Oct 8, 2011

Trudis' Travels

French soap molds,cutting & stamping tools
Eric & Remy, a Loire sun set
Leaving the island at the end of the summer to recover from sheer mountains of work that we were lucky to have at Gaia, my husband Eric, our dog Remy and I headed for cooler lands. France is always one of our favorite haunts and we return over and over and always delighted.
  We started our trip with delivering to our new client with a beautiful shop 'Parsimonia'  in Barcelona and ended the trip with a visit to admire their mounted display.

While in France I couldn t resist visiting a local soap factory/ museum/ shop.... and yes I did buy some soap! The soap here is made in a different way then the Gaia soap. The fats are heated to very high temperatures, the lye is also added at high temperatures and the soap mass is thick, hot and volatile, essential oils are added at this point and after stirring and watching they do a lick test; with their tongue to see if the chemical reaction is finished. If it does not sting your tongues the soap is poured into giant molds, cut still hot after 24 hours then pressed and kept for a very long time before wrapping and selling. An unchanged process after 300 years. http://www.martin-de-candre.com/savonnerie-artisanale.htmlThe setting was idyllic and even hosted a wonderful Bed and Breakfast! So if you are passing through France....

 The Martin de Candre Soap Shop
Our soaps if you are wondering are made at 30 degrees C and no we don' t lick them to see if they are ready to pour!We pour into individual molds while it has the consistency of custard, store and dry for three weeks before wrapping and selling!

I also visited a wonderful Sunday morning flea market in Montreuil Bellay which was another highlight of our trip.My husband comfortable in a coffee shop with dog and newspaper and me searching for wonderful quirky items to bring back for the Gaia Bathtime shop; there isn t a better way to spend Sunday morning.
Montreul Bellay Flea Market.

Patient husband
I found gorgeous vintage under wear, men's  toiletry kits and 1940 and 50 evening bags.

A another new discovery was French scented paper also a very old tradition. Beautiful sheets of flowery, beautiful smelling papers to line your draws and wardrobes and small pieces to burn to scent and purify your home. I suspect we might try and stock these in Gaia Bathtime.
Soap scenting and exfoliating ingredients
Ancient craft of scenting paper

Miss Crofton in Parsemonia c/Laforja 89
Olga, Montse and the  Chefe
in Pasemonia 

On our last day in Barcelona I had the opportunity to visit the delicious small shop 'Pasimonia' for which we had the pleasure to develop 3 new ranges of products scented with lovely dusty, floral, vintage notes, consisting of soap, shower gel, body lotion and body polishers.http://parsimonialatienda.com/ Olga of Parsimonia and Montse welcomed me to the shop and are working hard to introduce Barcelonians to the Huga,Gilda &Nina range . Also found in  this deliciously luxurious shop is latest Miss Crofton range of Underwear.http://artwednesday.com/2011/07/20/an-interview-with-miss-crofton/
 Nice to have the family under one hat!

Last but not least I collected my first Michelin Star while in France dining at http://www.restaurantlegambetta.com/restaurantlegambetta.aspx
to celebrate my birthday and went horse riding! Not a bad way to spend ones birthday!

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