Eugene Weekly : Coverstory : 2.14.08

loving your body

Clean Up and Rub It In!
Yummy smells from Fridays at the Farm
By Suzi Steffen

Hey, it’s winter. Bopping from the wet outside to the dry-as-bone heated inside can crack anyone’s cuticles — and with prime gardening time just around the grow-light corner, fingers beg for relief. Plus, the sweet warmth of the shower or bath makes getting clean all the more appealing.

That’s where local bath product makers come in. Sure, the Saturday Market isn’t underway, but the Willamette Valley’s bounty of lavender, rosemary and other good smells means there’s a plethora of soap, lotion and other bodily delights for happy consumers. Fridays at the Farm, a recent addition to the Saturday Market roster, makes smelling good cool again in Eugene. (Seriously, people: It’s OK to smell like lavender instead of unwashed clothes overlaid with patchouli.)

Owners Melanie Vanderlip and Jessica Laughlin, who make all of the products themselves in Vanderlip’s barn, started out a few years ago as friends learning to make soap — and then headed for the market with their fine-smelling products. Now they even have a soap-of-the-month club that sends out three soaps a month. Maybe a co-op like the Lorax Manner would be the best consumers for this club; alternatively, stockpile the soap for holiday gifts. With scents like lemon verbena, the soaps brighten up the winter, and the black currant rose soap perks up a nose weary of smelling the heating vent. Longing for longer evenings, lazing on the porch, drink in hand? The gin and tonic soap might be just the ticket.

Don’t confuse the soap — made by hand, in small batches, using the cold press method — with the lotion bars. These little guys, made with organic shea butter, organic cocoa butter and organic beeswax, come in pretty tins that you can keep and refill when you’ve used up the first smoothing, soothing bar. If that isn’t thick enough, check out the shea souffle, with vanilla/grapefruit and lavender leading the charge to moisturize. The slippery slope of skin smoothing can begin in the bathtub too thanks to their milk baths, which come in glass bottles and use cream as a base for the usual super scents.

All of their products — including, yes, a “Sweet Earth” scent for the lotions that mixes lavender and patchouli — come packaged with charming labels made from Laughlin and Vanderlip’s family photos. However, if you want to use your own photo for the labels, you can email a high-resolution pic to the women, who, for a bit extra, will provide you with a customized package. Hm … start planning ahead for next year’s Valentine’s Day!

You don’t have to wait until the Saturday Market, thanks to ye olde Internete. Head to www.fridaysatthefarm.comor call 726-8745 for more on the sweet scents of the season.


loving your body 2008

Healthy Substance Abuse Wining and dining your way to a healthy heart

Healthy Food On the Run Fast but not costly to your body

Mantra for Stress Relief Calm down the monkey mind!

Come On, Feel the Noise Plug and play

Clean Up and Rub It In! Yummy smells from Fridays at the Farm

Loving to Cook Serving up the basics with a sharp knife