I met Jim Little long before the creation of Thistle & Broom at the Edinburgh Farmer's Market at Castle Terrace. I was in town for a job interview as the director of marketing and communications for a hi-tech firm. On crutches, leg (from toes to just below my knee) in a candy apple red cast healing a ruptured Achilles tendon (self inflicted by dancing with a Down's Syndrome young man at a Celtic festival). I had hopped from my hotel a half mile away as I was just a little stir crazy! Standing before his stand, his huge 'cheese wheels' of variously shaded amber-coloured glycerin soaps issuing forth the scents of summer in the crisp October air. As I sniffed each one in turn I was more and more entranced, totally unable to decide from amongst the scents as well as what the related botanicals could do for my skin. Ultimately, I bought three (wire cut) wedges that day which Jim wrapped in plain brown butchers' paper for me to take home to the States. Two wedges found their way into my lingerie drawer and linen closet (I remember my paternal grandmother doing this with her scented soaps) and my face took the benefit of the third wedge - my skin never looked better! And since October of 2003 these glorious soaps are all that I have used on my skin. When the 'concept' of Thistle & Broom finally materialised there was never any doubt of offering Caurnie Soap, the obviously glitch was that wedges don't fit through mailslots too well! Jim recently stumbled upon a nifty hand press machine of the same vintage as his legacy company, allowing him to make uniform chamfered bars. Problem solved!
Jim Little's family has been making vegetable based glycerine soaps in Scotland since 1922, making Caurnie the oldest soaperie in the Celtic World. Jim has spent some thirty years as a professional soap maker (like his father and grandfather before him). He is a fascinating and passionate fount of knowledge of the healing properties of flowers and various botanicals and applies all this to the cold pressed, small-batches stirred by Jim using a hybrid bicycle to just right consistency. Whether you embrace a Vegan lifestyle or diagnosed Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, MCS, has forced you to take drastic measures these bars provide pure, lovely smelling non-stripping skin care for all skin types. The bars range from Nettle (miraculous for Psoriasis or annoyingly dry skin) to combinations featuring Geranium, Marigold, Rosemary, and Bog Myrtle (something truly wondrous for the oily and acne prone) to name a few. We're offering six different collections priced at £30 which includes six (6) 70 gram bars charmingly bound up with T&B embroidered satin ribbon for presentation. Fabulous as shower or hostess gifts especially when you consider a single round 3.5 ounce bar of Hermes of Paris stamped glycerine soap costs £25!