FAQ – Notions-&-Lotions


Who are you and where are you based?

We are Notions & Lotions, an Irish woman-run company set up by Aoife Gillen located in Inishowen at the mouth of the River Foyle in County Donegal. Check out our About Us page to learn even more. We are sustainable, stubbornly DIY, local loving crafters who love what we make and do. The Wild Atlantic Way provides the inspiration and sometimes the ingredients for many of our Notions & Lotions. Just google Shroove Head loop then check out our Shroove Head soap to see what we mean.

What do you make?

Our main products are small batches of cold-process soap and additional natural skin and haircare products. These are handmade in our bespoke treehouse workshop using the highest quality and most sustainable ingredients available. We also make creams, balms, handknitted items and bits and pieces for around your home.

Where do you source your ingredients?

We always try to support local and Irish as our first priority. Where this is not possible we scope out the market for sustainable, Fairtrade and organic suppliers. 

  • Bomar Apothecary is our main cosmetic ingredients supplier based in Co. Wicklow. O+3 Europe supplies anything that cannot be sourced in Ireland.
  • Newgrange Gold Ltd in Co. Meath supplies our Irish Wild Flax Oil Camelina Sativa.
  • Woolycastle in Co. Westmeath is our go-to for wool and cotton for soap saver pouches and face cloths.
  • Flowers and botanicals are foraged, picked and/or grown in our garden and polytunnel.
  • Donegal Bay Seaveg provides all our organic seaweed for our soaps.
  • Barry Packaging in Co. Kerry supplies our ecofriendly and plastic free packaging.

What are your credentials?

  • Our main maker Aoife Gillen has a Diploma in Soap Making, is a Certified Sustainability Practitioner and has a Masters in Environmental Health alongside Chartered Environmental Health status.
  • We are a member of the Guild of Craft Soap & Toiletry Makers
  • We are a member of the Design & Crafts Council Ireland

Who can use your soaps?

Our soaps use all-natural raw and unrefined oils, butters, waxes, colourants and essential oils. They are suitable for all skin types and for those that prefer something plain we have an unscented soap just for you! These 100% natural soaps can be used on your face and entire body, allowing you to cut back on that bathroom clutter.    

We do not use fragrance oils or synthetic colourants in any of our soaps. We do however use beeswax in our soaps so unfortunately, they are not suitable for vegans (sorry).

All our soaps and cosmetic products are assessed by a qualified chemist to determine safety to the cosmetic product regulations. They each have a safety report and an extensive quality management system is in place to ensure consistency of quality and safety.

Will my soap go off?

Notions and Lotions soaps state an expiry date of 6 months upon receipt as is required by the cosmetic products regulations. However, like a fine wine soap tends to get better with age. We retain samples of all soaps made and can vouch that they remain good for many years. The key to getting the most out of your soap is to keep it dry and store it in a self-draining dish between uses. As we use natural clays, colourants and essential oils these may fade with time but your soap cleaning power will remain the same.

A soap pouch is another great way to collect your end pieces of soap to get the most out of every last bit.

What is cold process soap making?

Cold process soap making is a traditional soap making technique whereby oils/fats/butters/waxes are combined with sodium hydroxide lye, which causes a chemical reaction called saponification making soap. The end product of a solid bar of soap  has a number of benefits, including:

  • Lower environmental impact through reduced packaging and reduced chemicals during production and end usage 
  • Higher quality and natural ingredients supporting local economies
  • Packed with skin-loving ingredients, glycerine rich and superfast that bring additional moisture to your skin
  • Lasts longer, saving money and time on replacement products

What claims do you make on your products?

Soaps/Cosmetics: are Palm Oil-free, Not tested on animals, Plastic-free.

How long before I receive my order?

Notions & Lotions offer free safe pick-up for all orders, simply select pick-up at checkout and we will be in touch to arrange for the collection of your order in the Greencastle, Co. Donegal area.

All regular orders are shipped within 3 days of order receipt using An Post standard shipping here in Ireland. Shipping costs are dictated by An Post we apologise for this added expense, particularly for our international customers.

On their website they state the following:

“Delivery times vary depending on the destination. Standard Post items are delivered on the next working day in Ireland. International items take three to seven working days”

In our experience delivery across the island of Ireland takes two days, to the UK takes 4-7 days and international really varies from 10 to 30 days! Yes we have had parcels take quite some time. Please be aware of this before placing your order as we hate to disappoint.

There is an issue with my order?

We do have a returns policy if you want to refer to that but we love to fix problems so let us know how we can help and resolve any issues you may have, email us at info@notionsandlotions.com. We will take it from there.