It's funny how I've become a soap collector. I don't know how this got started or why it happened but it did. I started to become slightly obsessed with trying different handmade soaps from local California vendors.
The thing about soaps is that there really is a good quality soap and there is bad quality. There are also ways to get creative with the pouring of the wax or use of raw organic materials inside the soaps themselves to make it stand out. From the use of flowers to clays. And from gradients to tye die. Here's my evolving list of great vendors.
Luminance Skin Care — San Francisco, CA
My favorite is the tangerine bar. The great thing about Luminance is that they have a large amount of video's you can watch showing the craft of the founder, Kim Emanuel, the soap man of San Francisco. A wide variety of clays are used as part of the bars main ingredients. Very high quality. Shop Luminance.
Big Sur County Soap — San Francisco, CA
Just look at these little guys. Don't they look like deserts you'd want to eat? When it comes to handmade soaps, these are top notch. The use of flowers as part of the organic materials is incredible. Exfoliating and generally appealing on your counter top waiting to be used. Head over to General Store SF to grab some.
Wary Meyers — Japan
OK, so yes, these are not from California. But shouldn't they be? Sometimes I bump into things from Japan which feel more California than if they were made in California. And these just can't go unmissed. How cool are these psychedelic little beauties? A very creative take on soaps. Eager to try the Pink Champagne scent and see what its like! Head over to Wary Meyers.
Etta + Billie — San Francisco, CA
I'm a big fan of Etta + Billie. The Earl Grey smell is quite fantastic. Etta + Billie is one of those companies that finds the right scents. I don't want the traditional, I want something unique. And these folks do it. I'd say if you are looking to stock up, maybe wanting 5+ bars of soap, this the choice. Check out Etta + Billie.
Golda Soap — Topanga, CA
Square, circle, pyramid? Yes, these are the shapes of these very groovy soaps. I personally am about to give the Golda Cube Soap and Golda Black Soap a try. Honestly, I think a circle shaped soap should do just fine during use. And read the way they describe some of its properites, "Studies have shown the Hinokitiol, found only in Aomori Hiba Oil, to have anitmicrobial, germicidal, insect repellent, and deodorizing properties." Give Golda a look.