A creative at heart, Terri Spruill wasn’t satisfied with simply making natural products that smell delicious—they had to be visually pleasing as well. “I had to make them special,” says the owner of Honeycat Cosmetics, whose bath and body products are both utilitarian and miniature works of art. “Customers have even protested that they are too pretty to use,” she says. “Anybody can pour wax for a candle or make a round bath bomb. I want to give people an experience.”
To that end, Spruill lets her imagination lead. Bath bombs are topped with tiny vignettes made of soap: some sexy—like the bosomy, Victoria’s Secret–inspired piece with spun-sugar wings—or saucy, such as the gender-ambiguous torso named “Not She, Not He, Just Me.”
All are rendered with fine details that Spruill, a longtime vegetarian, often achieves by handpainting with food-grade coloring. Many of her go-to ingredients are food-based, along with essential and natural fragrance oils, plus dry oils like apricot kernel and meadowfoam seed, which leave the skin silky-soft, she says.
Her 100 percent soy candles get the same focus and creativity. The royal-purple Aquaripuss candle, a tribute to the zodiac sign, has a stalagmite-looking topper and genuine amethyst chips and stones.
Spruill’s scents are also inventive. “They trigger pleasant memories,” she says. “One customer said my sweet-potato bath bomb took her right back to her grandmother making pies at Christmas.” Other unconventional combinations include a coquito-coconut bubble bath, and a chocolate-maple-bacon shower gel. “It has a smoky scent. You won’t smell like a slab of bacon,” Spruill promises.
Honeycat Cosmetics is a second career for Spruill, who was on the brink of burnout as a medical professional in a busy hospital trauma center, when she began feeding her bath-product habit by making her own. Now, almost a decade later, Spruill’s inventory is 50 designs strong, and she still creates every piece by hand in her Jersey City studio.