CONTRIBUTED BY LARISSA TRAQUAIR
I seem to be on a roll in finding cute boutiques to shop in lately and this one is no exception! You smell this store before you get to it and it’s an aroma that instantly draws you in, along with their front window display. There is no shortage of creativity on this island when it comes to opening businesses and marketing products.
This shop carries a variety of items that will relax you and help you in the gift-giving arena. Handmade soaps are their specialty but they also carry natural sea sponges, scented oils, bath salts and hand towels. This is a great place to shop for a wonderfully, personalized scented gift pack for your mom, wife or a friend whose husband is deployed. La Cucina also gift wraps your purchases so you save time and money.
It’s fun to shop here, too!!! Their main display case makes it look like a bakery from outside. This is where they keep their blocks of soap – available in a variety of “flavors”. Some choices you have are Rosehip, Guava and Hibiscus. One cut from a block will cost anywhere from Y1,550. – Y1,760.
The sea sponges run three different prices depending on their size – Y350; Y1,750; or Y4,500. I purchased one of the above wooden “flowers”, along with an essential oil, as a gift. You place a few drops of your favorite scent on the flower and decorate a room with it! I bought bergamot for myself and grapefruit for my friend.
Aromatherapy items are available as well. With your purchase you will receive a handout with some of these interesting pieces of info regarding the making of the soap and the ingredients:
La Cucina’s Soaps are made through a “cold process”. These handmade soaps are made in the traditional Mediterranean style through a cold process that does not add any heat so that the components of the oils will not be damaged. Because the naturally occurring moisturizer, glycerin, is not lost at all during the manufacturing process, soaps made this way leave your skin feeling moisturized and relaxed after use.
Their soaps are made of natural ingredients only. Soaps are authentic handmade soaps that are made of edible virgin olive oil and other high quality vegetable oils and aged under a temperature and humidity controlled environment for 6 to 8 weeks. Also, pure botanical essential oils are used for fragrance. No chemical synthesis such as synthetic surfactants, synthetic preservatives and artificial colorings are added.
Here are the purchases I made – something for me and a gift for a friend! Her gift-wrapped item is on the right! I also recieved a “slice” of soap as a gift. I have no idea what scent it is but I’m looking forward to trying it!
Here are examples of ways I used my new decorative, scented item in my own home:
This display of shells is in my guest bathroom and it smells great in there! I placed enough drops of the Bergamot Essential Oil to cover the entire flower – about 14 drops. I’m not sure if that was more than I needed but we’ll see how long the scent lasts and go from there.
This display is on my coffee table in the livingroom. I’m not sure that this little “flower” could fill up this entire room with its scent but it sure looked good here!
Personally, I’m not a bar soap fan but this shop will entice even the most loyal liquid soap fans!!
Payment: This store takes Yen and Credit Cards only
Hours: Monday – Saturday 1:00p.m. – 8p.m.
Address: 2 Chome-6-46 Chūō, Okinawa-shi, Okinawa-ken 904-0004, Japan
GPS Coordinates: 26.3388927, 127.80011690000003
Directions: Leave out of Kadena Gate Two and follow to the large intersection and make a left. You are now on 330. Make another left at the building “Hide Away”. You are no on Chuo Park Ave. La Cucina is on your left – not very far down. You can also park at the Korinza Mall (Y100 store inside) and walk down Chuo Park Ave. It’s across from the Embroidery Shop on Chuo Park Ave. (aka B.C. St.)