Qtrove, the curated market place

Qtrove is a curated marketplace that exhibits and sells non-mass produced items from small entrepreneurs across the country. These products are natural, sustainable, not easily available elsewhere, enhance the well-being and social currency of today’s discerning consumer.

You would have already seen my Qtrove haul pic in Instagram. As you know, I love encouraging local artisans and vendors, and Qtrove offers over 3000 products from local sellers across the world. I just place my second order yesterday, and that’s when I realized I did not introduce #Qtrove to you.

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From L-R : French caramel sauce, desi cow’s ghee, oats pancake mix, apple dates and orange jam.

What I liked about Qtrove:

Super fast delivery. Only very few online purchases, like that from Nykaa, has impressed me with their fast delivery. But Qtrove provides even better service by bringing the products within a day or two mostly. I really liked the thank you notes with the bunch.

I also bought this incense set. This has rose incense sticks and an incense stick holder. Love it.

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Among all the food items, my favorite is the desi ghee. So different from the products available in market. This one doesn’t look all yellow but smells very pure. Also let me tell you, ghee is a must in winters to combat dry skin. One spoonful inclued in daily diet will do wonders.

The caramel sauce is really delicious and is a versatile product. You can have it as such, or with bread and rotis, or even make a caramel pudding or cheese cake with it.img_20161025_184532-01Now to be fair, I did not like the apple jam at all. Yes it is all natural and has only vinegar as preservative. But well, it is not sweet and has this strong flavour, which I am not a fan of.

Also by mistake I had ordered 2 of these. Now one thing to be noted is, if you are not careful with the order you will end up with products that you cannot return. Since these are preservatives free, eventhough I didnot open the jar, they were not ready to accept the return. So well I ended up with 2 of the least favourite product from the lot.

Now last day, I placed my second Qtrove order, as there is a sale happening in the site. I bought another jar of ghee and some new products like completely natural dishwash soap, chocolate almond butter and gulkand.

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Eventhough it is just 100g and costs almost the same as its weight, I can’t keep my hands off it. It tastes exactly like the cold betel leaf filling. It is a mix of rose petals, nuts and dry fruits and tastes yum.

I will do a detailed review of other products after I use them for a while. The site offers skincare products, house hold and petcare products as well. Incase you want to buy curated hand picked products that are sustainable and awesome, take a look at their site.

Check it out here : Qtrove

CGH Pepper soap review and a little surprise

This post has a surprise. So keep reading till the end.

You must be familiar with the brand Cape of Good Soap, if you are a regular reader of my blog. I had previously reviewed products from this brand,Teas Please from Cape of Good soap , Cape of Good Soap : Rosewood and Mint soap , Look what came in my mail today!

They offer wide variety of soaps, that not only smells heavenly and looks like a painting in itself, but has very unique combination of ingredients to suit specific skin types.
When we think about ingredients in skin care we usually look forward to those with soothing aromas like floral, herbal fragrances or refreshing ones like citrusy, minty ones. But Manisha’s mind works in a different way. She makes products with ingredients that surprises us for it’s efficacy and unique aromas.So I was fairly surprised when she sent me the Black pepper & Bergamot soap to review.
peppersoap
PC : COGP
What the product claims:

 Black pepper works to detoxify your skin back to its natural state with all its nutrients. This soap will work as a mood uplifter after a long day relieving you of stress and anxiety.

Ingredients:
Crushed black peppercorn, bergamot extract powder, Black pepper & Bergamot essential oil, white soap base

Price: 275/- for 120g.

My take on the product:
As you know, the really liked the Tea’s please soap as it really helped in controlling acne. But this one I saved for the last, as I was not quite sure whether I would like a peppery smelling soap. But to my surprise, this one has a very mild, warm and soothing fragrance which has prominent notes of Bergamot than pepper.
You can see crushed pepper spread across the soap and this really sloughs away dead patches. Also this one, in my opinion, will suit all skin types as this is not drying and is quite mild on skin.
I couldn’t find any con as such, because this one does its job as a soap well :P.
But if I dig deep, maybe I prefer this for the body and not face as it doesn’t control oiliness as well as the green tea variant. But well different products does differ jobs, so no complaints.
Buy it here
So here’s the surprise. We are all familiar with the brands and products, but not always with the brains behind the brands. So here’s is a small interview with the brand owner (or rather artist, as her soaps looks amazing) of Cape of Good Soap, Manisha Dutta.

1. How did you get inspired to start soap making and how did you learn to make skin care products?

I owe a lot of my handcraft to the craft lessons that we used to detest in school.  There are things for which we just rush to the aisles of the mart and pick them up without pondering that these two can be made at home. Like soaps, cosmetics or even Clothes. Most of us never think about it or resist the effort. I did too, but then seeing my own creation shaping up in different shapes, colors, fragrances and concepts is too big a thrill to be stashed away.  While I had learned about soap making way back in school, I got more comfortable experimenting it when i decided to make homemade bath products myself. Being a chemistry graduate, it came naturally to mix and experiment with different ingredients. I did a course to polish my skills before talking them to the clients.
 

2. Which is your favorite ingredient in skincare product(if any particular fragrance , oil or flavour you prefer)?

 I usually like all the ingredients that make the soap different from other handmade soaps that you get, now that there are many players in the market. My addition of choicest of herbs, dried flowers, spices etc. I actually like the natural aroma that come out of these. EO for their properties and fragrance are added, but these natural fragrance of spices and herbs that attract me to my soap.
 
 

3. Do you make the soaps from scratch(in relation to the soaps you sent). Are they cold processed?

I follow all the three processes- hot, cold and M&P made either by me or my trusted vendor, however, this depends on the order and the time available in hand to deliver it.  The soaps that were sent to you were M&P from the bars made by me as that allowed me to customize it for you at the shortest possible time, ensuring that i retain the quality and the ingredients. 
 

4. Where do you seek inspiration for designs?

All my designs are original and I would attribute them to the creative streak in me that has egged me always to  churn out something new and different every single time
 

5. How do you ensure the quality of products you use?

I purchase almost all the ingredients myself. They are handpicked from my travels in India and abroad or I ask my sister to ship them if I run out of some exotic ingredient that we don’t get here in India easily.
 
 

7. What are your future aspirations in this field?

There is a big project in the pipeline. i would love to tell you about it but allow me sometime before i can talk about it. 
 
I hope you all loved this post. Let me know what you would like me to write about next. Happy weekend 🙂