We’re on our way home, and this means that our Epic 8-week Summer Road Trip is coming to a close. We’ve chosen to end the trip on a good, no great note, and we’ll be doing a Where It’s Made type of post. Our journey takes us to Naturalmente Mediterraneo and Jennifer explains the process of making artisan soaps and other skincare products.
We Finally Meet!
It turns out that this isn’t just some random visit. Heidi and Jennifer have been in touch for a few years via our blog. As we were going to be passing through the town of Garrucha, it was time to go for a visit. With the shop right on the main street, it was easy to find.
I was literally 20 feet away from the door, and I could already smell the fantastic scents coming from inside. With Anya being so into skincare products (soap, lip balm, bath salts, etc), she’s buzzing with excitement. We finally get to meet Jennifer face to face, and we also meet her husband too. Great people!
I’m not a perfumey kind of person, so normally, I’d pass on such an adventure, but all of the scents I’m detecting are natural, and don’t have that artificial “manufactured” smell. Plus, I’m smelling citrus, lavender, and some of my other favorite scents, so I’m quite happy to keep on learning. Jennifer even made a fun game of “can you guess this scent?”
She brought out several jars of pure essence, and they were a pleasure to behold. These are oils that are not adulterated with artificial colors or alcohols, so they are very strong-smelling. It’s amazing to see and smell the lavender, coconut, or any one of the many oils she uses in her products.
The Spirit Behind Naturalmente Mediterraneo Artisan Soaps
Before going too far, let me tell you the ethos behind Naturalmente Mediterraneo. In Jennifer’s words:
We have 4 main values that are ever present as we work:
- Enjoy what we do
- Use only natural ingredients, mainly from our area of Spain
- Support the local community & economy
- Treat the environment well
Where Does The Magic Happen?
Jennifer takes us back to the cutting room, and explains how she makes the big blocks of the artisan soaps (18 inches wide X 18 inches tall X 3 inches deep), and then cuts them by hand.
She then takes one of her many stamps, and with great precision and care stamps the soap. Not only does she make soap branded with her company name, she makes personalized ones for events such as weddings.
She even let us give the stamping process a try. I’ll admit, that my technique needs some work, but it did give me an appreciation for Jennifer’s deft touch.
A Passion For Great Combinations
The next part of the tour was the packaging and shipping area, and right next to that was the “Aging Room” for lack of a better term. This room is temperature and humidity controlled, and the soaps actually lose a fair amount of moisture while they’re curing.
The process was much more involved than I imagined. Jennifer is like the Willy Wonka of soap making! She’s keeping track of humidity, pH, and a myriad of other technical details all while combining scents and textures. Quite the juggling act!
Get a load of my favorite combinations:
- Orange Poppyseed
- Lavender Honey
- Coffee Cinnamon
- Lemon Sea Salt
And those are but a few of her collection.
Jennifer Has Questions For Us
After our the “official” tour, we went back into the main sales room, and she was full of questions for us. Her story dovetailed with ours, and why we moved to Spain. Like us, she’s doing what she loves, and has a real passion for it. We wound up buying a couple of soaps, and she sent us home with a few samples, which Anya quickly claimed.
We hope to see Jennifer again in the future as it’s always good to connect with our readers, and fellow kindred spirits. If you’re in the Vera area, stop in to Naturalmente Mediterraneo, and tell Jennifer that the Wagoners say, “Hola!”. Otherwise, just go check them out online!
Now we are refreshed and ready for the final 2 1/2 hour drive back home to Almuñécar!
Tell us what you think?
Address: Carretera Vera-Garrucha, 32B 04621 Vera España
Telephone: 950 109 159 – 655 299 494
Website: Check out the website here.