100% Pure Soap


Why Handcrafted Soap?

Conventional soaps available in stores today are not really soaps at all, but detergents. Detergents are petroleum-based products that tend to leave your skin feeling dry, itchy and tight. Thankfully there is an alternative that offers multiple benefits when used. Handmade soap’s popularity is growing rapidly as a chemical free alternative to conventional soaps.

We, the soapmakers at The Soap Gallery, use only food-quality, natural ingredients, starting with a variety of vegetable oils such as olive, coconut, or palm, and now, with the introduction of our cosmetics line, rice bran oil. To these might be added specialized oils, nut butters or seed extracts to bring the desired qualities to the finished bar.

Fragrance oils or plant-based essential oils are added for scent. For color or texture, The Soap Gallery often uses cosmetic-grade pigments or dyes, botanicals, herbs, spices or other natural ingredients. For those with sensitivities, we also make “simple soap” with no additives or scent.

Besides all the wonderful ingredients that may be in handcrafted soap, perhaps the biggest advantage of handcrafted soap is in our soapmakers themselves, each of whom invests their care and attention to detail into every batch and bar. When you use a bar of handcrafted soap, you know it was made with the personal touch of YOUR local

What About Glycerin?

Glycerin is a “humectant”, which means that it attracts and retains moisture on your skin. It is like a natural skin lotion in the soap. Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soapmaking process. Most commercial soap manufacturers remove the glycerin from the soap, process it and then sell it to other industries where it is used in foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other products.

With handcrafted soaps, glycerin remains intact in the soap. The end result is mild, pure soap that gently cleanses your skin without being harsh, irritating or drying.

What’s the Difference?

Commercial soaps are manufactured in large factories (often located overseas) staffed with anonymous employees, using the most economical ingredients. Often they contain some or all synthetic detergents; most have the glycerin removed.

Handcrafted soaps are manufactured locally in small batches with the personal oversight and care of Miss Louise, the soapmaker. She uses high-quality ingredients and is able to add specialty oils and additives to personalize her formulations. The creative artistry of each formulation results in soaps that are different and unique, offering consumers a wide selection of soaps that are not only natural, but functional and beautiful as well.

To Buy some of our beautiful bars, please click HERE.

Miss Louise


Castor Oil

Ricinus communis


Castor is an annual herbaceous plant in our regions but
can reach the size of a small tree in tropical Africa. Native to Abyssinia, it spread all
over the world and acclimatized.

About the Plant

Its big green or reddish-brown stem is hollow, with
isolated and petiolate large alternate leaves. Up to one metre wide, they are palmate with
5 to 11 lobes, more or less deep and dentate. The inflorescence forms clusters or tops at
the axil of the bracts. The plant is monoecious with the female flowers above the male
flowers. The fruit is a capsule spiked with thorns which contains greyish, oval, fleshy
and spotted seeds.

History and Manufacture

Castor grows quickly. After picking, the capsules are laid out in
sheds, in thin layers, until they are completely mature and then displayed to sunlight
until total drying. Seeds are then harvested. The culture dates back to remote times, the
Ancients already appreciated castor for its purgative properties. It was used in France
from the Middle Ages to the 16th century and then seems to have sunk into oblivion until
1764. The Egyptians used it as a purgative, but also on hair and against ulcers.

Dioscorides held the plant for an “unpleasant and painful purgative” but used to
recommend it to get rid of “skin defects”. The root has been used against kidney
disorders and Hindus still use castor as an anti-rheumatic and against gout. Castor oil is
extracted from the seeds after they have dried in the sun, and have been sorted, crushed,
squeezed and warmed up. It is a thick and viscous liquid with a sickly sweet taste. Castor
has many other uses besides its medicinal virtues: it makes dressing for fabrics,
lighting, or a lubricant which was actually very sought after during World War I. It is
also used in Chinese cooking. In China again, the leaves are used to breed a silkworm the
silk of which is very appreciated. Castor oilcakes are a very good fertilizer. Castor is
also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Ricinus means tick in Latin. The origin remains
nonetheless uncertain and it is unknown if it is because the seeds look very much like
ticks that the plant earned its name or vice versa. Castor’s magic powers are related to
protection. Castor beans are believed to be protective in many areas : they are let
to dry in small dishes, carefully out of reach of children because they are toxic. In
northern Africa, castor oil is the staple element for many magic ointments. In Muslim
countries, people having drunk alcohol are forced to take some.

Chemical composition

Average composition in fatty acids
Ricinoleic acid 90 %
Oleic acid 3 to 4 %
Linoleic acid 3 to 4 %

Castor oil moreover contains 0.5 to 1% unsaponifiables.

Cosmetic uses

Castor oil has hair conditioning and hair stimulant
properties. It also has moisturizing virtues. It can be a compound of the oily phase. Like
nearly all vegetable oils, it is a staple ingredient in soaps and detergents. Hydrogenated
castor oil stabilizes emulsions. Castor oil is an excellent active principle in:

  • products for normal, damaged and delicate hair, products for the scalp
  • body products (sun oils, bath oils)
  • face products for normal, combination and dry skin
  • lip balms

Usage level

Castor oil can be used in any cosmetic product as an
active principle or as a carrier in the oily phase, without any proportion limit.

Analytical data sheet

INCI name Castor (Ricinus communis) oil
Customs tarification 15-15-30-90
CAS number 8001-79-4
EINECS number 232-293-8
Japan Castor oil : 001515

Virgin castor oil

Organoleptic analysis
Colour Pale yellow
Odour Specific
Physico-chemical characteristics
Density at 20°C 0.950 – 0.970
Solubility in ethanol Soluble
Refractive index at 20°C 1.4750 – 1.4850
Acid index < 5.0
Iodine index 82 – 90
Peroxide value < 5.0
Percentage of unsaponifiables < 1 %

The standard norm of this analytical data sheet are only
indicative and could undergo modifications.

Keep away from light and heat.

Reproduced with permission from AMI and
L’Ami des ingredients Naturel, l’encyclopedie, a multimedia
encyclopedia AMI have produced and distributed for the industry.

Populating the Shopp

After much tweaking we finally have the shop area behaving! Look forward to a fuller list of items for sale as we enter in products – remember ALL manufactured by us – into the catalogue.

This makes me very excited!

We are also very pleased to say we’re going to be putting our “stamp” on things, as it were. So everytime you see newstamp
this on an item you can be assured that it has been handmade by us.

Herbal Escents?

Today I am writing in order to explain the move from www.herbalescents.com to our new name, The Soap Gallery. When I first started this business there was no intention to move further than the local Farmers Markets. However with the success of our product line I was happily forced to rethink this model and restructure it for growth.

Herbal Escents is too close in name to other products to enable a trademark or copyright. Once the decision was made to re-evaluate our business model a new name was sought. The Soap Gallery sounded just right to us, so here we are! We hope this hasn’t inconvenienced or confused any of our customers. Every product is still handmade by my daughter and myself – only the name has changed!

Yours gratefully,

Louise Storkey
owner/soapmaker The Soap Gallery

LOL, Trying To Figure This Place Out~


I guess it’s about time I did this thing, eh? Mom’s been bothering me about it for about a week. BUT, I’m feeling good today, so that’s why I’m here : D

;3 Got my iPod, and I’m ready to blog.


THE SOAP GALLERY–evolved from the ever-popular HERBAL ESCENTS.

But in a way, better, because now we can do more things than before, like Melt-and-Pour soaps.

lols, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be blogging about.


Mom: “Deanna! D: I need a blog!”

Me: “Oookayy… What am I supposed to write about..?”

Mom: “Soap!… Well, anything you want!”

Me: “:DD Boys?”

Mom: “… No.”


:3 That’s BASICALLY why I’m doing this. Mom doesn’t wanna be the only one posting here.


So, I guess I should write about soap.

Mom FINALLY made soap a few days ago. The oils were sitting there, nicely scooped for like, a week until she finally did it! Jiggies, I was mad. She was practically gnawing my wrist off because I didn’t do it when she wanted me to, and then I did, and BAM. Now she’s not ready to do it >___> …

BUT, that is an issue of the past, because the soap is made. Well, half of it, but I’ll get back to that.

This batch’s “flavour” is… CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT! Now the house smells like Girl Guide Cookies :3

It’s our first batch of the new size. These bars should end up somewhere around 6oz bars after curing. The old ones were like, not. Like,  almost half the size. Eepers!

The soap is BROWN, with PINK and GREEN swirlies.

Or our attempt, at least. Still working on swirls XD;;

Mom has yet to make the liquid soap, which is what I meant by she only made half the soap she was supposed to. D: She should hurry.


Anyhoodles. CHOCOPEPPERMINT SOAP isn’t the only thing new comin’ up,  we have FOOT SCRUBBY THINGS : DD.. I don’t really know much about it, though, cuz I didn’t really ask. I’ve been in a bad mood all week, and it made me feel bad because mom was trying to talk to me about the business and I was all like “mehhh” and I’m afraid I hurt her feelings D:

All I know is that it’s for feet, it smells like the CHOCOPEPPERMINT SOAP, and there’s a lot of salt in it. :\ I don’t know how much more there is to it.

OH, and we’re going to be OPENING A SHOP. :3 And what’s even BETTER? CUSTOM MINERAL MAKEUP and NAIL POLISH. Because in CANADA, soap is a COSMETIC, which means we get to dip into the cosmos, and I don’t mean astronomically~ What do I mean my CUSTOM MINERAL MAKEUP? D: Jiggies, dude! You ask a lot of questions. Basically, you hobble into our fantasmic little shoppe, and approach us all like “I needs a foundation that matches me skin D:” and we’ll be like “No problem, weary hobbler! We can make you some!” And we’ll make that foundation, or whatever you asked for, JUST FOR YOU, matching ONLY YOUR SKIN : D

CUSTOM MINERAL MAKEUP–Because no one’s exactly the same.



For all who are wondering, my job is to scoop oils, wrap, and make SOLID BUBBLE BATH. I also clean up any LOTION SCRUBS that have sprung leaks. Oh, and I sell stuff, too. I went with mom to the POULSBO FARMER’S MARKET, until last week, our last day there. I’m probably going to be taking over making LOTION SCRUBS, cuz mom doesn’t like doing it, it’s not dangerous, and I have nothing better to do. : D I also get to make videos for the website X3. Should be fun. Well, if she lets me have a friend help out D: I’m too shy to do it by myself.


Last day at POULSBO FARMER’S MARKET? D:! Whyyyy?

You wanna know why?


But, I feel not remorse.

>___> They called me Rachel.

But that’s beside the point. We are moving back to WINNIPEG. That’s right, CANADA. ^^

Which is good, for me. I have a million and two ideas of what I should do when we get there. lol, apparently my friend is going to throw me a party XD Sounds like fun, I think. I miss her, I’ll be glad to be back.

You know, I’m running out of soap-related topics. ._____. ..

I guess I could talk about the move.. :\

WELL, we’re in the process of cleaning up the house, which is a very big thing for us. I’m doing my best to keep the kitchen clean. I told myself I was turning over a new leaf, and I’ve been holding myself to it :3 I feel so proud of myself. My brother is starting to get the hang of it, too. My sister.. Needs to rinse her dishes… But I haven’t really talked to her about it, so I don’t blame her….. I need to do dishes later..

:3 And to make the whole dishes thing even more rewarding, I get paid a nice $5 whenever I start the dishwasher ;D

At least that’s what I think ._____. I was gonna start the washer every night from now on. I’ll talk to mom about it. But nonetheless, I still get money to spend on things I need to get here before I move back to Canada. Like Hollister clothes D: I only have enough for the perfume right now, and I know mom was gonna buy me clothes before we moved anyway, but I dunno how much she’s gonna buy me D: I’d rather earn as much as I can instead of taking chances. lols, I also need to pick up some makeup for my friend and I, because it’ll be a while before we can do CUSTOM MINERAL MAKEUP.

Eh heh heh…

Oh Brendan, you make everything better <33


Jiggies, keep your pants on. I’m listening to my iPod. Brendan Urie, you know, Panic at the Disco? Yeah, him.

I’m only mentioning him because mom  told me I wasn’t allowed to talk about boys on here. XD She should just be happy I’m not talking about Dave.

D: I need to go to a Panic at the Disco concert. I heard they put on some pretty gangsta pimp performances.

Speaking of gangsta pimps, does anyone know when Final Fantasy Versus XIII is coming out? D: I WANNA PLAY AS NOCTIS. >__> But, even if it was out, it’s not like I have a PS3, or any money…


If you would like to contribute to the “Deanna needs to play as Noctis” fund, the “Deanna needs a new iPod” fund, or even the “Deanna needs a new tablet pen” fund, feel free to purchase some of THE SOAP GALLERY’s quality products, or even just wire me some money ;D Remember, my name is DEANNA, not RACHEL. <33

Your support is greatly appreciated.


<33 ^^ :favourite song just came on:

I love music XD

:OO We should make music note-decorated melt-and-pour. Pretty gangsta.


Wells, I should go.

This is getting pointless XD



Pure Liquid Soap

A few days ago we sold the last of our liquid soap – for now. We’re trying to decide what scents we should make the next batches. I plan to go with 6 different scent combinations but we need some help choosing.

Since it’s going to be fall and holiday season time shortly we were thinking of using these scent/color combinations. I would love some feedback about them. Please remember that these are tentative and the shade may vary according to your monitor.

(to be continued)

Is it that time again?

mintsoapToday I unwrapped and cut the most delicious soap. It smells just like thin mints made for a certain female non-profit organization that used to knock on your door twice a year. So much so, we named it just that~ Mint Chocolate Bliss. Fragranced with Rich Chocolate and Peppermint essential oil, this soap was made with only 100% vegetable oils of Palm, Coconut, Olive and Castor.

I know I sound like a commercial so let me tell you a little secret: This was my first attempt at swirling in the mold while making a cold processed bar. Normally the soap is cooked to achieve this effect. Being the mad alchemist/soapmaker woman that I am,  this time the decision was made to attempt a slightly different recipe that was supposed to make it easier to marbelize during the first pour. Well a few moments were gained and that was just enough to get a smooth pour.

Now let me once again describe the scent of these massive 5.5 oz (160 g) bars! The scent just cries “Eat Me!”.  We know it smells like heavenly chocolate and mint and it’s going to be hard to resist tasting, but please don’t!! It’s SOAP! 

Using this Mint Chocolate Bliss soap will leave your skin feeling very soft.  AND there are:

  • NO preservatives
  • NO synthetic detergents
  • NO animal fats
  • NO pre-manufactured soap base

This soap is now available! Buy it HERE .


Pogostemon cablin

Common names:

  • Nilam (Indonesian)
  • Patchouli (French)
  • Patschulistrauch (German)
  • Patchuli (Portuguese)
  • Pachulí (Spanish)
  • Cablan (Spanish)
  • Patchouli, Patchouly (English)

Essential oil is found on outer leaf surfaces and in internal tissues, and is one of the few essential oils that contain an alkaloid.
Plants are propagated vegetatively, as true patchouli (P. cablin) does not flower. Exact taxonomic determinations of patchouli species is difficult.

It is generally thought that Patchouli originally came to Indonesia from the Phillipines.
True Patchouli yields up to 6% essential oil (dwt), but False Patchouli and Java Pachouli (>2% e.o. dwt.) are frequently grown on Java instead due to True Patchouli’s insect, disease and nematode problems.
Historically adulterated or “sophisticated” with Gurjun oil (Dipterocarpus spp.), although this practice is not common today.
Distillation practices vary from Java to Sumatra and Nias: direct steam distillation used in large scale facilities; water and steam distillation used by small holders.

A sad day, indeed….but a new beginning too?

Today was our last market day here in Poulsbo, WA. This was a sudden change in our business plans but family issues have come up which are leading us into possibly moving back to Winnipeg, MB. Where is Winnipeg? Think of the movie Fargo. We will be about 2 hours north of that ^^.

The weather today was in the 90’sF and the market was sparse because of this. However we still managed to reach our goal. We broke even last week after only 2 months in business, selling once a week at the market and we celebrated our meager profit today with Chinese food. It was nummy!

We’ll be spending the next several weeks transitioning and updating the site and bookmarks so everyone who knew Herbal Escents will now see the website point to The Soap Gallery. I’m actually pleased with our new name due to all the new horizons which open up to us.

Well that’s it for today. Oh! Except welcome to our new contributor, Deanya. She’ll be taking over most of the blog portion of this site. She will be bringing to Soap Gallery her unique perspective on what it’s like to be an apprentice in soapmaking. I’ll let her introduce herself.

Bye for now,

Miss Louise