Handmade or homemade products are so dear to my heart. Not only because I have our homemade spreads and jams business, also because I recognize the amount of work put into each homemade or handmade item. When you buy a handmade product, you are certainly getting only the best from its producer. Why? Because the amount of studying, planning, research, trial and error were passionately poured out in each work of art. My skin has been spoiled by one such masterpiece, the handcrafted soaps of The Scullery.
What is a scullery? According to the online dictionary, it is a small room or section of a pantry in which food is cleaned, trimmed,and cut into cooking portions before being sent to the kitchen. It is also where cooking utensils are cleaned and stored. In our culture, it’s probably the “dirty kitchen”.
That’s exactly where Al, co-owner and production queen of The Scullery, prepares not food but organic hand-made soaps in her home in Cavite. The Scullery is fairly new business that manufactures cold-pressed soaps using only natural and organic ingredients. I am told that there are no synthetic scents, additives or preservatives incorporated in their products.
Al shares that she has always been captivated with the natural scent of organic soaps because it enlivens not only her closet but her home as well. Her creative mind and hands led her participate in an all-natural soap making workshop last year. Armed with the knowledge of this archaic way of soap production, she and her business partners put up The Scullery.
The Scullery’s gorgeous photos on Instagram tickled my fancy that I decided to order a few for my Christmas gifts to my in-laws. I had a hard time deciding what variant to choose for a each family member so I heeded Al’s suggestions. I got one for myself too and am enjoying the Lulur Bar up to this day… scrimping to the max!
This Lulur bar, which is a new addition to their product line, has its roots in Indonesia. Lulur in Bahasa means “scrub” and I am loving the way the soap left my skin soft, cleansed and smelling really great, not overpowering at all. I am happy to report that the bar didn’t leave any gooey residue on the soap dish also.
Their soaps are not like the other organic soaps in the market today. Al was taught the old-fashioned way of soap-making, the cold press technique. Like I mentioned earlier, there is careful planning and research from the sourcing of ingredients to the actual hand mixing of the soap batter.
The ingredients like oranges, rose petals, cinnamon, extra virgin olive oil and virgin coconut oil and others are harvested from true organic growers. Now that her son is in a boarding school in Baguio, she frequently brings home organic produce from the nearby provinces, some of which she handpicked herself. She has to be true to the name, “organic”.
Cold-pressed technique is done by mixing the ingredients by hand because this prevents the incorporation of heat or having the “volcano effect”. Although a hand mixer is a helpful tool, she still prefers to mix it manually, which is also practiced by her mentor, because that too will create heat.
The average time for the batter to saponify (turn oil to soap by alkaline reaction) is four hours. But if pure olive oil is used, it takes 8-12 hours … of hand mixing! It’s an entire day of soap making! Later, the batter is placed into molds and allowed to cure for 40 days. That’s 40 days of love right there!
During the Christmas season, the bulk of their orders included Tomato Basil, Rose and Honey, Lavender Goat’s Milk, Coffee Cinnamon Vanilla and Lulur Bar. They also have a couple of bars that men might enjoy because of the musky scent.
Aside from soaps, The Scullery is also building up their product line including salves, soothing and anti-itch balm, body butter, anti-cellulite butter, lotion, mosquito repellant and linen/room spray.
Being an advocate of organic, natural and farm life living, she wishes to influence the younger generation to choose the most natural products to prevent unwanted side effects of synthetic ingredients. She will continue to research on age-old soap recipes, revive them and introduce these to the market. She also plans to join bazaars in the future and if God permits, set up shop too.
You can check The Scullery on Facebook and on Instagram. You can also email at Thescullerymani[email protected] and send your queries via Viber at +63 939-1787627.
*Photos reposted with permission from The Scullery