Kings Road Apothecary Herbal Subscription Box Unboxing and Review-July 2015 (Lime and Coconut)
I took advantage of the Spring Solstice sale at Kings Road Apothecary in March and signed up for a multi-month subscription to the “Surprise Box,” which brought the individual box price down to $47.38 each including shipping. Each monthly box features four herbally-based, small-batch, handcrafted items that center around a theme. Box pricing recently increased to $53.50 plus shipping when ordered individually, but multi-month subscriptions include shipping. The July theme was “Lime and Coconut.” As of this writing the July box is still available for purchase as is the August box. More details about the August box below. To see my other Kings Road Apothecary unboxing and reviews from prior months, look here.
Please enjoy the complete unboxing video, with my oldest child Eva as the special guest star. If you prefer to skip right to the photos and the nitty gritty, keep scrolling down. Also, if you are newer to herbalism and herbal-based products, I have explained many frequently-used herbalism terms in the Crunchy Parent Herbal 101: Glossary of Common and Unusual Herbalism Terms and 50+ Great Ideas for Using Herbs.
The box came with the entire contents wrapped in a hand-dyed piece of seafoam green cotton muslin and tied with kitchen twine. All items were carefully protected with bubble wrap, individually wrapped in green-themed coordinated tissue paper, and tied with kitchen twine. In addition to the four herbal items, the box also came with a copy of a beautiful drawing of a beachy palm tree scene penned by Rebecca exclusively for this box. On the back of the drawing was a recipe for the spiced hibiscus syrup and for a hibiscus mojito. In addition, there was a letter from Rebecca describing the box contents, and an invitation to post box images on instagram to enter to win a little gift.
As I’ve mentioned before, each month Rebecca picks the theme for the box, gathers plant material and takes the month to reflect on the plants and experiment with new recipes for products. Her four favorites end up in the box. This month’s winners started with a small (2 oz.?) bottle of spiced hibiscus syrup. This is the same syrup that was included as a recipe on the back of the drawing. I am delighted that Rebecca shared the recipe because this syrup is beautiful and delicious. I can see it making its way into a lot of summer drink recipes, including the Hibiscus Mojito recipe, also included on the back of the enclosed drawing. Unfortunately, the syrup was also leaky. It tended to cling to the threads on the screw top so that when the cap was removed, the syrup ran down the bottle. This was managed (and enjoyed) via licking fingers as shown in the video, but was a bit sticky. This syrup is unique and exclusive to the box so the value is unknown.
Next in the box was a dropper bottle of Lime and Bay Leaf Bitters. This blend of vodka, lime, star anise, gentian root, and two varieties of bay will help to stimulate and aid in digestion, or can be used to flavor cocktails. I enjoyed the sour lime flavor, grounded by the bay and other herbs and spices. This exact variety of bitters was exclusive to the box, but similar ones can be found at Kings Road Apothecary here (1 oz. retail value $15.00).
The other two items included a deluxe sample size of Summer Glow: Lime and Coconut Body Oil (1 oz. retail value $13.00). The oil is light and super-moisturizing, with gold micro shimmer for a summer glow. It contains coconut Co2, which was an ingredient that I had not heard of before. After putting my finely-tuned Googling skills to work, I learned that coconut CO2 is the product of extracting coconut oil from coconut pulp with carbon dioxide. The resulting coconut CO2 preserves the luscious coconut aroma, allowing for a natural coconut scent to be added to body care products. All I can say is that the body oil smells really yummy. It reminds me of key lime shortbread cookies, although Eva thought that it smelled like pumpkin and cardamom (she must be missing fall). In any case, I think that the oil is glowy, moisturizing, and deliciously scented; making it perfect for using after a relaxing day at the beach.
The final item was a deluxe sample size of Coconut and Vanilla Sugar Scrub (4 oz., value $12.50). Rebecca had mentioned on Facebook that during the experimental process in preparing for the box, she had initially added more essential oils to this sugar scrub. In making the batch for the boxes, she was so struck by the delicious scent of the sugar, coconut, and vanilla that she decided to stop there. I think that was an excellent choice because this smells just. so. good. I made everyone who I could find take a sniff. We had differing opinions as to whether it smelled like macaroons, cookie dough, frosting, etc. We agreed that it smelled like something that you’d want to eat with a spoon. I fully intend to squirrel this away until we move next month and I luxuriate in the master bathroom (and bathtub) that I have pined for. I’m not going to leave it until I am all pruney and smell exactly like this sugar scrub. As of this writing, this scrub is not available for purchase, but you can find similar products on the KRA site here.
I always enjoy receiving my Kings Road Apothecary boxes. Compared to other boxes they may seem like a bit of a splurge because there is not a dramatic item value relative to the price paid as is typical of more mainstream beauty boxes. That said, they are so beautifully curated and crafted. I find the contents so inspiring for my own herbal creations, and I discover new products and ingredients to incorporate into the things that I make (going to get my hands onto some of that coconut CO2). I also appreciate receiving Rebecca’s email newsletter that talks about the theme of the month while she works on creating the recipes for the boxes. I feel like I learn so much about plants and their uses, and I get better acquainted with plants that are not native to my region (signup for the newsletter here; no purchase necessary). Additionally, I think that there is something special about discovering and receiving indie subscription boxes in the mix of crunchy-friendly subscription boxes that I receive. Not only are you supporting a small business, generally run by one person or family, but you are also discovering products and companies that will only be found there, not across other subscription box services. Something about that feels exclusive and precious.
At this moment, the July Kings Road Apothecary box is still available on the KRA site. The August box with a Cactus and Cool theme is currently available for preorder and is scheduled to ship for arrival around August 24th. The box will include four herbal items for home, health, or body. The four items in the box may be chosen from among the following list of brainstormed items (or may be some related spontaneous brilliant idea): Shimmering coconut + cactus facial serum, Nopal and hibiscus white tea, a summer cold infusion blend, Cactus and coconut after-sun potion, a calming summer heat elixir, Cactus fruit liqueur, Prickly pear + cucumber facial mist, Cactus + rose burn and wound powder (great for sunburn, or as an addition to your first aid kit), Cactus flower gut healing tea, Prickly pear + hibiscus flower face cream, or Rose + cactus flower elixir.
As a reminder the KRA boxes are made using wild crafted ingredients. In an effort to support plant sustainability in harvesting, only a limited number of boxes are available each month. Are you going to grab a July box before they are gone? Does Cactus and Cool sound like it will hit the spot for August?
If you would like to see my most recent comprehensive listing of “crunchy-friendly” subscription boxes, you can find that here. To see other crunchy subscription box video unboxings, look here on the Crunchy Parent You Tube channel. If you have any suggestions or requests for future videos, please let me know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe!by