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The Song of the Sea

"My soul is full of longing for the secrets of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Sea calls to us all. You know and love that smell- that ozonic, salt-kissed briny scent that says you’re approaching the ocean. Every time I’m visiting a place anywhere close to the beach, the ocean is the first place I must go. There’s no time to check-in, no time to change clothes.....the ocean is calling me, and I must go NOW. I drop everything on the beach and race to the shore...toes dipping into the lapping surf. Ahhh....a dramatic and instant shift occurs in body, mind and soul. Everything else falls away; Great Mother Ocean fills me with peace.

There's something so mysterious and magical about the enormity of the ocean. Stretching wide and plunging deep, we humans will never fully grasp the vastness of this blue-green world. Our history and literature is rich with stories of the sea. From Odysseus to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Treasure Island, Moby Dick, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea....a drop in the ocean, if you will, of all the writings on this enigmatic world of water and its deeply held mysteries. Its secrets have spawned fantastical myths that have been woven through the fabric of humanity since antiquity. Mermaids, Selkies, Sirens, Scylla, Hydra, Leviathan, the Kraken....each one more captivating and terrifying than the last. Our fascination with these mythical creatures represent humanity's attempt to understand and personify the vast, mysterious, and often terrifying world beneath the waves. They serve as a reminder of the awe-inspiring power of nature and the deep, often unexplored mysteries that our oceans hold.

The sea inspires us, it intimidates us. It creates peace and awe at the same time. People’s eyes turn sparkly when they describe their first encounter with the water. Perhaps this is why we run towards the ocean.

Are you a Thalassophile?

A thalassophile is someone who loves the ocean and not only appreciates being close to the shoreline but feels intimately and magnetically connected to the sea. A thalassophile NEEDS to live in coastal areas, to feel the ocean breeze on their skin and the soothing sound of the ebb and flow of the waves.

The word "thalassophile" derives from the Greek terms thalassa, meaning sea, and phile or philos, a person or thing having a fondness for a specified thing.

In Greek mythology, Thalassa was the primordial goddess and spirit of the sea.

How do you know if you're a thalassophile?

Do you feel an overwhelming urge at all times to be near the coast? Do you believe you have a spiritual connection to Mother Ocean? Do you get depressed and/or feel trapped when you're inland? Do you hopelessly miss the smell of the warm sea breeze and algae, the rhythmic movement of the waves, and the feel of the sand beneath your bare feet? Are you willing to change your life and career to live by the coast? If this describes you, you are likely a thalassophile!

Of course, you don't have to be a devoted thalassophile to enjoy the coastal lifestyle. It's in our human nature to turn to water for a sense of calm and clarity. Ocean views and tidal cycles have relaxing and calming properties and positively impact our health in numerous ways. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, believes that we all have a “blue mind” — as he puts it, “a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment” — that’s triggered when we’re in or near water. If you've ever sat beside the ocean (or any body of water) and found yourself simply gazing at the gentle movement of the water for a long period of time, while you may not have realized it, the water induced in you a mildly meditative state of calm focus and gentle awareness — what Nichols calls a “soft fascination.” It’s also common to experience feelings of awe, Nichols’ research has found. This state of mindfulness and awe invokes feelings of a connection to something beyond oneself, a sense of the vastness of nature and an attempt to make sense of the experience. Water can inspire us to be more compassionate and connected.

Let's Dive In!

Our July product collection takes us far away from last month's visit to the Land of Oz and Dorothy's home in land-locked Kansas! This month's Song of the Sea Collection invites us to swim in the deep blue waters of the Atlantic, sail the high seas with famous pirates, sing with Sirens, collect treasures along the shore, and soak up all the skin (and soul) nourishing benefits of #vitaminsea! Here you'll find a collection of stories, myths, and beloved classics that celebrate the sea and its infinite secrets. Bon voyage!

The favorites list!

Loyal Solstice fans know that we have a lean selection of regularly returning scents, but the summer coastal faves top the list of seasonal must-haves in your artisan soap collection.

  • OBX - our personal favorite! OBX is the perfect gift for any NC beach lover or thalassophile! This bar is our ode to our fave NC getaway - the beaches of the famed Outer Banks (aka OBX), the barrier islands that ring the coast of NC. beautiful bar evokes the incomparable experience of the OBX surf rushing to the shore. The clean scent starts with airy top notes of ozone and citrus that give way to a briny heart of sea salt and jasmine, and finishes with clean light musk. A seaside spa experience!  As an added feature, we've topped our OBX bar with genuine Outer Banks sea salt solar-dried from the waters of Hatteras Island from Hatteras Saltworks.

  • Atlantic - Our distinctive Atlantic bar is a top-selling favorite in our masculine scented soaps! Churning waves in a fitting marine palette invoke the call of the high seas. Top notes of citrus and ozone plunge into a briny heart of sea salt, amber, musk, oakmoss and cedarwood. A modest addition of kelp powder adds a boost of skin-loving nutrients and a distinctively briny aroma. Relaxing and refreshing!

  • Treasure Island (formerly Beachcomber) - Our Treasure Island bar summons the treasure-hunting pirate in all of us! Well, the shell-hunting, beachcombing for washed up treasures, sort of pirates anyway, LOL! The beaches of a beachcomber's dreams are studded in treasures from the sea - treasures too intriguing to resist, quickly scooped up to be added to the ever-expanding collection of bric brac from the shore. Perfectly spiraled seashells, sunbeams glinting off irridescent abalone, the rarest colors of seaglass, all unique finds enjoyed with senorial delight while strolling the sun-soaked shore. Reminisce on your favorite beach memories with this neutral beachy palette of blues and tans, topped with a treasure trove of seashells and sea glass (made from soap!), tucked amongst a sandy shore made of fine sea salt and walnut shell powder for the most realistic sand* you've ever seen! Each bar is completely unique!  The aromatic essence of sea salt, orange peel, and green grass folds elegantly into waves of woodsy sage and eucalyptus midnotes, which rest on an island of moss, teakwood, and patchouli. As soothing as the steady lapping of waves upon the shore! 

The Soleseife method

Our usual skin-loving soap base has been enriched with a traditional German sea salt brine soap process - basically a seawater brine solution! This unique bar creates a deeply cleansing bar with generous moisturization, leaving your skin silky soft and smooth. Atlantic, Treasure Island, and our Mariner bars have been made with this method.

Life's a Beach!

Our Featured Product of the Month

A brand new salt soap for those who can't get enough of these beauty bars! Our mineral-rich salt bar is topped with a handpainted soap turtle, various seashells, "sand" and a generous sprinkling of chunky Himalayan pink salt. It's the perfect gift for the ocean lover in your life! Every bar is completely unique, a true artistic statement! #utilitarianart

Life's a Beach smells like a fresh sea breeze - a rich heart of sea salt and musk resting on lofty notes of bright citrus, green florals and ozone. Sure to sweep you away to the sun-warmed beaches of your dreams! Extraordinary! 

The skinny on salt soap

Salt isn't new in skincare. It's in everything from bath salts to bath bombs, even in hair volumizing sprays (sorry, it's not in this collection! IYKYK!). If you've swum in the ocean, you already know how cleansing it is, in more ways than one (shout out to my witchy peeps!).

Sea salt is loaded with minerals - magnesium, potassium, calcium and even more depending on where it is harvested. Salt is drawing, purifying and amazing for fighting acne. It helps to restore the skin's natural oil balance while fighting the bacteria that causes acne. It's the perfect soap for hot, sticky summer months!

Our salt bars start with loads of coconut oil balanced by 50% sea salt to oil weight. While salt normally would be a lather-killer, our generously super-fatted formula ensures a wonderfully, creamy lather that will leave your skin soft, smooth and silky. These luxurious bars are often referred to as "spa bars" for their incredible skin benefits. Suitable for all skin types, but highly recommended for acne types and dry skin.

Our salt bars are made with mineral-rich Mediterranean sea salt, harvested from the Mediterranean Sea and solar dried.

Mythical Maidens and Feminine Wisdom....

"She loves the serene brutality of the ocean, loves the electric power she felt with each breath of wet, briny air." — Holly Black

Folk stories abound about mythic women who live in the deep - mermaids and selkies have fascinated us for untold generations. These stories almost always involve a mortal man and often end tragically for the woman. These mythic women of the sea represent our ability to shape-shift and change through all of life’s stages and phases, the sealskin or mermaid tail representing the feminine expression of soul.

Mermaid Tales

Have you ever felt like a fish out of water? Like you simply don't belong anywhere? The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen takes us on journey to the bottom of the sea and pulls us along like the flow of the tide to its tragic end. It tells the tale of a mermaid who falls in love with a human prince, and makes a deal with a Sea Witch for a chance to win his heart. The Little Mermaid is depicted as curious, adventurous and eager to explore the world outside the sea. Her desire for a human soul and the love of a human prince sets her on a journey of sacrifice and self-discovery. The story of The Little Mermaid has endured for many generations, with countless retellings and reimaginings. Would you be willing to forsake your family and the only world you know, change everything about yourself and what makes you unique just to win the heart of a complete stranger?

Perhaps in today's world, we should flip the script and embrace a new ideal of what it means to be a mermaid:

"The mermaid is an archetypal image that represents a woman who is at ease in the great waters of life, the waters of emotion and sexuality. She shows us how to embrace our instinctive sexuality and sensuality so that we can affirm the essence of our feminine nature, the wisdom of our bodies, and the playfulness of our spirits. She symbolizes our connection with our deepest instinctive feelings, our wild and untamed animal nature that exists below the surface of outward personalities. She is able to respond to her mysterious sexual impulses without abandoning her more human, conscious side. What happened to the girls who dreamed of being mermaids?"   - Anita Johnston,  Eating in the Light of the Moon

Selkie Sorrows

Ask anyone in a coastal community in Ireland or Scotland about selkies, and you're likely to hear a fascinating tale or two. A selkie is a mythical marine shapeshifting being - aka the seal people - grand, ethereal and magical folk made up of both land and sea. In the water, they are seals, but on land, they shed their skin and take on human form. And for some reason, they are irresistible to ordinary humans, who are apt to fall in love with the seal people. The legend of the selkie is an enduring myth that has captured the hearts of many an islander or seafarer. 

Legend has it that in order to come ashore, selkies must first shed their skin. And if you manage to find a selkie sunning on a beach with her cloak of sealskin removed and hide it away, the selkie cannot return to the sea. Irish & Scottish folklore is littered with tales of men and women (usually men) finding a selkie skin and hiding it, then marrying the selkie woman and trapping her on the land for years and years, all the while yearning for her home in the deep blue sea. 

Sharon Blackie, author of If Women Rose Rooted, says this about selkies: 'The Selkie story is the story of a woman who breaks. Taken literally out of her element, trapped on the land, where she cannot find a way to belong. She has lost her place in the world, and consequently has lost her stories. Like the Selkie, so many of us lose our skins, and all too often we lose them early. This can happen in so many ways: it may be stolen by another who does us harm; we might give it away to someone we trust, who then betrays us; or we might hide it for safekeeping and then forget where we hid it. This skin which we lose is our power: our unique, authentic power as women. The power to create, to guard, to transform. We become disconnected from our female body-wisdom and instincts."

As Blackie says, "these shapeshifing stories tap into a longing we often don’t even know we have and we feel that very deeply as sorrow." When we give ourselves full permission to feel the pull of the currents of the selkie and mermaid stories, we recover necessary parts of ourselves. You may know this cry deep in your heart. Hold tight to your skin and tails, my ladies. 

Shown here: Mermaid Tales and Selkie artisan botanical soap bars

Thalassotherapy - the Therapy of the Sea

"With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you're connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live." — Sylvie Earle

Since ancient times, humans have assigned healing and transformational properties to water. In early Rome, baths were an important part of cultural life, a place where citizens went to find relaxation and to connect with others in a calming setting. In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal wisdom, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the water element is crucial to balancing the body and creating physical harmony.

Thalassotherapy harnesses the power of the marine bioclimate, seawater, mud, seaweed, sand and other substances like plankton, using them together or separately to deliver a host of health benefits.

Seawater is the basic element of thalassotherapy. Rich in trace elements like sodium chloride, magnesium chloride and potassium chloride, it contains substances similar to those found in blood plasma. Given their similarity, the body easily absorbs these elements through osmosis, enhancing all their benefits.

Seaweed is rich in minerals, vitamins and proteins, all substances that the human body needs. Seaweed has long been used in beauty treatments, from the age-old tradition of bathing in seaweed to the modern-day seaweed spa body wraps.

Sea mud is also rich in minerals, vitamins and proteins, making it perfect for use in a number of body treatments. It also combines beneficial natural minerals from both water and earth, such as sulfur, magnesium, copper, iron and quartz.

Our brand new Lagoon Marine Collagen Mask plunges deep into the sea to bring you a full host of marine-based thalassotherapy skin treasures! Lagoon boasts Dead sea clay, kelp and spirulina amongst its #vitaminsea bennies making for a seaworthy skincare partner! And marine collagen makes this mask trendsetting!

Collagen is all the craze in the skincare circles lately, and for good reason. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body - the protein responsible for skin elasticity- and it keeps our skin strong and firm....essentially, it's the secret to youthful skin. Unfortunately, our body begins to produce less collagen with age—and your skin pays the price. When collagen production fades, the skin becomes loose and saggy, causing wrinkles. Enter the collagen mask to save the day! 

Regularly nourishing your skin with collagen-enriched face masks will help you maintain collagen levels as your body naturally decreases its production of this important protein over time. The specific source of collagen makes a dramatic impact on how well your mask will work, with marine collagen topping the charts in bennies over bovine-based sources. We've sourced the most optimal bioavailable marine collagen available to help you maintain healthy collagen production, diminish signs of aging, and boost skin hydration.

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." — Jacques Cousteau

Our connection to the sea is ancient and innate - our bodies, after all, are comprised of over 70% water, we cry tears of saltwater, we are born from womb water, we evolved from the primoridial waters, and we cannot survive without water. Like a child depends upon its mother, humans have always depended upon nature for our survival. And just as we intuitively love our mothers, we are linked to our Great Mother Ocean physically, spirtually, intrinsically. Respect her, love her, take good care of her....your life, and that of all humankind, depends on it.

Bountiful blue blessings,


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