? So, thanks to the tip from Shannon at Casco Bay Soap, the wonderful design work of dRE at Solid Art Collective, a little decisive help from my husband, the Naturalmente Mediterráneo logo is born.

Coming soon – Next steps... getting a soap stamp and blog banner...

Monday, 20 December 2010

Angel Award - Passing It Along

Thank you so much to Maggie at for honouring me with this Angel Award...

In the spirit of passing along the award, giving and honouring some other bloggers who have inspired me, I will pass this along. Some of the blogs I would pass this along to have already been awarded by Maggie at Between Friends and Jan at I wish I give this to ALL of the wonderful blogs that I follow but as I feel I must choose a few, I award the Angel Award to: To Maegan I honour you with this award for your amazing, heart-felt, nakedly honest, motivational and inspirational blog. Your words have touched, helped and guided me through some dark moments over this past year. Your refreshing approach to those "slippery-slope" moments is such an example to live by. I loved the look of your soap & skincare... and only wish I had had the chance to try some before you moved out of skincare and into photography. Your photos are beautifully creative, unique & full of feeling. Thank you Meagan. To Shannon at Casco Bay Soap, I am honouring you with the Angel Award for your upbeat, colourful and ecclectic blog as well as your help and guidance to my multitude of questions/comments! Your positivity and passion for what you do and the area you live in shine through. Thank you Shannon! To Courtney, I pass this award along to you because of your sweet, personal, informational, diverse and interesting blog. As you have pointed out more than once, what wonderfully supportive connections we have made through blogging. Thank you, my blog-buddy. To Tiggy, clearly a master artisan soap-maker with some of the most unique looking soaps around, I love your blog and your open sharing and help with fellow soap makers. Your tutorials, guidance & response to questions have been wonderful help! Thank you!! To my very sweet blog-friend at Soaps & Bubbles, I honour you with this award for your refreshing spirit & eagerness which shines through in your blog. I send you well wishes in your move to Israel. Thank you!!

There were many more I wish to honour but am afraid I would be hear all day writing this blog. I simply got to F on my alphabetical list of blogs I follow (then jumped to Soaps & Bubbles).

So, thanks to all of the bloggers out there that I follow for sharing your wonderful stories about soaping, your businesses, your lives and inspiring me in some way.


Sunday, 19 December 2010

In Love with Shampoo Bars

Patchouli Goatmilk Shampoo Bar - a new one I have yet to test

My latest favourite Beer & Honey...

My Love Affair with Shampoo Bars got off to a very rocky start... my first bar getting my hair so greasy it was difficult to get it back to normal!!!

Right when I began making soaps, I loved the whole idea of Shampoo bars. I researched them, read all about them, made one (back when I was still using Palm oil) & impatiently waited the month before trying it out. I read about what they may do to your hair at first (funky hair?!?), about possible vinegar or lemon juice rinses.

Finally once it had cured, I tried it & I LOVED it. I loved the rich thick suds. I loved rubbing the bar in my hair… I loved how it left my scalp feeling. AWESOME! I gave one to a girl at work and she was trying it out for me at the same time. She loved it too.

After three washes, for the both of us…. The greasy’s set in… it was bad. Even with the water/vinegar rinse… my hair had major greasy spots. Committed to trying the shampoo bar out for an entire month, I just kept tying my hair back when I went to work in such a way as to hide the greasy hair. I lasted a whole month. But when it was over, I had greasier hair then ever in my life so I washed with a commercial shampoo to get it back to normal.

The “greasy” shampoo bar…

Could it be the recipe? Could it be the water? We have very hard water, full of calcium. Don’t know!

Even though my first attempt was not so good, I tried making another bar – a beer, honey & egg shampoo, and this one was wonderful on my hair. It cured my itchy scalp and any dandruff. It made my hair feel soft and shiny. It NEVER made my hair feel greasy. The only problem was it was so difficult to get a brush through my hair that lots of my hair falls out… My hair is thinner than ever.

Beer, Egg & Honey Shampoo Bar on the right...

Committed to getting all of this solved as I know there are many people out there who adore Shampoo bars and they work well for them, I continued trying. I made my “Ugly” coconut milk caramel-looking shampoo bar. I made a great Rosemary Nettle Shampoo bar at 5% superfat.

I took advice from Between Friends and went back to a vinegar rinse which definitely helps. It was still leaving my hair very difficult to get a brush or comb through. As I don´t want to use commercial conditioner, I am using a hair oil with Argan oil in it. Once out of the shower, I put a dab of the oil in my hands and then smooth it over and through my hair. A little goes a Looooong way. Then I brush it through and it is working fabulously.

My latest is the BEST so far. It is another Beer & Honey Shampoo bar with Patchouli and Lemongrass Essential Oils… I brought the superfat down to 4% and it is even better than the Nettle Shampoo Bar. There is something about this bar that is so wonderful, I just want to wash my hair over and over and over. I gave one to a friend who is courageously trying out my shampoo bars as well. She loves this one too. The suds are so full and thick and rich. The bar is so smooth. The smell… intriguing. I find any blend with Patchouli intriguing. This is a bar I will DEFINITELY be repeating. It makes me want to shower & shampoo over and over!!!! Commercial shampoos never made me love showering this much.

Well today’s long dreamy shower may have had something to do with the new orange poppyseed salt scrub I created this morning… I just may have finally achieved a non-emulsified and NON-GREASY scrub!! So begins a new love affair – this time with Scrubs!!

And by the way… who said that Vinegar hair rinse doesn’t stink? IT DOES TOO!


Saturday, 11 December 2010

The Soap Sweats...

It has been SO damp here lately that it is affecting my soaps, especially my salt soaps. Surprisingly, the winters here (yes in southern Spain!) can get cold and damp. The word cold, when describing Spain, may sound strange coming from a Canadian... but the cold issue here is that it is cold INSIDE the houses.

About two weeks ago, the temperatures dropped suddenly. We had some mornings when it was almost down to 0º outside and as these houses are built to keep OUT the heat, it was pretty cold inside. Then the rain started as well. That is when my soaps started to dampen... and the salt soaps actually started to sweat...

If you touch the moisture coming off the salt soaps, it is not very nice smelling, although if you use the soap is still smells great.

So, I ask for any contributions from you experienced soap makers... what do you do for drying your soaps in different weather circumstances? My main concern is the damp now. I think I need an electric heater relatively near the soaps and also a de-humidifier. But, if I use a de-humidifier, will it draw the Essential Oils out of the soaps along with the moisture?

I am interested in hearing other experiences of how weather, climate, seasons, rain affects your soaps and what methods you use to combat it.

Happy Soaping!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Moving Forward with the Business

Ever since I have taken the decision to move forward with the business and get legalized here (dedicated facility) I have been producing larger quantities of soap rather than experimenting. Another Canadian friend-of-the-family, Michaela, has been visiting and has been helping me make soap as well as taking lots of awesome photos. So I share some photos of my latest soap logs.

After so much experimenting, it has been challenging to decide which bars are the ones I will be repeating. It comes down to simple, natural, mostly ingredients from this area. I think I will have about 10 bars that are my basic bars. Then I will continue to experiment with new bars and new products. For now, my focus is on deciding the basic bars (lots of testing!) and production.

I have also been busy with Christmas fairs and markets. I have two this upcoming weekend.

I am loving making soap more than ever, and feel so fortunate to be able to dedicate so much time to what I am passionate about!!! Life has gotten so much simpler over the past few months... more down-to-earth in general and bounce-out-of-bed happy in the mornings!!!

I hope you are all well and busy and enjoying the lead up to the holidays.