Why this Chennai soap maker is schooling folks on the art of bathing slower
Abitha Anand doesn't just handcraft her own soaps, she also schools her clientele on how to bathe. Step one, she instructs: Take a moment to place one of these exotic bars between your hands, and breathe in the fragrance. Step two: Wet your palms and whip up a good lather. Step three, and this is our favourite: Massage your body gently like a cotton ball hitting your cheek on a windy day.
Let there be lather
In fact, making the everyday shower a slow and deliberate ‘luxurious’ experience with her exotic vegan bars (think Tobacco & French Vanilla and Blueberry meets Pina Colada) is so much a priority— that customers are directed to a ‘how-to tutorial’ on her brand Ohayo’s website, to do just that. Here’s what you shouldn’t do, says the Chennai-based founder of the year-old brand “Don’t scrub the soap against your skin, that sort of need for grime removal is for soldiers!” It’s noteworthy to mention that this step tends to strip your skin of its natural oils, she adds.
In this fast-paced world full of gadgets that make everything happen faster and make your life simpler, yet more complicated, routine activities like a leisurely bath give you solace. Folding clothes, even ironing can be therapeutic... if done slowly and deliberately. That’s why bathroom singers are often such happy people! — Dr Mini Rao, Psychologist
A crucial part of the experience that is not to be skipped is pressing play on your music device before you begin. So it’s no surprise that one of her soaps is even named Santana — inspired by the musician’s flaming orange and black guitar in Corazon Espinado. The 47-year-old who has a background in content creation and filmmaking and began her brand a year ago, tells us the ingredients for this one is a combination of orange, cedar and cedarwood, cold processed with a blend of saponified oils of fractionated coconut and activated charcoal.
Less is more
One-of-a-kind soap creations and self care apart, Abitha is also doing her bit to reduce the carbon footprint. “I create bigger bars of soap so you go out to buy them less often. My basic size is 150 grams (compared to the conventional 75 to 100 gm).” These graduate in increasing sizes all the way up to 280 gm, approximately as large as a loaf of bread!
How will this fit on one’s bathroom sink, we wonder out loud. “That’s easy,” she responds, “Just cut your soap in half.
A regular kitchen knife will do.” The idea, she tells is to break conventional habit and instead encourage her customers to ‘play’ every time they buy a new bar. “Some people try fun shapes, others cut slice samplers for their friends... ” she tells us. However, if putting your soap on a chopping board is a bit extreme for you, there are plenty of other ways to keep it fresh. Especially, given that this soap artist never makes the same bar twice.
Order online anywhere in India. INR 450 to INR 800.