Published: 04th September 2019
Why Kerala's handmade soap brand Merse uses ancient recipes with 'honest love'
Here's how Merse manages to use ancient recipes and coconut oil to create a line of soaps that are absolutely toxin-free and are completely handmade
Although less spoken about, our sense of smell may be the most primal and authentic of instincts that we have as human beings. They say that the limbic system, which controls our sense of smell, is one of the most primitive bits of neural wiring which has been present since the first mammals and it has a strong hold on our memories, behaviour and emotions. Perhaps this was why Praveen Nair decided to market handmade artisanal soap that smells like heaven, with his brand Merse. On being asked about why he got into this line of work, he chuckles and says, “A good fragrance is the best way into a customer’s heart!” Truer words were never spoken.
And it’s not as though making soap with your bare hands is an easy task. So why venture into a world of uncertainty when you already have a successful business career on the side? Praveen answers, “There’s just something about a human touch. The artistry of the person that goes into making a bar of soap ensures that each one is unique and different. Merse was established with the determination that all our products would be handcrafted using the best ingredients.”
No chem, no claim
And so far, the company has managed to stay true to this core ideal with no harsh chemicals or detergents involved at any point of the process. Made with extreme care and precision, the minds behind Merse ensure that the saponification process retains only the essence of ingredients that naturally embrace and compliment skin. Praveen himself refers to their method as ‘honest love’. He says, “We believes in honest ingredients. You know what we use and what we use are sourced from trusted sources. Everything we make is made with the simple love for good skin.”
The idea behind the artisanal soap company was to create an overall immersive experience that helps you venture into a sense of love, care and joy. Most recipes for their products are sourced from old recipes that have been perfected over time. The products explore a world of fragrance that evoke a sense of calm from just the sound of their names. Who wouldn’t want to purchase a neatly packed luxury bar of Coconut Cream, Aloe Lemon, Char Tease, Miss Goody Good or Beachy Waves.
Something cool about cold process Soaps
One of the major processes used by the company is called cold processing. Praveen says, “The cold process soaps are for a luxurious bath experience with every ingredient specifically chosen to nourish the skin. These are painstakingly made through 4-6 by experts who ensure every single ingredient plays its part. These bath bars are made of clay, charcoal, aloe, coconut, milk and butters.”
The soaps are of a variety of types, made from 100 per cent coconut oil. Starting from essential oil soaps which are scented from oils derived from plants that are almost therapeutic, the soaps are coloured using natural colourants such as turmeric and activated charcoal.
You cannot ‘flea’ from their soaps
“Our soaps are the perfect gifts,” says Praveen. “Our spring collection brings you a carefully curated medley of floral fragrances that remind. These come in pastel shades and smells almost too good to use!” It was their luxury soaps that were flying off of the shelves during every flea market and exhibition Merse has been a part of. Made from exotic oils and butters, customers swear by their ability to pamper the skin!