Please, come into my parlour…

I’m finally coming up for air after a hectic few weeks. Quitting one’s day job isn’t nearly as seamless as you’d imagine. Somehow I’ve actually got more work to cram into a day right now.

But it hasn’t been all work & no fun lately… Thanks to everyone who came out for my Spring Open House this past weekend! It was a lovely day, not too stinking hot, & it was wonderful to see my customers in person for a change. Sometimes a girl feels like she’s pitching flat-rate envelopes into the void, & a little personal interaction is greatly appreciated.

For those of you who missed it, I offer a few photos & a quick look at the delights that will be appearing in my Etsy shop in the next few weeks:

I am immensely fortunate to have Lady Linden Bed & Breakfast available for my Open House events. My parents bought the Lady several years ago in a truly staggering state of neglect & disrepair. It had been the creepy old place on the corner, hidden behind a phalanx of enormous evergreens that seemed to hold the house together. My mum & dad & an arsenal of contractors, handymen &  energetic friends wrestled the 1887 Queen Anne free from 7 huge dumpsters’ worth of debris & have transformed it into the beauty it is today. By all rights it’s a huge home, but my folks have a fantastic sense of balance when it comes to Victorian gilding & practical comfort, & Lady Linden is at once both luxurious & welcoming. If you’re ever in the York area, it’s worth at the very least a drive by, especially when my mum’s gardens are in full bloom.


As usual, we set up in the parlour & dining room, & I loaded the tables with the entire current collection (regular catalog & Limited Editions) plus a few treats – a double batch of Black Hearts from this year’s Valentine’s run, & Lady Linden’s proprietary scent (a lovely, fresh blend of linden flowers, tea leaves & crisp cotton sheets) in luxury bars.

One of my favorite traditions is the prototypes display, where I offer samples of scents & products that are in various stages of development. It’s fascinating & utterly invaluable to get folks’ reactions to these early concepts – my nose is all well & good, but it’s not the only nose I want to enchant & amaze…


This round I happily debuted three new products that will be making their way into my Etsy shop in the coming weeks.

First & foremost, the long-awaited Gentleman’s Shaving Soaps are now in production. I am blessed with a small squadron of men (my husband included) devoted to my products, & they are delightfully vocal in their requests for new scents & products. Proper mug-&-brush shaving is experiencing something of a renaissance, & my Gentleman’s Shaving Soap is a hefty puck of bentonite clay-enriched soap that lathers up beautifully.

I’ve had several requests for a heavier-weight lotion over the past year – Slip is a lovely formula, but sometimes something more intense is in order. Thus, I’ll be introducing the devilishly lush Goat’s Milk Hand & Body Cream. It is similar in make-up to Slip, but with added goat’s milk, grapeseed & avocado oils & a thick, creamy texture that rivals Greek yoghurt.

And finally, a product so simple, but so decadent: Lavender & Honey Body Butter. Made with organic lavender hydrosol, shea & mango butters & evening primrose oil, it is a silky, lightly-whipped butter redolent with musky beeswax & sweet honey. This is a luxurious treat for the driest skin, sinking in quickly but providing luscious moisture where it’s needed most.

Of course, I’ve got a flurry of new scents in development as well – I’ll post the juicy details later in the week… Hobbits & pirates & Fantasticake, oh my!


About Hayley

I'm a trained pastry chef, DIY queen & mother with my heart in west England, my soul in Chicago, & my feet in south-central PA. Paintbox Soapworks was born out of my love for handicraft, beautiful fragrances & clean hands. I play around with colors & scents & soothe my insomnia by dreaming up new ideas. I pull heavily from music (Waits, White Stripes, Wilco), books (Tolkien, the avalanche of children's books in C's room) & my own fertile imagination.
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2 Responses to Please, come into my parlour…

  1. Sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing the story of the Lady Linden! I didn’t realize that it had been in such disrepair…how wonderful that your parents bought it and rejuvenated it! It is so lovely!!!

    Also I didn’t get to weigh in on prototypes, but I LOVED the pick-a-duck v2! So sweet and yummy!

  2. Rose says:

    That’s your parents’ place?! Oh. My. God. It’s gorgeous! I would never leave – they’d have to evict me if I was their kid! 😀

    Your display looks fantastic, too. Glad to hear it was a success! The body cream looks luscious. 🙂

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