Monday, 24 June 2019

THE SOAP RESURGENCE

It’s always interesting to see something become “fashionable” that was, just a matter of years ago, seen by many as belonging to another generation. “Everything comes back into style” was the mantra of my mother and, as I’ve grown older, I’ve realised that she is absolutely right. One of the recent popularity resurgences in the beauty industry has been the revival of the humble bar of soap, although some companies are anything but humble in the pricing of these scented tablets. So, to help you navigate the suds, I’ve chosen my top five perfumed soaps and none of these fragranced beauties will break the bank.

When I was growing up in the seventies and eighties every household had their favourite bar of soap. Shower gels were yet to dominate the supermarket shelves and so you had choices such as Pink Marble Shield, Pears, and the classic Imperial Leather. Now, from the early eighties onwards the popularity of showers increased dramatically and so did the products that went with this time-saving necessity. “The Luxury Shower Gel” was well and truly born. Bars of soap were seen as old fashioned but, thankfully, they continued to hold their own.

The resurgence of soap seems to have been partly due to a customer awareness of the amount of plastic packaging that we are throwing away on a daily basis, and companies decided to exploit this with sky-high pricing. People will always pay for fashion, and we like to have our favourite brand name stamped on the front of a product, but is upwards of £26 really worth paying for a bar of soap? Of course not. So, with this in mind, I’ve been literally washing for weeks to find my top five soaps that scented, cleaned, and didn’t cost the earth.

We begin with Bronnley, arguably Britain’s most famous soap brand, and their classic Pink Bouquet fragrance. Enriched with sweet almond oil, it’s a beautiful example of a delicate floral and mixes notes of rose, orchid, and carnation with sandalwood and amber. It’s available from bronnley.co.uk priced at £5 for 100g. Next we move on to Ancienne Ambiance’s Goddess Argan Soap which features the company’s iconic scent. It’s based around an oriental accord, with the argan oil actually providing a touch of citrus, but is enhanced with violet and green notes. It’s available from ancienneambiance.com priced at £6 for 100g.

The All Natural Soap Company is the next stop on our trip and their incredible Heritage Lavender. It’s a glorious essential oil blend of lavender and rosemary, with subtle notes of lime and powdery iris, and the scent is absolutely addictive. It’s available from allnaturalsoap.co.uk priced at £5.95 for 115g. My penultimate choice is Bigarade Jasmin from the iconic Fragonard Perfumery based in Grasse. Part of their Jardin range, it takes a mouthwatering citrus blend and mixes it with a decadent pairing of jasmin and cedarwood to create a scent that is exquisite. It’s available from fragonard.com priced at £8 for 100g.

My final place goes to Maycottage Goats Milk Soaps, which is run by Kirsty Hearne and based down in Dorset. Using milk from her own goats, the Geranium scented bar has a wonderfully earthy floral quality to it but also has a delicate touch of uplifting citrus. It’s available from maycottagegoatsmilksoaps.co.uk priced at £3.80 for 80g. These are only five of the many wonderful choices that are out there to be discovered and, with our continuing concerns for the amount of plastic that is being used in everyday life, it looks as though soap is well and truly back with a vengeance. [Samples provided by the companies]

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