There is something sweetly nostalgic about a bar of soap that, for me, goes far beyond the timeless scent. With people increasingly opting for liquid hand soaps and body washes, sightings of the classic bar have sadly been few and far between of late. Nevertheless Sue Jonas, The Vice President of Research and Development at Crabtree & Evelyn, explains why a new breed of luxury soaps is about to make its way back into the hearts and bathrooms of the nation.
“Large scale soap production began in France around the 15th Century. These soaps tended to be very harsh and have a drying effect on the skin and those with sensitive skin were advised against them. Over time, soap formulations have become more refined and now include luxurious natural ingredients such as exotic botanical oils and butter which make them gentle enough to even use on the face. Brands have also begun to create customised soap bases tailored to different skin types, which break into skin-nourishing, luxurious-feeling lathers and leave the skin with a silky, smooth texture. Soaps are now much more visually interesting – going beyond colour, shape, embossing and scent.” Black Sea Mud & Seaweed, £6 (crabtree-evelyn.co.uk) anyone?
Become part of the revival with our pick of the latest luxury offerings:
L’Occitane’s Delices des Fruits Perfumed Soap, £4.50 (uk.loccitane.com), with its zesty scent, is the most refreshing way to start the day.
For the organic and ethically minded soap-lover, we recommend Dr Bronner’s fair trade Castile Lavender Block Soap, £3.50 (0845 072 5825).
For those looking to find a soap with a slightly more traditional scent, Korres, with its Wheat, Pomegranate, Chamomile and Milk Soap Bars, £5 (0870 850 3868), has provided the perfect range of classic fragrances.