Soap Fiend


Get it? It’s funny because it rhymes with ‘dope fiend’ but it’s about soap?… mkay, I’ll stop now.

For years I’ve had a clear and definite preference for unscented soap, the reasoning being that I don’t want my bath products to conflict with my chosen perfume. But there’s something so pleasing about a nicely scented bath time experience (or three-minute shower, depending on the days schedule)- and I was tired of missing out on it. Besides, I often enough just end up smelling of conditioner anyway.

The pivotal soap that changed the game for me was LUSH’s Rose Jam, which I’ve already blogged about as being on last year’s Christmas stocking stuffer wish list. Well, after Christmas Eve came around and my parents realized that they had completely forgotten my stocking (Ooops 😛 ) I did get a lovely little jar of Rose Jam as compensation.  It’s so lovely I’m feeling motivated to seek out (and eventually test) other scented bath products- be they soaps, body oils, or what have you (really just soaps or body oils, what else would one use during a tubby? (just imagined a scented rubber ducky, patenting that.))

So what else is striking my fancy?

Amber-Labdanum Bath Oil, Olympic Orchids
Olympic Orchids/Orchid Scents is an extraordinary independent perfumery with a huge range- someday I’ll post just about my favorites from the line- but the fragrances can tend to be a bit thick for me. They’re not heavy-handed, but sometimes they suffer from a kind of bluntness, a lack of airiness that might come from the high concentrations of natural oils they use. But this makes a bath oil so from them so promising! And amber-labdanum combinations are a signature favorite of mine, if I can claim to have any such thing while I go around dabbling in all scent families. A warm fragrance like this an a nourishing and moisturizing oil sounds like it would provide some much-needed happiness in the winter. Maybe this will be my stocking stuffer next year?
“Long a favorite in our holiday gift sets, Amber-Labdanum Oil is now available for purchase by itself. It is a rich, smooth amber with extra labdanum to give it a super-luxurious and comforting effect. The oil base is a blend of coconut and argan oils, with no artificial coloring or preservatives, so it’s beneficial for your skin. Pour a few drops in the bath for the ultimate self-indulgent therapeutic experience, use it as a massage oil or hair oil, or just apply it liberally as a light alcohol-free fragrance.”

Meharees Body Wash/Bath Foam, L’Erbolario
Meharees reminds me that I too can be a fool. I had read of it as being an excellent dupe for Frederic Malle’s wildly beautiful (and steeply priced) Musc Ravageur. L’Erbolario is a pharmacy brand in Italy so when I was in Venice a few years ago I gave this one a try. Oh my I loved it. It was just like Musc Ravageur, feral, untamed except… I liked it better. It dials far back on the clove in MR”s opening, making me feel a bit less like a slab of meat being smoked (not necessarily a bad thing, but when someone asked at a party if anyone else smelled meat I had to wonder if it was me and shake my head ‘no’ very enthusiastically to avert suspicion).  But I didn’t buy any (even though it was in a pharmacy, just sitting there with bedroom eyes, being very inexpensive) because in my OCDness I insist on following a strict sampling program before purchasing any fragrances.  But of course it’s rather more expensive here (but still not over $50 for a bottle of perfume) so I’ve been living without it. Maybe the answer is to try the less expensive body wash first, as a way of sampling, and then when I’m safely assured of the depth of my love, spring for a bottle? But what if I end up associating the scent with bath time? And functional products? And soap?
Agh, it’s such a beautiful scent, I rather want to buy myself the soap regardless. I’m just struggling over the implications of the order of purchase. Perhaps the answer is just to go back to Italy 😀
“You are free to imagine being immersed in the steam of a hammam, a smoking oasis of well-being… thanks to this foam, rich with treasures from the desert: the sweet Date, regal nourishment for your skin, and Myrrh, with its sensual fragrance, offering a toning and astringent affect. And lastly Yucca, with its dark, saponin-rich juice, precious for its gentle and effective cleansing action.”

Golden Iris Shower Oil, Sabon
While the two products we’ve looked at so far have been toasty scents that I would envision using in the wintery times, the scent of iris is very seasonally versatile- but feels most at home for me in the springtime.  I’ve heard good things about Sabon’s products, though I’ve never tried any myself (blame years of reliance on unscented soap) and I think the soft scent of iris- a combination of the buttery, bready, rooty, and powdery- would be an excellent accompaniment to a spring shower. I mean an indoor shower. Not a weather shower.
Especially right now. Usually when I come back from break the witch hazel and crocus have started blooming but right now we’re still inundated with snow. I could use a little false hope with my soap.  That will be the motto of my springtime scented rubber duckies: “False hope with your soap.”

I would like to thank my Mom for passing down to me a weakness for scented soaps. Couldn’t have done it without you, Mom.

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