Sunday, September 20, 2009

Would I be a freak...

So cats and kittens...

I am firmly ensconced in my new work abode in Midtown Manhattan. I am presently loving it more than words can express. From the several times my boss made me laugh so hard I teared up to the FREEDOM of being trusted to do what I am supposed to do when I am supposed to do it I am all a-twitter with happiness and excitement.

Sadly, changing jobs threw my payment schedule off so I have not had the spare soap money I normally have. So someone else has had to singlehandedly keep the soapmakers in business lately. Sorry soapmakers.

I have been using some of my faves to the nubbies and contemplating a Best of 2009 soap gift for those people on my Christmas list. 

So, that's what is going on in the life of The Clean Diva.  Well, that an an ever increasing hatred of the soap that companies stock in bathrooms.

So would I be a freak if I replaced the soap in the work bathroom?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Clean Diva's July and August Picks

I bathe every day. Like most of you, I suppose. However, lately I have been showering at the gym because of my morning work outs. So handmade soaps have been making the journey with me. I have even used some soaps several times. But July turned up a few faves and I'd like to mention them briefly.

I am currently working through a sample of Dirty Loves Clean's soap, 7 Up Poundcake because it is just a work of genius. Vanillaey and cakey and limey and not at all cloying, it just makes me smile in the gym shower. And it goes really well with the Lush Vanilla something or other kinda lotion I bought a few weeks ago.

Speaking of Dirty Loves Clean, I have been abusing the Sweet Tea scent too. I still don't see it on her site, so maybe I need to slow down. But I also just noticed that she is making a McCarren Park lotion that seems like heaven in a jar. Every time I log onto Etsy to link to her site I discover something new that I desperately need. For instance, I just noticed strawberry rhubarb crumble. Trust me when I say that I have not been unsatisfied with a single item from this Etsy seller.

One of my other new obsessions is Nectar by Atlanta based Rinse Bath & Body Co. If you buy one bar of soap this year, this one would be pretty high on my top 10 list. Beyond being from my home state and super cool, the owner of this lovely little company was awesome enough to warn me to let the soap sit a few weeks before using. I did and I have not taken it out of my shower since. Sometimes when I use it, I smell something wonderful and start looking around for the source before I realize that it is ME. The smell stays on your skin all day long but it blends pretty much with any perfume that has even the slightest hint of vanilla. I like to slather on Lush's Vanilla Delite lotion. It makes me want to spend time alone with me, which is always great, right? Yikes, that reads dirty.

My final fave pick over the last little while is by Etsian DeShawn Marie. I have been reading her blog for many moons and she is also a fave of Jackie's over at Etsy Item of the Day. DeShawn Marie wrote a blog several months ago about how her business had once upon a time gotten to be a bit too large and out of control. So she took that control back and made what she wanted out of HER passion of creating. I was so touched. THEN, she wrote a blog about her Jasmine Jubilee soap and how she came to find the PERFECT jasmine fragrance oil for it. Now, if we know one thing about Erin it's that I love love love jasmine. So I bought the soap.

It's fabulous, as is DeShawn Marie's presentation. From the whole day it took me to get my purchase to the little gold box the soap came in, I was completely in love. And I think she has a scent for everyone.

Well folks, lots more to tell but those have been the mega highlights of the past two months.

Round up

So, I have been away from this blog for way too freakin' long. I've been doing some interesting things lately. Tomorrow my life is going to change incredibly. I'll probably blog about it when it is over but until the news is official, I keep the excitement to myself.

However, I am pleased to report that my gluten free life is better than ever. I am down over 30 lbs and working out 5 days a week. Not because I think I have to do it but because I have learned to really enjoy my gym time.

We crowned a new Miss New York. Her name is Alyse Zwick and she is pretty awesome.

I've bought soap. Only one bar from Etsy, which is a CRIME. I also bought a Gabbriella's Sampler, which was awesome. Then again, her samplers always are. Kathleen sent me some soaps but I want to make sure to discuss them in a blog all of their own. She is quite the soap maker but her perfumes and lotions are also to DIE FOR, I swear it.

I finally broke down and bought some soap from Etsian DeShawn Marie. I have read her blogs for months and am forever impressed by her scent descriptions and product pictures but her words on how she formulated her jasmine scent blew me away. So I had to have a bar. More on that in another blog.

At any rate, I've been nutso busy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not about Soap but maybe even better

Okey Dokey,

Have you ever wandered across something online and then realized you knew the person responsible and then just had to shake your head in wonder that some amazingly competent and incredible people actually came out of Effingham County?

No? Oh well...

My high school friend who became one of the coolest adults I know writes this blog. It is adorably called Appoggiatura (link to the dictionary for those of you who might not be total music nerds).

I don't know if I am more impressed by her savory delights, such as her mushroom barley soup, her bread baking acumen (she made brioche AND corrected the great Marie Antoinette error in the same post) or her sweets...vanilla peach pie with a praline crumble on top, anyone?

All I know is that I am going to visit her soon hoping to barter soap for food. The rest of you should read her blog, though. I dare you not to salivate

Saturday, June 13, 2009

So how much soap did The Clean Diva buy at Renegade?

I have been laid up in bed with the (not swine) flu all week so this is the first chance I have really gotten to talk about the fun I had at Renegade.

There were so many booths that it was total sensory overload. And it was HOT! But I tromped around seeking out the soap booths and sniffing away. Sadly, there were tons of uninspired soap scents. Maybe that isn't nice but I ended up only purchasing from 3 soapers. The Roomie was shocked.

Of course, the soaps I did buy are brilliant.

I bought a bar of Wasabi Soap by Bunny Butt Apothecary!

I got a little nuts at the booth for DirtyLovesClean

I bought Manhattan (which is not on her Etsy site but she says is curing), Sweet Tea (not up on the site either but transports me back to working through college at Cracker Barrel each time I sniff it) and McCarren Park, which is a MUST HAVE if you live in Brooklyn or totally dig the scent of fresh cut grass. I also have some samples of 7up Pound cake and Boxed Wine that I cannot wait to try! Believe me when I say I could have bought more there!

Finally, I bought a chunky bar of Nectar from non-Esty but still AMAZING Rinse Bath & Body Co. I don't know how to describe this bar except that if I ever smelled an angel, I am pretty sure this is what said angel would smell like. The product description doesn't do it justice. I cannot WAIT to use it but the soapmaker told me to let it cure a few weeks as she had recently made it.

And I have used none of these soaps yet because I was so sick last week I could only tolerate Polar Express by SeaSpriteSoaps seeing as 1. It was the only thing I could smell and 2. The cool tingle it left on my skin was so refreshing.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Where will the Clean Diva be Today?

Why, at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, of course! It is Swedish National Day so the roomie, both puppies and I will be off to Williamsburg and then to IKEA (all dressed in blue).

Some awesome Etsians will be there amongst the over 300 crafters who signed up.

I am sooooo excited!

If you are in Brooklyn, or any other area of New York City, you should come on out and spend some money.

I'll be happy to recommend a soap or two!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm singing in the shower again!

For someone who dedicated most of her young life (and according to her family, should currently dedicate more) to singing, I almost never sing in the shower.

It could be because I am concentrating on the finer details of whichever soap I am using, but whatever...

So, with my many many soaps to try, I know just shove my hand into my wicker basket of unused soaps and pick one. One (way too early for its good) morning I stuck in my hand, fished around a bit and pulled out...

Coconut Lemongrass by Sea Sprite Soaps.

I'll confess that I was pretty stoked for a number of reasons.

The first reason is that I have been wanting to try out one of these soaps for some time. I dig, the soapmaker's blog (she links to Book Slut, hello?) and her banner and packaging is among my favorite on Etsy. It caught my eye from day one. At any rate, it took me far too long to try one of the soaps.

Sooooo...take one is a blend of two GREAT scents: lemongrass and coconut!

As a side note, I once made a soup with lemongrass in it and it completely overwhelmed the other flavors. So there was a small part of me that was afraid that all I would smell is lemongrass.

But I was wrong.

Ok, so I love love love this soap. The scent is nicely layered. It actually blooms! At first you smell the lemongrass but it mellows out to the soothing scent of the coconut that dries on your skin just enough to make you feel as though you are heading to the beach as opposed to Wall Street (although I suppose both have sharks).

This soap has been chilling in my soap dish and, I must admit, I have to force myself not to reach for it in the morning. There is something so cheerful and sunny about it. The soap is downright optimistic.

In fact, this is my new favorite good morning summer scent. The only thing that would make it better is if I could get up at 10am to shower then and if my piƱa coladas didn't get watered down in the shower.

But I'm singing that darned Harry Nilsson song again!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And the first soap I tried...

Ugh. What a week. I know I say this a bunch but ever since I became the Executive Babysitter.....erm, Director, of the Miss New York Organization my weeks just gets more and more exhausting.

So I started the great soap test with black raspberry vanilla from Burnt Mill

And of course I have some random musings:

So my first random musing is about black raspberries themselves. How are they different from the blackberries that grow on the side of the road in Georgia? Is there a difference?

Second not-so-random musing is that you MUST go to Etsy and buy this from Burnt Mill. It is less than $10 and CHOCK FULL of soap samples.

But now on to the good stuff. How did I like it?

Well, first of all, Burnt Mill cuts all of their soap samples like chunky crinkle cut french fries, which makes me immediately smile.

The soap is this amazing swirl of color and smells lightly of juicy black raspberries and fresh vanilla. Now, I am not a big fan of the smell of vanilla. In fact, I find it to be particularly cloying. But this is not like that at all, in fact the scent is nice enough to scent the shower in a wonderful way but it doesn't cling to the skin after the shower.

Also, the lather is really nice. I find this to be a good night time soap because the scent is quite relaxing.

And, on another note, this is the first soap I have used with activated charcoal in it. All of my research shows that this stuff is GREAT for drawing out toxins in the skin. I know it is often used to clear out the gastric tract and can even be used in the case of poisoning.

Neat, right?

In soap, it is a gentle exfoliant and absorbs excess oil and other stuff you don't need from the skin.

So far, I like it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Forty-five (45)

Nope. Not my age.

Nowhere close.

Not the number of days until something exciting happens.

None of these things.

But rather, 45 is the number of untried soaps currently in my possession. How COOL is THAT?

So my goal is to feature one of these each day for the next 6 weekish.

So...look out for reviews of soaps by


Swan Mountain Soap

Hartley Soap Company

Dancing Water

Country Heart

Soap Rehabilitation

Sea Sprite Soaps

Burnt Mill

I am SO EXCITED. Get your wallets ready because you'll want to make some purchases.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shameless Shout out to Kathleen at Gabbriella's Closet

Everyone has had a really crappy day.

I seem to be having a really crappy year.

It all began in September with AIG and continued with Madoff and continued with more AIG and then half of my clients got laid off and then my friend John got laid off (and stopped doing his Cripin Glover impression for me) and...ok I'll stop

So one afternoon I came in. My feet ached (why do I wear 4 inch heels?), I was overwhelmed and having a crap day. And I saw a package from Gabbriella's Sampler. Ripping into it, I was pleased to find a milk, honey and oatmeal scrubby soap. After wrestling it from my greedy friend Matt I hid it for myself. It smells unreal. It isn't fragrancy or fake just pure good-for-you yummy smelling.

And showering with it is even better. One side is milky, soft and produces nice, skin softening lather and is a delightful shower experience. The other side is full of nice, exfoliating oatmeal.

And, as a side note, exfoliation scares me a little. Sometimes it feels like the grainy whatever is scrubbing my skin off. This is not like that. It scrubs without peeling off skin. It is soothing to scrub, scrub, scrub and then use the other end to soothe soothe soothe.

Here are some pictures I took myself!

So I cannot find this on Kathleen's Web site or on the Etsy site, which may make me one of the luckiest person on Earth. So I will plug some of the other stuff she sells that I covet.

Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to see an awesome cobalt perfume bottle key chain that I think I need. (Did I mention how amazing the perfumes she has sent in the Sampler smell?)

On her site you get get all kinds of things. So go there. Buy stuff and send her an email thanking her for all she does to promote other sellers on Etsy. I missed Etsy day but, had I not, I would have been promoting Gabbriella's closet BIG TIME.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Bittersweet Post

So as I was doing what I do best (cruising the ever increasing number of blogs I read) I came across a post by the proprietor of Gothic Creations.

She was announcing that she was no longer going to be making and selling soaps. Me being, well me, I decided I HAD to buy some of the remaining soap because it was my last opportunity on Earth the try these soaps.

Ok, so I might be a little unhealthy in my soap acquisition but I own my issues so stop laughing at me.

I bought three scents of the soap Italian Spiced Chocolate, Apricot and Cherry Swirl. All three smell fantastic but my favorite is definitely the Cherry Swirl. I am not normally a big fan of cherries or things that smell of cherries but this is very nice. The soap is heavy, seemingly heavier than most soaps and I got a generous block of it.

On a side note, getting a big block of soap is super awesome because it means I can cut it into pieces and it lasts longer.

So now I am mourning the fact that when the cherry swirl soap is gone, I will be all out of the only cherry soap I ever liked.

So that's sad, right?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Day a Blog Changed My Purchase Plan

One morning in early March, I was cruising my long list of blogs while taking a quick break from working working working. One particular one caught my eye.

It was about small businesses and the economy. It sucks out there, folks. People are really struggling and it infuriates me that some of the soap makers who bring me such joy are worrying every day that they may not be able to pay their bills or feed their children.

And now the MTA in NYC announces that our monthly Metrocard is going to increase in cost from $81 to $103 per month. This is a pretty big chunk of my soap buying money and my mother keeps telling me to tighten my purse strings. But I just feel so torn...I need my soap!

But I digress again, a blog that caught my attention led me to buy some soap. I went on the Hartley Soaps Etsy site and saw so many things I wanted to buy. I picked up a Jasmine Mango Body Butter Bar, a Cinnabun CoCo Butter Body Bar and a Foaming Sugar Scrub. Unfortunately, none of these are currently listed on the site but I am sure that what is currently offered is there. And I will review these soaps later as I use them.

In my box of product from Hartley there was a generous sample of Chocolate Drizzle soap. For some inexplicable reason, this is the one I used first. I was feeling the need for something decadent and so I gave this soap a whirl.

I've used brownie soaps and chocolate cake soaps and the like but this one is in a completely different. I love Philosophy and you can, of course, spend $20 on Classic Fudge Cake or Double Rich Hot Cocoa but you can also pay $5 for Chocolate Drizzle and it's even better. Plus, there are no chemicals or nasty stuff and the person who made it has a name and a face.

I could give you a run down of how amazing it is to shower with a Hartley Soap and I am sure I will with one of the others but the point here is a different one. The point is that the economy sucks. People have no jobs. Everyone is panicked.

But every single one of you has to bathe.

In teasing me about my soap obsession yesterday, one of my frequent companions mentioned his penchant for Dove. Allow me to share with you the ingredients in a bar of Dove White.

Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate, Or Sodium Palmitate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

Now, allow me to share with you the ingredients in a bar of Hartley Soap Jasmine Mango Body Butter Bar

mango_butter, sweet_almond_oil, coconut_oil, olive_oil, palm_kernal_and_palm_oil, distilled_water, sodium_hydroxide, fragrance_oils, mica_color

I'll let that speak for itself.

So here's my point and then I promise to get down off of my soap box.

You have to bathe, so buy handmade soap. I don't want to read that these amazing Artisans are going out of business.

Champagne Toasts, Champagne Cocktails and Tiny Bubbles

I adore champagne. In a city where everyone has a "signature cocktail," I like anything with champagne. And it really needn't be technically champagne. I am more than fine with sparkling wine (especially prosecco but that's an entire blog unto itself).

In fact, on a Saturday night, I can often been found sipping on a Miss Behavin' at Death and Company or The Bordello Special (seeing a theme here?) at The Bourgeois Pig

So imagine my thrill and delight at seeing Tiny Bubbles listed at the Soap Rehab store. I had to have it. So I ordered a bar of the soap, which was the soap of the month for February, and a massage bar. Then, I patiently awaited its arrival.

When the box came (along with a few others as I am a complete and total soap glutton) I saved it for last and then ripped into it. Lifting this soap to my nose, I was FLOORED. The smell was incredible...seriously beyond incredible. And the packaging was adorable. Here is a picture of that:

Cute right? It prompted my roomie to walk around singing "Erin's soapies had to go to rehab...." and she asked me to hang the packaging on the fridge.

Well, I didn't use the soap for some time. I guess I was going against Soap Rehab's recommendation and saving it for a special occassion. And that time came last week. is the soap in all its glory

So I expected it couldn't smell any better once wet but it does. It really, really does. It has a nice lather and this rich, luxurious in the feeling that is like no other soap I have ever tried. I must have stood in the shower for 20 minutes soaping myself up, rinsing off and doing it again. And then I would sniff my arm. My fingers were pruney and I needed to get ready for work but the steamy hot water and this soap just made me want to shower all day. I think this soap is BETTER than a champagne cocktail. Soap Rehab
describes the scent as "A harmonious and complex blend of crisp wine fruitiness" and I could not agree more. I can't tell what comprises this scent but it smells like a bottle of the most expensive and delicious champagne turned into a soap.

So, after I dragged my silly self out of the shower, I moved on to the Body Balm in the same scent. It reminds me a little of the massage bars at Lush but trust me when I say that they don't have a scent that comes even close to this one.

It goes on feeling a little greasy but don't let this stop you. The balm absorbs thoroughly into the skin. And it leaves behind moisturized and wonderfully scented skin. I just love it. And I smelled nothing but Tiny Bubbles all day. And then, when I got home that evening and walked into the bathroom I smelled Tiny Bubbles. And I got compliments galore. Check out the cute Body Balm!

So right now it looks like neither of these products is for sale on the Soap Rehab Etsy site but I sincerely hope that they'll be back soon (or that Soap Rehab let's me know so that I can use my stash sparingly). They DO, however, have Shea Body Butter and Bath Soak

I'll be buying both of fact, I just did.

By the way, Soap Rehab sent me a few samples that I hope to love just as much.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A conundrum...

I just finished rearranging my soap collection. I have so many amazing soaps to try and even some I need to talk about that I have already tried. (Definite shout out to Soap Rehab) But I had a shower experience the other day that made me think.

Now everyone knows how much I adore soap of all kinds. Generally, I am thrilled with anything as long as it smells good and gets me clean. But the other day I had a less than exemplary shower time experience.

I didn't like a soap.

And now I don't know what to do. The main goal of my blog is to promote the work of all of the amazing artists whose products I buy.

So do I just gloss over when I don't like something? Do I lie? Or do I honestly review the product?

And no, dear blog followers...not a single one of you made this soap.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Several New Soaps to Discuss

Gosh I've been away from this blog too long.

by the oft-reviewed and admired Country Heart Gifts. I used about one new soap by them a week and most of them have been absolutely fantastic. But one day last week something incredible happened. I grabbed the sample of tuberose moss.

This stuff is OUTRAGEOUS.

And I am glad I found it because I have been way sick lately. But something about the this stuff smells makes the days seem worthwhile. I definitely recommend it.

And I have been stocking up on some of the greatest products lately. I'll get back to blogging daily now.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Stop whatever you are doing and buy this box...RIGHT NOW

145, give or take a few.

That is the number of blogs I currently read. I get these from randomly browsing Etsy and then looking at what other people read. Through my perusal I discovered the blog for Gabbriella's Sampler and soon realized what this blog advertised is a SAMPLER chock full of stuff from all over Etsy.

In case you missed that, let me explain again:

If you click here you can buy for $12 (aka VERY VERY little) a box filled to the brim with samples and goodies from some of the most amazing people on Etsy.

So is a shot of what the box looks like when you first open the package.

There is a huge part of me that wants to tell you one by one every single item in the box but then when you go and buy it the experience won't be as awesome as it was for me. Let's just say that I am completely addicted to two of the products ALREADY and have ordered something from one the Etsy shops that contributed. And you know what, the person who runs that shop turned out to be incredible.

And there are so many great bath products in there.

Here is a shot of the inside:

Go. Buy. One. Now. Seriously, go. This is the best deal on Etsy.

Plus, buying one enters you in a raffle.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Great Lather Debate

I have so many bars of soap on order. Literally, I am awaiting packages from Swan Mountain Soaps, Dugshop, Gothic Creations, Tessuraea and Gabriella's Closet, home of the sampler.

So I will be a very clean and VERY busy gal in the next few weeks/months. I also have to walk by Lush on the way to the salon this weekend so we all know that I'll be snapping up whatever was discontinued after VD. I really want to grab some You Wash My Back Soap, I shower alone.


I have no need for it. But it kind of seems like something Haley would like for some reason. And no, I am not suggesting a shower with Haley. But it's kind of sweet/naughty and Haley is sweet/naughty.

But I digress.

Today I wanna talk about lather. I have been sharing bits of soap with friends who need to break the commercial shower gel cycle and discover the wonder of handmade soap. So I tossed my buddy Julie a sliver of Patchouli Goats Milk Soap from LostRiverRags and she took off to shower.

Now I was still dripping from a shower with another soap that I loved. And I couldn't wait to hear her review. After all, she is a very natural Patchouli girl. Although our methods of being "natural" tend to diverge a bit.

And when she got out of the shower she told me the most curious thing. She loooved the smell (See? Patchouli. I know her too well) but found the lather lacking. She said she even used her shower poof to generate a lather.

Speaking of shower poofs, I am not sure how I feel about those either. It seems like a germ trap to me. But that's another topic for another day...

So all of this discussion about lather made me think. I was reading a blog the other day about lather. Honestly, I feel no need for it. I do like it when a nice, non-chemically hand made soap provides some soft and and sweet smelling lather but it is by NO MEANS a requirement.

Maybe I have even gone too far to the other end and now and I find that lather makes me a little nervous. Is it going to dry my skin? Are there harsh detergents hidden in that innocent looking little bar? Paranoia about soap is kind of sick, right?

But I wonder what makes us so insistent upon lather? Does it make us feel cleaner?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stuff from all over

So I have been unbelieveably busy lately. Last weekend I attend NY Comic Con and had a BLAST. Now, I am not normally into comic books and they don't sell any soap there (although I looked, believe me I did) but I had such a great time. At the heart of my passion for soap is my passion for things that are handmade and for artisans who work their proverbial asses off to make a living pursuing their passion. And some of these comic book artists were outstanding. My personal favorite has to be Colleen Doran whose graphic novels are just amazing. She also sat on a panel entitled "Men are from Krypton, Women are from Paradise Island"

At any rate, it rocked.

I also got a friend to try out a soap by Lost River Rags because I am trying to teach her the value of hand made soap. She uses that squirty stuff that comes out of a bottle and I will be discussing her thoughts in a later blog.

I have been cruising Etsy in my usual style and reading everyone's blogs and all of my normal stuff and I have even been showering but with the inability to breathe my soap choices have been limited to what I can smell, which ain't much.

Sigh. Lots of soap ordered and exciting things to come.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Sweet, Sweet Smell of...well, Gardenias

Gardenias are the greatest flowers. Of the sadly few things I miss about living in the South one of the things I miss most is the smell of blooming gardenias in the Spring. So I try to find something that sort of fakes the smell.

And gardenia scents when faked can be obnoxiously cloying. I put one on the other day and it gave me a ridiculous headache.

So this morning I needed a major pick-me-up so I grabbed some gardenia scented soap. And it got me to thinking that maybe I will try several and pick my favorite. Kind of a gardenia soap-off.

But since I have been ordering soap like a mad fiend lately, it might take some time. Plus, my sinuses are still making me crazy. Ugh.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In praise of soapmakers

I met up with a friend from high school this past weekend. I had not seen him in 14 years. It was interesting because I have both changed and not changed in all of that time. Strangely, he has two. So it was like instantly being transported back to high school. Only with adult thoughts and opinions.

None of this is really relevant except that he let me babble on for 20 minutes about why I love soap. This is a rare treat for me. Not many people have the patience to hear me talk about why soapmakers are artists for that long.

And that brings me to the point of today's blog. I currently follow about 40 blogs and I read them every single day. It delights me so much that there so many amazing people making soap by hand.

This morning I took a brief lukewarm shower with Lush Greenwash soap. I had all of about two minutes of warmth before the shower was freezing cold. So the jolly green lather didn't bring me its normal joy.

Luckily, the blogs I read did make me happy. So thanks blogger for a happy Tuesday.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Vintage update

Someone over at LostRiverRags has been reading my diary.

They updated their site recently and now have Vintage Cabernet for sale by the hunka chunka (an official terminology)

Here are some vogue shots from the Etsy listing

Sinuses...ugh...Good God Ya'll

What are they good for?

Well, I woke this morning and I couldn't breathe. Thank God nobody sleeps with me but Teddy or I might have caused someone a good night's sleep. (Teddy snores so I don't feel sorry for him.)

So I stumbled to the bathroom and guess what...there was hot water.


So I dug through the train case o'soap and found one from LostRiverRags called Eucalyptus. I figured this would clear me out a bit. And it did. Plus, it is green and pretty. I am kinda sold on this goat's milk soap. Either the folks over at LRR are geniuses or the goat milk/shea butter combo gives a soapgasm or both.

Probably both.

I used my whole sample up in one shower :( That bums me out because I wonder what it smells like when I can smell things.

On another note, I googled sinuses and discovered they are everywhere including your brain and heart. They also exist in a place Southern ladies don't mention because everybody knows Southern ladies only go to the Water Closet to powder their noses.

And anyway, they supposedly serve a function but it is highly debated which to me means "nobody really knows." And they get infected and cause headaches. When my tonsils cause problems they took them out. So can they fill my sinuses in? Seriously, they are completely useless.

That is all. Go buy some soap

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Taking a Trip Through Grandma's Kitchen

Today brought another little trip to my stash from CountryHeartGifts. This time, I decided to try out a little gem called Grandma's Kitchen. And once again, I was not dissappointed.

There was an underlying scent of cinnamon that was warming without being overpowering. It added something to the overall fruitiness that made me want to take the time to really inhale the smells of this creation. It is very much like a nice cobbler and reminded me of my grandmother's kitchen; something I haven't smelled since my young childhood.

And Country Heart really knows how to make a good soap. The lather is creamy and luscious. The scents fill the shower. There is nothing drying and I don't feel itchy in the aftermath of the shower. I have to be honest with you, there is NOTHING worse than a drying soap in the winter time.

Two soaps tried by Country Heart and two very much enjoyed. Now get over there and buy some.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hot Water and the Art of Bathing

Maybe it seems strange but my 15 minutes of shower time in the morning are my favorite part of the day. It eases me in, relaxes my muscles and allows me to think about the day ahead of me while enjoying some time with my favorite pleasure...a nice soap.

But lately, there has been something strange going on. There hasn't been much hot water. I have been forced to take numerous lukewarm and even a few ice cold showers. Far from getting me ready for my day, these make me sad. I cannot enjoy a nice new soap in sub zero shower in the middle of a freezing cold New York City January. I am so frustrated.

So I am trying to think why this is happening. Perhaps the landlord put a timer on the hot water heater? Is there something wrong with some pipes or something? Does anyone know a plumber?

Take my Manolos but not my shower time...seriously. Ugh

There was one amazing highlight of my week. I got this super cool little package of soap samples from LostRiverRags. Not only are the adorable little shapes but they smell super nice and there are some unique scents in there.

I keep throwing in the highlights of what I love as time goes on: You know soap, Etsy and my toy poodles. Well, add wine and the spa. In fact, my dream is to own a small vineyard with a winery and a spa but I digress. Moving right along...

In this amazing little cachet of soaps I got is one called...Vintage Cabernet with Shea. Now, I have a confession to make: I had never tried a goat's milk soap before. And it didn't let me down.

I like creamy soaps. They leave my skin feeling smooth. This one helped me suffer through a lukewarm (arg) shower with the soft scent of cabernet while soothing my wind chapped skin. I can hardly wait for warmer showers to try out more of these goat's milk soaps from LostRiverRags.

Sadly this intoxicating (pun intended) scent doesn't seem to be offered in jumbo size. So I will have to use it sparingly and stab anyone with a fork who dares try to use it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Where the Hell is Clean Diva? A Tribute to an Amazing Lady named Leigh Taylor Smith

It has been far too long since I have blogged, especially since this blog is my new baby.

The good news is that I have been bathing. I even took a little time and organized my soaps.

I got an awesome soon to be reviewed soap sample from DancingWaters.

And I became the official Executive Director of the Miss New York Scholarship Pageant. It's crazy but something about which I am very excited. I was not in Las Vegas last week because I got official word of my franchise acceptance on Tuesday but I was watching on Saturday when Leigh Taylor Smith, Miss New York, became the 3rd runner up to Miss America.

Words cannot express how proud we, the Board of Directors are of Leigh Taylor. She exemplifies everything that we all want the next generation of young ladies to be. She is intelligent, motivated, well spoken, talented and ambitious. Perhaps most importantly, she knows exactly who she is and is able to show the world. I am so grateful to know her.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hold the Partridge, I'll take the Pear Tree

I mentioned on Saturday that I had gotten some soaps to try from Country Heart Gifts. This was the first Etsy soap package I ever received. Boy am I lucky it made it to me. I say this because the scent wafting out of that post envelope was so intoxicating I just held it to my nose and breathed deeply.

Then came the most fun part. I got out all of the beautifully little wrapped soaps and sniffed them individually. After my sniff test came Simon's. Simon is my younger dog and he actually likes baths and getting clean. Whenever I buy soap I like to let Simon smell it and he will lick whichever ones he really likes. I know that sounds incredibly bizarre but it is true. Simon liked many of these, especially the ones that smelled like food.

I want to be able to describe these in much more detail than just one blog post because these soaps deserve credit. Plus, I haven't used them all so I cannot tell you which is my favorite yet.

And, as many would probably guess, I could not resist trying the Spiced Pear first. Now, I love pears and I am always looking for the perfect pear scent. But what I am learning is that there are so many different takes on one scent. And this one is nothing short of unique. I mean,

observe the lovely color in the picture above.

Mostly, I couldn't figure out what made this soap so amazingly warm. I know there is cinnamon but the smell alone seemed to raise the shower temperature five degrees. It was delightful. I literally stood for 10 minutes trying to figure out what made the smell so incredible. In the end, I decided to chalk it up to great soap making and move on.

So hats off to Pam and crew at CountryHeartGifts for making my current favorite pear soap in the "Pear Soap I Want to Eat" category.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Etsy Obsession...Plus a lovely afternoon bath

So, it's Saturday at 5pm and I just got out of an amazing soak in the tub. Sadly I cannot give you a link because I cannot find the products I used. Seriously, if you can get them on the internet it takes a better researcher than I.

Today's bath actually started on Christmas Day. Thankfully it didn't involve water until today or I would be completely pruney by now. Or skinless...

On Christmas, my roomie got me a bath set because she knows me well enough to know 2 very important facts about me: 1. I am obsessed with soap & 2. I absolutely adore pears. So she bought me both in one gift. It is a White Lily & Pear gift set which contains bath salts, bubble bath, body scrub, body wash and body lotion with a bonus BATH PILLOW. I love me some bath pillow. This one says "relax" in big green letters. And since I am spending my bath times analyzing the soaps I use I should maybe think about taking that advice...heehee

I started with the bath salt and the bubble bath, which smelled really nice. As I was reading a dirty Space/Travel Romance book I inhaled the flowery and fruity scent until I was a little pruney. Then I turned on the shower and scrubby scrub scrubbed. More of that pear deliciousness wafted to my nose. What I love most about this stuff is it smells exactly the same when I sniff it in the bottle as it does when it is lathered on my skin. The lather was nice. Not overkill but very nicely scented and silky.

I know that many of the products I use are organic, fair trade, hand made and natural. This is not a hard and fast rule for me. My one hard and fast rule is animal testing and, although I prefer the most natural ingredients I am not opposed to something commercial if it smells like white lillies and pears.

So the stuff is made by Body Prescription and, if you see it, buy it. And have a fantastic bath.

Now, on to Etsy. I currently have 8 pages of stores from which I want to buy soap and then review it on here. But it is going to take me awhile. I just got in a shipment today of soap samples from CountryHeartGifts that I cannot WAIT to try. But since it might take me quite awhile to get them all ordered used and reviewed, I am adding several blogs for Etsy stores as links to this one. So check them out.

And now, off to enjoy my Saturday night.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I did NOT want to get up this morning. What is it about Fridays that just make me want to stay the hell in bed? Whatever happened to TGIF? I used to like Fridays. Now they just seem like the day that REALLY sends me over the edge into exhaustion.

And I forgot to lay out my soap last night so I opened the giant Silver train case where I keep my soap slivers (yes I cut them into pieces and store the rest so it keeps longer, what of it?) and took a gander at my offerings. There were jellies, gels and these amazing soaps I got in Europe but my eyes lit on something I hadn’t tried yet: Miranda by Lush.

Okay, so I admit I cheated a bit in obtaining this one. If you get Miranda on the Lush Web site, it is shown as the adorable light green color you see in the top left corner. I, however, got my chunk of Miranda straight from the Lush store in Vienna, Austria and it looks like the multicolored bit of wonder to your right. I wonder why the difference, the ingredients appear to be the same. And no offense to the lovely Canadians who make my American Lush because I delight in their offerings and own more of their products than anyone should but the Austrian version is way more fun. And this is coming from the girl who only speaks in primary colors. For example:

Clean Diva’s Roomie: What are you wearing tonight?
Clean Diva: My blue shirt with jeans
Clean Diva’s Roomie: Which blue shirt?
Clean Diva: You know, the one with the big sleeves…
Clean Diva’s Roomie: OH! The Turquoise one!
Clean Diva: Right. Blue. The blue shirt

So seriously, Lush, make the pretty Miranda for North Americans. If even I noticed, it’s a HUGE difference.

Anyway, this soap was wicked fun. I pressed my nose up against it and sniffed with little effect. Miranda is chock full of kiwi, bergamot, juniper berries and ylang ylang but it doesn’t pack much punch dry. As soon as I got it wet, however, I was whisked away in a shower of tropically fruitiness. The kiwi scent is awesome. It doesn’t smell fragrancy (something I adore about Lush in general) but I felt like singing that Harry Nilsson song about limes and coconuts and shaking it all up right there in the shower.

The lather is nice too. As I have mentioned before, I am not attached to lather in a “I’m not clean if there aren’t bubbles” sort of way but man oh man was this luxurious. I didn’t want to wash it off. In fact, I regretted having to wash my hair because my shampoo smells so strong.

On a side note: Does anyone know of a scent free shampoo that actually bloody works?

Now for the sad fact portion of the blog: Miranda is a Retro Lush product for North America. It was discontinued for some bizarre reason and is now only available for a limited time (Le sigh) on the Lush USA or Canada Web site. So unless you live in Europe, frequently go to Europe or have friends in Europe who are willing to send you soap, I recommend you get yourself online and order Miranda now.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bring Me Some Figgy Pudding

So this morning was not so bad. I felt sort of awake when the alarm went off and I had prepared for the shower by laying out my soap.

So I know figs aren't for everyone. I know a woman who cringes at the very thought of them. I, on the other hand, happen to love them. On a side note, if you too are a fig lover (and I'm not talking about Newtons) I recommend you nosh on the Parisienne Mac Smac NYC.

But back to the soap. This morning I lathered up with Le Deliziose soap by Nesti Dante, which is made in Firenze, Italy. I just love how this soap smelled when I took it out of its wrapper. The spicy, pungent smell of black figs hit me hard. I suspect that knowing it was in my bathroom made getting up this morning much easier. But on to what happened once the soap was wet.

I was disappointed. It was like the water squelched the smell almost immediately. The lather was nice, very soft and adundant but I COULDN'T SMELL THE FIGS. That folks, made me sad. And now, a few hours later, I feel a bit itchy and tight.

I will say that this is a glycerine based soap and contains more soap than I usually seek so I could just be readjusting to "big girl soap." At any rate, I will probably use this up but not buy it again. I do want a wonderful fig soap in my collection so I will keep looking for that perfect one. Nesti Dante also makes a Fig and Milk soap so maybe I will give that a whirl. If you like luscious lather and a soap that leaves no trace of scent on the skin but does smell FANTASTIC in the soap dish, I still recommend Le Deliziose - Fico. You can buy it online here. I haven't found it for sale anywhere else on the interwebs.

For New Yorkers, you can also buy it at The Bathroom at one of their two locations (94 Charles St. and 112 Greenwich Avenue). I love this store not only for its amazing collection of soap but also for the awesome people who work there. These people GET soap obsession and will help you find the perfect bar (or gel or foam or whatever) for you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


For the past few months, one of my toy poodles (I have two) has been sleeping with me every night. He likes to snuggle really close to me and I must confess that his contributions to my comfy and cozy sleep space have made it super tough to climb out of bed in the morning.

Luckily my phone alarm went off in the living room so I had to hustle to get it.

Anyway, I digress. There is nothing more wonderful when I am bleary eyed and stumbling to the bathroom than a nice chunk of that wonderful spicy white buttercream by Lush known as Skinny Dip.

...Now that I think about it, it would be a nice addition to naked swimming...

Lush seems to call attention to the violet when they describe Skinny Dip but I honestly don't smell it. What I DO smell is the yummy blend of clove, cedar and sage. It just fills the entire shower with its powerful scent. And whenever I rub it on my skin, I am suddenly awake.

What I love most about Lush buttercreams is that there is so little soap in them. I am not someone who needs lather having given up sulfates in my shampoo about a year ago. And Skinny Dip doesn't lather very much at all. I don't find that a problem.

I love Skinny Dip. Not only do I get out of my shower awake and moisturized from head to toe but the bathroom smells a-MAY-zing while I finish getting right?

As one last compliment for the lovely Skinny Dip I will allay the fears of those who think that strongly scented soaps will counteract their perfumes. As with most Lush soaps, I can smell Skinny Dip if I literally press my nose against my skin but not really. It really just wakes me up, sets me on my feet and sends me off to enjoy my day.

You can buy Skinny Dip at a Lush store near you or here introduction

So I love soap. It's funny really. Once upon a time I viewed showering as a hassle. I mean, I did it daily (duh!) but I didn't like it.

Then I discovered Lush. Standing in the shower with a bar of creamy, buttery Jasminey wonderfulness changed my life forever.

So now, 60 or so bars of soap later...and I mean in my current rotation...I am completely obsessed.

And I would like to document it. So now, my dead readers, you have to suffer the consequences of my obsession.

I'll keep trying new soaps and reviewing the ones I try. If you love soap as much as me, make a suggestion. I am always open to try new things.