This week’s most-wanted: a bar of posh soap
One traditional bathroom product that’s almost as popular as toilet roll right now is the humble bar of soap. As the amount of makeup I buy is minimal, I’ve always enjoyed treating myself to a posh soap. Spending a bit more on something that looks and smells nice and sits in the bathroom for a long time doesn’t feel unreasonable. And unlike many hand washes and gels in plastic containers, a bar of soap is better for the planet.
Claus Porto’s beautifully packaged, super-soaps, first spotted in Brixton Market and then in their true home, a 19th century townhouse in lovely Porto. There’s a shop on the Rua das Flores (road of flowers) if you’re planning a trip to the beautiful city once all this is over… In the meantime, the soaps are widely available online HERE and HERE. Founded in 1887, the Claus Porto soaps smell strong and fresh and the packaging is absolutely gorgeous. At approximately £15, these big, oval bars are a special occasion splurge and come in above my £10 price limit. I prefer posh but not that posh. My lockdown favourite has been Dr Bronner’s Pure Castile bar soap in lavender bought at a small local health food store, for around a fiver, ‘ to calm the mind and body.’ This organic soap feels creamy, smells lovely and lavender-y and doesn’t dry the skin. And I’ve also tried Soapsmith’s products, handmade in London, each soap has been given the names of a popular location, such as Lavender Hill, Bloomsbury, Marble Arch and er, Camden (coconut, bergamot and white musk is not how it smelled down by the Lock last time I was there…)
The Soap Co is a vegan beauty brand with a difference. Eighty percent of its workforce are blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged. The company is a social enterprise committed to changing lives by giving employees the opportunity to develop new skills and gain confidence in the workplace. There’s a ‘plastic free range’ in reusable and recycled containers and jars and The Soap Co’s luxury Eco Hand Wash is also available in a five litre container. I’ll take a job lot of Wild Nettle & Sage…
In a world of bar soaps, I’ve purchased the traditional French variety Savon de Marseille in the great port city and L’Occitane de Provence, while visiting the region (L’Occitane’s website has lots of information on the benefits of soap HERE). Fico della Signoria soaps, £5.95, have been handmade in Italy since 1947, are cruelty free with natural ingredients and available from Liberty And in before times when staying with Manhattan Brother, I would often bring a small collection of beautifully wrapped soaps from Fresh back in my suitcase, as presents for friends (available HERE and HERE).
Bars of soap are not just for the bathroom, my mum always puts spares in her clothes drawers to make everything smell fresh. Though some of those mentioned look too good to tuck away…
More posh-but-not-too-posh soap here:
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