Arts & Culture » Culture

Homegrown lather

Rambling around the Armada Flea Market in Armada, I ran into a booth where soaps and bath salts were sold. A faithful patron of garrulous soap guru Dr. Bronner, I was helplessly drawn to these tables of homemade soaps hand-wrapped in glistening cellophane and tied with twigs. And I was pleased to discover – out in the middle of a cornfield – that those twigs and that soap were both from Detroit. Move over Stanzler, Detroit's Plum Street Soap is a real contender in the Motor City merchandise category. Soaps include Honey, Oatmeal, Apple Groove, Alice's Mushrooms Jasmine, Maggie's Goat Milk & Lavender Farm Soap and Peach March Peppermint.

A cross between psychedelic '60s nostalgia and a bathtub Ben & Jerry's, Plum Street Soap is good stuff inside and out. Each bar is made from all-natural ingredients, such as saponified oils, oatmeal, herbs and essential oils. They sell for about $4 each. Find out more about these soaps and Detroit circa 1967 at It has product information, prices, contact information, soap recipes and the history and photographs of the real Plum Street. Norene Cashen pays attention here every other week. E-mail