A little while back I stumbled on a lovely local company while I was flipping through Instagram (big surprise, I know). They were making gorgeous natural soaps, bath bombs, lotions, and oils, and since I'm a total sucker for bath and skincare goodies I had to look them up. Folks, meet 1890 Artisan Gifts & Floral Design!
1890 is a cute little boutique located in the heart of Merrickville, about an hour's drive from downtown Ottawa. It was founded by local event styling whiz and floral designer Jenna Majkot, who's run Dahlia Event Design and Production since 2008. After wrapping up one of her many events, Jenna got to thinking about all the plants and flowers used as decor. She wanted to find another use for them so they wouldn't simply go to waste. And so, 1890 was born! Jenna crafts all of 1890's bubble bath bombs, soaps, scrubs, and bath soaks with pure plant and flower oils, right in her little Merrickville shop.
And the place is totally charming, check it out:
Is that not the prettiest little place you've ever seen? I think I could spend a whole day in there, maybe with a cup of tea and a cat. But back to Jenna. Jenna is an absolute doll and generously provided me with some gorgeous products to try, and my gosh were they ever good. Here's a round-up of a few of my favourites.
BUBBLE BATH BOMBS, $5 EACH
These colourful tablets look like overgrown Rockets candies, and boy do they ever make for a great soak. These guys are a bit different that other bath bombs you've tried, because they're actually a bath bomb/bubble bath hybrid. Drop one into running water and it'll fizz and froth til you've got a mound of fluffy bubbles.
The one I tried was labeled "Active Charcoal Detox" and it smelled like fresh raspberries. So amazing. I tossed it into my bath after a tough spin class at Iron North and it was just what the doctor ordered: it was super relaxing, it soaked away the aches, the charcoal felt great on my skin, and the raspberry scent lingered even after I got out of the tub and headed to bed. Blissful.
WHIPPED SOAP, $17
Truth be told I'm not a huge fan of traditional bar soaps. I find they get icky and messy so I'm always looking for quality liquid hand soaps to try. And this I Id never ever seen before. 1890's whipped soap is a fluffy concoction that blends soap and body butter. You'll find traditional soap ingredients to get you clean, but you'll also find hydrating shea butter to care for your skin. Why has no one else thought of this?!
I tried 1890's "Charcoal & Lavender" whipped soap and it was exquisite. The texture was luxurious, the lavender smelled fresh and clean, and I loved that the stainless steel tin meant this soap was self-contained and mess-free. Charcoal is great for skin that easily gets congested, so if you ever get those little bumps on your arms, ingrowns, or backne, this stuff should sort you out. And did I mention it smells incredible? I loved the charcoal blend but now I want the raspberry one too.
COLD 911 BATH SOAK, $15
This stuff totally saved my butt last week when I caught a nasty bug after shivering in the cold at the Redblacks game (boys, I'm still proud of you!). Then I promtly lost my voice for two days. I ran a piping hot bath, poured in about 1/3 cup of this stuff, and let it dissolve. It's powerful.
"Cold 911" is a base of epsom salts with eucalyptus and peppermint oils, and it will kick the crap out of whatever bug might be lingering around in your system. It's super potent so don't sniff too deeply directly from the bag (it's like Vicks Vaporub times a million) but a handful dissolved in your bath is so, so, so good. Real talk: have a box of kleenex handy because if you had a plugged nose, well, things'll get movin'.
Added bonus: not only is this soak great for all those nasty bugs that crop up this time of year, it works like a dream on sore muscles too. Hey, Iron North: can you gals just start carrying this stuff at the gym? Cuz it'd be super handy. Sincerely, my muscles.
So that's my top three, but I have to tell you guys, I freaking loved every single thing Jenna sent me. Every product smelled good, looked good, and did exactly what it said, and I want you to get your hands on some 1890 goodies too.
This is your chance to win everything in the photo below! That's right, one lucky reader will win nearly $100 worth of handcrafted apothecary treats, including:
Mustard Bath Soak
Coffee Body Scrub
Jojoba Grapeseed Lotion
Charcoal Lavender Soap
Charcoal Bubble Bath Bomb
Lemongrass Bubble Bath Bomb
Bubblegum Bubble Bath Bomb
Raspberry Pomegranate Whipped Soap
Best of all, this contest is open to ALL of Canada and the United States! To enter:
3. Post a comment below telling me what you most want to try from 1890.
Contest closes Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 7:00pm EST. Hint: there's a *very* good chance I'll offer up additional entries on Twitter and Instagram, so keep an eye on your feeds!
But wait, there's more. If you simply can't handle the suspense or if there's something you've already got your eye on, order it! Use promo code "amy613" and you'll get 20% off your whole order, plus you'll get free shipping on all orders over $50. Note to my American friends: that's $50CAD which is like 2 bucks for you these days. Shop til you drop, everybody! 1890 ships throughout Canada and the US so buy for youself or buy for friends and family living farther away, and Jenna will take care of the rest.
As for me, I'm planning to pop a bubble bath bomb into everyone's stockings this year. And the naughty ones will get charcoal.