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  • Welcome To the *NEW* Ancient Alchemy Site!

    G'Day, Good Followers! THANK YOU SO MUCH for continuing to follow us! I hope you don't mind, I imported all of you from the old website subscriber list to this new one. If you do not wish to receive our email updates any longer, no problem, just UNSUB at the link at the bottom, and we're sorry to see you go! We're always open to feedback, so if you care to share thoughts or positive suggestions.....here ya go: ancientalchemy@aol.com Yes....finally, the new site! The original plan was to unveil it a year ago. Last year (as for MANY!) got very complicated, both on the personal front (extended family member issues), my husband's company issues (now sorted out), quarantine, as well as AND MOSTLY .....my company goals began re-focusing and shifting. It's amazing how you can start researching ONE LITTLE THING, and suddenly you are completely changing your entire perspective and how it applies to what you put out into the world! That was me... With those shifts came a LOT of research, overhauling, and re-pricing as the world market has proved to be more expensive for just about everything, including all of of our raw ingredients. Add to that, we now source as much as we can, as organic, because who needs pesticides? So many of you kept emailing, asking me when?, when?, when?...and I'm truly sorry there's been this huge delay. I'm gobsmacked by how loyal so many of you are and I'm DEEPLY appreciative! LIFE gets complicated, as will happen to us all sooner or later, true? THE BOTTOM LINE though is "When you know better, you DO better!"....and that is what is at the core of, and the catalyst of the changes we've made in our soap line! I'm EXCITED to share them with you!!! The funny thing is...our core business principle remains "stepping back in time to ancient ways". Earth has always provided all we need. Humans somehow got waylayed along with the Industrial Revolution and brainwashed into believing, or maybe just never dove deep enough to learn how synthetics, chemicals, and all manner of inferior base ingredients were cheaper, yes, but also the root cause of a lot of skin health issues, not to mention the effects on the environment. I was part of that hoodwinking myself, thinking my skin issues were genetic, when it was really the stuff I used on my skin that was the culprit. Took me over 20 years to figure that out! So WHAT'S different about this new soap line? Our previous line was conscientiously-crafted, but we hope to never rest on our laurels in this evolving world of health and environmental updates & upgrades! I had FUN crafting this line, playing with JUST all-natural scents, many NEW to me, and experimenting with other new ingredients! With soap, you can't just try a new recipe and have instant results the next day. You have to let the soap cure, and see how it performs over time! So my experimenting was not a quick process, and required tweaking to utilize different ingredients instead of some that are deemed not as sustainable. Example, we are choosing not to use palm oil at this time. More on that here, bottom of page. In hindsight, I was fortunate to be one of the first dozen handcrafted soapmakers on the new-born internet in the early 1990's. NOW if you Google "handcrafted soapmakers", there's well over a million on the internet. You have lots of choices as a consumer! And a lot of product out there looks very similar! And, there continues to be a myriad of soapmakers offering soap at prices that quite honestly, even if they are using the cheapest ingredients possible, I have no idea how they stay in business....and clearly, many do not as you see them come and go frequently. Our goal is to not only craft you exceptional premium skincare products, but to create products that are in the best health interests of the population at-large, leave no ecologic footprint or damage, harm no animals, and do not harm the welfare of workers who plant and harvest raw ingredients. Also, there is no form of packaging that should be used once then last dozens to hundreds of years in a landfill, or not be recycled in some tangible form! Do you agree? We hope you can adopt that ethos as well along with us! Mind-shifts, product shifts....with The Big Picture in mind! The result of our intense research convinced us to make the following improvements: Our new soap line features (and some of these we were already doing!): - Nearly all organic ingredients - All ingredients researched for sustainability and fair trade worker welfare - We've added a shampoo bar (to help prevent plastic use!) - No synthetic scents, only essential oil scenting - All colorants are only clay, herb, or spice in origin - No endangered crop ingredients (ex: frankincense, rosewood, sandalwood, etc.) - A more ergonomic, and larger (1+ oz. larger than before) - Only recyclable/compostable packaging - Complete label transparency - Only tested on volunteer humans - NO DETERGENTS, PARABENS, PHTHALATES, SULFATES, ARTIFICIAL DYES/COLORANTS, or FILLERS - A dedication to continuing research We used to offer over 80 soap varieties, now we're down to around 20, -- 80 was (wow!) too difficult to keep up with, and by most manufacturing standards, unrealistic unless you are a huge manufacturer, which I am not. But our new offerings include something from most every scent family, and includes our previous top-selling soaps, some in a new incarnation (and noted as such)! We'll continue to also offer a few seasonal favorites as the seasons change! Plus we have some fun and mysterious new blends we're excited about, like Black Soap, Blue Tansy, Immortelle! And YES!, we are still selling off old product line, as well as current product line, and leftovers from custom soap batches as White Elephant Soap Scraps by the lb.! The new site is still being tweaked here & there, products/photos added. Thanks for your patience! But mostly thank you for your interest! We hope you find our new line something that you want to embrace as well! Yes, we know it costs more than you were used to with our old line, and we totally understand in these times how it might be too far out of some budgets. That's one reason we'll always make the White Elephant Soap Scraps available at a discounted price. But I hope more than anything that you will find the wisdom, as I did, in choosing human and Earth conscious products! Our planet is in pretty dire straits right now. And there is just way too many people with skin disorders due to what they put on themselves. Even as a wee small company, I feel compelled to "make a difference". I don't want to be just another soap company staying status quo. As a THANK YOU for your interest and loyalty, for the next few days (ends Wed. 02/09/22 at midnight), we're offering 15% off any purchase. Use the following code in the PROMOTIONAL CODE box on the checkout page: IntroSale15 (case sensitive, so capitalize that "I" and "S"!) PLEASE NOTE: Some of you may have us bookmarked as "ancientalchemysoap(s).com"....we are just using "ancientalchemy.com" now, so please re-bookmark! Thanks! Sincerely, Carol Ochs Owner, Ancient Alchemy www.ancientalchemy.com

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  • Home | Ancient Alchemy - Handcrafted Soaps, Bar Shampoo, Balms, Candles

    We're still tweaking the new site, adding products and photos! Thanks for your patience! 1/16 Yes! We're still selling off White Elephant Soap Scraps from our previous soap line! A conscious shift is happening planet-wide... ...towards healthier selves and Earth ! We keep changing and re-crafting, too! We've simply stepped back in time to the delightful exploration of clean, natural ingredients and scents that Earth has served up all along! Come choose conscious consumption skincare for yourself, loved ones, and our environment! C arol O chs, Founder, Company Owner, and Crafter of all that you find here, since 1994! > Thanks for submitting to receive Ancient Alchemy's Updates! "If you are outgrowing who you've been, you're right on schedule. Keep evolving!" - Lalah Delia

  • White Elephant Soap Scraps | Ancient Alchemy

    - White Elephant Soap Scraps - ​ (These come packaged in either kraft brown paper bags, or Eco cell bags that are compostable & biodegradable!) These make great party-bags, too! These soaps are odd or irregular UNLABELED (it's not production-effective for us to have to create labels for each odd-sized scrap, so know these pieces you'll receive are UNLABELED) end-pieces or sizeable-use scraps from soap production, or from our previous soap line, or our current soap line we offer here at this site, as well as soap scraps from custom soap batches we do for retail stores and for weddings, etc.! All the goodness of handmade soap, albeit imperfect pieces...at a savings ! We can't guarantee which soaps will be included, but when you (it's a REQUIRED shopping cart section when choosing product) specify what scent types you favor, we'll *try* to include those for you *if* scraps of those scent types are available at the time we are packing your order! ​ PLEASE NOTE! If you only want very specific soap scents offered at our website, it is best to order them as full bars off the SOAP menu. Even if you specify when ordering White Elephant Soap Scraps that you hope to get certain scents, there is NO GUARANTEE that scraps of those scents will be available at the time of your order. So please do not request "a lb. of this scent, a lb. of that scent", etc. For those of you who say "But you were able to do that for me before!" ...yes, if those soaps were available before at the time of your order, we will always try to fill your order with those soaps you request as scraps. But again, no guarantee. (And yes, after 25 years in this business apparently this long-winded explanation has become necessary to spell out.) ​ We ask you to specify what scent FAMILIES ("floral", "spicey", "herbal", "citrus"....etc.) you most prefer so we can try to accommodate you with soap scraps from those general scent families . But we do not have time to inventory and list all soap scraps, of all varieties, including from our old line, and describe them all in detail. White Elephant Soap Scraps are to be considered more of a grab-bag/surprise type purchase, as the name "White Elephant" suggests, and hence, the discounted price. Thanks! Quick View White Elephant Soap Scraps By The lb. Price $15.00 Add To Cart

  • Our Story | Ancient Alchemy

    Welcome, Visitors! ​ I'm Carol Ochs (pronounced "Oaks"), Proprietor, Soapstress, Artist; ... I've been in-business on the web since 1994, since "the dawn of the internet". (That sounds scarily like "dawn of the dinosaurs"!) I was literally one of the first of a dozen soapmakers with websites on the internet. Since that beginning, we've sold hundreds of thousands of soap bars and our other crafts! I originally came from a family of DIYers in all things... so I grew up crafting. I began making soap in the early 1990's to assuage my own sensitive skin needs. I made so many batches in the process of perfecting my recipe, I gave soap away. Wasn't I surprised when everyone came back asking to "buy more, please?". The business was quickly born and accelerated beyond my expectations, thanks to the internet. And my own skin improved dramatically, by the way. Turned out what I *thought* was a genetic skin disorder was really a problem with all the stuff in detergent bar soaps I'd been using all my up-till-then life! Pure ingredient natural soap made all the difference in the world for me. And clearly for others, as well! I've always been extremely interested in the ways of old, but my curiosity was especially piqued when one day after my soap business was well underway, while perusing one of my favorite used bookstores I came upon a 19th century old journal, hand-written & faded. In it was a collection of notes and recipes for skincare, remedies, and food -- WHAT A FIND, this peek into the past! I had to part with a hefty sum for it, but worth every penny! Of course I couldn't wait to try the recipes within, once I first translated measurements from grams or percentages into ounces I could work with. This opened my eyes even further to how in the days before all the detergent, synthetic, and chemical ingredients now used to manufacture soap by huge corporations, ancient methods made perfect use of nature's bounty. Following these old yet chemical-free detergent-free recipes, we've just improved upon those ancient ways by eliminating animal fat as a base ingredient. I now make my living crafting all things I love, and promote sustainable-production, conscious-sourcing, and fair treatment of workers involved with all materials I use. I love networking with other individuals and businesses to share ideas and appreciate, employ & enjoy leaving as small an eco-footprint as possible on their own paths! In my previous work life I was an operating room nurse in the field of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. I later ran a home daycare business while staying home to raise my 3 children,... kids are my favorite people! Natural, organic, clean-living, healthy foods, and sustainable practices have always been priority to me; it's something I research constantly, firmly believing Mother Earth provides us all we need...if we just learn to seek & apply it properly. We don't need to substitute synthetics and harmful chemicals for what nature gives us that already works perfectly! When you learn and know better, you DO better. THIS is my mantra for what I create and put out into the world. Join me? ​ My other crafts: - An artist - My mythical fantasy art can be found HERE . My art has appeared in several books, online magazines, and I regularly show at San Diego's La Bodega Art Gallery, and Comic-Con's annual Art Show. - A handspun, handknit/crochet artist - My work can be found HERE - A pyrographer (wood burned art) - Also found HERE - A writer. Recent work appeared in a collective book - HERE _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ PERSONAL: ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ On the personal side (yet business is always a team effort!), I'm married to the love of my life, David Ochs, an accomplished musician composer (website ), and he also is a plumbing contractor, owns his own business. We help each other with our respective businesses; bantering ideas, he schlepps all my ingredient deliveries to the workshop or orders to the Post Office, and I do his bookkeeping. ​ ​ We have three grown children: Christopher (middle of photo), a paralegal for Microsoft in WA, a fiber crafter, and also a writer. Nicholas, a handyman and musician here in San Diego. And Stephanie, a retired NWSL pro soccer player and now working as a mental health counselor. ​ We are owned by two giant Newfoundland (Newfie) dogs....sweetest pups ever, we just love these pups so! And a persnickety and often times evil cat, named Sophie. We love her too....even though she BITES! ​ I LOVE all my work, so I never can discern where work starts or ends, and I'm lucky to be able to work from home. When I'm not crafting, I like to roam forests, hike, bike, read, research, cook vegan/vegetarian, write, enjoy music, play piano, garden, travel, take baths, collect typewriters and write letters to loved ones, and just be with family and my pets--they are THE BEST! ​ Since I'm always fascinated with other creative types' work areas, I'll share a few pics of mine.... Ten steps out my backdoor is the Soap Workshop ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ My Art Studio Our enchanted garden.....where brainstorming, daydreaming, painting, or spinning yarn take place. It's as close to *forest* (where I REALLY want to live!) as I can get! So that's it! A peek into my lil home-based world! Thanks for visiting! Feel free to drop me a line anytime! ancientalchemy@aol.com ​ ~Carol

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