Timeless Essentials is probably the smallest shop I’ve ever been in—just a few square feet at the side door of Crystal Mowbray’s Enniskillen house, but Crystal makes it work. Somehow she makes and sells thousands of bars of soap here each year, not to mention the bath salts, essential oils, jams, soup mixes and gift baskets.…
Timeless Essentials is probably the smallest shop I’ve ever been in – just a few square feet at the side door of Crystal Mowbray’s Enniskillen house, but Crystal makes it work. Somehow she makes and sells thousands of bars of soap here each year, not to mention the bath salts, essential oils, jams, soup mixes and gift baskets.
A certified herbologist trained at Durham College in Uxbridge, Crystal has earned a reputation for producing high-quality, affordable bath products in her home kitchen, including some 4,000 bars of soap each year. “Glycerin pulls moisture from the air to our body, other soaps pull moisture from the body. When we are stressed our bodies require more moisture,” she explained. “While most Canadian-made glycerin soaps contain just two percent glycerin, the base I import from England has nine percent.”
Working in her home, she whittles down the 25-pound blocks of glycerin soap base and melts the pieces with natural colours and essential oils. The result smells wonderful. I loved the refreshing grapefruit-mandarin-lime blend, which is also available in an essential oil to sprinkle on the bathroom mat for an early morning wake-up. Jasmine, vanilla, chocolate truffle, green apple and lavender are just a few of the scents available in pretty blossom shapes or rectangular massage bars. Made with a high-quality essential oil imported from France, the lavender bath salts are irresistible, as is the Sensual Spa Bar made with shae butter, glycerin, cocoa butter, aloe vera, ground oats and chamomile. While I browsed through the bath salts, this friendly cat came for a visit.
Crystal makes gift baskets to order, catering to tastes and ages, many include her homemade soup, dip and cookie mixes, as well as a jar or two of her fabulous homemade jam. If you are looking for something unusual to liven up your morning slice of toast, you’ll find it here. There are dozens of varieties to choose from including eight new ones this year: banana, strawberry-banana, pluot, strawberry-raspberry, sweet red pepper jelly, blueberry and blueberry marmalade.
Like the soaps, Crystal makes all the jams herself. She even grows her own raspberries in her backyard garden, along with extensive plantings of herbs.
Although her shop is small, it’s well worth the drive to Enniskillen to Crystal who happily shares her wealth of herbal knowledge. I came away with an array of handy tips: lemon oil smells nice but it also disinfects, a few drops of rosemary essential oil on the dashboard will help keep you alert while driving, and patchouli essential oil smells sweetest when it has been aged for a few years. The shop is open when the signboard is placed out in front of her home.
If you plan on doing a little Christmas shopping, visit during the Christmas in the Village Show and Sale, November 20 to 22. The scenery along Regional Road 3 is so beautiful that it’s well worth the drive at any time of year.