Handmade Designed Soaps in Bhutan

From coconut oil, palm oil, aloe vera to himalayan mugwort (khempa), dandelion and turmeric as the driving ingredients , entrepreneur Sonam Pelden creates a beautiful assortment of intricately designed organic soaps – so beautiful that you will not want to use it at all.

Text Tashi Tshomo & PemC

Photos by PemC

Edited by Namgay Wangchuk DJ

Pelbar Soaps make pretty gifts and souvenirs too.

“Pelbar Soaps is a small entrepreneurial venture that began as a hobby,” says Sonam Pelden who, besides working as an Immunologist at the Royal Centre for Disease Control, finds time at home to ‘bake’, as she describes it, trays of beautiful soaps. And by beautiful we mean soaps that resemble decorative items rather than the lards of disinfectants that we are usually familiar with. “It was during a training in Bangkok where I befriended people who were really into this line of creation. Then after getting back I found myself joining a Soap-Making Forum online and getting more ideas about it.”

Sonam’s organic soaps from Bhutan collection are created from a wide range of local ingredients. “I use what’s available locally and it’s easier since it’s in small batches. So far, I’ve used dandelions, papaya, aloe vera, tomatoes, khempa and we try to create different natural colors from carrots, turmeric and charcoal. The soaps are chemical free and we use the natural oils from coconut oil and palm oil.”

“I wouldn’t claim Pelbar Soaps have medicinal properties since mostly tourists enquire after learning that we use a lot of local ingredients. Mostly people buy for its aesthetic appeal, I’ve noticed,” says Sonam.


Pelbar Soaps are priced at a range from Nu. 50 to Nu. 100 per piece but Sonam says she would be willing to sell for less if bought in batches.

You can contact her at @pelbar_home_made_soaps on Instagram or call her at 17164120, Babesa.

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