Vetiver and Valentine

You may not know the name vetiver, but you’ve almost certainly noticed its intoxicating aroma if you have ever smelled cologne – vetiver is present as a base note in the majority of perfumes and cologne today. Its smoky, musky, exotic aroma is said to be an aphrodisiac.

The vetiver plant (Vetiveria Zizanoides) is a grass that is grown widely in India and Haiti. The tall grass grows up to six feet tall. In India you’ll find thatch roofs, mattresses, and curtains made of this special plant, as it cools and scents rooms and keeps insects away.

Vetiver’s essential oil is extracted from its roots by steam distillation. The oil has powerful benefits. Academic research has shown that vetiver essential oil is a potent antioxidant that scavenges free radicals. Vetiver is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It is used to treat blemishes, blemish prone skin, scars, stretch marks and burns. Vetiver is also a natural aphrodisiac that is said to increase libido and desire.

You wouldn’t know by looking that the roots of this tall grass contain such a special essential oil – but people have known for thousands of years about its valuable properties. It’s a perfect ingredient for this season of love and romance.

If you’re curious about the seductive aroma of Vetiver, Soap Hope is featuring a line of Valentine’s Day products that highlight the exotic aroma of this wonderful natural essential oil. Indigo Wild has had some fun with this scent, blending vetiver and lavender for their limited run Ooh La Zum bar soap, candle, mist, candle, massage oil, and lip balm.

USDA Organic – The Basics

Soap Hope is about to launch a new product line called Nourish Organic with the unique claim to fame that the entire company is Certified USDA Organic.

But just what does Organic mean? What’s the difference between Organic and USDA Organic? And does organic matter for skin care?

The Meaning of Organic and the USDA Seal

If a product is labeled 100% Organic, by law every single ingredient in the product must be 100% USDA certified organic (except water and salt). Since 100% organic ingredients are not allowed to contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms), 100% Organic products are also automatically non-GMO.

If a product is labeled Organic, it can contain up to 5% non-organic ingredients. But those non-organic ingredients must adhere to strict guidelines – for example, no synthetic preservatives or petrochemicals are allowed in the final product.

Watch out for products labeled Made With Organic Ingredients. They are allowed to contain up to 30% non-organic ingredients, and there are no restrictions on what’s in those 30%.

Only products in the first two categories – Organic and 100% Organic – are allowed to display the USDA Organic seal. That means when you see the seal, you know the product has 95% or more organic ingredients, produced without toxic pesticides or herbicides, artificial preservatives or colors.

Is Organic Important for Body Care?

Most people who are seeking to live a natural life don’t want pesticides on their skin – but if the product isn’t organic, how do you know if there are pesticides in it? That’s why so many of the products at Soap Hope are certified organic: we know many folks like you want the guarantee of purity that comes with certified organic products.

Later this week you’ll learn more about Nourish Organic, the first beauty company in the world to receive 100% USDA-organic certification from the government. You can also look for organic products from our top makers like Leap Organics, A Wild Soap Bar, Badger, and By The Grace of Tea.

Here’s a link to organic labeling rules for body care products on the USDA website.