Yet another from the back of the wardrobe (still not my wardrobe, honest) is “luxury English soap” Bronnley Merry Christmas which comes in a box with a holly pattern on it, reminiscent of a Victorian Christmas card. At the time the box was made the company had warrants from HM Queen Elizabeth and HRH the Prince of Wales, but its website now displays only the former.
From a little bit of surmising I would say the soap was purchased in 2008 (the website has different Christmas soaps now available) but it had lost none of its soapiness or its scent – apple and cinnamon, which yes, did remind me of Christmas, a bit. A pleasant soap to use, a decent-sized bar and it lasted for a good length of time.
Although this particular soap is no longer available, on the basis of how much I enjoyed it, I would try a Bronnley soap again.
Cost: $9.90 for 100g. Rating 4 stars.
Also coming in a box (actually, there’s something a bit special about soap in a box) is Linden Leaves aromatherapy synergy in love again. My first recommendation is to this New Zealand company is to come up with a snappier name! The soap is branded as “vegetable soap” (large print on the front) and is certified organic (small print on the back), while the box itself is printed with “vegetable inks” and is “attractively packaged in a paper-based wrap”. Okay, I added the hyphen, I couldn’t help it. What’s “paper-based” mean, do you think? Some paper and some other yukky stuff we don’t want to mention? What’s wrong with using 100% recycled paper?
Back to the small print on the back – besides the rosehip oil and avocado oil there are things with numbers and chemical names on the list of ingredients. I guess we have to figure that if it’s certified organic (why isn’t that on the front in big letters?) it’s all good.
The soap itself was pleasant enough, but it is one of the pricier ones I’ve used and that extra cost didn’t really stand out in terms of scent or skin feel. In fact, it was probably a bit less fabulous than the six-year-old Bronnley soap. This soap is tagged as having a scent of neroli, vanilla and sandalwood (although the box shows an orange and orange blossom, which is just plain confusing). You all know how I am about vanilla and, once again, I have been disappointed. Pleasant but not nearly what I wanted or was expecting. See the full range of Linden Leaves soap.
At the same time I bought the soap I also purchased a bottle of Linden Leaves ginseng and orange blossom bath salts, which smell divine. Oddly, there is no soap to match.
Cost: $14.99 for 100g. Rating 3 stars.
Haiku Husband has been gallivanting and one of my proceeds from a recent trip was a bar of Honey I Washed Teh Kids (sic) from a Lush outlet in Dubai. Here’s a link to the New Zealand branch of Lush, which is a UK-based company.
The soap is advertised as “toffee and honey” and the bar comes with a honeycomb effect on top of the slice. It does have a scent, but I clock it as something spicier than either toffee or honey. I’ve always wanted to love Lush products but often feel let down when I use them. The fun names and the unique look of the stores usually don’t translate into the same fun at home (website slogan: “magic is something we make”).
The soap lathers okay, but being brown the soap isn’t so pretty to look at and the “honeycomb” on the end is sharpish and/or falls off … and this stuff isn’t cheap! Not one I’d try again.
Cost: Dhr410/kg or $NZ140/kg (Dhr42.65 for my block/ $NZ14.61). Rating 2 stars.
kakurega wa yuami sugi keri matsu no semi
secluded house –
a hot bath
and cicadas in the pines
– Kobayashi Issa, written in 1804.
This haiku (both Japanese and English) is from David Lanoue’s amazing site, Haiku of Kobayashi Issa.