North Portland boutiques Zahara and Gypsy Chic have recently welcomed a new sibling to the family, the new Gypsy Chic shop in downtown Portland at 1031 SW Morrison Street. It offers the same blend of eclectic fashion, jewelry and accessories as its sister stores and it also carries a small but distinctive assortment of fragrance and body products, all with a local connection.
The familiar Pacifica brand is there with roll-on perfumes and tubes of hand and body lotion. Everyone can find something to like in this delightful line, whether it’s the sensual richness of Indian Coconut Nectar or the fresh juiciness of Tuscan Blood Orange. More off the beaten path is the selection of locally made soaps. The lusciously scented bars from Oregon Soap Company include Lavender & Comfrey, Tangerine Dream, French Clay & Geranium and my favorite, Forest, a blast of deep green that I would like to have in other products; I wish it came in shower gel and cologne. The company is dedicated to sustainability, and for every (certified organic) ten bars or five gallons of liquid soap they sell, they will plant one native plant or tree. It’s not just for a good cause, it’s really good soap!
Soap Dreams goes well beyond the norm with weird and wonderful scents like Awapuhi Seaberry Mud Beer and Chai Beer soaps – in fact, many of the “recipes” include beer. I was taken with the Bergamot Charcoal Beer soap, which would make a great holiday gift for the guy who wants to smell fresh and clean but not like those cheap “sporty” soaps such as Irish Spring etc. that can be strong and harsh. What man wouldn’t appreciate some Bacon Beer Soap for Christmas? The selection of these is large and surprising, 100% vegan and highly recommended.
Even harder to find is the Okamura line of aromatic room fragrance and linen sprays and skincare mists and lotions. They are made in Oregon and are paraben and cruelty free. With names like Joyful, Passion and Dream, the line of water based hydrating sprays are ideal for setting mineral makeup or just spritzing on to refresh the skin. I especially liked the Fairy Godmother scent, which is delicately rosy. The lotions and room sprays are named after Oregon places and landmarks – Tabor, Mt. Hood, Country Fair and of course Pearl, a floral and pomegranate composition. You can find these scented products at the other shops too, so no matter which boutique you visit, you can add some fragrance to your fashion, and pick up some great holiday stocking stuffers.
Gypsy Chic Downtown – 1031 SW Morrison St, Portland OR 97209- 503-274-4422
Gypsy Chic East Side – 3966 N Mississippi Ave, Portland OR 97227 – 503-234-9779
Zahara – 3962 N Mississippi Ave Portland, OR 97227 – 503-477-8423