“ Brand: Lush / Type: Soap / What it does: destresses, „
I am trying to work my way through all of Lush's soaps, and one that I have sampled fairly recently is the Alkmaar Soap. This was released on a temporary basis as part of the Retro range, a selection of products from past Lush which were popular enough to merit a second outing. Creamy white in colour, it doesn't look like much, but it is lovely. Retro products are normally a bit more expensive than non-Retro: this soap cost £3.35 for 100g, which isn't actually that bad for a Lush product.
Alkmaar is the name of a city in the Netherlands, and the shape of the cheeses sold there and elsewhere in the country inspired the name of the soap. A full Alkmaar soap cake might look a bit like a large round cheese, but that's where the similarity ends! It smells amazing - rich and sophisticated - thanks to a combination of honeysuckle, amaranth, vetivert and jasmine. It is suitable for vegans and is made with a base of rapeseed oil and coconut oil. Lush no longer make their soaps with a palm oil base, as the production of palm oil threatens rainforest habitats.
The soap lasted a fairly long time in my soap dish. I used it both as hand soap and body soap: it made a creamy lather, didn't dry my skin out and left a faint floral scent behind, which was very pleasant. The scent wafted around the bathroom too, and was lovely. Definitely one of the most sophisticated Lush soaps that I've tried.
This is a really lovely product. It works well and the scent is amazing. If it appears again, I will certainly be repurchasing.
The first thing you need to know about Lush’s Alkmaar soap is that it isn’t grey. It’s white. It looks nothing like the picture above. Alkmaar looks like Feta cheese. It is as white as the driven snow (isn’t driven snow slush? Slush is grey, isn’t it? But Alkmaar isn’t, it’s white). So now that we’ve cleared that up, what else can I tell you about Alkmaar? Well, it produces the creamiest, whitest, richest, softest lather of any soap I’ve ever used before, hence my title (yes, I was talking about the lather, I can’t help it if you lot have filthy minds, can I?) In fact, the lather isn’t really bubbly at all, it’s thicker and creamier than some moisturisers I have used in the past and rubbing it on your skin, it feels far too decadent to be a soap. This soap is packed full of essential oils and you can feel them gliding on your skin as you rub it in. After my bath, my skin felt very clean, soft and moisturised and not at all tight and dry like most soaps would leave it. This is something that most Lush soaps seem to have in common. I suppose it must be the moisturising properties of the essential oils they use. The feeling of softness lasted, although the perfume didn’t cling to my skin for very long after. From the description in the lush catalogue, I expected Alkmaar to smell a little overpowering, but I thought I’d give it a go anyway, as I don’t really have any floral scented soaps. I usually go for the fruity ones and I thought this would be a nice change. Lush call it a “sensually scented floral soap with powerful exotic jasmine absolute, relaxing vetivert oil, soothing styrax and infusions of honeysuckle and love lies bleeding (amaranthus)”. It is certainly a sensual and floral smell, but I wouldn’t say it is powerful. It is actually quite delicate, considering the whopping ol
factory punch packed by those flower oils. Alkmaar smells like a bridal bouquet, but from a little distance, not one shoved right up under your hooter. It’s not the sort of intrusive smell that would make you sneeze or your eyes run. It is light and feminine and rather lovely. If you are wondering about the name, Alkmaar soap is named after a Dutch cheese town, because the huge 45kg truckles look like massive cheeses. I love going into Lush shops and seeing the big blocks of soap. Alkmaar is nice because it is made in a huge round slab with a fluted edge, rather than the normal square or rectangle. If you go into a Lush shop to buy it, you can choose a nicely shaped edge piece, which will look pretty. You can also order from the website at www.lush.co.uk, although soaps are only available online in 100g pieces and you never know what shape you are going to get until it arrives. At £1.70 per 100g, Alkmaar is one of the more expensive soaps, but it does contain a lot of different oils and essential oils are quite expensive. No Lush products are tested on animals and all are suitable for vegetarians. Alkmaar soap is one of some 70 odd per cent of their products which are actually suitable for vegans too. Online ordering is easy and delivery is fast and efficient and costs £2.95 per order, though delivery charges are waived if your order totals more than £30 – and believe me, with a whole new range of products added just this week, you could very easily find yourself spending more than £30! Soaps come packaged plain paper bags and protected by a bed of shredded newspaper, in line with Lush’s eco-friendly ethos. If you want to visit a Lush shop, the website gives a full list of all their worldwide outlets. One final point about the care of Lush soaps. If you keep several varieties of soap out on display, as I do, make sure you don’t store your Alkmaar so that it is touching the other, mor
e pungent soaps, as it will take on stronger smells and colours, like the powerful apple and mint Demon in the Dark, for example. Also, to avoid sticky messes on the side of your bath, I would suggest you invest in a wire soap dish or a kitchen trivet on which to stand your soaps while they dry and re-harden. A trivet is a metal pot stand and decorative pierced or spiral ones are available. Such a stand will raise the base of your soap off the flat surface of the bath. As long as your soap isn’t sitting in a pool of moisture, but is allowed to drain properly air is able to circulate all around and help it to dry; it will harden up nicely and last much longer, without causing mess. These tips apply equally for Lush’s range of solid shampoos as well. Plus, a nicely arranged selection of Lush soaps on a trivet or wire basket looks very attractive. I have seven or eight different Lush soaps in a wire basket and they look beautiful and guests always seem to enjoy them. It’s certainly a talking point. The Alkmaar is a very dense soap and despite lathering easily and freely, it seems to last for ages. I’ve had mine a couple of weeks and even using it most days, it doesn’t seem to have shrunk very much. For £1.70, I’d call that pretty good value for money. I’d certainly recommend it. Cheers. Allie xx
Alkmaar is a sensually scented floral soap made with powerful, exotic jasmine absolute, relaxing vetivert oil, soothing styrax and infusions of honeysuckle and love lies bleeding (amaranthus) /