Soap: Let's Talk About Soap…….


Post by Anne-Marie


I adore soaps and shower gels and rarely hesitate to indulge. My life is always busy, and good soap is an affordable (mostly!) luxury that helps prepare me for whatever the day might bring. So today I thought I’d share a few of my favourites. I have dry-ish skin so I’ll preface my mini reviews by saying that none of these were excessively drying or irritating for me.

Soap: Let’s Talk About Soap…….

Some soaps I love


Chanel No 5 soap is the epitome of luxury, the soap version of what the French perfume industry calls ‘le Monstre’. I’ve bought it for myself, and my son bought me some for Mother’s Day last year. For a 15 -year-old it was a brave thing to front up to the Chanel counter, but he said the Chanel lady was lovely. The soap is a prettily scented pale pink square that lathers moderately and lasts reasonably well. The scent is closer to the EDP than the EDT version of the perfume. With use, the soap splits a bit around the edges, which looks a bit unsightly.

L’Occitane Vetiver Soap

L’Occitane Vetiver Soap intrigued my daughter because when new it looks exactly like an oval of polished wood. The vetiver scent is bolder than in the Crabtree & Evelyn, more masculine. If you love vetiver, this is the better one to go for. I must try the cedarwood version one day too. The bar is fairly hard, lasts well, and is very moisturising. I have to say I once bought a duo of L’O’s Bonne Mere bar soaps and the first one was so drying I dropped both in the bin after just two uses.

Jo Malone’s Lime Basil and Mandarin Soap

Jo Malone’s Lime Basil and Mandarin Soap The mark-up on Jo Malone products is very high in Australia and mostly I avoid the brand. I bought a small bottle of LB&M bath oil once and thought it very weak – not worth even half what I paid. The soap is a different story. It lathers creamily, and the scent lingers on my skin and lasts ages in the bathroom. I don’t live near a JM counter but the next time I travel for work I reckon I’ll be picking up another bar of this if I get the chance.

Crabtree & Evelyn Vetiver & Juniperberry Soap

Crabtree & Evelyn Vetiver & Juniperberry Soap was originally a gift from my daughter (my kids know the way to my heart!) but I’ve bought it myself a few times since. It is SO good for summer. If C&E would bottle this scent I’d buy a lifetime supply. The scent of both vetiver and juniper berry are both clearly discernible, but harmonise beautifully. The big bar lasts ages but does split quite a lot as you use it. I once had a bar of C&E’s Crabapple and Mulberry and found it pleasant, but nothing like as good as the vetiver.

L’Occitane Extra Gentle Soaps

L’Occitane Extra Gentle Soaps Recently I received a threesome set of these from a friend – lavender, verbena and milk. So far I’ve only used the lavender, and it was lovely. Like L’O’s vetiver soap, it was very moisturising. The bar is a bit softer. I’m looking forward to trying the verbena. L’O’s verbena foaming bath is one of my favourite bathroom products – I’ve been buying it for years – so I hope the soap is as good.

Claud Porto Deco Collection Lime Basil Soap

Claud Porto Deco Collection Soap A friend brought back a couple of these from as trip to Europe. (I’m not sure if they are distributed in Australia.) I had Chypre and Lime Basil. It was a while ago, but I remember that I particularly liked Lime Basil.

Do you have favourite soaps? Tell us!

Until next time, keep lathering!

Anne-Marie xx

14 thoughts on “Soap: Let's Talk About Soap…….

  1. Lobbing in first to say that I found some Claus Porto soaps at a local chemist in Canberra, and immediately snapped up a bar of Lime Basil, same as in the illustration above. If you are in Australia and know where to get Claus Porto, do comment so we can share some the love! It’s not an easy brand to find here.


  2. Hey there Anne-Marie,
    We love our soaps here too. L’Occitane and Claud Porto (I got mine at LuckyScent) are great for us and we often gift them.We love the Korres range, Amouage, Oriza L Legrande and Rancé. Last time I was in India I grabbed a soap pack from FABindia that has 12 different hand made gel soaps, excellent.
    You have inspired me to buy some CHANEL No 5 soap on my next city foray.
    Portia xx


      • Yes Anne-Marie, you can get it at your local Indian shop. They sell single cakes or 3 packs. The scent has changed slightly over the last 15 years but it is still as lush & creamy as the first time ever I used it.
        I think I paid 7 or 8 dollars a cake last time I bought it, maybe 15-20 for a 3 pack.
        Also, you’re welcome. I love that part of this gig.
        Portia xx


  3. Yummy, scented soaps are luscious! Amouage Epic is lovely, I use it as a hand soap as it can be a bit drying. Actually I have been making cold process soap for years with ingredients like shea butter for extra moisturising. The range of fragrance oils you can get online is incredible.
    I have also found Mysore sandalwood soap at the Indian grocer, about $2 per bar! It is in my linen cupboard.
    My favourite shower gel is L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil. But perhaps gels etc are another post…


    • Yes, maybe shower gels are a whole different story!

      I’m going to look out for the sandalwood soap, although I fear there may only be one Indian store near me. Plenty of south-east Asian grocers, but I’m not sure if they would carry the soap.

      The internet has made so many things possible! I love looking at essential oil suppliers online, even if it’s only to browse the descriptions.


  4. Hi Anne-Marie,
    Last year I discovered Nubian Heritage soaps. I especially like their Raw Shea Butter soap with Frankincense and Myrrh. Other favorites are Chandrika Ayurvedic Soap, Herban Cowboy “Dusk”, Monoi Tiare Tahiti “Tiare” soap, Ellen Covey’s Amber-Labdanum and anything by Nesti Dante. We are well scrubbed around here!
    Azar xx


  5. I’m more of a shower gel girl. The hubband has a bad soap addiction and usually buys multiple bars of any good smelling ones he finds when we’re browsing shops. I do like one called Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap which has grains of salt in it so it’s nice and scratchy and feels great on itchy winter skin.


    • Sounds fun! But yes, the variety of shower gels on the market nowadays is amazing. I’m sure a lot of people hardly bother with bar soap any more.


  6. Since a trip to Florida many years ago, I’ve been buying soap from these folks: . They are located in the old town of Tarpon Springs which was once home to a large Greek community of sponge divers. Sponges and soap go together, right? This place has been going since 1934 or so. Our winter holidays are not complete without their orange clove soap, and we use their other scents with abandon.


  7. I make and sell handmade soap. But from a commercial brand you should be looking for soap that contains glycerine, essential oils (although I love a good fragrance oil) and is palm oil free. There are some good ones out there, just check the labels 🙂


    • Thanks, yes, the variety is amazing. Do you happen to know why some bars of soap split apart after a while? I’ve been curious about this for years.


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