I’m not normally a shopper, but give me a market and the green light to haggle and I’m like a kid in a candy store! Except in Morocco it was leather goods, jewellery and argan oil – which are much more up my alley, anyway. Here’s what I bought in the souks of Marrakech…
Ever since I met Caroline Hirons I’ve been all about the floral waters, so when I saw this in the souks for the equivalent of just a couple pounds I knew I just had to try it! And you know what? I’m pretty darn impressed. It doesn’t have all the active ingredients as my Melvita rose floral water, but it is refreshing and a nice way to shake up my routine.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to Morocco without argan oil! The country is famous for it, and compared to prices in the UK it’s really quite affordable here. This was the first bottle I bought, and when I realised it only cost about a fiver I decided to buy another bottle (because hey, why not?) from a women’s cooperative – despite products at cooperatives being priced more like products in the UK. If you haven’t heard of women’s cooperatives in Morocco, they offer a place for women to learn business skills, making and selling products direct to the consumer. It also ensures they earn a fairer wage, which I’m all for.
I also bought some “magic” Hare lipstick, which applies clear and turns pink or red depending on your body’s pH. Again, it only cost a few pounds but it has quickly become my go-to lip colour because it acts like a stain (so fewer applications!) and I keep getting compliments on the colour. (My lips tend to turn bright pink, but after hot yoga sometimes it turns more of a red.)
If you’re interested in trying out Hare lipstick, there’s a bunch available on eBay. What else is Morocco famous for? Leather and carpet. So I combined the two with this adorable rucksack – which has since replaced the trusty leather one I bought in Camden for day-to-day use here in London! (What can I say? I’m a sucker for rucksacks…)
Every shop we visited had so many beautiful pieces of jewellery. Many of the shopkeepers tried to convince me that they were of Berber/Saharan/vintage/etc. origin, but I wouldn’t have it. I’ve been to enough markets around the world to know that these kinds of stories are just that – stories – and without proof of origin I’m just not going to buy into it. That’s why when I found a shopkeeper who told me all the pieces in his shop were made recently, that he buys the pieces from people who make them specifically to sell in the markets – that’s when I was finally happy to part with my money to for these two handmade beauties in Moroccan style. I’m not sure if the stones are real, but I think they’re gorgeous just the same!
If you read my post about exploring Marrakech, you’ll know that I absolutely loved the mint tea! Which means you could probably guess that there was no way I was leaving Morocco without a tea pot. Jeff and I bought this one together, which is made of brass. This tea pot shaped is based on British design, but we just loved the bird on the top and the detailing around.
But what would a teapot be without tea cups – or, in the case of Morocco – tea glasses? And that’s how we came to own these six, delicate glasses with their lovely detailing. I’m pleasantly surprised that they made it home with us in one piece!
What’s on your shopping list for a trip to Morocco?