The styles, tastes and smells that Blackbird brought to the bustling Ballard neighborhood are sorely missed. Its men’s fashion selection was always enviable and its later forays into fragrances and grooming products have built a loyal fan base, even though the brick-and-mortar base is gone. The storefront is gone, but the line lives on online and in boutiques around town, as it’s products are still produced right here in Seattle.
In 2012, GQ named Blackbird’s then newly launched soaps in the magazine’s “Best Stuff of the Year” list, and since then they have expanded with new fragrances that ditch the cloying, chemical florals found in grocery aisles for blends of essential oils, fine clay and naturally sanitizing charcoal. They colors range from creamy to cordovan to pitch black. The rich, resinous Blood Countess is especially great for autumn and winter, while the Eucalyptus clay soap and the Izba clay soap (cedar and lavender) perk you up on rainy and sunny days. For licorice fanatics (like me), the anise-scented black licorice soap is perfect year round.
As for me, I can’t wait to try the Black Tomato soap when the long summer days are near. The smell of tomato leaves is to me the quintessence of summer; it turns your whole brain green. That scent is the inspiration behind their black tomato soap, and it may replace licorice as my favorite year round. After all, that bit of sunshine on the skin may be one more trick to stave off SAD in these dark winter days.
To purchase: Blackbird’s soap selection online. Find them and take a whiff at local boutiques, like Glasswing (1525 Melrose Avenue)