“Natural” is a term used so often these days, and it always seems to mean different things to different people. But when Cleveland soapmaker Michelle Gilbert says that her Sarva soaps are natural, she means business. 

Sarva Soap Co. offers soaps with 100% natural ingredients. Michelle brings extensive knowledge of aromatherapy to her soap artistry, combining subtle essential oil blends with pure vegetable oils and butters to create vegetarian and/or vegan friendly soaps. Her palette includes botanicals, clays, and spices, which lend their natural hues to each elegant bar. The result is soap that is not only beautiful but “a treat for your skin and your senses.”

As Michelle returns to Sarva after a 10-month sabbatical, I’m thrilled to have her join us today. I hope you enjoy learning more about this gifted artisan and her lovely soaps. 

1. Santa is looking for new gifts to share with the special people on his list. Which Sarva Soap would you recommend?

Everyone loves Ritual! It feels so special. It’s got a super silky feel, and it’s a hefty bar that just seems to last forever. Ritual is a salt soap, which means it’s made with 50% sea salt. It’s not scratchy at all… in fact, the salt melts into the creamy lather as you bathe and leaves your skin feeling like you’ve somehow magically exfoliated. My fiance is absolutely hooked on the essential oil blend (cedar, sage, citrus, and a touch of mint), and women love it just as much… I may have found the perfect “spa/unisex” essential oil blend! I get such a kick out of watching people’s faces as they hold a bar, breathe in, and a calm smile creeps across their faces.

2. Hot cocoa or mulled cider?
Option C: Ginger-orange… tea? 🙂 Grate 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger per desired serving, and simmer the ginger in water with some honey (agave if you’re vegan, or date paste if you are sugar-sensitive like me) along with lots of orange slices or a drop of orange essential oil (just one drop is all it takes). Strain if you like, or don’t strain if you really like ginger! Warming, comforting, and spicy-sweet. 

3. To get in the holiday spirit, I like to…
On the first snowfall, I bundle up and get out into a forest. Cleveland has an amazing Metroparks system, and I have some favorite locations. Sometimes I take my camera. Breathing the air, feeling the quietness, watching the snowflakes, I connect with the peace of winter. I also like to reduce my usage of artificial light and enjoy candlelight and companionship, be it kitty or human! For me, the season is about going within and nurturing, savoring the change in weather, and connecting with simplicity. Nature helps me do all of these things.

4. My favorite (new, most popular) gift idea at Sarva this season is:
…still on the drawing board! Nah, seriously, it wasn’t in the plans to reopen yet, but I was so grateful for my most loyal customers that I wanted to offer something to give as holiday gifts, kind of as a thank you. So I have made a limited supply of customer favorites, and soap trio gift boxes are always a huge hit. I’d say, keep watching and let’s see where this goes… I have some awesome ideas brewing and plan to keep it small and special from here on out.

5. And most importantly: Naughty or nice?
I’ll never tell 😉

To order Sarva soaps, please visit their website. You can also learn more about Sarva Soap Co. at Facebook and follow Michelle on Twitter.

I’ll admit, I’m a fan of Sarva and never met a bar I didn’t like, but I love Purity and of course Lavender Rosemary, and I’m looking forward to trying the new Peppermint Twist soap. Which Sarva soap is your favorite?