Monday 18 May 2020

SHOWER PUK by Geoff Thornton

Anybody that has followed me regularly will know that I have a deep love for the humble bar of soap. This started as a child when I would regularly reach for the Imperial Leather at home or, even more exotic to small fingers, the Coal Tar at my grandfather’s house. I’m not saying that I liked the thought of washing as a child, I don't think that any of us did, but I loved the smell that these fragranced bars provided. In recent years and months we’ve seen soap make a resurgence that could never have been planned, and it’s coincided with the launch of the wonderfully scented and beautifully packaged Shower PUK.

The idea of using a bar of soap instead of a shower gel is still met with a few raised eyebrows in the UK, and even a notion of “why would we want to go backwards?” These little bars of scented paradise started to go out of fashion in the eighties with the arrival of liquid soaps, with the idea that they were somehow less efficient than their fluid counterpart. Now in France, the spiritual home of the soap industry, they’ve never disappeared from the bathroom. If anything, the selection continues to grow year on year to the delight of us soap hunters.

One of the launches that I loved back in 2019 was Baron Shower Bar. It was founded by Geoff Thornton and featured a fantastic range of six soaps that were all made in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in France. He had insisted on using a local company that still produced soap in the traditional triple-milled way for maximum scent and stability. How often have you bought a soap only to find it splinter or crack within a few days? Well, this time-honoured way of manufacture meant that this didn’t happen, which meant that the bars were also fantastic value for money.

So, we jump forward to this year and Geoff Thornton has added to his soap empire with the launch of Shower PUK. Whereas the Baron Shower Bar was specifically aimed at reducing the amount of plastic that we use, the latest addition also provides us with surely the ultimate travel hack! The refillable packaging has been designed so that it can be attached to anything, and I mean anything, thanks to the carabiner clip that rope climbers use. Okay, I know that it’s a little bit of a gadget, but who doesn't like one? It does also mean a little less inside the suitcase, or rammed into the rucksack, because it can be easily clipped to a strap.

The actual soap is still made in the same way as the original, with the combination of shea butter and argan oil, but the scent is a new addition. It’s a wonderful blend of citrus and woody notes, with particular emphasis on a sweet orange, but the addition of vetiver in the fragrance adds an earthiness that helps to keep the scent exciting. You also get a citrus quality from the argan oil, which means that uplifting quality stays on the skin for longer, but a final touch of cedarwood adds a unisex elegance that is truly delightful.

Shower PUK is available from the website at and prices start at £2.50 for a solo soap or £7 with the case. [Sample provided by Geoff Thornton]

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