Montreal, if I may: you are missing out on Rocky Mountain Soap Company, a cult brand that produces the best all-natural bath and beauty products I’ve ever used. Originally launched from a tiny one-off shop in Canmore, Alberta in the late 1990s, current owners Cam and Karina bought the brand in 2000–expanding the operation and opening their flagship location in Banff. RMSC’s success and expansion have been based on the genuine loyalty of its customers. Tourists would visit the Banff shop and then send requests from home for online orders.
I first discovered their products in 2006 when I lived in Banff for six months. In the nine years since, I haven’t bought a bar of soap that isn’t from Rocky Mountain. Ask my long-suffering friends and family–I’m sort of like a traveling minstrel for RMSC or even a one-man-band, one of those people strapped down with cymbals and clutching a kazoo in their teeth. I also worked for a year at their Vancouver store in ol’ 2010, so I’ve basically tried everything that they’ve ever made.
Let’s talk favourites:
The bar soap–I love the smell, the feel, and the fact that they have barely raised the price despite its success. Soaps are split into different categories so that you know what’s best for your specific skin: Dry, Oily, regular. I recommend Lavender, Goat’s Milk, Lemon-Lime, Raspberry Rooibos, and Cinnamon.
The Breakout Buster–not only does it rid my skin of burgeoning potential zits, it also works on soothing itchy bug bites. It has beeswax, cocoa seed butter, Vitamin E and essential oils such as tea tree, lemon, peppermint, chamomile and lavender.
Their body butter is shaped like deodorant, so you can roll it on without your hands getting gunky. The product comes in a variety of scents, but you can also get unscented, which is really helpful to people with eczema and other sensitive skin issues. Paired with the unscented Pumpkin Soap, irritated skin will be well loved. The soap is a gentle, moisturizing bar that soothes with the pumpkin pulp–I also found this very soothing for days when I was covered with itchy mosquito bites.
Their Face Care line, which is based around an unconventional skin cleanser–their Rosehip Cleansing Oil. As Abby Lynn Knorr, their Marketing Director and a very enthusiastic fan of the product, told me, “It’s based on the ancient, homeopathic premise that oil dissolves oil.” While people are sometimes wary of using oil on the skin (I was, initially!), I discovered that it removed my make-up while not upsetting the sensitive skin around my eyes–prior to their cleansing oil, I was washing my eyeliner off just with warm water but this is quicker and cleaner. You just use a small amount before misting your skin with their Aloe Hydrating Toner. Then in the mornings I’ve been using their Pomegranate Day Cream, which smells gently sweet and is smooth to the touch.
So what’s next for this brand? Abby gave me a quick run-down of upcoming product launches, which includes: for this summer, their reformulated sunscreen and “outdoor lotion” (i.e. a mosquito-frightening lotion); for anytime, colour-tinted lip butters and a root-beer scented children’s line of products. In the fall, look out for a revamp of their bath salts and a new luxury body cream.
Customer-friendly, environmentally friendly and quality products–this is why their fan base is so loyal, and why you will be too if you give them a shot. I wishwishwish more places carried their products in Montreal, but for now you can order through their website or visit one of the two vendors in Quebec: Fleuriste Westmount in Pointe-Claire or Terre Essence in St-Lambert.