What's it like being a Vasse Virgin soap maker?
Our long-time soap maker Dustin is unfortunately leaving us and heading back to his home town in regional WA. You may have met Dustin and had a chat to him while he has been busy cutting soap or bottling the skincare products at the Factory. Read on to discover his favourite products, how we make our soap and more...
What do you like most about working with natural products? All the different fragrances, walking through the door smells like you’re walking through paradise. I like knowing they’re the real deal and not fake.
What is your favourite product to make and why? Aniseed, cinnamon and clove soap. I love the fragrance, and it’s the one fragrance I can always pick when I walk into the Factory in the morning.
I also like the Wattleseed Hand Scrub, it’s good on my hands after long day in the Factory.
Least favourite and why? Lavender diffusers, the lavender makes me sneeze.
Product you can’t live without? Mandarin and Vanilla Diffuser because it has a refreshing citrus smell. It’s not too overpowering when I’m making it compared to some of the others.
How long does it take you to make a batch of soap? All day. I get to work and prepare the lye, then it has to cool for a few hours. While that’s happening, I’ll prepare the different essential oil blends and any herbs, spices or clays we’re using to colour the soaps that day.
Then we start mixing the soap which usually takes about an hour. Depending on how many different blends we’re making, we’ll divide the base mixture up and add the different essential oils to the smaller batches, then pour into the moulds.
We leave the soaps to set in the mould for about a week, then it gets cut into bars. Our soaps dry naturally which can take up to 6 weeks depending on the time of year.
How many products do you think you have made during your time at Vasse Virgin? I’d hate to think but a dollar for everyone would be nice. On average I probably make about 4500 products a month.
Favourite food product? Chilli and garlic olives, if you come and visit late in afternoon I’m usually doing quality control on them. And all the new dukkahs are good.
What will you miss most about working at Vasse Virgin? I come into work smelling great but leave smelling extraordinary. If you’re having fun, there’s no better way to spend the day.