Meet the Artist: Michelle’s Inspiration Behind Our New Christmas Soap Collection

Meet The Artist Blog Post

With the news that a slow meander through the bedecked Christmas aisles of quaint local boutiques has been put (at least temporarily) on hold, many people are looking online for gifts this year that are ethical, beautiful and mindful of the planet. Luckily, The English Soap Company has a wonderful new range of charming Christmas soap bars, each wrapped in beautifully illustrated paper wraps.

Read on as I chat to Michelle, our Senior Graphic Designer here at The English Soap Company, about the new range of luxury soap bars, each wrapped in gorgeously quirky packaging.

Michelle started working for The English Soap Company in 2019, and has brought a fresh and wonderfully creative eye to all our new The English Soap Company packaging designs. Her designs can be seen throughout The English Soap Company website and on new product packaging, and the gorgeous and quirky illustrations bring life to The English Soap Company products.

All of the twelve soaps in The English Soap Company’s luxury range of Christmas scented soaps are held to the same high standards that you have come to expect. They are vegan friendly, cruelty-free, and all the packaging is plastic-free and fully recyclable. The soap bars are made here, on our farm site in the heart of the Sussex countryside.

The English Soap Company’s luxury Christmas soap collection can be seen to sit firmly in two distinct, yet harmonising, categories. The more traditional luxury Christmas soaps are wrapped in delicate patterns, quaint and reminiscent of elegant archetypal British designs. The vintage luxury patterns represent all that is familiar and comforting about Christmas, with six familiar themes exquisitely decorating the gifts. 

Festive Bars edit1

In addition to these soaps, Michelle has enjoyed crafting a stunning range of traditional illustrations to add a new, extra sprinkle of Christmas magic to the English Soap Company’s luxury soap gift range. 

When I spoke to her, she said of her illustrations, “I’m a strong believer of gifts with meaning, a backstory.” And the delightful narratives that playfully decorate each of her creations resonate with the joy that she invested in them. Each containing, “A simple thought that’s put into the essence of giving that delivers a heart warming feeling, and spreads joy.”

For Christmas 2020, she was tasked with designing six Christmas-themed soap wraps, hand-illustrated so best to “capture what was, to me, the nostalgic feelings stirred by reflections of Christmas.”

Warmest Wishes Christmas Soap

Her ‘Warmest wishes, Winter Animals’ Christmas soap hearkens back to Michelle’s childhood, as she pointed out: “Let’s face it, who didn’t enjoy The Animals Of Farthing Wood, The Wind in the Willows or Beatrix Potter as a child. Paying homage to the beautiful English countryside where I am based, I chose to bring some of our local residents to life in this joyful, sparkly, snowy scene.” The soap fragrance is a delightful mulled wine scent with an uplifting blend of citrus, crushed cinnamon, spices and essence of ginger.

CHX001 Warmest wishes Winter Animals Soap bar 2
Santa Cinnamon and Orange Soap

The Santa Christmas Soap Bar

We went onto discuss the concept behind the ‘Santa’ Christmas soap bar, which is perfumed with a delightful medley of zesty orange and warming hints of cinnamon, with a hint of musk. When I mention Ol’ Saint Nick, Michelle’s face lights up. It’s an enchanting depiction of old man himself, with the sentimental message ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas’ on the front. Michelle explained it “instantly fills my mind with the image of an open fire and Frank Sinatra filling the room with his charming rendition of this song. Whether you believe in Santa or not, there is no doubt that this vintage inspired illustration of his warm jolly face, does not take you back to a memory of your very own. Or at least I hope it does.”

English Countryside In Winter Christmas Soap

As a wonderful representation of the quintessentially English Christmas, the Christmas soap ‘English Countryside In Winter’ a fresh fragrance of Christmas greenery, with a lovely soft base of delicate winter flowers, ivy and holly. It shows a scene as tranquil as it is beautiful. Michelle wanted to embody the quiet, reverent hush of snowfall, and it’s transformational ability. She said, of this gentle scene, juxtaposed with the iconic red post-box in the foreground, hinting at cards and promised connections, “The English Soap Company nestles itself amongst tall trees and open fields of luscious green farmland, but in winter, it transforms into a white nature-filled wonderland.” 

English Countryside in Winter Christmas Soap
Reindeer Christmas Soap

Reindeer Christmas Soap

When explaining her motivations to produce the ‘Christmas Reindeer’ Christmas soap, Michelle chuckled as she recounted, “Have you ever seen the 1985 film ‘Santa Claus’? Well, this was the film that told me I wanted a pet reindeer. Obviously, this is not something I ended up pursuing, but it did inspire this wrap.” Reindeer are majestic, mysterious creatures and their association with Christmas has grown over the years, giving Santa a helping hand in bringing happiness and gifts to all. This luxury Christmas soap has a fir tree fragrance – evoking memories of a crisp snowy winter landscape. Top notes of pine complement the deep, rich base of Frankincense and amber.

London in Winter Christmas Soap

The inspiration behind Michelle’s illustration for ‘London In Winter’ was simple, “London during Christmas time is magical. Perfectly decorated shop windows, adorned with colourful trinkets and streets filled with sparkly lights. Rows of homes boasting magnificent Christmas trees in windows and big red busses with their own windows covered in crisp snow. Skyscrapers and monuments, all that history and architecture, wrapped up in the festive glow of this yuletide season. What’s not to love about London in winter?” In this luxury soap gift she has created a real sense of how magical London can be, and hearkens back to memories many of us have. This fresh floral fragrance is a sweet light scent of snowdrops, clematis and flowering winter cherry blossom. A beautifully balanced perfume.

London in Winter Christmas Soap
Three Kings frankincense and myrrh soap

Three Kings Christmas Soap

Last, but not least we discussed her ‘Three Kings’ wrap artwork, which she chose as a perfect way to encapsulate the frankincense and myrrh scented soap inside. This perfume is bursting with warm spices, vanilla and jasmine. Leading notes of rich frankincense and myrrh create this indulgent festive scent. Again, as many of us do, Michelle connects Christmas with her childhood, recalling Nativity scenes she had been involved in, “Whether you were in a Nativity yourself or watching a play starring friends or loved ones, we all got involved. I hoped to share a bit of fun and sparkle to this well-known tale.” The traditional story brings memories to the surface, with its colourful night-time scene and playful, quirky illustration.

It is more important than ever to think carefully about the gifts we choose this Christmas, and to make sure that the luxury we desire is in no way a compromise of the ethics and morals we hold. In addition to this, there is a change in shopping behaviours, we are buying less, and we are buying local. We want a gift that is unique and will bring joy to the recipient, we crave nostalgia. At The English Soap Company, we believe that our new Christmas Soap Collection ticks every single one of those boxes.

To browse the entire collection of new Christmas soaps, please click here. If you would like to browse our entire Christmas collection which also includes festively fragrant candles, plus our beautifully boxed gift soap bars, you can explore here.