Wash your mouth out: Soap bars
Yesterday I popped to Selfridges. It’s not unusual. Or it wouldn’t have been were it not the last Friday before Christmas, rendering what was once a haven for the demure shopper a swirling vortex of pain akin to medieval pictures of the ‘Hell Mouth’ - people literally screaming and falling on the floor. Truly horrendous.
I took refuge in Jo Malone to have a quick spray of an Earl Grey & Cucumber (something austere and thoroughly British in my time of great haughtiness) and got distracted as per by their gift selection. Lots of hologrammy things, oh wait what are these little discs……a set of about 9 mini, unlabelled soaps? That seems fiddly and excessive. How much do these cos-THIRTY SIX POUNDS. ARE YOU ACTUALLY JOKING. Thirty six quid for too many soaps, done up like a posh packet of Maryland cookies (incidentally I’ve since looked at the website, and the only reservation I had in slagging these off i.e. ‘Oh well maybe they’re all different flavours like what Jo Malone is famous for’ is null and void, they’re all either English Pear & Freesia or Blackberry & Bay. So I have no reservations in saying what a crock this is).
I was way enraged & made the mistake that many an enraged person has done before; I plonked my anger on to social media, instagramming pictures of cheaper alternatives, then rammed phone in pocket and chuckled. ‘I’ve WON’ thought I. ‘I’ve made my point, and Jo Malone can kiss my ass except I still love their scents damn’.
Not longer after, phone was bleeping. ‘What are all these messages? Why, I’m getting what can only be described as a right royal bollocking re: my soapy tirade!’
For you see, all of the alternatives I had suggested were all in plastic bottles. Duuuuh. My anger at the soap cookie packet had seen me extol the virtues of products that were much more harmful to the planet. I’d been really pissed off and taken it out on the bloody oceans.
It was enlightening. I was totally wrong. Today I’ve been self flagellating by trawling markets & boutiques of London on Saturday December 22nd to bring you the most independent, beautifully packaged, skin loving & cruelty free bars of soap. That don’t cost £36.
Not quite in time for Christmas with postage but perhaps a New Year’s beauty resolution?
HONEST SKINCARE CHARCOAL BAR SOAP, £12
Charcoal is everywhere isn’t it? You can brush your teeth with it, light your fire with it. Surely Gwyneth has had it up her chuff by now citing some spiritual benefit.
It is also in the my current cleanser and it’s a bloody good cleanser so I’m gonna say it’s actually quite helpful and that I’m sorry, Gwyneth. (Looks at cleanser on the bathroom shelf, slowly looks down to crotch……)
SEVIN CORAL CLAY SOAP, £9
More like Sevin Coral SLAY soap, am I right? This is mad gorgeous and it’s a bar of soap, I was cooing all over it at Broadway Market til I couldn’t help myself & had to have it.
THE BECo BAR IN IN WILD BERRIES, £3
Look at the above again. GO ON. Three pounds. That’s almost unfathomably good value. All the products also create jobs for people in the UK who are visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged. Big ticks all round.
It’s sold at Waitrose, Siansburys and coming soon to the co-op. Ok, so they’re hardly independent boutiques but once it reaches Morrisons there’s always Market Street.
Just seen that the website states products are:
100% recyclable on the outside. 100% readily biodegradable on the inside. 200% feel good all over.
Ooooooooh it’s veeeery hard to be cheeky about stuff so wholesome and ethical so I’ll just say very quickly there’snosuchthingas200% and then go and buy 10 out of guilt.
HAECKELS EXFOLIATING SEAWEED BLOCK, £18
Quite rustic and masc with real ‘big dick energy’ about it, as soaps go. ‘I’m a block not a bar’ it seems to look in to your eyes and say. ‘Low foaming’ the description actually says, which might as well says ‘low fun’.
THE SOAP CO GERANIUM & RHUBARB BAR, £9
Rhubarb is delish but probably not that condusive to looking nice else it'‘d be in everything by now. However, I wouldn’t half mind for my hands to smell like a crumble so…..lovely.
This is another company with a whole load of heart: all products are handcrafted in the UK by people who are blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged just like BECo.
THE SOAP CO BERGAMOT & MINT SOAP PEBBLE, £11
Same company so the above all stands but I just love the look of these little things, they remind me of those posh cheese dipped in ash, or perhaps a Viking brussels sprout. Oh I dunno it’s just nice. They come cocooned in local Herdwick sheep wool for natural exfoliation and frankly I think more exfoliators should be adorable like this is.
SOAPSMITH GREEN PARK SOAP, £8
I had a great time sniffing all of these earlier. Hackney smells the best (Bergamot, Sandalwood, Rosemary and Geranium) but I’ve gone with Green Park (peppermint, spearmint, cedarwood) as I love the idea of someone using your loo, washing their hands & realising slowly you’re a Slytherin.
LUSH GOLDEN PEAR, £7.50
I was gifted this earlier in the year from a burlesque dancer who handed it over with the exclamation ‘DARLING IT SMELLS MORE LIKE A PEAR THAN AN ACTUAL PEAR!’ And she’s right, it does. It breaks the ‘stay away from the sparkly stuff at Lush’ rule but it gets away with it on sort of mad ‘why put glitter on a pear?’ points.
WILD SAGE HIMALAYAN SALT SOAP, £4.80
I’m a big believer in pink Himalayan salt, it’s good for your back but that’s if you put it in the bath.
This one gently exfoliates. I don’t really like the smell of salt soaps or candles as a rule, finding them quite ‘WHOA THE SEA” but as I say the pink stuff has mystic properties.
HAND IN HAND SUSTAINABLE SUDS BAR, $6
This is sadly only US based for now, which is a massive shame as they’re an amazing organisation and I’m convinced UK patrons would happily pay shipping. Especially as a bar currently retails at $6 (about £4.75 depending on where the eff out economy is at currently). But I’ve popped it on anyway in case you have a cousin over there or something that’l get you one. They have a ‘buy a bar, give a bar’ policy, where they donate to the children of Haiti every time someone purchases a product.
…….I DONE A FEW DISHES AS WELL
You need a nice dish, even though it’s an irritating paradox that soap dishes need cleaning out ALL the time. And I know, I know - not all are the most practical but I’ve gone for things that pleased me.
FALCON ENAMELWARE SAUCE DISH, £6
This is what I have in my bathroom, or I would do had I not accidentally ordered the small pie dish instead. Now I’m always reminded of Shepherds Pie post lav trip.
CERAMIC PLATTER, £25
This one is a bit big, granted, but perhaps you could also have a little folded flannel on there like a ponce.
BENTU DESIGN CONCRETE SOAP DISH, £12
Bound to rub some people up the wrong way this, but I’ve never been a stranger to controversy. Just don’t pair it with the Haeckels exfoliating block unless you’re comfortable with going ‘full twat’.
QUAY TRADERS LARGE OVAL SHELL DISH, £22
I’ve never been a big fan of the ‘let’s all pretend we’re at the seaside’ bathroom motif. You know what I mean, pictures of beach huts on the walls and shells all over the place. This is more a hint, more ‘notes of the ocean’ rather than ‘end of the pier brass band’.
BORDALLO PINHEIRO, £34
Scoff away, I love it.
BORDALLO PINHEIRO NUTS, £40
I never claimed to be normal. At least now it’s clear why I don’t have a soap dish website.
D.R. HARRIS, £42
Nobody has £42 to spend on a soap dish but it’s quite nice and I was a bit desperate.