A love of the Titanic fuelled this Labrador soapmaker's latest scent
Heather Bursey recreated the soap used by the 1st-class passengers of the famous ship
A history buff and soapmaker is combining her two loves to produce a special scent that's a throwback to the legend of the Titanic.
"I really love anything to do with history so I'm always looking at different things that I could incorporate with the soap that I make," Heather Bursey said.
She is the owner of Spruced Up Labrador, her handmade, home-based business.
Her latest product is Vinolia Rose — a re-creation of the soap the first-class passengers used on the infamous ship in 1912.
"I've always watched all the Titanic movies, read about the Titanic, and I [wondered] if that's ever been made. Because, for sure, first-class passengers must have had a product that was special to them," she said.
Bursey began making soaps as a hobby four years ago and launched Spruced Up two years later.
Now she can barely keep up with demand, on top of her day job with the Nunatsiavut Department of Health & Social Development.
A new challenge
Bursey said she was up for the challenge to replicate the soap, with a few modern updates.
It's scented with rose and lemon, and she imagines it's more gentle than what would have been used more than 100 years ago since the development of lye calculators, a tool commonly used by soapmakers.
"I wonder if maybe [the soap on the Titanic] was a little more harsh than what we have today," she said.
"I looked up the ingredients and they said that there was animal fat in their soap, so that's one thing I've substituted also."
Apparently, there is a market for possibly smelling the same as the first-class Titanic passengers all those years ago — Vinolia Rose Titanic Soap sold out about eight hours after it was released.
The project made Bursey fall even more in love with the whole story of the Titanic — if that's possible — and its doomed fate, and the romanticism that accompanies it, too.
It's a feeling, along with a connection, she believes others in the province share, too.
"It sunk south of the island of Newfoundland, so people are really fascinated with that."