Saving the Salves

Since I began making our post-shave salve over three years ago (and almost three years since Chatillon Lux opened for business), things have changed quite a bit. In the beginning, my friend Jason and I ran the company, making batches of salve together. We were lucky to have a handful of orders per week and we made what I now realize were very small batches of just three scents.


Now, I run the business on my own as my full-time job (well, I do some freelance copywriting and brand strategy on the side, as well, but I’m still working 60-80 hours per week on Chatillon Lux now, so I’m counting it) and demand has caused me to produce much, much more salve, which I am very grateful for. But now there are 52 different products that I have to keep in stock, which is a lot for just one person. There is so much to keep track of, and on top of that, making salves (and especially pre-shave butter) is a VERY difficult and time-consuming process.


I’ve realized that something had to give. I simply can’t keep 10 different salves in stock, let alone any limited editions that come along. It would be one thing if I could make all the salves in one batch, but I am making many, many batches of all the different scents. 


And not to mention that the salve base can severely distort scents. There are some conspiracy theorists out there who are certain that I use different scent formulas for the salves than I do for my aftershaves, toners and EdTs. I do not. This is simply an adverse effect of the salve base, and has led to dissatisfied customers.


Not to mention the fact that when exposed to heat in transit or in normal conditions, the glycerin and oils in the product can separate. 


I really did not want to have to discontinue the salve line, because I know how much people enjoy it. I do not use it for shaving very often, but rather as a daily moisturizer before bed every night. I know many women who also use it for that purpose (once I assured them just because the product has “shave” in the title that you do not have to use it as a shaving product). I know those with dry or sensitive skin have found it to be the perfect post-shave product, especially in the cold months. 


So I came up with a solution that would allow the salve line to survive and not be detrimental to the company’s growth. I am re-launching the product this fall as simply Skin Salves. They will have an improved formula that will be more resistant to heat, will provide a softer consistency that will be more pliable and spreadable, and will also eliminate comedogenic coconut oil, replacing it with luxurious jojoba oil. 


The new Skin Salve line will also be simplified into two scents and one unscented product and will be available in 2 oz jars and 4 oz jars. They will cost $15 for the 2 oz and $28 for the 4 oz. The simplified line will allow for better production efficiency and help me stay on top of demand. The scents will be straightforward and essential-oil-only (Pure Lavender and Fresh Citrus) in order to complement any other fragrance you might be wearing and not be badly distorted by the base. Additionally, the unscented product will allow for more flexibility and daily use for those who do not want a product that competes with the fragrance they are wearing.


We are excited about the improved formula and the prospect of making the Skin Salve line a viable part of the business. This was a very tough decision to make (I have been wrestling with this since last year), but it is simply the only way I can envision being able to keep the salves as part of Chatillon Lux. They were our first product and one that I still am fond of, but now with more knowledge and experience, I want to improve the process for both customer satisfaction and my own sanity.


I know I should expect a deluge of unhappy emails, but please do know that I wish I could make everyone happy. Unfortunately, I am just one person. And because the margin on the salves currently is so low that it is impossible to pay for help to make them. So this is truly the only option I have at this point. Thank you to those who understand. And to those who don’t, I do sincerely apologize, but please try to understand the levels of stress and anxiety that I experience due to the current quagmire are just something I can’t live with anymore.


The Vide Poche limited-edition release on August 1 will be the last product produced in the current post-shave salve formula. I will also cease production of the post-shave salves on August 1 and will launch the Skin Salves line in September.


Growth is not easy. Like anything in life, in order to move forward, sometimes you have to leave something behind that you’ve grown attached to. Going full time with Chatillon Lux was the most terrifying decision I’ve ever made, but also the best one I’ve ever made. Thank you for all of your support over the years and I look forward to growing more together.


-Shawn Maher


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