It was Bath Bliss’ first stall at the Colombo Design Market which concluded recently. There was a mix of excitement and nerves inside the stall – only natural when a pet project and months of hard work are on display to an audience. The trickle of customers slowly increases as the evening descends at the [...]

The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

Bubbling with bliss

Adilah Ismail speaks to the young entrepreneur behind Bath Bliss on their handmade range of soaps and body care products

Good enough to eat:Bath Bliss’ current products range from novelty soaps shampoo bars to lotions. Pix courtesy Bath Bliss

It was Bath Bliss’ first stall at the Colombo Design Market which concluded recently. There was a mix of excitement and nerves inside the stall – only natural when a pet project and months of hard work are on display to an audience. The trickle of customers slowly increases as the evening descends at the Viharamahadevi Park. The occasional visitor mistakes the cupcake soaps for actual edible cupcakes, while most are intrigued by the handmade soaps and stop to chat with Nausheen, the owner of ‘Bath Bliss’, about the benefits of various scents and oils. Business is brisk and soon Bath Bliss hands over its last bar of soap to its final customer.

Largely operating online on Facebook with the occasional stall at craft markets and fairs, Bath Bliss specializes in handmade soaps and body care products and is the brainchild of Nausheen Fauz. A love for DIY skin care soon grew into a business and Bath Bliss’ current products range from novelty soaps, shampoo bars, solid scrub bars and conditioners to lotions, lip balms and body butters. When there’s a surfeit of beauty products on the market, what makes Bath Bliss special? Nausheen explains that everything is completely handmade, fusing different fragrance combinations with unique designs. “I’ve always been interested in DIY skin care – slathering myself in homemade stuff on a regular basis – so I guess it [Bath Bliss] was a natural progression of that. But what really kick-started things was a pack of handmade soaps, scrubs and shampoo my cousin gifted me.

I loved them, and once they were over and I wanted to buy some myself but they were prohibitively expensive and were not easily available here. So I figured, why not try replicating it myself. A quick Google search and a bit of research later – I was hooked! I was very nervous with the first batch of soap I made – especially considering the use of sodium hydroxide. It took forever to make since I didn’t have most of the necessary equipment and had to make do with what I had,” explains Nausheen, about her beginnings in soap making.

After researching the basic process of soap making online and making the first experimental batch, she made copious notes and began trying out different blends of fragrances, oils and colours.A bar of her first batch of soap (a plain uncoloured soap, fragranced with lavender) has been carefully saved as a memento to remind her of the excitement which propelled Bath Bliss and how far its products have evolved since its inception. “I loved the soaps I made so much that I thought why not make this available to others too. I love using beautiful things myself as it makes me feel so pampered and I love that I am able to offer others a little piece of everyday luxury,” she says.

Nausheen marries scents and colours to get the perfect visual and olfactory alchemy for the soaps. The starting point (she admits this is her favourite part) is the colour palette. The matching of fragrances to the colours follows soon after. Says Nausheen, “I like to look for inspiration for my soaps in everything around me – whether it’s a picture or painting that happens to catch my eye or the way the waves crash into the shore. One of the first soaps I made was a rainforest inspired soap with a leafy green, blue and yellow colour palette to reflect the foliage, waters and sunlight of a rainforest. Another favourite was inspired by a particularly gorgeous sunset and had layers of pink and gold shading into each other to reflect the sun streaked sky and was fragranced with a tangy and lively combination of patchouli and citrus”.

While Bath Bliss stocks scrubs, shampoos and conditioners made with standard essential oils such as tea tree, rose and lavender, the level of experimentation and creative threshold for playing around with fragrances makes soap making more enjoyable. Popular fragrances include Sea Spray (which invokes the scent of the ocean), Lilac Bliss, Lavender Dreams, Watermelon, Bubblegum Pop, Peppermint Punch (mint fused with citrus), Lemongrass with Eucalyptus, Frangipani and also curiously, Fresh Linen – a soap which is immediately reminiscent of sun dried laundry. The rose and lilac spa bar (which uses Himalayan pink salt for its moisturising properties), goat milk and oats soap, a range of soaps shaped as cupcakes and the activated charcoal scrub– which has cleansing properties and includes tea tree oil– are also notable additions to Bath Bliss’ line of products.

There’s been a heightened awareness about what goes into the products we consume and the chemicals we imbibe through even seemingly innocuous products. For Nausheen,a plus point for handmade soaps and body products is that it is reliant entirely on natural oils, fats and butters and not chemicals. She explains that “The biggest difference between handmade soaps and commercial soaps is the glycerine content. Glycerine is a natural by-product of the soap making process and is what helps to attract moisture in the air onto skin, creating an emollient barrier. Handmade soaps retain all the natural glycerine created in the soapmaking process unlike commercial soaps where most of the glycerine is removed and sold off as a separate product.”

The soaps are all vegetable oil based soaps made with plant based oils such as coconut, olive and rice bran oil. The only animal derivatives used so far were a recent line of soapsmade with goat milk and honey. The recipes for the soap are weighed according to the end product – for instance, whether the soap is meant to be a mild soap or a moisturizing one – and additives such as oats, honey or coconut milk added accordingly. While there are various methods of soap making, Nausheen follows the cold process method which involves saponification – the process of mixing of an alkali (Sodium Hydroxide) with an oil or fat to produce soap.Nausheen explains to the Mirror Magazine that orders are also undertaken and she is currently developing a luxury soap line made with luxury oils and butters for very dry skin as per a request by a customer.

A part time consultant analyst, Nausheen balances Bath Bliss along with work and admits that being an entrepreneur has been a fertile learning ground. “One thing I wish I had known is that failure at some point is inevitable, and that doesn’t mean you need to give up. There were times my soaps didn’t come out looking as great as I wanted them to and fragrances played up turning my soap into cement. Another time my soap volcanoed all over my kitchen table, floor and walls! There were many times I was ready to throw the towel in, but encouragement from my family and friends kept me going,” reflects Nausheen. “You need to have faith in yourself and your products and just keep going regardless of the obstacles you face, because if you don’t believe in your own products you can’t expect your customers to! I also think it’s important to take baby steps along the way and set small goals for yourself while being patient. Make sure you don’t rush the process, and overspend. Keeping track of your finances is also really important, because it’s so easy to get carried away with what you think your business needs when in actuality you don’t really need it at that moment.”

Bath Bliss can be contacted at and

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