One of Isabella’s passions is discovering the stories that make any object special. She develops narratives for products and services, and designs unique concepts for immersive experiences.
Herbs in Her Pockets wanted to make a soap special enough to tell the story of the island of Crete, so Isabella Zampetaki teamed up with Manos Lipakis and Stelios Foinikianakis of Helleo, who make organic olive oil soap by hand, and introduced them to a winemaker and a potter.
The story begins in Manos’ olive grove near Knossos, where the trees’ silver leaves tremble as their fruit is harvested by hand. The olives are milled on the same day and at a low temperature so that the extra virgin olive oil extracted is of the highest quality.
For this special cold-process soap, Kotsifali red wine, one of Crete’s 12 indigenous varieties, joins Manos’ olive oil in the mix. The wine’s anti-aging effect on your skin is remarkable, but it’s certainly also worth trying a glass of it the more traditional way and, for this, Herbs in Her Pockets recommends the Kotsifali from Lyrarakis Winery. With vineyards in several parts of Crete, the Lyrarakis family has played a central role in protecting local grape varieties from extinction while producing international award-winning monovarietal labels.
A little bit of love goes into the soap as well. “Erontas”, which means love, is the nickname Cretans have for dittany. This herb, rich in antioxidants, grows wild on the steepest mountain slopes, and comes by its local moniker through the notion that only those in love would risk their life to pick it. Together with basil, bergamot and cypress, it forms a herbal blend reminiscent of the gorges, citrus groves, plains and courtyards of Crete.
The soap’s final ingredient is red clay, collected by potter Giorgis Dalamvelas in Margarites. Giorgis uses it as a natural dye to color the ceramics he makes, following ancient techniques. When added to soap, red clay enriches its emollient properties.
Βlending all of these everyday treasures together gives us a bar of genuine Crete that we can hold in the palm of our hands.
Listen to a podcast about this soap.