Destination: Morocco

In the summer of 2009 I set out with a group of friends for an international adventure of epic proportions. We landed in Casablanca, fists clenched around tourist maps and travel guides, each one highlighted, checked and marked with all the things we wanted to do and see. High on my list, tucked in between ride into the Sahara on a camel and Jardin Majorelle, was HAMMAM!!!!

Having visited my first hammam, or bathhouse, in Turkey several years before, I made it my mission to visit as many hammams as I could while in Maroc.

The celebrated Cagaloglu Hamami in Istanbul. My first hammam experience. Wonderful in its own right, but lacking in the right tools! Whatever they used on me was dish-soap compared to Moroccan Black Soap! Maybe it was dish-soap...

The first, and best, hammam I visited was in the basement of a chic little salon in Fez. After checking in and stripping down we were led into a beautifully tiled room where we were each given a still-in-the-plastic-wrapper scrubby mitt and a fistful of goopy brown stuff which we were instructed to rub all over ourselves. We were then corralled into a steam room where we applied the sticky stuff and relaxed, breathing in the humid air, scented with eucalyptus. Fifteen minutes later we were called back into the main room where we were told to clammer up onto a table, belly down, at which point our attendants attacked our skin with the scrubby glove. I watched in awe as dead skin fell away from me in large disgusting rolls. That goopy stuff turned out to be savon noir, Moroccan Black Soap. This gelatinous wonder, made mostly of minimally processed olives, is rich in Vitamin E and A and with the help of a scrubbing mitt can give you the cleanest freshest skin you’ve had since you came out of the womb. Or at least thats how I felt after they finished sloughing layer after layer of dead skin from me. Follow it up with a detoxifying Rhassoul Clay mask and you might just feel reborn.

In a Moroccan hammam, Black Soap is often kept in beautiful ceramic bowls like these. Clients take a fistful on the way in.

Luckily, I don’t have to go all the way back to Morocco to repeat the experience. I am extraordinarily pleased to announce that the Amal Oils Hammam Collection is now available at Thompson Alchemists. This beautifully packaged line includes a savon noir, and a Rhassoul clay as well as an organic rose water toner and a scrubby mitt just the like the one I got in Fez!

Now all thats missing is a boyfriend to help me with the sloughing! (To apply, please visit http://www.okcupid.com/profile/EforEtoile.)

And, by the way, I did accomplish all my travel goals. I'm the one with the funny, beekeeper-esque hat on. (Its actually a scarf I tied around the hat to keep it on...but whatever...)

 

Amal Oils: Moroccan Rhassoul Clay with Plant Extracts $26.00

Amal Oils: Moroccan Savon Noir $24.00

Amal Oils: 100% Organic Moroccan Rose Water Toning Mist $16.00

Amal Oils: Moroccan Exfoliating Glove $9.00

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Author: Emily

Hunter college grad, MPH, long-time Thompson girl, crafty crafter, proud big sister.

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