The Sweet Smell of Success
Gili Zilca of Briarcliff Manor had enjoyed a 20-year career as a chemical engineer before starting to experiment with homemade soaps in her kitchen back in 2004. The results of those experiments led to Luisa New York, Zilca’s line of simply sublime handmade olive oil soaps (think chocolate mousse, peppermint eucalyptus, and raspberry lemonade daiquiri) along with bath and other natural beauty products. She just moved to a new location in the Rose Hill Shopping Center (660 Columbus Ave, Thornwood, 914-495-3799), where she now makes the soaps on-site; her first boutique, in Pleasantville, opened in 2008. You can also find her goodies online at luisanewyork.com. Soaps usually cost $1.50 per ounce unwrapped and $6.75 wrapped. You can even have cakes of soaps decorated, well, as cakes—complete with frosting (and a candle, if desired). Custom soaps are also available.