What IS an Om Shanti, anyway?


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Om Shanti Soap

Om Shanti. Our most popular soap with a sweet, intoxicating smell combining pure cinnamon and patchouli essential oils with the decadence of certified organic and fairly traded coffee grounds and cocoa powder. It holds its scent forever and I’m told it can be habit forming. Case in point: people present themselves to me at craft fairs and my Farmer’s Market booth with their remaining slivers in a baggie so they can ‘compare’ scents and get the right soap when they’ve forgotten the name.

A question I get asked a lot is “what is Om Shanti?” My lovely mother-in-law (also an Om Shanti lover) refers to it as “Chianti“, but that’s a type of wine. Not the same thing.

The “Om” is a meditation sound used in yoga practice and many Eastern religions including Hinduism and Buddhism. Om Shanti is a phrase that means “to bring peace”.

Patchouli essential oil is derived from a member of the mint family grown in India. Its earthy scent is often associated with the 1960s – the decade of swamis and enlightenment. Cinnamon is also grown in India and Sri Lanka, making Om Shanti soap heavily influenced by Indian traditions.

The Om symbol is popular in jewelry, clothing, and accessories – and of course, our soap!

Om in the world

1. Om Belt Buckle, Pip Robins
2. Keep Calm and Carry Om, adropofgoldensun
3. Om Mug, ThrowingShop
4. Om Necklace, Perini Designs

Ironically, the t-shirt I reserved for my Grade 10 Phys. Ed. class had a beautiful blue and purple Om symbol embroidered on it. As a 15-year-old, I had no idea what it meant but looking back, perhaps I hoped I could be at peace with my lack of basketball skills.