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And now, a word from our sponsors.

For the last couple of years, my dear friend and muse, mokie, has been gleefully employing my services as a guinea pig lab hamster for her most Peculiar Treats. Filled with lye and discontent, I have lathered and scrubbed faithfully to her experimentations, and earlier this year, I had the great pleasure of being the proverbial hamster-symbol-of-cruelty on the back of her fine skin lotions.

I start with the customary 'before' and 'after' story. I have dry skin. Not the eczemic, raw kind treated with corticosteroids and water cures, but chronic scales along my calf that I suppose in a more enlightened age would land me in a carnival as the snake lady. I am also in possession of incredibly dry toes that typically split open and weep blood in wintry weather, fingers that itch so hard, they keep me up at night, and what I have long suspected are the world's most highly irritated underarms. I have tried a variety of commercial lotions, and they've barely helped. What happens is, the lotion keeps me moist for an hour or so, and then my skin either seems dryer than ever, or itchier than ever, or some permutation of both. I have gotten by with just ignoring the darn irritants, and suffering -- for the longest while, so that I would build myself a character.

When mokie told me she was experimenting with creamy lotions and that they came in such flavours as cantaloupe and jasmine-vanilla, I decided to give the lotions a try -- they were homemade and handmade, and crafty besides, with no petroleum products or known commercial irritants common in other mixes. They arrived in hand-sized blue jars one rainy spring afternoon, thick and lush creams. The jasmine-vanilla cream, which I tried first, was mild and soothing to the nose (ie. softer than real star jasmines, and feminine without being elderly), and just as pleasing to the touch. I used a fairly generous amount on my arms and legs, and my limbs thanked me. For about 12 hours a day, my underarms didn't feel like they'd been run under the fine edge of a cheese grater, the fingers -- in this case actually a side-effect of using them to rub cream on myself -- still a little dry but not itching, and my calves didn't feel like the scales were splitting along their seams. I've just finished that first tub of lotion, and am now starting on the cantaloupe. It smells like a fresh melon salad, with a slightly strong afternote of women's floral perfume. A little different and stronger on the nose than I would like, but it softens nicely once on the skin too.

Her good, old-fashioned bar soaps continue to make me feel clean and shiny on a daily basis. I'm currently just at the tail end of a test bar that started out smelling like raw rice and something earthy and citrusy underneath, which has grown to smell like sweet rice milk with use. I'm told there was silk proteins in the mix, which made it initially harder to lather in the first couple of uses, but again, aged nicely into a durable froth over time. The bar had the most pleasing effect of not crumbling after long use, even when it was rubbed down to a sliver of its original self.

After a long hiatus of experiments and trial runs, mokie's at it again, and her Etsy shop is slowly being restocked with many new and peculiar nourishers for the epidermis. Rumours have it that the latest batch of soaps, lotions and deodorants made her kitchen smell like a baby exploded. I have already gone so far as to petition for the addition of "Exploded Baby" to her online collection of goods darkly imaginative and hygienic, and I suggest you do too. In the meantime, limited supplies of "Wedding Chest" and "Bitter Orange Orchid" (a soap I highly recommend for the modern Victorian damsel to distress herself with) are available for order from her premises. Lather yourselves accordingly!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 19th, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thank you for the link! I love her soaps, but ever since her friends layoff, I haven't been able to comment in her LJ to order more.
May. 20th, 2010 02:29 am (UTC)
>>smell like a baby exploded.

May. 20th, 2010 02:32 am (UTC)
I know. It's like the perfect pro-choice scent. Or new mommy scent. I can't tell which. XD
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )