I was recently asked why some of my soaps are called stones, so I thought I would take a minute to explain.
While continuing my soap-making education on YouTube, I ran across someone who was using stone shaped molds. The finished product totally looked like real stones and I was intrigued.
Stones are cool. They are part of the earth. When you pick them up, each one has its own unique feel and its own coloring. "Those who love and understand natural stones are acutely aware that each stone has a set of properties that differentiates itself from others. In ancient times, people believed that gemstones carried health and spiritual benefits. Some civilizations used gemstones to facilitate the flow of energy through the body. Even today, many people acknowledge their benefits. These are used in spiritual practices that promote a different type of healing. For example, some use certain gemstones to restore a balance of energy to the body, promote well-being, and the feeling of peace."1 The internet is full of sites devoted to the healing powers of stones.
Given that the idea behind OutsideIn Soaps LLC is to promote Self-Care from the OutsideIn, creating a collection of soaps that incorporate the colors of the gemstones used to balance the specific energy centers in the body seemed to speak directly to me. Combining those esthetics with blends of essential oils believed to address these same energy centers, produced a product perfectly aligned with OutsideIn Soaps’ mission.
In my mind, healing stones, energies and essential oils are all related to the eastern philosophies. When I gave it some thought, the first spiritual goal that came to me was serenity. So, I set forth to create a stone shaped soap that I hoped would foster a sense of peace. In all honesty, I’m not sure why I decided to create these with a black and grey color scheme. I think had in mind polished river stones which brought to mind peacefully flowing water. Then I went to work researching aroma therapy and which essential oils were used to create peace and calm. I developed what I thought to be a balanced blend of Coriander, Frankincense, Patchouli, Sandalwood, and Clove to use in the recipe. Once the “stones” set and were removed from the mold, I was very pleased with the results. Not only did they look like the real thing, the shape was so comfortable in your hand.
I had purposefully kept the packaging on my “classic” soaps minimal and ecofriendly. It was clear, however, that paper bands were not going to work where the “stones” were concerned. I started searching the web for alternatives and somehow ended up on sites featuring Japanese Stone Wrappings. Of course these were created using “real” stones, but why couldn’t I use that with my soaps? It was certainly in keeping with the eastern theme I was sensing here. While toying with design ideas, I remembered seeing coins in the east that had “cut out” centers. These would be perfect to decorate the wrapping with. If only I had some. Well, I didn’t have the real thing, but I was able to find replica Chinese Fung Shui coins which exactly fit the bill. Not only did they look great on the wrap, they fit philosophically. “Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art of arranging buildings, objects, and space in an environment to achieve harmony and balance in a way that will bring peace and prosperity.” 2 Our aim was to rearrange the energy centers within the body (chakras).
So that is why we now have a “Stone Collection” in addition to Classic Cold Process Soaps. I love creating these gems (pun intended). The essential oil blends are intoxicating and the mixing of the colors results in some truly beautiful designs that are always unique.
I hope you enjoy using the stones as much as I enjoy making them.