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Fireflies (aka lightning bugs) are likely the most appreciated summer insect. My heart always fills with joy when I see my very first firefly each summer, such a “blink and you miss it” moment! Who doesn't have treasured childhood memories of chasing fireflies on warm summer nights? Who hasn't cupped a firefly in their hands and marveled at the flickering glow, watching the edges of your fingers glow as the tickle of its little feet whispered across the skin of your palm? Their fascinating glow is, of course, a purely biological feature - a mating ritual intended to attract a worthy mate. The flashes are not only a flirtation, but also are a warning to any would-be predators. The luciferin that makes fireflies glow also tastes noxious to most animals who would snack on them. That same molecular compound is also found in certain species of forest fungi, known as foxfire or fairy fire.


Fireflies and fairies are intimately connected in folklore around the world. In Thai folklore, fireflies are believed to be the spirits of fairies or celestial beings. It is said that their presence brings good luck and prosperity. Some people in Thailand hang small lanterns or light candles to attract fireflies, hoping to invite blessings into their homes. It is said,too, that fairies often glow with bioluminesence light at night, leading one to mistake them for fireflies or even stars.


There are actually dozens of native firefly species; the most ubiquitous of which is as common as a spring robin. Here in the NC, we’re lucky to have two of the most beguiling and rare species.


In Southern Appalachia in the Western NC mountains, as spring slides into summer, otherwordly apparations appear to be skimming the ground in the night in the cool forest glades. Blue ghost fireflies (Phausis reticulata) emit a haunting blue glow instead of the expected yellow-green of more common fireflies. Rather than flashing, their continuous blue glow lasts about a minute, creating an eerie phenomenon when one happens upon a well-populated habit of hundreds-to-thousands of them. Where they are abundant, Blue Ghosts create the effect of an ethereal fairy village, full of will-o'-the-wisps, earning them the nickname Fairy Lanterns. But they've sparked another curious superstition, as well. According to Appalachian legend, the glowing blue fireflies are said to be ghosts of Confederate soldiers, as many soldiers lost their lives in the region where the fireflies appear. It is believed that fireflies carry the spirits of these lost loved ones, guiding them to the afterlife.


The most famous firefly in NC, though, is undoubtedly the synchronous firefly Photinus carolinus. The male synchronous fireflies flash in unison, all blinking together and all stopping at exactly the same moment, as if a conductor has cued the orchestra. For decades, these insects have drawn thousands of visitors to Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains. The spectacular event is so popular that the NPS has resorted to a lottery system of 100 cars per night for the singular week that the mating ritual is expected to occur.


These enchanting creatures are more than just a whimsical sight. They play a crucial role in our ecosystem and plant pollination and even serve as indicators of environmental health. Sadly, though, firefly populations are dwindling thanks to habitat loss, light pollution, and pesticides (firefly larvae can stay underground for up to two years, and lawn fertilizers and pesticide treatments are increasingly damaging their habitats). The next time you see a firefly's wondrous glow, hold onto that moment of magic in a mindful vigil. And remember to do what you can to live gently upon this earth and shine your own precious light wherever it is needed.


Our mesmerizing Firefly bar is scented in a fresh summer floral blend of bright grapefruit, bergamot, soothing white tea, herbal thyme and delicate hints of rose and honey. Our colorful splash swirl design on a dark black and blue background is sure to spark childhood memories...and maybe entice you to book a firefly viewing tour this summer! ;)


Approx 3-3.5oz bar

NOTE: These bars are smaller than our standard bars and thus have been priced accordingly.

Handcrafted soap will continue to evaporate water and lose weight over time. This makes for a finer, harder, and longer lasting bar.


Ingredients: Olive oil, Distilled water, Coconut oil, Cocoa butter, Hi-oleic Sunflower seed oil, Sodium hydroxide*, Mango seed butter, Avocado oil, Castor oil, Fragrance, Citric acid, Sodium lactate, Micas & Titanium Dioxide

*None remains in final product

Firefly Artisan Botanical Soap

  • Handmade soaps need to breathe! We recommend storing your soap on a slatted or free draining soap dish so that it can air dry in between uses.

    • Remove botanical toppings prior to use.
    • Don't allow your soap to sit in a puddle of water.
    • Use a wash cloth, loofah or soap saver bag to extend the life of your soap bar. 
    • Use your soap bar within one year of purchase. I know they're pretty to look at, but they're intended to be used so enjoy them! :)
    • Store unused soap out of direct sunlight and away from extreme temperature fluctuations and high humidity conditions.
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