Fall bounty.

The fall rains have finally started here in Portland after a long, dry and warm summer. Grass is growing back and the trees are drinking deep and still holding on to their leaves. We had a sweet summer at Camamu and are now in full swing preparing for the coming winter by making lots and lot of our nourishing, moisturizing and reparative soaps. Winter skin step aside! Camamu is here to lavish love and gentle healing on you all.

quilt of soap

Currently curing at Camamu are acres of our Snowy Tree soaps and a skyful of Winter Star soaps. This year our friend, the artist Catherine R, made two amazing drawings for the soaps. Each soap will be packaged in it’s own hand-stamped box which, in my humble opinion, are small jewels all on their own. Made in small batches and hand cut with a cookie cutter, we’ll have a limited quantity of these soaps so don’t wait to order. They don’t last long!

star & tree soap

Summer Refresh!

When a 4 oz bar just isn’t enough… Camamu’s chunk soaps of all-natural, handmade goodness fit the bill. Weighing in between 6 and 7 bountiful ounces, our chunks provide luscious, long-lasting lathering. Just added to the website is our Citrus Burst chunk soap. Scented with a smokey blend of clary sage, sweet orange and neroli essential oils, this soap provides oil and grime-cutting summer time refreshment while organic lemon peel helps to gently remove old and dead skin cells. Also back in rotation is our chunk-sized Patchouli Soap – earthy essential oils of patchouli and copaiba balsam provide a¬†tangy grounding and help to keep the 60’s alive!

citrus burst

Baby Bounty!

A new category has come to Camamu’s website! Baby Bounty houses a wealth of clean and natural products for babies or people with sensitivities.

From Camamu there’s our amazing Baby Balm Soap (unscented and infused with healing calendula) and our Beautiful Baby Shampoo (infused with cradle cap soothing viola/heart’s ease). From Wild Carrot’s Baby Carrot line there’s their gluten-free Botanical Baby Powder, Children’s Herbal Chest Rub, Wild Viola Cradle Cap Salve, Borage Butter Eczema Cream, Sweet Melissa Calming Cream and Calendula & Chamomile Baby Body Lotion.

Why not use the very best on those that are the most tender?

baby grouping

Do Overs

gravelGravelled garden beds make me sad. Every time I pass one I think of the flowers, herbs, bees, worms, trees, bugs and soft beauty that could be there instead. Gravel may be low ‘care’ but what joy there is in the high ‘care’ that transforms gravel to garden!

Camamu these days has been busy with transforming our external and internal space. Inside, our fabrication and retail spaces have switched places so soap-making now happens in the larger inner room while retail now welcomes you as you come in the front door.

Outside we’ve been busy removing gravel, sand and cement chunks, creating a small oasis of beauty in the midst of cement and asphalt and hopefully providing a touch more habitat for our winged and subterranean friends.

new gardenlong bed


new sign

Cast Away!

It’s spring (yay!!) and to celebrate the abounding greening and the rushing water, cured and ready to go is our Fisherman’s Anise Soap. In a tackle box fitting 4 oz size, made with fully bio-degradable, skin nourishing and moisturizing oils and scented only with human-odor-removing anise essential oil, this soap makes a handy companion to lazy, lure-tying days out on the river. As ever, this soap is all-natural and handmade from scratch right here in our studio in Portland, Oregon. Cast away!IMG_0829


goats Portland offers so many unique opportunities. I wonder what other large cities have a working farms nestled on the outskirts like we have close at hand to the Sellwood neighborhood where our studio is. Nestled in a park just a few miles away is Tryon Life Community, a community farm that practices sustainable urban ecology, educates and provides a gathering space. It’s also where we get our goat’s milk. This picture of a mama goat and four kids was taken this week when I stopped by to pick up gallons of milk from the just freshened does. The milk is sweet, creamy absolutely fresh and goes directly from the goats into our soaps. Luxurious, yummy, nutritious and all-natural goodness from them to us to you!

A few new things…

Two lovely new products just got added to our website – our new Fishing for Anise Chunk Soap and Wild Carrot Herbals new Maple Quinoa Exfoliating Cleanser. About the first, we were asked by a customer to make a soap scented with anise essential oil only as it helps remove all traces of ‘human’ from the hands. Consider it done! We now have a 6+ ounce chunk available and 4 oz bars curing that will be ready to head out, coincidentally, by Spring.

Meanwhile, Jody at Wild Carrot Herbals has outdone herself again. At the end of 2013, along with her amazing Triple Turmeric Salve, she also introduced her Maple Quinoa Exfoliating Cleanser. Using ingredients that are ALL grown and processed in the United States, this cleanser provides gentle exfoliation while richly nourishing the skin. Scented with refreshing, uplifting and mental fatigue reducing coriander essential oil (big ‘yum’ there), Jody uses vitamin and mineral-rich walnut oil (also high in anti-oxidants, provides anti-aging benefits and is anti-fungal) while the ’scrub’ comes from organic quinoa flour and maple sugar. This product comes highly and personally recommended!


Marching along.

Today finds us already in March. Somehow February came and went in a whirl of snow and ice that changed to balm that changed to rain and keeps going back and forth. The end of the month found the roses already sending out those lovely shiny first leaves, nettles poking up at my favorite hunting ground and a nice full bag of cottonwood buds that now sit infusing in organic, extra virgin olive oil beside a warm lamp, bubbling and smelling of profound resin.

At the studio today are small going’s on. We’re making just a touch of soap, a batch of Unrepentant Rose to cut down into more love-filled hearts and a new soap we’re making to celebrate the nudges of spring, one we’re hoping will be a sweet gift to give to celebrate the rebirth of the Good Mother. Just a hint – it’s going to be citrusy with floral undertones and will be cut out (by hand, of course) into flowerettes. Hmmmm. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. Pictures will follow!

The other event in the studio today is a visitation by a small, fluffy black cat who’s come in from the grey and the rain to plaintively discuss cat issues with her friends at Camamu. Purrrrrrr.

Oh. And let’s not forget to mention that today, like everyday at Camamu, the shelves are full of our soaps and shampoos, salves, Turkish towels, lotions and potions, all here, everyday! Come on by. The cat’s waiting!IMG_4440

Workings at Camamu

Our little studio is positively humming these days. Bars and bars of soaps and shampoos line the shelves in various stages of curing, Unrepentant Rose heart soaps are standing by for everyday expressions of *love* (or for that special date on February 14th!) and we just finished bottling up a new batch of our Hair & Beard Oil.

Camamu’s Rosemary or Chamomile Hair & Beard Oils are made from organic coconut oil that’s been infused with either rosemary (garden-grown) or chamomile plus organic horsetail plus a kiss of argan oil and lastly either rosemary or geranium essential oil. The oils are wonderful for nourishing hair and scalp, for strengthening the hair, for conditioning and for untangling.

Packaged in beautiful cobalt blue glass bottles, these 4 oz pots of green goodness bring luxurious glow to hair and beards.

hair & beard oil

It’s Official.

It’s official. Our Turmeric Tonic soap was our top-selling soap in 2013. Batches and batches and batches of it kept getting made as we raced to keep up with the demand for this truly top-notch soap. As most of you know, turmeric is an herb with immense health benefits. Used in the Ayurvedic and Chinese healing traditions for millenia, its benefits range from being a systemic anti-inflammatory to anti-oxidant activity to helping prevent cancer. As an additive to skin care products, turmeric acts as a potent anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, helping heal wounds, psoriasis, eczema, acne and athlete’s foot. It is also known for making skin tags, moles, and unwanted skin growths fall off or disappear.

Now, as a companion to our amazing soap, we’re very honored to offer Wild Carrot Herbal’s Triple Turmeric Salve. This glowing gold salve is made from extra-virgin olive oil infused with organic turmeric powder, fresh organic turmeric root infused in raw honey and organic turmeric essential oil. While we cannot advocate consuming the salve, it gleams with delicious healing properties! We have one customer who has struggled with a severe inflammatory hand condition that has left him with blistered skin and hands so swollen he hasn’t been able to bend his fingers. Our Turmeric Soap was the only thing that helped until he added in Jody’s salve. The diminishment of his symptoms after using the salve was nothing short of miraculous.

We can’t recommend this product highly enough!

3x turmeric salve