There's Something About Soap
I am inclined to believe that many of life's problems can be solved with a decent bar of soap. There's the obvious hygiene application, but way beyond the sanitising chemistry offered by the humble bar, there is a nostalgia set within its dense scented wodge that sings of bedroom basins, eiderdowns, french chateaus, clean linen and tidy rooms.
If you are of a certain age, you may remember the advent of 'shower gel' - what a revelation it was! The colours, the bottles, the branding - the extraordinary newness of it all. Where soap was Cliff Richard, shower gel was Prince. No one wanted festy old cracked bars of boring old soap any more.
Imagining that shower gel well and truly landed on this planet about the time that I was 10, if I had used one bottle every two weeks until now, I would have used 1042 bottles of the stuff. That's quite a lot of single use plastic, every bit of which would still be present on our planet in one form or another.
But, like a booze session that started full of cheer and went on for way too long, we now have the shower gel hangover from hell. We need to get back to granny's basin and the product that comes with no excess packaging, nothing to recycle, nothing to sit in landfill - the Cliff Richard of bathroom delights, it's time for you to get back on stage.
I make a point of choosing a bar of soap when I go on holiday. I make sure it's native to the country. I use it while I am there and I buy a second one to bring back home. That way, when you're in a dark February lull, you can grapple through the Drawer of Promises (beauty product drawer), hoik out that holiday bar and be steamily transported back to the Sicilian villa or Norwegian cabin. It works.
Here are a few of my absolute favourite soaps.
1) The one in the picture of my bathroom basin - it's The Bodyshop's charcoal soap. Aesthetically pleasing in the extreme. I don't know if they still sell it but you can always try....
2) Tapper made ANYTHING! Sophia creates vegan, palm oil free, cruelty free and utterly amazing looking soaps from her own little workshop in Devon. This one is Seaweed soap with shea and coconut butter. I love Sophia's products and you can use the code anna10 for 10% off her site - she rewards me with soap! Win win!
3) Claus Porto - Predictably, I love this very old fashioned Portuguese brand. It's super luxurious and the stores they have in Porto and Lisbon have massive basins where you can go and wash your grubby pasteis da nata touristy hands with their lushious scented soap. My favourite is Banho (literally, Bath) but the Musgo Real is a close second.
4) The one I am most likely to buy based on cost, original Dove Beauty Cream bar. It's got a gorgeous scent, it's often available in Aldi in a four pack and it is cruelty free. A fabulous every day bar of soap.
Please comment with your favourites and give me ideas of some new ones to try!