Monday, March 3, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Alchemy and Ashes

Until recently, I only ever used liquid soap. Whenever I would think about bar soap, I could only picture the awful stuff you find in hotel rooms. That soap always leaves my skin so dry and stiff. I would end up feeling dirtier after using than I did before. However, my opinion has definitely changed lately! Alchemy and Ashes is a large part of this discovery.

Alchemy and Ashes specializes in “handcrafted cold process soaps and herbal products made exclusively in small batches using pure plant oils, essential oils, herbs and botanicals.” All of the oils are completely plant based. You won’t find any tallow, milk, or lard from an animal in these products.

I found Alchemy and Ashes to be very unique and Shawnee Kircher clearly puts a lot of thought into her products. Not only are her soaps absolutely stunning in appearance, but also she has taken the time to create multiple categories of soaps. Additionally they give each soap in each category unique names, along with a small story of sorts. 
I received four bars or soap, two Lip Alchemies, one Noble Sole Foot Balm, and one crocheted soap saver bag. When we opened up our mailbox we could instantly smell the contents of the package!

When I say 4 bars of soap, I’m guessing you are picturing small bars, maybe even commercial size. You would be very wrong! When you order a ‘bar’ of soap from Alchemy and Ashes, you are getting a huge 6.5 oz. chunk! 

Each bar can be purchased for just $6.50. They came wrapped in a fabric and tied closed. 

The four bars I got to try were each from one of Alchemy & Ashes' four different categories. The four categories were:
  • The Restless Spirits Collection - beer or other alcohol added for lather and skin conditioning properties.
  • The Botanical Mystical - hemp seed oil is added for its skin nurturing properties.
  • The Antiquities - basic formulas with names and fragrances inspired by people places or event in (mostly) medieval, renaissance, or Victorian history. 
  • The Briny Deep - Sea salt makes the bars stone like and is great for exfoliation.

“In honor of the corseted ample bosom, the bawdy jest, and the never empty foamy mug.”

The bar that I got in the Restless Spirits Collection was called Tavern Wench 15th Century bar. 

This bar had a very subtle scent with orange, lavender, almond, anise, and porter stout notes. My husband said this one was easily his favorite because it wasn’t too strong, and what you could smell wasn’t at all ‘girly’. He cut off a piece of this and put it into the shower to use.

“Inspired by those that pursue mystical insight and enlightenment.”

The second bar, called Shaman 7th Century hemp soap is from the Botanical Mystica collection. 

This one was aesthetically my favorite bar. It was very pretty! I cut it to go into the guest bathroom. 

“Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s Annabel Lee."

The next soap bar was from the Antiquities Collection, and called Kingdom By the Sea soap bar. 
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
~ “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allen Poe

I really enjoyed this bar a lot. It has a lovely blue color and smells of Spearmint gum! We decided this would be well served in our main bathroom. Nearly everyone who has been over and washed his or her hands in that bathroom comes out complimenting the soap! 

“Inspired by Jose Gasper (1756-1821) A Spanish pirate claimed to have raided the west coast of Florida and the namesake of Tampa’s Gasperilla Parade.”

The last bar is from the Briny Deep Collection. This bar is called Gasper’s Ghost and was by far my favorite of the four.  Normally I am not a fan of Patchouli but I thoroughly enjoyed its notes in this bar. Because of the exfoliating properties of the sea salt in this bar, I decided this was perfect for the crocheted bag in the shower.

I don’t think these soaps would be complete without a Crocheted Soap Saver bag to go along with them! 

While I started off by cutting a large chunk to put in there, I plan to put any and all ‘too small to use’ remnants as the other bars get used up in the bag. That way every piece of the soap can be used. 

The bag added a wonderful scrubbing texture while in the shower. It can be bought for $5 or earned for free when you place an order including 5 bars or soap. 

Included in the package were also two different Lip Alchemy Lip Balms. 

The first one was The Merry Wives of Windsor. It contained lavender, orange, and vanilla. This lip balm is vegan and is made with candelilla wax instead of bees wax. I enjoyed this one, but the next one was my definitely favorite of the two! 

The other is called Conjured Kiss. Its main flavor is almond. It was nice and simple and absolutely tasty. 

My husband keeps running off with these lip balms as well. I love that as soon as you touch them to your lips, they seem to melt just a little, making it super smooth to apply. However, they do not melt in your pocket, which I was afraid they would. These can be purchased for just $3 each. 

The last item is the Noble Sole Foot Balm, a cocoa butter lotion bar. The wonderful thing is that it isn’t just for your feet; it can be used on your elbows, knees, or anywhere dry and rough. 

When we first opened the package, it had been in the mailbox all day and was very hard. The next day, I realized that was due to it being cold, because now it was soft and smooth! I am a big fan of this product and use it mostly on my elbows. 

I love the inventive use of the container this comes in. It is essentially the same kind of tube that deodorant comes in. This product retails for just $10. 

Alchemy and Ashes carries plenty of other products including hair serum, perfume, and face cream - all of which I plan to try eventually! 

In my opinion, all of the products are more than fairly priced. My family will definitely be long time customers of this company. I had absolutely nothing to complain about with their products or their customer service. I truly hope that you all will try out this company for yourself, as well as for gifts. There is something for everyone! 


I received no monetary compensation for this review, however I was provided with the product for free for purposes of review.  All opinions are my own. Click here see our full disclosure policy.

Shawnee of Alchemy & Ashes has generously agreed to gift one of our readers with a selection of her most popular products!  Enter to win a package that includes a bar of Sweet Alchemy Soap, a blend of cocoa, oats and honey, a tube of Conjured Kiss Lip Alchemy, and a hand crocheted Soap Saver bag.  Wow!  This giveaway runs until midnight on Monday, March 17th and is open to US addresses only.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

" Thank you all for the kind words and interest in my products, and to Jackie for such a great review! As a token of my appreciation, I created Etsy coupon code RCH15 for you all to receive 15% off any purchase in my Etsy store through June 30, 2014! "

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  1. I adore Alchemy & Ashes! I really love how all the scents are evocative of specific themes (history, magic, literary motifs). I want to try the Gypsy Fortune Teller and the Salem Village Hard Cider soaps next time I made an order.

  2. Oh I would love to try dark alchemy..I've been looking at that one and pondering it for awhile!

  3. I love Alchemy and Ashes. I have stalked them on Etsy for some time now.

  4. I would love to try all of them! But I really like the sound of the scent of Mutiny Salt Soap.

  5. Shawnee is the best! I can't wait to try the lip balms. I love my soaps!

  6. The soaps all sound awesome. I like the Salem Village Cider 17th Century Hard Cider Cold Process Soap.

  7. We have been following Alchemy and Ashes for quite some time but haven't been able to afford to treat ourselves to any of their luscious products yet! :( However, the ones we like the sound of best are Native Earth & Mutiny soaps, and the Conjure perfume.

  8. I would love to try their Native Earth soap.

  9. I would love to try the Sea Queen of Connaught Pink Himalayan Salt Cold Process Soap
    Ann B.
    ababe28 at

  10. Your soaps are beautiful! Love the names, too!

  11. The Gaspar's Ghost soap sounds great and the Divinity soap would probably be very gentle on the skin.

  12. So hard to choose! I like the Divinity - Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey Facial Bar Cold Process Soap. The soaps look "delicious" ;)

  13. I love this item - Gypsy Fortune Teller 17th Century Cold Process Soap - Vegetable Based with Herbs & Essential Oils! So beautiful!

  14. They all look like I would love them, one I would love to try is the Spearment Jasmine Lavender Cold Process soap.

  15. Gasper's Ghost looks amazing, I am a big fan of soaps with sea salt in them - I love their exfoliating purposes!

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. The hand crocheted Soap Saver bag.

  18. I would like to try the French Maid Marseille 17th Century Cold Process Soap.

  19. I would like to try Boleyn 16th Century Cold Process Soap. Thank you for the giveaway!

  20. Sea Queen of Connaught Pink Himalayan Salt Cold Process Soap - Vegetable Based with Herbs & Essential Oils
    christina marie

  21. The French Quarter voodoo sounds awesome!!

  22. Everything about this is awesome , the themes, and names and overall appearance. I am captivated, I want the conjure essence , there is definitely a great selection !!

  23. There are so many great soaps to choose from, I think my favorite might be the Salem Village Cider 17th Century Hard Cider Cold Process Soap. Thank you.

  24. I love the names of her soaps! They are very creative. I'd want to try Nevermore, Lenore just because of the Poe reference!

  25. I like the Nevermore, Lenore 19th Century Cold Process Soap - Vegetable Based with Herbs & Essential Oils it's cool looking and sounds like it smells good.

    forteheidi at live dot com

  26. I'm obsessed with chap stick... I would totally try the mango, lime & avocado trio set!

  27. Thank you all for the kind words and interest in my products, and to Jackie for such a great review! As a token of my appreciation, I created Etsy coupon code RCH15 for you all to receive 15% off any purchase in my Etsy store through June 30, 2014!

    1. Oh that is wonderful, Shawnee! I will be sharing this on our Facebook and including it in the entry. Our readers are LOVING your company :)

  28. Though I havent tried it, I would say The Oracle Sea Salt and Coconut Milk Cold Process Soap - Vegetable Based with Herbs & Essential Oils would be one of my favorites.

  29. I would love to try the Sea Queen of Connaught Pink Himalayan Salt Cold Process Soap.

    Les Johnson
    katja9_10 at hotmail dot com

  30. Would love to win, just read a great blog post from Alchemy & Ashes, you can see the care that goes into those products!

  31. The French maid of Marseille 17th century cold process soap sounds amazing!

  32. Mango lime and avocado chap stick sounds great

  33. East India Trading Co. - Spiced Orange Lip Alchemy - Lip Balm with Cocoa Butter and Essential Oils

  34. Whoever names their soaps has a real talent! Love the combinations of scents and the packaging too. This soap company seems to have something that definitely differentiates it from others. I know someone who will be getting a gift from Alchemy and Ashes :)

  35. I thought I knew artisan soaps! Wow, I was wrong, plus vegan... bonus! They seem to think of everything, too. I had heard of bags and socks and things to contain extraneous pieces of soap, but to have it come with, that's just good planning.

  36. What an amazing product! Love the packaging and names, too :)