Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Handmade in Florida: May Restock

Zahida, the brilliant soaper behind Handmade in Florida, restocked her store at the end of May and since I knew it would be the last one until after summer, I used the chance to replenish my dwindling soap stash.

Handmade in Florida's packaging is perfection. When your box arrives, cut carefully into it because when you fold back the flaps, you will see a sea of impeccably crisp aqua tissue paper, sealed with a chic thank you sticker. Unfold the tissue paper to reveal white and iridescent crinkle paper and more wrapped goodies packed in like a professional Tetris gamer.

In the past I have only tried Zahida's soaps and a lip balm, but this time I saw she released scrubs and bath bombs and knew I wanted to experience them.

Three bars of soap wrapped in a brick. Her soaps coast $8.00 each, about 5 ounces, and are very luxurious.

The bar of soap has a folded piece of tissue paper wrapped around the perimeter and it is then slid into a box with the name and scent description and all pertinent information on the label. 

Adam's absolute favorite soap ever is Handmade in Florida's Moroccan Mint Tea. He cuts it into three chunks and was down to one last sliver when I placed this order. I could only buy one bar at first but then kept refreshing until another one popped back in stock from someone else's cart. Zahida combined shipping on this opening thankfully, as I made 4 orders to get everything I wanted. 

You can read about Moroccan Mint Tea in this post. To summarize though, it is a fabulous spearmint and black tea aroma that provides an invigorating bathing experience.

Ginger Patchouli- Description: A sweet and spicy blend of orange, ginger, patchouli, vanilla and musk.
The orange, ginger and patchouli merge to give an almost licorice tone. The patchouli is not head shop at all, but a fragrant and dusky scent. Very nice.

Patchouli Oudh- Description: An all-time favorite blend of dark aged patchouli, oudh, sandalwood, warm amber and sensual leather. 
My friend Giffe' gifted me a sample sliver of this scent and I fell head over heels. Her patchouli is very refined. Combined with the bleached sandalwood, white amber and drop of woody oudh and light smooth leather, it comes off as very high end and sophisticated. Not heavy, ominous or too virile. At least for my tastes.

Southern Rose- Description: A delicate arrangement of lush velvet roses and sweet southern magnolias on a sandalwood and amber base. 
Sweet candied roses and magnolias. The woods and amber keep this from being candy store and ground the heady florals nicely. A bar of soap that smells as beautiful as it looks. 

Cherry Blossom-Description: A delightful blend of sweet pomegranate, tart currants, pink cherry blossoms and delicate white magnolias.
A beautifully done twist on a traditional soap scent. The cherry blossoms and tart fruits create a melange of fresh herbal cleanness. I cannot detect the individual notes explicitly other than the floral bouquet but the overall synergy equates to a very special and lovely clean soap scent. 

Look at the artistry. She hand piped these roses and handcrafted the cherry blossoms. Gorgeous.

The scrubs were $7.00 each for a 4 ounce tub of sugar based whipped scrub. She had a fabulous selection of scents and most corresponded with the bar soaps. In the end, I must have been on a huge rose kick (again). Her scrubs are quite different than any I have tried. The sugar grains are larger but more sparse, offering an amped up exfoliating experience. The whipped soap base feels very creamy  and custard-like. It foams and bubbles like crazy. The texture has a slight thinness. I very much enjoy the scrub and how wonderfully fragrant as well as moisturizing and exfoliating it is.

Southern Rose- This scrub translates the bar soap scent wonderfully. Fresh roses and sweet white magnolias to perfection.

Patchouli Oudh- In the scrub format, Patchouli Oudh has a little more transparency and freshness, less musk to it. It is lovely in both versions for sure, just slightly different. I love the minty hue and slushy texture.

Candied Rose Petals- I have been using this one with abandon as of late. Rose petal garnishing a berry filled jam. A touch of lemon zest for tang. Nothing like Lush's Rose Jam, however. Less cloying than Rose Jam and more austere. More realistic.

Maharani- Description: A royal blend of damask rose, night blooming jasmine, patchouli, sandalwood, and smokey incense.
The rose takes a backseat on this one but does lend her velvet plushness. My nose interprets this as a vanilla incense with exotic florals and moody woods. I love, love, love it. I do wish I had this in a soap, body butter and bath bomb. And perfume. And linen spray. And wax tart.

Mini Cupcake Bubble Bombs- Soft roses and tart lemons. More lemony and zesty than the Candied Rose Petals scrub, and less sweet. I have not used one of these yet, as I kind of want to hoard them, but I will eventually. These were $5.00 each.

Patchouli Oudh Bath Bomb- How gorgeous is this bath bomb?! As soon as Zahida teased us with this beauty on her IG account I fell madly in love. These were $6.00 each and could easily two baths, but I was a glutton and tossed caution to the wind and used the whole ding dang thing. The water foamed and bubbled and became silky soft with the scent of musky sweet patchouli and oudh. Just like the soap. I loved it and I am happy I have more to use. It does have a soft consistency that breaks and crumbles easily.

Free samples:

Mini Macaron Bath Bomb- These were a special treat for her customers this opening. A wonderful freebie and very generous! She recommends twisting the icing out and crumbling it under the water then adding the blue cookie part afterwards. It smells candy sweet like sugar coated raspberries and strawberries. I love it. My girls love it. And we will enjoy using this. <3

Coconut Curry- I LOVE THIS! Jasmine, coconut, lime, curry leaf, lemongrass and vanilla are blended to create the most amazing aroma. Tropical, exotic, almost ambery and musky in its depth. That lemongrass and lime and coconut stand out and the curry leaf adds just a touch of cumin and cinnamon spice. Oh my goodness. Brilliant.

Cherry Limeade- A fun zippy scent that smells just like the Sonic drink everyone likes to get. Almost reminds me of the popular Bite Me scents in the wax world. My friend Ashely will be getting this due to her abiding love of cherry. <3

I briefly considered breaking up this order into a couple of posts, but what the heck. It was a great order and I decided to show it in all its glory. Thanks for sticking around if you made it this far down. If you are curious about bar soap or wonderfully crafted bath goodies, you should give Handmade in Florida a try. Zahida will probably open again in August. She announces a specific time on her Facebook and Instagram accounts (she is posting brilliant photos of her trip in London right now, I am drooling!). She does have 10 minute cart holds, combines shipping and charges actual shipping. Do any of these scents sounds like something you would like to bath with? What are some of your favorite Handmade in Florida scents? 


  1. What an order!!! I wouldn't want to use the cupcakes either. It took me a little while but I just remembered our acronym TATU. The piped cherry blossoms with the pink radiating from the centers...we bow down to you Zahida.

    1. I definitely went "go big or go home" on this one. But I really had a need for soap so I stocked up. The cupcakes are TOTALLY Too Amazing To Use. The Patchouli Oudh bath bombs are too, but I went ahead and made a sacrifice for the blog. The Cherry Blossom soap really is a work of art. All her soaps are, but the handwork is incredible.

  2. These soaps and bath products are GORGEOUS! LOVE your order, those cupcakes, omg! Coconut curry sound amazing. Love the face in the bath bomb, absolutely stunning work from this company. Love the elegant, simple packaging, too. And of course, your staging for your photos! CUTE!!

    1. Yes! They really are Lauren! The coconut curry was definitely a surprise favorite. I don't know what magic she worked blending that scent but it is incredible. I can see it being amazing in Cali weather too. Zahida's passion and eye for detail is evident in every component of her business. I hope you decide to try her stuff out one day. You won't be let down.

  3. Impossibly beautiul! must be hard to use them...

    1. I agree! Zahida is so talented. It is hard to break into them sometimes, until I get close enough to smell them. Then I can't help myself. They smell and feel so heavenly.

  4. Everything is gorgeous, especially the cupcakes! Is this a local store or just for online ordering? A month or so ago, we were in Kissimmee & decided to visit Old Town. Hadn't been there in forever & honestly I'm not as impressed with as I used to be. Anyway, we saw a soap/bath store there (can't remember the name) & so the girls & I went sniffing - I mean exploring, LOL. We got some soaps & bath bombs. Have you been there before? Is this the same store? Are there any other soap/bath stores locally?

    1. Zahida does make the most incredible bath products. She does only sell online at the moment. But it is nice to support local small business. Old Town is very different than it used to be. There were really cool stores in that strip but most are now kind of shoddy. In downtown Lakeland there is the Black Swan and they carry Rafa Natural which is nice. But I have not encountered any that are as good as Handmade in Florida as far as local goes. She is the best in the area by far.