Janet Jay started Pearl+ Luxury Soaps as a hobby. The former head of marketing for Diane von Furstenberg and Estee Lauder in New York—and one-half of the creative partnership behind Portland-based Studio J, with her husband John Jay, the global creative director at advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy—she thought that it would be fun to incorporate her Chinese grandmother's time-honored beauty routine into a luxurious, ultra-modern cleanser.
For the holidays, Jay designed a dual-purpose cedar box that holds four travel-sized versions of the soaps and doubles as a draining soap dish when turned over.
For centuries, Asian women have used finely crushed pearls as a beauty treatment. Amino acids and calcium from pearl powder are thought to replenish tired skin, treating everything from wrinkling to acne. Ancient Chinese empresses applied pearl powder for its youth-giving qualities, to lighten age spots and brighten their skin. "You can even ingest it as a mineral," Jay says.
Pearl+ soaps are handmade in Portland, Oregon and cut and packaged in Jay's studio in the city's Chinatown neighborhood. In addition to pearl powder, the soaps utilize a number of natural ingredients such as activated charcoal, white clay, shea butter and olive, coconut and palm oils. Jay uses essential oils as perfumes. The combination gives Pearl+ a delicate scent that appeals to both men and women, and a unique, silky texture.
Pearl+ Soaps are stocked in the guest rooms at the Ace Hotel in Portland and are available in their online shop. The gift box, which sells for $35, is also available, along with the rest of the collection, through the Pearl+ website.
Images courtesy of Pearl+ Soaps