TIME HONORED SIMPLICITY Extra Virgin Olive Oil Soaps
MISSION STATEMENT Though we strive to make the most simple and the most beautiful soaps possible, our deeper commitment is to the wonderful Turkish women artisans who so lovingly craft each bar. By following our mantra of helping women to have â€œpower, choice, and change,â€? we support them in their dream to have more control over their future. The women share the revenues equally are employed for around six months a year. Our vision is to hire more women and create a true collective that offers year-round employment such that these women can provide more for themselves, their families, and their communities.
OUR WOMEN Emine lives with her mother in the village of Kirkhan in southeast Turkey. She lost her father recently, and she is the only one in her family that has the ability to generate income. Though she does not have a permanent job, she has many dreams and plans for the future which are fueled by the soap making work she does at La’lesque. Nesrin lives with both of her parents, and she works to support the family. She says soap making gives her the feeling that she has value in the world. “I enjoy making the soaps,” she says. “It takes me way from the difficulties of life.” Her dream is to have secure, continuous work. Hatice is only one working in the family, and she has been through many financial difficulties. She is optimistic about the power of the income that soap making provides. She says that she wants to stand on her own two feet and make her own decisions about her life. Nuriye is 20 years old and wants to go to college to study social sciences; she will take the exams for college this year. She dreams of having a career in health care, and soap making is providing the income that will help fund her education.
OUR PROCESS It all starts in September, when the olives and berries on some of earth’s oldest trees are finally ripe and ready for picking. Everyone in the small Turkish villages along the Mediterranean coast come together to celebrate the bounty of their harvest. After the olives and berries have been pressed, the purest of the oils are taken. The women of our artisan future collective, mix the oils with just a bit of distilled water and some lye, stirring slowly and carefully with a watchful eye for hours in a row. (like gourmet cooking, soap making requires a lot of patience!). Towards the end, a touch of sea salt is added before the soap mix poured by buckets into traditional wooden molds. Each bar is cut by hand using ancient tool—knife attached to a long wood stick—and then is hand stamped and stacked in circular towers: an old method known to dry soaps for centuries. Depending on the season, it can take up to eight months for the soaps to dry. Than each soap bar is packaged by hand one by one...
The Laâ€™lesque Way Only Mediterranean-grown extra virgin olive oil Only Mediterranean-grown herbs with antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties Never anything artificial Never tested on animals No fragrances, foam or other additives, dyes or chemicals Only four simple ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, herb oil. lye , sea salt 100% biodegradable 100% recycled paper packaging Handmade, hand-cut, hand crafted ( punctuation between words)
Laâ€™lesque Lavender Bar Infused with pure lavender oil, this bar helps calm the mind, elevate the soul and ease stress. It also tones and revitalizes the skin and helps soothe redness, irritation, acne and sunburn. Ingredients: 100% Mediterranean extra virgin olive oil Mediterranean lavender oil Lye Sea salt
La’lesque Laurel Bar Our first—and still most popular—bar is crafted with pure oil from the laurel berries grown in the hills and valleys near Antakya, Turkey. Laurel helps nourish the skin and restore its vital glow. Its powerful antibacterial properties help heal skin problems like rosacea and acne. Ingredients: 100% Mediterranean extra virgin olive oil Mediterranean Laurel oil Lye Sea salt
Laâ€™lesque Basil Bar Basil gives this bar an earthy scent evocative of the Mediterranean countryside, helping clear the mind and rejuvenate the senses. Its therapeutic properties help refresh the skin as well as alleviate itching and soreness. Ingredients: 100% Mediterranean extra virgin olive oil Mediterranean basil oil Lye Sea salt
Laâ€™lesque Rosemary Bar Rosemary oil gives this soap its uplifting and refreshing scent with its healing properties. It helps increase blood flow, which rejuvenates the skin and leaves it fresh and glowing. It also helps ease skin conditions such as acne and eczema. Ingredients: 100% Mediterranean extra virgin olive oil Mediterranean rosemary oil Lye Sea salt
Laâ€™lesque Thyme Bar Considered by experts to be one of the most beneficial herbs, thyme gives this bar its fresh, invigorating scent that helps balance the senses. Its antiseptic properties help soothe rashes and acne and even help prevent stretch marks. Ingredients: 100% Mediterranean extra virgin olive oil Mediterranean thyme oil Lye Sea salt
La’lesque Olive Oil Bar This is the bar that started it all and it’s still the foundation of all of our soaps. It’s crafted with only the 100% pure extra virgin olive oil to make skin smoother and healthier —without ever feeling greasy. And just like the good things you put in your body, it’s also packed with skin-loving antioxidants and vitamins. Ingredients: 100% extra virgin olive oil Lye Sea salt
FOUNDER Ten years ago, Sevgi realized something: though she loved being a chemist, what she loved even more was creating beautiful things to share with others. She started making soaps at home for friends and family. Then she sold at street fairs and farmer’s markets while hearing from her customers nothing but enthusiastic feedbacks And she decided it was time to get serious. So she traveled from Berkeley, California back to her homeland of Turkey to learn more about and recreate the rich and simple soaps she remembered from her childhood. There, she rediscovered a centuries-old traditional formula and used it as the foundation for La’lesque extra virgin olive oil soaps. In Turkey, she also found a group of amazing and talented women who are as passionate about La’lesque as she is. To this day, they handcraft each bar with the deepest care and the love for the product and the process. They cut and stamp each bar by hand. They stack them in an ancient way such that the Mediterranean breezes dry them naturally. These women and Sevgi believe in the power of the soaps to make everyone’s life, including their own better.