News from French


Discover our new extensive collection of scented soaps from Provence. These fabulous new soaps are a sheer delight! Natural soaps from Provence, enriched with organic argan oil to gently cleanse and soften the skin. A traditional soap made by Artisans in the South of France using natural vegetable oils, natural pigments and delicately scented with perfumes from the famous perfume town of Grasse.

About Argan Oil: Argan Oil is a very rare and precious oil which has been used for centuries by the Berber tribes of Morocco. Its secret properties, which have enhanced the beauty of Moroccan Women for thousands of years, have in more recent times been discovered in other European countries such as France, the centre of the beauty world, where it is now well known for its cosmetic benefits.

Each soap is presented individually wrapped in cellophane and clearly labelled.

Now in stock! The full collection of L'Ome Eau de Toilette for Men

The Wonders of Jasmine!

Oils extracted from the jasmine plant have long been used in aromatherapy with many claims made about the effect of the scent. But now a new study has found that certain chemicals extracted from the plant can act as powerful sedatives with effects as strong as sleeping pills and barbiturates.

Sedatives, sleeping pills and relaxants are the most frequently prescribed psychotropic drugs - if the dose is increased enough they will cause hallucinations. These drugs are used for their calming effect in treating mental anxiety and also as sedatives.

But these chemicals can also cause serious side effects such as depression, dizziness, hypotension, muscle weakness and impaired coordination.

So German scientists have been investigating the calming effects of various fragrances that could be used in place of these drugs. They have now found that a chemical called Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and another variation of it derived from the jasmine plant act in the same way as these sedatives and that even just breathing in the scents can be enough to activate their effects.

How sedatives work

Sedatives such as valium act on particular sites in the brain, increasing the effects of the brain's own neurotransmitter called GABA. In fact the sedatives can even act in the same way as GABA in high enough doses. This GABA is an inhibitor - it serves to reduce brain function, thus leading to calmness, drowsiness and sleep.

Testing the fragrance.

The jasmine extracts were administered to mice, both as injections and by inhalation. In both cases the mice responded by becoming calm, ceasing activity and sitting quietly in the corner. Mice that had been genetically modified such that their brain receptors no longer respond to sedatives were not affected by the chemicals, showing that the action of the jasmine extract is the same as other sedatives.

Commenting on the results, study leader Hanns Hatt said: "We have discovered a new class of GABA receptor modulator which can be administered through the air - applications in sedation; anxiety, excitement and aggression relieving treatment and sleep induction therapy are all imaginable."

The study is published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

See our Home Collection including Jasmine room fragrances.......

It's arrived! - what many of you have asked for!

Durance Eau de Toilette in Lotus Lavender, Orange Flower, Verbena, Jasmine, Patchouli and Moonflower orchid! Now in stock!

Read All About It - The History of Soap!

This is a short history of soap by By John A. Hunt, PhD, FRPharmS, written for the The Pharmaceutical Journal in 1999. Very interesting and very informative - a good read with lots of references to English and continental soap making processes. Find out more about The History of Soap!

A comical tale , or did it really happen? Not so much of a Soap Opera more of a farce.


Dear Maid,

Please do not leave any more of those little bars of soap in my bathroom since I have brought my own bath-sized Dial. Please remove the six unopened little bars from the shelf under the medicine chest and another three in the shower soap dish. They are in my way. Read on..............

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