Family life perfume Soap

Some Notes about Plumeria

Taking a moment to contemplate beauty: the fierce, passionately real, full-on mesmerising beauty of the plumeria (frangipani) flower. Vivid, sun-drenched tropical colours soaking in velvety petals, a deep breath in gives an intoxicating scent. It’s the inspiration for the Frangipani Sargasso Botanica soap. Here’s the story.

Plumeria flower pink and white frangipani tropical flower, plumeria flower bloominge, spa flower, Bali island.

The plumeria plant (common name is ‘frangipani’) is native to Mexico and Central
America, but it thrives in nearly every tropical climate. Plumeria is commonly grown as a shrub, but it’s also a tree.

I was surprised to see one shading an outdoor courtyard on a recent trip to India. Later, in my room, I found a lovely bowl of floating blooms, left by the staff. This natural room scent was not only thoughtful, but soothing and relaxing. With a soft, warm notes and a spicy attribute, frangipani puts pleasure in the air.

Romance (literally) on the table, a bowl of fresh blooms in Bengaluru
papua new guinea
A girl wearing plumeria in Lamu, Papua Islands (Photo Credit Eric Lafforgue via Tumblr.)

The cultural connotations of the flower beyond the Americas are diverse. In Oceanic Pacific island cultures, it’s become a symbol of welcome and happiness, used to make leis, or flower garlands–or as a simple jewel for the hair.



In the Far East, the connotations are very different. White plumeria blooms are sometimes used in funeral rites, as white, highly fragranced blooms are often used in ceremonies of death.

At home in the Americas, it’s a forgiving plant which doesn’t need too much water or care, and so usually finds its way into a flower pot or two in a hot, sunny garden. . .

. . . or into my hair





This lovely bloom was growing on the East coast of Barbados.

how do you get clean-2

And now it’s a Sargasso soap.

Blooms of pink, white or yellow (depends on my mood the day I’m making it), set inside the soap. It’s a several-day process to first make the coloured blooms and then settle them into a new batch of soap, timing it just right so that everything coheres as it dries. Though I use a perfume version of frangipani for the soap scent, I’ve got a vial of the flower absolute (real perfume from the flower) sitting near my desk and big plans for it in a natural perfume blend (coming soon. . . I promise!)

FrangipaniFrangipani Sargasso Botanica soap, side profile view.

Always available online at or at Chatsworth Road E5 market some Sundays. Check our social media for market trading days!


By kateemo

I'm an expat, though I'm not sure of where or what at any given time. I'm currently living in London. I moved here in June 2008 for love (and hopefully money) after living for most of my life in the States (the United ones). I was born in Jamaica many years ago, before Dancehall went global.

I'm the heart, hands and brain of Sargasso Trading Company, so I spend my days making beautiful, lovely smelling natural cosmetics.

As a lifelong lover of words, I also enjoy my freelance work as a content specialist.

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