Making Soap at Nhoa’s Eden

Sometimes, I like to get artsy. One of my highlights of the year I spent teaching and living in a Cree community in the far North was weekly pottery nights. After that year, I spent a year teaching on the reservation next to the village of Oka, Quebec. And everyday, I drove by Nhoa’s Eden Savonnerie (Soapery in English). And everyday I saw that I could stop and make my own soaps. And everyday I wanted to.

But, there’s a certain phenomenon, especially as a high school teacher, that you don’t really want to return to the town you work in on your weekends. Especially when you commute an hour and a half. So, I never stopped.

And then, 6 months after leaving said job and not having set foot in the area, I decided to go. With Xmas around the corner, homemade soaps seemed like a good idea (and obviously an early gift to myself), so my friend and I made the trek to Oka (Which also allowed me to stock up on Mocassin Jo coffee in Kanesatake, as I’ve been in withdrawl for 6 months…)

For 24$ a person, you get to make 4 soaps. The soaps are all glycerine based; you pick the color, scent, and decorations inside. Or you can opt for an opaque soap, and choose what goes into it from the buffet (clay, coffee, etc).  The process is pretty easy, just a question of remembering how many drops of what to add, from the DVD viewed prior to soap making.

After watching the DVD, you are given a tray with molds, mixing cups and sticks, and stock up at the buffet, which includes supplies for opaque soaps, glitter, smaller soap forms to put inside, dried flowers, and potpourri. After that, at your workstation, you get to pick the color, and scent. You can mix different scents together (kiwi coconut? chocolate lavendar? A word to the wise? Cocoa + coconut + coffee = a weird mix. Don’t try it take my word for it. ) Afterwards, you receive your hot gelatin, which is poured into the molds and mixed with your color/scent (and in our case GLITTER) conconctions. It takes a few minutes to harden and cool, and then you and your soap are done.

We were the only people present to make soaps that day, so we had the cozy upstairs to ourselves, which made it completely relaxing. In the summer, there’s the option to work outside on nice days. You rec

There’s a boutique of amazing looking and smelling soaps and bath bombs downstairs, as well as a station for making and decorating glycerine-based candles, which we intend to return and do after the holidays are over and we need some relaxation and arts.

Nhoa’s Eden is located at 116 rue Notre-Dame (the main street) in the core of the village of Oka, 5 minutes from the Oka National Park, and 2 minutes from the Oka-Hudson ferry dock. For opening hours, prices, and more, check out their website: http://www.nhoaseden.com/

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