The Scents of Southern West Virginia

The winds that bring fall to the hills of Southern West Virginia also bring unique aromas that are pleasing to the senses. Often a time about chill vibes and doses of nostalgia, fall is a season of recreation, relaxation and reflection.

Of course, some people revel in autumn’s arrival for a certain pumpkin-flavored product. But there are certainly other scents, too— the kind that announce the time of crisp days and chilly nights. And why not fully enclose yourself in those memorable autumn scents by bringing them into your home with fragrances from Wild Mountain Soaps or aromatic wines and cheeses from Bella the Corner Gourmet.

Wild Mountain Soap Company, Fayetteville
It’s that simple drop in temperature and a tinge of color in the trees that Wild Mountain Soaps, in Fayetteville, West Virginia, can proclaim: “It’s pumpkin marshmallow season at Wild Mountain,” on their Facebook page. But that’s not the only scent that brings customers to the soap company’s doorstep.

“Some other fall scents that bring people back to us annually are Toasty Marshmallow, Marshmallow Mint, Bourbon Toasted Pecans and anything with clove and orange scents mixed,” said Wild Mountain Soaps co-owner Phillip Peelish. “Generally people switch from the floral scents they used in the summer to more comforting scents.” 

Those comforting scents help evoke and enhance the autumn season for the businesses’ customers.

The couple makes cold-process soap, starting with their recipe of oils that they developed over their first four years of soap making.

“We use coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, castor oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and soybean oil,” Peelish said. “This is added to the sodium hydroxide and either water or goat’s milk. Our recipe leaves 5 to 7 percent of the oils free in the soap. This makes sure the sodium hydroxide is completely used up.”

“We still make candles and tarts. People come in this time of year knowing we only make them in the fall,” Peelish said.

But soap, candles and tarts aren’t the only thing that bring people through the door of Wild Mountain Soaps. The company offers a wide range of scented body products that reflect the fall season.

“We make liquid hand and body lotion, solid lotion, muscle rub, scrubs, bath bombs and a whole line of men’s products including beard oil,” Peelish said.

From making candles for craft shows and bars of soap for friends, Mary and Phillip Peelish’s passion has gone from hobby to full-fledged business.

And now the business continues to flourish offering scented products for all seasons.

Bella the Corner Gourmet, Lewisburg
As the welcoming smell of pumpkin marshmallow soaps and bourbon-toasted pecans wafts through the air, you might find yourself desiring another treat to welcome the new season— perhaps the kind of treat that can be enjoyed next to an outdoor fire with friends, or resting comfortably on the back porch of a cabin.

At Bella the Corner Gourmet in Lewisburg, you can find all manners of wine and artisan cheeses for that fall spread by the fire, whether you’re on the road or at home. And if you’re on the road, why not stop in at a shop where the locals go?

Tamera Pence, chief creative at Bella the Corner Gourmet, has some ideas for wine and cheese pairings in the fall months.

“For turkey at Thanksgiving, go get a good riesling or a gewurztraminer. They are perfect,” Pence said. 

Currently, you can get a Clean Slate riesling on the shelf at the store and they’ll have a gewurztraminer available in November, based on some tastings and Pence’s reps’ recommendations.

“For pairing a cheese with it, go with aromatics,” Pence said. “A good, real parmesan reggiano, a good gouda or a stilton, served with some apples or pears, or seed/nut crisps.”

And for those beef and venison lovers, Pence offered some other tasty pairings to try.

“Nice reds are all over the place and easily found,” Pence said. “I particularly like Jason Stephens Estate Merlot and HandCraft Petite Sirah, both Californian, both delicious. For pairing a cheese or two, manchego or pecorino romano.”

Bella’s wine selection is a “boutique” wine collection, Pence said. They offer shelves of wine offerings for under $10.

“Good wine does not have to be expensive,” Pence said. “Most wines are in the $11-14 range and are excellent. I keep a limited amount of champagne for folks celebrating and can special order nearly anything.”

And if you’re looking for something a little bit off the beaten path from wine, Bella’s carries ciders from local cider producers Hawk Knob Cidery.

“I can hardly keep their small batch bottles on the shelves,” Pence said.

Savory wines and artisan cheeses aren’t the only thing Bella’s has going for it; they also stock kitchenwares— the perfect “go-to” for your cocktail party.

“Pick up a couple of the artisan cheeses from the world, charcuterie crackers, olives, light dinner items and seasonings,” Pence said.

The Salt Cave and Spa
For more ways to relax and enjoy the scents of refreshing aromas, make an appointment at the Salt Cave and Spa.

Scents for all noses
However you decide to indulge your penchant for fall aromas, Southern West Virginia has more than enough options to tantalize your senses.