“ Brand: Soape / Type: Soap / Suitable for: Hand „
Soape: the story so far...
Regular readers of my reviews may remember that, having discovered this exciting online retailer of handmade soaps (and candles among other products), I have been working my way through a selection of samples. The retailer offers four free samples of approximately 25 grams each and you just pay £2 post and packaging.
The grapefruit loofah soap had a lovely zingy fragrance but proved a little too abrasive when it came to exfoliating. The green melon glycerine soap proved to have great moisturising qualities but the smell was too mild. Not deterred I vowed to soldier on: there had to be a Soape product that was good on all fronts.
The Amber soap is one of Soape's glycerine range. Until I discovered Soape I hadn't bought any conventional soap at all for years finding most brands dried the skin. According to Soape this is because most mainstream brands no longer contain glycerine; this ingredient is used instead for more expensive products so if you buy cheap soap you can typically expect to get something which doesn't contain glycerine and which will probably dry the skin.
I find the idea of amber as a scent intriguing and exotic. A couple of years ago I read a novel set in the Sultan's harem in nineteenth century Istanbul in which amber featured as part of the ritual that prepared the Sultan's chosen companion for that evening. It sounded very sensual and seductive but, reading it, I couldn't really match the description with what I know of amber. I am a lover of amber and try to buy a piece of amber jewellery whenever I visit a country with a Baltic coastline. For those who don't know, amber is the fossilized result of deposits of resin from trees that grew millions of years ago. Should you visit the coastlines of countries such as Poland, Estonia and Latvia you may be lucky enough to find some amber on the beach; indeed, the coastline of Latvia is even known as "the Amber Coast".
When it comes to perfumes, however, amber does not refer to this beautiful material although over the years many attempts have been made to extract oil from amber. In perfumes, amber refers to a type of scent, not to a particular ingredient: it's characterised as being slightly earthy but mostly powdery and sweet with an undertone of spiciness.
This correlates perfectly with my experience of Soape's amber soap. To say I like this scent would be an understatement. When I use this product in the shower I'll stay in longer, just to lather the soap again and have another chance to enjoy the fragrance and after bathing I'll be found sniffing my arms to enjoy it again. It's a really rich and luxurious scent, deep and with several layers. There's an undeniable sweetness but it's not artificial, it's gentle and honeyed. There's a lovely powdery element to the fragrance too but the best part for me is the spicy element which lends an oriental feeling. I find I can't identify a particular spice but there are certainly hints of vanilla, clove and nutmeg. Finally I detect a very slightly antiseptic note, a bit like coal tar but much more subtle than a purely coal tar soap; perhaps this is a reference to the pine trees from which the amber resin originates?
This soap is a rich deep dark red colour and is slightly translucent. It lathers with minimal effort and my first 25 gram sample lasted a surprising number of washes given that I would lather it several times in one shower. The lather produces is thick and luxurious and it feels good on the skin creating a feeling of pure indulgence. After use my skin feels generally soft although areas such as my elbows that get very dry as the winter sets in don't really see the benefit of the soap's moisturising qualities and remain as before. It's a product that is enjoyable to use, feels good and smells divine but it's not going to help with very dry skin or other conditions.
I am delighted to have found a Soape product I like so much: I knew there'd be one for me and this is certainly it. I intend to buy a couple of the full size amber soaps which are priced at £2.50 for 100 grams. I am a self-proclaimed soap convert and still look forward to trying some more products from Soape but for now I'm going to relish using this amber soap for a little bit longer.
Unfortunately Soape do not list the ingredients of the individual soaps on their website but they do state that all the soaps they make are suitable for all skin types, are vegetarian friendly and do not contain artificial ingredients nor do they contain detergents.