Monday, February 22, 2016

Not Your Mama's Soap


I remember using three brands of soap during my childhood: Ivory, Dial, and Dove. They were what I'd call "utility" products, manufactured to clean, not to pamper. Although Ivory was designed to be gentle - good for babies - which makes it rather ironic, I suppose, that I'm allergic to Ivory soap. Sold in white, unscented bars and purchased at the grocery or pharmacy, soap wasn't something to get excited about back then. It was simply a product that you used to clean your skin during a quick and efficient bath. At least, that's the way it worked in my house where we had one tub that was shared by four children. My brothers, who swear they spent half their childhood banging on the bathroom door begging me to hurry up, would undoubtedly disagree with the quick and efficient part but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;-)



Over the years, we've all grown, evolved, and broadened our horizons. As has soap. Dial introduced a rainbow of colors, Irish Spring sprinkled colored flecks throughout along with a fresh scent, and brilliant minds invented liquid soap and body wash. There were now soaps to moisturize, to invigorate, to relax. When I had time to relax. In my life, childhood had given way to the corporate rat race and showers replaced long, leisurely soaks in the tub. Wet, scrub, rinse and go. That was my daily routine. Soap was necessary but not something I spent a lot of time thinking about. More often than not, the brand that landed in my grocery cart was the one for which I had a coupon.




And now we come to today. I'm retired from the rat race. I live in a condo with both a shower and a tub. I have the time to indulge in the occasional luxury and I consider those luxuries essential to a good life. What does that have to do with soap? Oh, dear friends, let me count the bars...the colors...the aromas...the moisturizers...the natural ingredients....the...the...the. Well, you get the idea.







The other day I visited one of my favorite local shops, Bebe Gallini's (click to check out their facebook page). This wonderfully eclectic boutique, housed in a restored, historic cotton mill offers furniture, artwork, accessories, jewelry, gifts, candles and more but what I was there to browse that day was their newest selections of soap. And, oh, what selections they have. Hand-milled soaps from France. Seaweed soaps from Sweden. Soaps manufactured in the USA. Natural soaps made right here, in my North Carolina back yard. So many wonderful choices!









Want Ginger Orange? They have that. It's one of my favorites; like taking a leisurely stroll through a spicy orange grove.
















Tomato-Vine Strawberry? They have that too. It's another favorite - a pure vegetable soap with shea butter and a scent that evokes memories of lazy summer days in my grandparents' strawberry patch.








Tangy ocean scents. Fresh mint. Soothing lavender. The crisp, clean scent of laundry on the line. So many colors. So many choices.

Which soap followed me home from my recent trip? Avocado, rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, D and E, made by Kala Corp. in Cranston, RI - 100% made in the USA. It's wonderfully moisturizing. I've been using it about two weeks now and can already feel a difference in my skin. I've also been back to the store to buy two more bars. I love this soap!

Notice the soap in the upper left of the photo? The box labeled "coffee?" That's right. Coffee scented soap. Perfect for people like me, who can't have caffeine but love the aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee. And that's exactly how it smells!


Do you pamper yourself with special soaps or lotions? 

What's your favorite scent?

What's the most unusual scent you've tried?

Do you enjoy a leisurely soak in the tub with scented candles and a good romance novel? 

Do you have a favorite local shop or boutique that offers "Enchantment for Home, Garden and Soul" as Bebe Gallini's does? 

Let's dish! 

I spent today doing some early spring cleaning. One person who leaves a comment on this post will receive a box of romance novels from my stash. (U.S. addresses only)



40 comments:

  1. What about Camay? the soap that advertised that it would make you beautiful. LOL. I love to treat myself to scented soaps and there are some stores by me where you can get them at v.g. prices. I love Lily of the Valley, Lilac and Honeysuckel. (Marshalls and Home Store). Though I don't know if they have the scents you mentioned.

    Don't like a bath.

    Thanks for the chance to win a surprise stash.
    ladbookfan

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    1. I remember Camay! Well, I remember the commercials. I don't recall ever using it.

      I love the scent of Lily of the Valley. My childhood neighbors had a carpet of them in their garden. I always thought they were so enchanting.

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  2. The good old days. I remember Cashmere Bouquet along with Ivory and Dove.I used to love sitting in a tub filled with luxurious bubbles. I was about 8 or 9. I'd empty the shampoo bottle to do just that and dream of being a princess with all the suds. lol Today I love the smell of lavender and coconut.I'm going to check out their site. Thanks for a glance back to the past.I never managed the Princess part, more like the Old woman who lived in a shoe with my 7 children. lol
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. I think my grandmother may have used Cashmere Bouquet. Remember the "Calgon, take me away" commercials?

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  3. I remember bar soaps like Zest and Ivory. I'm glad you posed this question today because it gives me the chance to find some answers/comments about bar soaps. Every time I use a bar soap, I feel like I have a residue of sorts left on my skin that is uncomfortable. Therefore, I tend to lean toward Bath and Body Works body washes. They don't leave that residue feeling. I'm really curious to know if other people have experienced this and if so, is there a particular ingredient in bar soaps that causes this? I see so many delicious looking bar soaps and their scents are heavenly. Any suggestions, Friends?

    As always, I would be thrilled to win a stash of novels from you, PJ. Thanks for your generosity. :-)

    conniecape@aol.com

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    1. Connie, from what I understand, soaps with cleansing and deodorant ingredients may leave a film, especially when used with hard water. I've had the problem with certain mass-produced soaps. I also notice a distinct difference with soap residue when using hard water vs soft water. I've never had a residue problem with the hand-milled (pure) soaps I use.

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    2. Thank you, PJ! It's wonderful to finally get some insight into this problem. I will be sure to look for a hand-milled one. Here in Florida, I'm sure we have hard water. Sigh..

      Thank you again!

      Connie

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  4. I am always on the lookout for honeysuckle fragrance. I love the scent and it brings back memories of childhood.

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    1. I love scents that bring back sweet memories.

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  5. We always had Ivory at our house. I don't pamper myself too much but I do buy creamier soaps such as Dove. I think back on how dry my skin was with just Ivory lol. Once in a while I've been given a fancy soap but since I am allergic to a lot of perfume it doesn't usually work for me. I can't remember the last time I took a bath instead of a shower lol.

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    1. I'm allergic to a lot of perfumes too, catslady so they don't all work for me. I do better with citrus scents like lemon and orange, herbal scents like basil, and veggie scents like cucumber or avocado. And, as I mentioned in the post, I adore the tomato-strawberry!

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  6. I used bar soaps in the olden days since there was not much choice. I love soothing baths and my favorite scents are lavender and chamomile. I indulge this lovely pampering since my joints need the warmth and I sleep better.

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    1. Lavender always makes me sleepy. I can only use it close to bedtime.

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  7. Irish Spring, Woodbury and Camay were popular and used in our house. I just started late in life to enjoy bath salts, and scents like lemon, orange, as well as tea scents. When I am suffering with aches, arthritis I bathe in this wonderful heat which helps what ails me.

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    1. I've never used Woodbury. I always liked the scent of Irish Spring.

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  8. I can still remember the Camay advert...... "You'll look a little lovelier each day with fabulous pink Camay". My Mum also won a beauty case from them many, many years ago. I like lots of different scented soaps, but I have to watch what I purchase as I'm allergic to parabens, citronella (In manufacturing, citronella oil is used as a fragrance in cosmetics and soaps),
    and other ingredients that are in lots of the products sold today.

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    1. Fortunately, citronella is a scent that doesn't bother me as it's one I like. Last spring I bought a citronella plant for my patio just so I'd have the scent all summer. Also, I didn't have any mosquitoes the entire time that plant was out there. :)

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  9. I don't pamper myself with soaps and lotions. In truth I am one of the Irish Spring users since I am so often in a rush and just want to get in and out of a shower. The most unusual scent I have used was when I was out of soap and so grabbed my daughter's pomegranate scented body wash. It actually was a great scent. I love reading in a bath with scented candles lit and music playing, but this is relegated to vacations. It seems to be the only time that I can relax long enough to do this. Bath and Body Works is the only specialty soap and bathing shop nearby that I can think of at the moment.
    Lil

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    1. I like Bath and Body Works. I've been meaning to swing by and check out their limoncello scent. A friend posted about it the other day.

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  10. I like the scent of lemon verbena. Occasionally I like to take a bath-am basically a shower girl
    PattyB43

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  11. We use Dove, for the most part, but I have some others that rock my boat. My favorite scent (today) is Crabtree & Evelyn's Avocado, Olive, and Basil. I discovered it when we stayed in a hotel that used C & E products in the rooms. It is so fresh and clean. But I never take a bath. We've lived in this house for 2 1/2 years and it has a jacuzzi tub that we have yet to use. It's on my list, though.

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    1. Oh my, that sounds like a scent I'd love. Must find out what stores close to me carry Crabtree & Evelyn.

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  12. Yes, yes, yes.

    For sake of expediency most days, I just use Dove. It's gentle on my skin--and I have touchy skin. When I feel splurgy, I stock up with my cousin's soap and lotions. http://www.harmonyhillgoatfarm.com/category_v3.aspx?categoryid=17. She owns a goat farm and makes goat soap and lotions. Awesome stuff. My favorite scent right now is Drakkar Noir, which is a masculine scent, but wearing it, I feel like I'm curled up in my boyfriend's (if I had one) shirt and it just makes me smile.

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    1. I love locally made soaps and lotions. Going to check out your cousin's site.

      I understand the Drakkar Noir. For years after my husband died I put on a dab of Obsession for Men at bedtime so I'd have his scent in the bed with me.

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  13. OH, and I do love taking baths and reading books--not my e-reader--and I usually use epsom salts (I always have muscle aches for curling over my keyboard. *LOL*) And lots of lavender bubbles.

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  14. We don't have one of those stores nearby - would love a cushy natural soap - so many of the soaps on the shelves have additives and perfume - as I've age I find my skin is more sensitive to those perfumes and additives - I'll visit their website and Facebook - thank you for the post

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    1. I was so delighted to find them, Judi. My skin has become very sensitive to all those additives too.

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  15. We don't have one of those stores nearby - would love a cushy natural soap - so many of the soaps on the shelves have additives and perfume - as I've age I find my skin is more sensitive to those perfumes and additives - I'll visit their website and Facebook - thank you for the post

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  16. I do prefer showers over baths. I like shower gels in fresh linen or cucumber scents.

    Cathie D. P.

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    1. My sinuses don't like fresh linen but they love cucumber!

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  17. What I wouldn't give for my family home's clawfoot tub!!! The back angled at just the right degree for a lovely soaking bubble bath!!! I do mostly showers these days!

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  18. Pre De Provence Lavender is my favorite.

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  19. We used ivory when I was a child. My DIL's sister actually makes soap. And I love them. All kinds of scents. They leave my skin feeling soft and clean. I have two sisters and I remember the sharing bath water. Not a fond memory. I only take showers now. 😉

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  20. My relaxing soap is cherry almond by Santa Monica Soap Co.This was given as a gift. I really should try some other ones but I love this soap. I can't have any with strong fragrances. My daughter had dove and that brought on wheezing attack. Everyday soap is still Ivory.

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  21. Ivory Soap always made eyes water & my nose itch - I would sneeze like crazy! I prefer the liquid soaps, but like to switch them around - sometimes a lite floral, and other times a spice scent like vanilla, lemon or orange/ginger. I keep my eye (& nose) out for interesting scents

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  22. No to baths. Like the clean feeling a shower gives me. Love my shower gels, all diff. scents - vanilla, aloe, fresh scents. Thanks for the giveaway; also like a surprise box of romance books. Thanks for the chance.
    Karen T.

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  23. I keep it simple and use the Dove Deep Moisture you have pictured in the the blog because it works great for drying skin.

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  24. I prefer vanilla or orange scents

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  25. I like the orange scented soap also orange and clove. We also buy tea tree oil soap. We get a bar for ourselves and each of our children every time we visit a specialty soap shop in Tarpon Springs, Florida (about once a year). I haven't had time for a leisurely soak in the tub for a very long time, but really don't like reading in the tub.
    We look for specialty shops when we travel. The soap store is one we found years ago while visiting family in Florida. We have several great shops in our town. One sells stained glass works and a few other hand crafted items. The teach classes on doing your own stained glass works. I love Just looking around. There is another shop that has really interesting things from around the world.

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