Business Scents

Article Published: Mar. 4, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Business Scents

From left, Ann Newberry and Jaimee Smith have opened an organic soap shop on King Street in downtown Boone.

Photo submitted

There is another reason to sing in the shower.

A new shop on King Street in Boone offers people who love the Earth an opportunity to also love smelling fresh.

Caravan Botanicals and Fiona's Fountain caters to the eco-conscious bather with organic products.

Though strongly discouraged, eating these soaps would not result in serious trouble. Jaimee Smith, owner and soap maker, said that within the first month of their opening, a man ate some of the soap. He lived to taste another day. Smith doesn't recommend this action, since it can put a cramp in your style.

But if you're going to wash your child's filthy mouth out, these soaps would be the way to go. The powerful chemical toxicities found in lye soaps are one of the reasons that Caravan Botanicals and Fiona's Fountain started producing their own.

Lye's main chemical form is sodium hydroxide, which is an alkaline chemical that will break down sticky materials like fat. The lye compound is used in such products as pool cleaning chemicals, drain de-cloggers and metal polishers. It is also used in laundry detergents and in many personal soaps.

At Fiona's Fountain, located above Dancing Moon Earthway Bookstore, most of the soaps are derived from organic compounds.

"Tea tree is the most potent anti-microbial next to garlic," Smith said. "Of course, who wants to smell like garlic? Tea tree is used in some of the soaps. Turmeric is what we use for our orange soaps, and it's good for arthritis. It promotes circulation. Lemongrass is good for keeping bugs away."

There is a soap called "Mountain Man," which Ann Newberry and Smith concocted for hikers. Both Smith and Newberry, joint owner of Fiona's Fountain, agree that mountain women get out in the dirt, as well. They are looking for a new name.

A lot of love goes into the making of these soaps. Washing with soap that was handmade perhaps means you're getting a helping hand when scrubbing the dirt away. Smith and Newberry are devoted to making healthy and fresh soaps for their customers and friends.

"My dad wanted me to blend these three oils," Smith said. "I blended it up, and in little more than a week I sold the whole loaf of soap. I called it (Baba Soap) because my kids called my dad 'Baba.' And Skylar (Smith's son) didn't know this, but 'Baba' is a term in an African language for father."

Smith and company use herbal powders to make most of the colors, including powders from tomatoes, parsley and ground rosemary.

The colors of the soaps are vibrant, and their aromas are pleasant. Even the shapes of the soap bars are unique to their own properties. Glycerin is used to give the soap mass, and then emollients are added for moisturizing properties. Some use shea butter, others goats milk. Honey is used as the soap preservative, and it works as an astringent.

Caravan Botanicals and Fiona's Fountain are located at 555 W. King St. in downtown Boone. For more information, call (828) 719-0618 or e-mail (

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