My name is Mark McCarthy and I am the maker behind Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez.
I make all-natural cold-process soap, perfumes and skincare. Thinking of how this evolved, I look back into my (long) past. I love the scents of the garden, the smell of cut grass, autumn leaves, the first rain on warm concrete and the wondrous range of flowers and leaves. I remember when, as a little Mark McCarthy, my patient father built me my very own shade house and "farm" in our back garden. I grew everything i could, and I had a taste for plants with soft furry leaves, heady-scented flowers, gaudy colours and sweet fruit. I wasn't a natural green thumb but my early days on the "farm" introduced me to the natural world of scents, sights, textures and tastes of the plants around me.
I started making my own soap a few years ago with the aim of creating the gentlest, and most natural, cleanser. I trialed a range of oils with varying success (don't ask) until I settled on a recipe for soap which produces a creamy lather (even with Adelaide's notoriously hard water), was long lasting and did not dry out my skin. And best of all, I could scent the soaps using natural essential oils, many of which remind me of my childhood experiences.
From there, I started making other scented products, including perfume, face mists and even something for the house, room sprays. All of my products are made with natural ingredients and are vegan, and the best part is that I am able to bring the natural scents of flowers, woods, resins, leaves and roots into the palm of your hand.