Monday, 5 October 2020

An Autumnal Soap Duo from Te Cosmetics

If there’s one thing that has truly changed in 2020 then it’s surely that the world has rediscovered the humble bar of soap. When antibacterial gels and hand washes started to disappear from the shops there was a sudden realisation that these gloriously scented bars still lived on the supermarket shelves, although often relegated to the bottom. The resurgence of soap has been picking up speed in recent years but it rapidly accelerated, and many independent companies were also suddenly spotlighted. One such brand was Te Cosmetics, and their range of glacial clay soaps make hand washing an absolute joy.

When Thomas Eggar founded Te Cosmetics in 2018 it almost felt as though he was continuing a family tradition. His background had been in the supply of raw materials to the cosmetic and skincare industries but, at the tender age of twenty-five, he wanted to put some of that knowledge to the test. He’d already been making soap as a hobby but, when friends and family started asking for more than just the Christmas and birthday supplies, Thomas decided to aim a little higher. There were already many soaps on the market, and so he needed something that would make him stand out.

Britain has always had a love affair with soap, although many say that it really came into its own when James Bronnley launched his famous brand in 1884. He’d spent the previous year studying in France, undeniably the centre of the soap industry, and he took London by storm when he started producing “the best soap in the British Empire” at 34 Verulam Street in Holborn. It’s this quest for lathered perfection that is definitely in the sights of Thomas Eggar and, whilst Bronnley’s trademark bouquets are absent in his blends, the aromatic choices really bring out the hidden floral aspects of the key ingredients.

Thomas was very clear when he started Te Cosmetics that the ecological and environmental impacts of the company needed to align with a real sense of sustainability and integrity. This has also been carried through into the packaging, which is recyclable and plastic free. It’s very telling when we hear large corporations talk about reducing environmental impact but see little action, and then witness small producers like Thomas excelling where the big boys fall down. All of the soaps contain the glacial clay, which helps to leave the skin feeling silky and hydrated, and it also feels as if it gives a gentle mineral quality to the scent.

There are five fragrances to choose from in the collection but, with autumn in the air, two of them are crying out to join the seasonal crispness. Rosemary & Bergamot wonderfully displays the floral nuances of these two ingredients in a way that is often missed. You get a rush of citrus but the herbaceous tones bloom alongside a whisper of refreshing mint. The Lavender soap, literally on the other hand, is a solo essential oil. However, don’t mistake this for a dowager aunt scent. The full gamut of earthy, floral, and campherous aromas combine to give a deeply aromatic scent that is like running your hands through sun-warmed stems.

The full collection of soaps is available from the Te Cosmetics website at tecosmetics.co.uk priced at £4.95 for 90g. [Samples provided by Thomas Eggar]

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