Saturday, 30 October 2010


If you ever get lost in an unfamiliar part of the UK and end up stumbling into a mini mart/village post office/ general store, somewhere amongst the fading tat and curling postcards I can guarantee you will find a bar of Pears soap. The box might be a bit dusty, but inside will be the same lump of amber magic you can find anywhere else in Britain. It's practically our national soap and boasts that it's been a brand for 200 years, although I don't actually know anyone who uses it. Like some weird throwback to the empire, this soap in made by Unilever in Mumbai. Huh.

Price- Boots had a special offer on, so I got a 125gr bar for 41p. You can usually get it for under a pound.

First look- The box told me in no less than four places that this was transparent, but I think Unilever and I have a different definition of the word. It looks like a huge block of amber with the word Pears on one side and Pears Transparent Soap on the other.

That is clearly not transparent.

Pretty though!

Dry feel- hard as a hockey puck and won't melt in your hand easily. Put this in a sock and hit someone with it and you could probably break their nose.

Smell- honestly, it's hard to describe. Imagine someone tried to make Perry from pear juice and alcoholic hand-rub and you're halfway there. It's not unpleasant though, just a bit... weird. Not sweet. It wasn't particularly noticeable in the shower and didn't cling to skin.

As a body soap- makes a very gentle lather with tiny bubbles on bare skin and melts easily but without washing away to nothing. A bar of this could easily last a month of showers.
As a hand soap- fine for the bathroom but won't shift cooking odours. It's also not going to get rid of serious grime without scrubbing.
As a face soap- if I was a lackadaisical man and not a girl with naughty skin, I would probably use this every day on my face. If I ever get launched into abject poverty, this is going to be the only soap I ever use.

Overall- Pears left my skin a bit dry, but it's coming into winter and my skin is dry anyway. At the end of the world when looters have taken all the posh Sanctuary shower gel and Molten Brown has been raided, I'll be plodding along with my salvaged bar of Pears, clinging desperately to 200 years of tradition and keeping a stiff upper lip about dry skin. When I'm out of university and don't have a job or any cash, this is going to be my best bathroom buddy, keeping me clean and moderately presentable.

I love you Pears, don't ever leave.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Lush- Snow Globe

Every year, Lush give their faithful masses a little winter cheer in the form of limited edition soaps, bath bombs and whatever crazy stuff they're selling nowadays, available only for the Christmas period. Which according to Lush, starts at the beginning of October, when I bought this block.

Price- £1.95 per 100gr, which is pretty reasonable for handmade soap

First Look- Snow Globe gives off some weird glow in sunlight, bringing to mind a variety of Kryptonite. It's an odd, clinical-feeling, opaque pastel turquoise, but depending on which bit of it you choose, yours might have white blobs in it. Mine didn't.

Dry Feel- firm, but it melted easily. I was able to cut it with butter knife and a little bit of pressure.

Smell- when it's dry, Snow Globe gives off a mellow citrus scent which reminded me a little of sherbet lemons. It seemed to hit the back of the nose and make it tingle. When wet, this soap jumps straight to overpowering. It's a very energising scent to snap you into reality on cold winter mornings. The scent sticks with you lightly for the rest of the morning (to keep you awake through breakfast, no doubt)

As a body soap- good light lather on bare skin, lathers up very well on hair. The soap melts really quickly under a hot shower and felt creamy straight away. Didn't leave skin too dry.
As a hand soap- the smell makes you feel like you've given your hands a thorough cleaning, even if you haven't
As a face soap- it'll help wake you up, but won't do sensitive or dry skin much good.

Overall- I don't think I would buy Snow Globe again. It's good value for money, and if you need help waking up then this is the soap for you, but I felt the scent was too overpowering for a scent I didn't particularly like. Of course, I'll probably change my mind as the mornings get darker and I find it harder and harder to drag myself to uni.

I forgot to take a photo of the ingredients list, but you can find it on Lush's site

Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Hemp Line- Hempoil and Blueberry

Last December, I spent my birthday in Amsterdam with my best friend and my brother. It was so cold that I don't remember much about the trip because we spent so much of it keeping warm in "coffee shops" (my favourite was The Dolphin if you're ever over there). Well, this soap lived in my underwear drawer with all my other back up soaps until I took it to live with me at university. Check the label, it's handmade in Italy. Truly, the most European of soaps.

Price- I can't remember, but I doubt I paid more than 5 Euros for the 100gr bar.

First Look- it looks like a boiled sweet, or possibly a chunk of lightly dusted Turkish Delight with its strange glistening sparkle.

Dry Feel- very hard. It doesn't melt in the hand or feel greasy.

Smell- Woah, mama; this soap smells gorgeous! The blueberries give it a really rich berry scent, more like cooked blueberries than fresh ones. Sweet without being sickly or overpowering. It leaves a very light odour on the skin which is fresh and clean with a tiny whiff of berry.

As a body soap- lathers up well straight on the skin and feels really creamy and luxurious without being greasy or heavy at all and left my skin feeling balanced.
As a hand soap- got hands clean without drying them out.
As a face soap- I wouldn't use it regularly on my face, but it's fine to use in a pinch.

Overall- I highly recommend this soap, if you can get hold of it (their website is all in German). It smells beautiful and won't leave normal skin feeling tight, dry or greasy. Maybe it's time to go back to the red light district...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Well, I guess this is hello

This is a blog about soap. Bar soap. Not liquid soap, shower gel, shampoo or bath bombs.

This is not a blog about making soap. I neither make nor sell soap. 

It is simply a blog where, whenever I open a new bar of soap, I will take photos, give it a good sniff and a hard squeeze, get into the shower and invite you to experience this soap for the first time with me. The plan is to review all sorts of soaps for all kind of sources- markets, independent sellers (Etsy), supermarkets, bargain basement chemists, souvenir shops etc.

Soap, to me, is wonderful stuff. It brings people together. Soap in bar form is even better- it uses less water and packaging than liquid soap which is diluted and needs to be kept in bottles. You can take it in your hand luggage on an aeroplane, fuss free. You can pretend you're in prison by dropping it deliberately and trying to pick it up without leaving yourself open to backdoor attacks.

Perhaps this blog will help you avoid an expensive sudsy mistake. Perhaps it will find you a new soap-mate for life. Perhaps it will encourage you to go lather up a little more.

Or perhaps it's just an excuse for me to keep buying soap.