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Shove over, Rubber Duck; I’m exhausted by your priggish grin. The logic is simple, Duck: Bath-time is for getting clean, not for fun. And clean has never felt better than with vegan sandalwood-vanilla soap from Babylonian Soap Company (BSC) in Morro Bay.

click to enlarge GET SUDSY :  Rich Covert and Tracy Bullock of Babylonian Soap Company make products that keep bath-time fun, fresh, and sulfate-free. - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • GET SUDSY : Rich Covert and Tracy Bullock of Babylonian Soap Company make products that keep bath-time fun, fresh, and sulfate-free.

The BSC beauty product line is all natural, locally made, and free of paraben and sulfates. Paraben and sulfates are preservatives used in most commercial beauty products; they’ve been linked to cancer and disease, and can be harsh on skin.

BSC owner Tracy Bullock’s fair complexion is extremely sensitive to commercial products, so she began experimenting at home, making her own soaps. Bullock’s soaps became her signature birthday and holiday gift for friends and family, and she was receiving positive feedback. She began making more products, launched a website, and, with her husband Rich Covert, opened the door to the storefront in February 2012.

The storefront success is due in part to the under-appreciated human olfactory system. A good whiff of a strong scent interrupts our cognition and forces us to excavate our pasts, searching for the memory link to our first encounter with such a fragrance. Smells ignite memories: the sweetness of grandma’s cookies tickling your nose; the musk of cut hay after a summer rain; bonfire and barbecue gatherings with friends. Smells cause us to slow down for a minute and reminisce. And smelling clean definitely won’t hurt your social reputation.

BSC’s scents (and there are a lot of them: grapefruit lime, lemongrass, coconut, orange vanilla, plumeria, and more) are engaging without being overbearing. The soap makes scrubbing down an aromatic treat. BSC also carries lotions, shampoos and conditioners, creams, salves, body sprays—anything you desire for feelin’ pretty. They have dog shampoo, too. BSC is always experimenting with new scents and is working on expanding its men’s-oriented products to include things like shave cream.

Bullock and Covert converted their garage into a workshop for making BSC beauty products. They try to use as many California-based products as they can, which includes putting Morro Bay sea salts in their refreshing bath scrubs. All BSC products are made in small batches—just enough to fill the shelf (sometimes only for a few days!). This ensures that your purchase from BSC is fresh; stale products don’t make for effective cleaning agents, and, since all BSC products are free of preservatives, they won’t last as long as something you buy from the drug store. But once you try a bar of BSC (which I am so privileged to have done) staleness will never be a threat; you’ll want to use it for everything!

BSC offers squeaky-clean chic paired with a laid-back, Central Coast attitude. Products are moderately priced and well worth what you pay for them; Bullock and Covert are passionate about bringing quality products to their customers.

Babylonian Soap Company is at 842 Main St. in Morro Bay. Visit and look forward to their booth at the SLO Farmers Market this summer.

Fast fact

SLO County is rich with history, and the South County Historical Society is pleased to announce a series of summer performances that will bring local history to life. The Summer Historic Theater will be performing at IOOF Hall in Arroyo Grande every Saturday at 2 p.m., all summer long. A different play is featured each month, all of which tell a story about the early days of Arroyo Grande. Performances run less than an hour each, and admission is free—though donations are appreciated. The IOOF Hall is at 128 Bridge St. in Arroyo Grande. For more information about the Summer Historic Theater, call 489-8282.

New Times intern Ana Korgan compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send ideas to

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