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.