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Pears Soap

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27 Reviews
  • unique one of a kind smell
  • cleanses nicely
  • not suitabler for very sensitive skin
  • Dissolves very quickly
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    27 Reviews
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    • More +
      23.10.2015 13:28
      Very helpful


      • " refreshing"
      • "bargain price"
      • "unique one of a kind smell"
      • "cleanses nicely"


      • "not suitabler for very sensitive skin"

      A timeless classic that cleanses so well!

      Today I am reviewing the Pears transparent soap.

      Shopper's appeal
      I had never actually seen advertisements or anything the like before buying this soap for the first time two years ago - yet I knew it from seeing it in the (British) shelves for all my life. I was pleasantly amused when I also saw it in Canada this year when I was on holiday.
      Since this soap comes in a cardboard box, but is also sealed in plastic within that, you can't smell it. I was simply going for it because the box looked so interesting and I finally wanted to try it out after seeing it for years. Only when I researched later, I saw that Pears soap is a very traditional classic soap! By now, I've come to really adore it and re-buy it often!

      The packaging
      The traditional Pears soap already appeared in England in 1807. It became famous for it's unique and innovative production, but when researching the soap and the brand, it also turns out to be quite interesting how the brand wa san entrepreneur regarding marketing strategies and avdertisement.
      When I bought this soap and opened the plastic wrapper inside the cardboard packaging, I was put off at first. The soap smelled weirdly musky, yet also a bit biting and reminded me of cleaning products. I wrapped it back up and put it aside for a few months. However, at some point I felt like trying it again, and when I sniffed on it once again, I realized my first impression must have been completely wrong, as I completely fell in love with the scent!
      The soap comes in a white packaging with a big Pears logo and the symbol that represents the brand catering to the royal household. On the packaging, it is stated that the soap provides thorough cleaning and skin care and is even suitable for sensitive skin. It is also mentioned that Pears looks back to over a hundred years of experience. It is stated that the soap bar weighs 125g. As far as I could find out, smaller bars are also available.

      My experiences
      This soap has defenitely left a lasting impression on me! I am sure everybody who has smelt it before knows how unusual and intense it is!
      Pears soap has a herbal, medicinal smell to it. It quite reminded me of the "13 unlucky for dirt" soap available at Lush. It smells or rosemary, fennel and eucalyptus to me. It's the kind of smile you like to have around you when you have a cold or need warming yet fresh comfort in winter.
      It is very cleansing and leaves the skin squeaky clean without drying it out. While it isn't a creamy soap that provides a lot of moisture, it doesn't disturb the skins moisture balance either. So for normal skin, I defenitely deem it suitable. However, I am really unsure on whether Pears soap would be suitable for really sensitive skin as it is stated on the package. It is a very cleansing herbal soap and might be too much for delicate skin.
      The bar lasted me about 3 to 4 weeks of daily use under the shower. Since I love using soaps on my body, I tend to use up soap pieces in under a month. People who only use this for hand-washing in the sink might be using it for up to 2 months. The scent stayed noticeable until the very last bit of soap!
      My skin coped well with it and I had no allergic reactions. People with allergies or very sensitive skin should read the list of ingredients before buying the product.

      The ingredients
      Sorbitol, Aqua, Sodium Palmate, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Rosinate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, PEG-4, Alcohol, Glycerin, Perfume, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Meta Bisulfite, Etidronic acid, Tetra Sodium EDTA, BHT. CI 12490, CI 47005, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Cinnamal, Eugenol, Limonene, Linalool.

      The price
      At Boots, a 100g piece of Pears soap is £0.60.

      I like this soap a lot and think it's a classic product that never gets boring. However, untrue to what the packaging says, I wouldn't recommend it for people with very sensitive skin.


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    • More +
      28.11.2014 22:53
      Very helpful


      • "Smells quite nice"


      • "Dissolves very quickly"

      PEARS SOAP... Now You See It, Now You Don't!

      I don’t know when the manufacturer’s changed the famous Pears soap but change it they have. I really wish that they hadn't!

      I loved this bar soap; I loved the look of it, the feel of it and I adored the smell of it. And yes, of course I also liked the way that it cleansed.

      For me Pears soap was a touch of nostalgia and an altogether pleasant way to wash. I felt the soap even had a touch of luxury to it.

      Pears bar soap was around when I was a child. True, it wasn't one that my family often used. I think it was an expensive choice and my parents mainly bought the cheaper and no-nonsense Knight’s castile soap.

      I have bought Pears Soap now and again over the years and until recently have always liked it. The gentle golden colour of Pears makes a nice change from white non fragranced tablets of soap.

      My husband also liked Pears soap or did until we bought a few bars recently.
      The first tablet was unwrapped from its packaging and put out in the soap dish in the bathroom. I was surprised when it seemed to diminish in size very quickly.
      I put this down to someone having left it lying in water causing it to dissolve. But then the same thing happened with the second and then the third bar.

      My husband mentioned to me that although he did always used to like this soap it doesn't seem at all worth buying any more as it seems to dissolve at speed.

      I had to agree and feel that it is now very poor value as it doesn't last for any time at all.

      I think it still has a pleasant aroma to it but as for lather…well I think this has changed too as the lather, in my opinion, is poor.

      I also feel that Pears is advertised as if it is a pure and natural soap “contains ingredients of the highest quality such as glycerine and natural oils.”

      These are the ingredients:

      Sorbitol, Aqua, Sodium Palmate/stearate, Sodium Palmkernelate, Sodium Rosinate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, PEG-4, Alcohol, Glycerin, Perfume, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Meta Bisulfite, Etidronic acid, Tetra Sodium EDTA, BHT, Cl 12490, Cl 47005, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Cinnamal, Eugenol, Limonene, Linalool.

      I feel that I can no longer recommend this soap.

      Boots £0.60 (125g)


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    • More +
      26.11.2014 05:00
      Very helpful


      • "it has got history"
      • "It cleans my skin good"
      • "It smells very good"


      • "It makes my skin go dry"

      Pears Soap

      WHAT IS IT?

      This is a bar of soap that is called Pears soap. Pears is a very old brand and it has not changed for many years, I am Italian so I did not ever use Pears soap but my husband has used it for all of his life and he says it is the same as he remembers from when he was younger.


      I like this soap very much and I am happy to use it because I like to use English brands that have got a strong heritage because it is culture from the country that is now my home.

      The soap is made of glycerine and it has got a very unique smell that I think is beautiful but it smells like it is going to make me clean also. I think it is very cleansing and the smell stays on my skin for a small amount of time and that makes me smell clean.

      I do not like that it makes my skin feel dry and I use it for hand soap only. It does not make my childrens skin dry and I am happy about that because they wash their faces with it and I would not like for it to be harsh but instead of that I think it is gentle so it works different for children and adults.

      You do not get very many bubbles from using Pears soap but I do not care about that because it cleans my skin good and I think that is the priority.

      The bar of soap goes very cracked if it is left to dry out and that is worse when it is more than halfway through the bar so I sometimes throw it away before we have used it all.


      I like this soap very much and think it is a bargain because it costs 65p only and a bar will last for a long time as long as you do not let it go dry because then you will have to throw it away before it has all finished.

      4 Dooyoo Hearts.


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    • More +
      26.09.2013 18:18
      Very helpful



      Can't go wrong with pears soap if you ask me...

      This soap was actually one of my accidental discoveries as when we went on holiday last month I forgot to pack my daughter's usual shower gel. My niece came with us and her mum had packed her this Pears soap and since her and my daughter usually got washed together, my daughter loved using the soap and I found it had a really good cleansing effect on her skin. Since back in the UK I have now bought 2 bars in Superdrug to stock up on, as she has a bath every night and it seems to diminish in size each time so one doesn't last very long!

      This soap bar is a brownish/orange, transclucent oval shaped bar, with a slight dip in the middle and the brand Pears engraved into it. It is a rather thick bar of soap with lots of natural ingredients like glycerine, natural oils, rosemary, cedar and thyme which is quite neutral making this soap versatile and unisex and pretty much anyone can use it.

      My daughter mainly washes with this soap, using it with a flannel and rubbed together in warm water, it creates ample suds and lathers really easily to wash her skin effectively that we can actually see the dirt being removed in the bath water. It's gentle on her young skin and she hasn't suffered any adverse reactions so moving upwards from using baby sensitive washes and shower gels (not that she has sensitive skin, just I like to take precautions in case anything contains any irritants!) this has been an ideal product for her to use.

      The soap has quite a unique scent, which although hard to pinpoint it is slightly woody and has slight spice scent elements to it which remind me of cinnamon and lavender and slightly ginger which you would think would be awful but surprisingly they go compliment well and make for a vigorous bathing experience! The soap is good as it is not made with animal fat and the box states it is hypo-allergenic.

      These bars are relatively inexpensive as I bought a 125g bar for only 79p in Superdrug which although it comes in more expensive than the Dove I have bought for myself in the past it really lasts long (providing you don't do what my daughter does and leave it in the bath to waste away!) so it's quite good value for money. Overall it is a soap I would 100% recommend and it gets 5 stars as my daughter loves using it and it does what I'd hope a soap would do - clean!


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    • More +
      22.01.2013 11:55
      Very helpful



      A traditional soap that has succumbed to change and not for the better

      Pears Transparent Soap


      Good old Pears soap. I remember first using this at my Grandmother's house as a nipper and begging my Mother for a bar. It was looked on as a relatively adult soap back then in the seventies and it made it feel even more special to me.

      Back then you could buy the bars loose in any chemist shop, such as Boots and they were easily recognisable, as they still are today as the Pears logo was engraved into each bar on each side of the soap.

      Nowadays they come in a box with the Pears logo on it as well; so we are under no illusions as to what soap we are using whether it is in or out of the box. The soap is an oval, concave shape and is pretty easy to hold, even when wet. It is a good size and I usually buy the one hundred and twenty five gram bar, which I am reviewing here. You can also buy a seventy-five gram bar, which is a little better to hold for the ladies who use or for those men with small hands.

      There isn't a really distinctive smell to the soap when you take it out of the box and have a sniff but once it is wet the smell does come through quite well. I used to think it smelled medicinal as a child and could never really pinpoint any one aroma with any accuracy, and this just added to the mystery even more. The soap looks like a nugget of amber and always reminds me of the movie 'Jurassic Park'. I always expect to see a mosquito or similar insect embedded in the soap.

      I love a good lather when it comes to soap and Pears is probably one of my favourite soaps to get a good lather from. It really foams up well and surprisingly, the way I go at it, it lasts a really long time. A bar can last me a good two or three weeks. I say this through gritted teeth, as this used to be the case but the soap has now changed (see later on in the review).

      The lather feels really soft to the skin and leaves you feeling fresh and clean.

      The soap was always advertised as being "Hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic" and Pears always represented this fact on their boxes. That has now changed because in 2009 Pears changed the way the soap was produced and had to take this claim off the product. Many fans of the soap said this must be due to the production process now using more chemicals and were aghast at the fact that the original ingredients of the famous soap had now been tainted.

      I mentioned that the bar lasted a long time but due to the new elements. The bar now feels softer and does not last as long. In fact in a test for myself, I held the soap under hot water. The old bar would've generated a little lather and would've come out unscathed and still solid. The new bar goes really soft and after applying minimal pressure I squeezed it into a sticky mess of gloop. I saw this as the end of an era and I personally believe that Pears have watered down there soap in order to mass produce it in the cheapest possible way and at the greatest possible profit to themselves.

      OK, they are a business and in business there is no room for sentiment but Pears have been making their famous soap with the old formula since seventeen eighty-nine and for me it is almost sacrilegious to change a winning formula; to coin a cliché (pun intended), if it ain't broke, then don't fix it.

      There was indeed uproar and fans of the original soap created a Facebook page to demand that Pears bring back the original formula. A spokesperson for Pears agreed that they would indeed be bringing the old formula back in 2010. This was never to materialise and another statement followed which announced that they would try to enhance the new formula to make the soap smell more like the original. I don't know about passing the bar of soap but the proverbial buck as definitely been passed through a few hands.

      One of the main factors in the new soap being different is the fact that it doesn't contain glycerol like the old soap. The new soap also contains limonene and various other chemicals such as, sorbitol, sodium chloride, etidronic acid, propylene glycol and alcohol; all of which the old soap did not contain. So it is hardly any wonder that the new version does not smell or feel like the old version.

      One argument for the new soap is that it is supposed to be free of any of the more severe ingredients that were also used in cleaning products. The old soap was supposed to contain these and the new soap is meant to be friendlier in terms of the content. I really don't see how this is possible as the new ingredients read like a list from a chemistry set. Pears do argue that the 'secret' Pears ingredients still remain so it is really hard to argue for or against either one with any clarity.

      All I know is that I used to love this soap and still do to a certain extent but feel a little cheated as the bar doesn't last as long so I have to buy it more regularly now. I did however, visit a quaint little soap shop in Delft, the city famous for its ceramics and pottery and I picked up a bar of soap that was attached to a loofer type sponge. The bar does not say Pears on it but it is exactly like the old bars of Pears soap and it has lasted me months.

      Pears is still a good soap and you still get a good clean from it but it has been changed by progress, but what isn't these days. It still holds fond memories for me and I will always remember using it as a kid.
      I would've given it five stars but the new version has knocked it down to a three for me.

      ©Lee Billingham


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      • More +
        17.11.2012 19:07
        Very helpful



        A long lasting and effective soap - I just don't like the scent.

        My boyfriend rarely gets excited when shopping for toiletries but he did when he saw a bar on Pears soap on sale! He said it reminded him of staying with his grandma who was a devoted user of Pears. I didn't think I had tried it before myself, so we decided to buy a bar. It is actually quite easy to get hold if you are really looking for it, as I have since seen it in Boots, Superdrug, Morrisons, Wilkinsons and Savers, to name a few. We paid 59p which seemed a reasonable price for any soap - that price is for a 125g bar.

        It comes in a white card box with a picture of the soap bar on the front. It is labelled as offering gentle care, and the back of the packet contains the statement that Pears will clean the skin thoroughly whilst moisturising it. It contains glycerine and natural oils to help care for the skin. I am lucky that my facial skin is not sensitive, but I like the idea of gentle products anyway. I tend to use a facial wash at the beginning and end of the day, but I do use soap in between times if I am cleaning myself up after coming home from the allotment for example. I also use it in the bath.

        The back of the packet also contains brief information about the heritage of the brand, stating that the soap is made by a unique process, which apparently involves it being left to mature until it reaches its characteristic transparent appearance. The brand is described as 200 years old, although I believe the recipe has changed since it was first produced. My boyfriend felt that the soap didn't smell exactly as it used to, which made him think that either they had changed the recipe, or his memory was playing tricks. When I googled the brand for more information, I noticed that the recipe had indeed changed, which led to a great number of complaints at the time. As I did not try the original soap, these changes do not matter to me, if I like the new version.

        The bar is oval and feels chunky. It looks attractive to me, with it's warm amber colour, and the traditional brand name running across the middle. It also has the brand name on the bottom, the style of which makes it look a bit old fashioned, but in a nice retro sort of way. It always attracts comments from visitors who want to tell me their Pears memories! I wish I could say I like the scent of the soap as much as it's appearance. It is very distinctive, and quite different from other soaps I have tried, with the exception of an antiseptic carbolic type soap I sampled once. The Pears soap smells to me of a combination of spice, menthol and antiseptic lotion. It reminds me of hospitals and cleanliness, but as a toiletry, it isn't something I would try and take a sniff of for the pleasure of it. I can't be off from smelling it when I am actually using it though, as the scent is strong. I can also smell it on my hands for a long time after washing them. This no doubt pleases the Pears lovers, but it doesn't suit me! I didn't hate it enough to stop using the bar though, because as a cleaning product, I think it is good.

        The soap is hard and solid feeling, which is probably why it seems to last for such a long time. It took me weeks to actually notice it had reduced in size. It definitely isn't one of those products that seems to rapidly dissolve if you leave it in water too long. I was surprised it didn't lather very well, which is another thing that struck my boyfriend as different from how he remembers it. I do feel that it cleans my skin regardless, and leaves it feeling very refreshed, so I can put up with a lack of lather. My hands always feel soft after using it, and not all dried out or tight. The same is true of my face, where I have combination skin. My cheeks can get a bit dry, and if soap is going to cause any feeling of tightness, it will be in those areas. I have not experienced any. I would not say that those dry areas feel very soft though, so I think that the moisturising benefits only go so far.

        Overall, I like the Pears cleaning abilities, and the fact I always feel refreshed after using it. Unfortunately, the scent does not appeal to me, and I ceased using on my face for that reason - too close to my nose! I finished the bar as a hand soap mainly, but even so, I didn't like the lingering aroma. I would recommend it if you are looking for decent soap, and you do like the smell. I wouldn't buy it for it's moisturising qualities, because in my experience, it isn't great at helping dry areas even if "normal" parts of my skin felt softer. If you do get on with it, I think it is good value as it is so long lasting.

        [This review is also on Ciao under my user name.]


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        • More +
          19.10.2012 21:52
          Very helpful



          An amber gem of a bar.

          I acquired my 75g bar of Pears soap on a recent hotel trip to London, the hotel in question provides a complimentary bar of soap alongside the other hotel toiletries, a very nice touch.

          Pricing and Availability
          As my bar was gratis I didn't part with any hard earned cash but a quick look around suggests that the retail price for a 125g bar will set me back 60p (Tesco-October 2012), a bargain. I can't seem to find a price for an individual bar of the 75g version, only wholesale prices, so I shall assume that it is a hotel exclusive size.
          The 125g size bars of Pears soap are widely available from supermarkets, chemists and general stores like Wilkinsons and Home Bargains. It seems that a bar of Pears is relatively easy to come by.

          My bar came in a clear cellophane packet which had the 'Pears- transparent soap' brand and tag line printed all over it. The cellophane is a good quality and easy to pull open at either end and the soap easily pops out.
          The cellophaned bar was neatly nestled inside a sturdy cardboard box that was glued shut at either end. A slide of the thumb under the tab swiftly opens the box. The box has a glossy finish, something I wouldn't have expected on a product that only costs 60p, in fact you do get a lot of packaging for your pennies. The box features several incarnations of the 'Pears' logo of varying sizes. You are never left wondering who made the soap. There are images of the jewel like soap dotted about the packaging and they look bubbly, foamy and very enticing.
          The box contains the obligatory information such as contact details, weight, ingredients and shelf life. The information on the back of the box is written in a very stilted fashion which seems a shame after they have gone to so much effort on the packaging. The back label informs us of the companies history (Pears is 200 years old), the manufacturing process (unique) and the benefits you can reap from using this soap (moisturised and gently cleansed skin). The box also brandishes the 'gentle care' logo a couple of times.

          Upon opening the box and undoing the cellophane, the first thing I noticed was the fragrance. I am now aware that the fragrance is a key aspect of the popularity of Pears soap but at the time I was just expecting a bland soapy smell. I couldn't have been more wrong. I was pleasantly surprised with the fragrance. The soap has an almost medicinal, herbal scent. It reminded me of when you walk past a Chinese herbalist shop and get that wonderful waft of aromatic herbs and spices. The fragrance was definitely not what I was expecting and I was very much impressed with it.
          The soap itself is a wonderful amber colour, I half expected to find a fossil inside! It is a typical soap shape, ergonomic to grip but just as easy to drop as any other soap when wet. The 'Pears' branding is imprinted into the soap and 'pears transparent soap' is impressed onto the reverse of the bar. There is definitely an English heritage feel to the bar and an air of pride in it's long production run.
          The bar lathers up nicely using the traditional method of rubbing the bar between your hands. I noticed that a more soapy scent develops when you begin to use the soap. I washed myself effectively using my hands but for reviews sake I also used a body polisher/pouf/puff and it lathered up a dream using this method. The bar produced a wonderful rich, thick lather and I would say that using it like this would make the bar last much longer.
          I believe that you can always tell the difference between using soap and using shower gel, soap is always going to feel a little drier and Pears is no exception however, I didn't find Pears to be as drying as some soap products and after towelling myself off my skin did feel a little smoother and most definitely cleansed. I can't comment on the 'gentle care' suitability as I don't have sensitive skin but it felt like a gentle product and didn't feel as though it was stripping my skin of its natural oils. The fragrance also lingers lightly on your skin, I think I would liked it to have clung a bit more as I adore the fragrance but that is personal and doesn't detract from the products effectiveness.

          Overall I would have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of this well renowned brand. The soap did it's job and it did it well. This soap feels much more indulgent than the 60p you will spend on it and I will definitely be going out and buying it- once I've finished the stash that I 'liberated' from the hotel.


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        • More +
          19.05.2012 16:35
          Not Helpful



          In all, pears soap is a good soap that does the job

          i have been buying pears soap for a long time becuase i loved the smell and it was nice on my skin. When the recipe was changed in 2009, i did not like the soap anymore. I still use it because it is cheap and it does the job. Even with the new recipe it still smells good but it is not the same. At the end of the day, it is just as good as any soap but can be found cheaper. It is not that bad on my skin but it is still better than liquid soap that easily cracks my skin. It looks very cool and does the job as soap. The recipe used to be natural but now more chemicals have been added to it and it is not the same anymore. I wish the old recipe was still being used because it felt much better on my skin.


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        • More +
          11.04.2012 19:09
          Very helpful
          1 Comment



          Transparent soap but not a patch on the original version and artificial smell - such a shame.

          ---Why I Buy This---

          I have always loved Pears Soap even since I was a little girl. Then I had a very old copy of Pears Encyclopaedia and at the front was the famous painting of Bubbles, with the transparent bar of Pears Soap on the floor beside him. It always looked so pretty that Pears became my favourite soap, but it was not one we always had, presumably because of the cost. I have always loved transparent things so this soap was a lovely treat.

          ---The Brand---

          This is a very old brand as Pears Soap was first produced in London in 1789 by Andrew Pears. Andrew was a barber and perfected the art of producing a transparent soap wich was made from glycerine and other natural ingredients which gave it a srt of herby smell. This soap was quite a contrast to the adulterated products then on the market, many of which would contain poisonous subatances such as lead. Later the firm became part of Lever Brothers ans finally Unilever.

          ---The Product---

          The bar comes in an individual box and is 125 grams.
          The box is white shiny cardboard with a picture of the soap on the top, bottom and side - the transparent soap looks much nicer in the pictures than it actually is in real life..
          The only claim on the front is 'Gentle Care'.
          The shelf life is given as 24 months.
          There is a full list of ingredients (see bottom of review).
          It is said to contain high quality ingredients such as glycerine and natural oils which moisturise whilst cleaning the skin 'gently'.
          They state that Pears is a 200 year old brand.
          The soap is now manufactured in India under licence by Hindustan Unilever Ltd.
          Inside the box the soap is sealed within transparent Pears branded plastic.
          Once opened the smell is very strong - and not very appealing.
          One side has the name 'Pears' imprinted on it and the other has 'Pears Transparent Soap'. It also feels slightly tacky to the touch.
          The soap is slightly dimpled in the centre both sides, but not as much as the original product.
          (Apparently you can also buy a blue and a green version but I have only seen their images online so not sure if they are available in this country.)

          ---Product Change---

          Although it has been going since 1789 and you would think that spoke for itself, Unilever decided n 2009 to change the ingredients of this soap, so now instead of being natural ingredients it is more a chemical composition and the fragrance is very different and strong. The ingredients are listed at the bottom of the review but I think you would need a degree in chemistry to know what they all are.
          There has been campaigns to revert to the old recipe but although Unilever said they would imporve on the existing one they would not relent and revert.
          The original bar was hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, claims that have now been dropped. Also the shape is differnt - as the original bars were left to dry slowing and shrink, this is also why the original bars lasted longer.
          A good explanation of the two different soaps is to be found at www.squidoo.com/pears-soap-old-v-new

          ---Family Connections and Medical Endorsement---

          Not any more, but back in the 19th century some Pears advertisments were being endorsed by doctors who recognised its purity.
          My husband's ancestor was James Startin who founded a skin hospital in Blackfriars, London, and treated Charles Darwin, and he was one of three dermatologists/doctors supporting the product and named on advertising posters.


          60p per bar.

          ---My Opinion---

          I don't know why I keep buying this soap, probably nostalgia - and I tend to forget how strong and badly it now smells, whereas I remember it as a lovely aroma and a golden amber hue. Just as well it is sealed in plastic - I love the smell of most soaps but this one is definitely disappointing. I cannot accurately recall the smell of the original bars - but it was definitely not like this badly 'improved' version.
          It is reasonably transparent and can be used as an adequate soap, but it has lost all its old world charm for me.
          The aroma now is strong and sort of chemically - not really inviting and not even pleasant to fragrance the bathroom. I will use this current bar but it will be used functionally and not in a pleasurable way - as nice soaps should be.
          A very poor imitation of a really good and long lasting product - such a shame for it to end up this way after 200 years.

          ---Star Rating---

          2 Stars.

          ---Would I Recommend?---

          Not really - not as keen on it as when it was the original formula, the smell is very strong and overpowering - not like it used to be.



          ---Full Ingredients---

          (As compared to about 8 ingredients in the original soap.)

          Sodium Palmate
          Sodium Stearate
          Sodium Palm Kernelate
          Sodium Rosinate
          Propylene Glycol
          Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
          Sodium Chloride
          Sodium Meta Bisulfite
          Etidronic Acid
          Tetra Sodium EDTA
          CI 12490
          CI 47005
          Benzyl Benzoate
          Benzyl Salicylate


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          • More +
            20.11.2011 15:40
            Very helpful



            A blast from the past gets people lathered up.

            Pears soap is one that reminds me of childhood with its unique scent redolent of carbolic soap that I associate so strongly with my mother and washing all five of us children on Sunday evenings. I was born after the war but things were still in short supply and big families were the norm then. I think of how my mother tried to cope with keeping us clean and doing so much laundry without a washing machine or any labour-saving devices.

            Carbolic soap was used for many things as well as washing the body, it doubled as washing powder and cleaning the floors as well. I remember it being a ghastly green colour and its scent permeated the house. I know at some point my mother changed over to Pear's soap, which was still considered a luxury in those days of austerity. We used to buy it from Woolworth and would stock up on as much as we could afford. The formula then was fairly basic but it was gentler than the green stuff and far more popular with us three girls.

            So imagine how I felt recently when I decided to buy a bar of this only to discover there was something of a war raging about the new formula which was sending ripples in The Times and the Guardian newspapers and face book was campaigning to get the old bar back before old stocks were gone for good. I can't say when it changed as I've used it on and off for many years, only succumbing to my daughter and buying either Simple soap for her and several different brands for me as the fancy took me.

            Unilever goes global.

            Unilver is the company behind most of our soap and laundry products with factories in all corners of the globe. Currently Pears soap is made by Unilver India and licensed as Hindustan Uniliver Ltd. That was my first surprise, the other followed when I went online to check the date the company started making the soap. I knew it was about 200 years old and this fascinated me. I have some memories of the classic Pear's competition to find the most appealing 'bubbles' child to promote the brand and wishing I was cute enough to qualify, but in retrospect I would have been too old by then anyway. But I didn't know that the brand had changed its formula as well as its image.

            Gentle Care?

            This is the new brand and doesn't seem that different to the old one. The difference is it's in a box, not a pack and is enclosed in cellophane rather than coming au natuerel. It's the same oval shape and is an amber colour although it's still transparent. It promises gentle care on the box and states that it is made from the finest ingredients to promote and keep skin soft and healthy. Personally I rarely use anything but soap for myself, though I do have hand wash dispensers in both my kitchen and bathroom. I think my generation was so used to soap that we didn't take so easily to all the skin products flooding the market in the sixties and seventies.

            Is it still as good?

            I didn't find any difference and wondered what all the fuss was about. It still smells quite strongly of carbolic, but it's not unpleasant, as it's been called in the newspapers. It's still a nice shape and lathers easily promising cleanliness you can see in the lather. I did think the amount of ingredients seemed a lot compared to the old brand, but it still has the amounts of glycerin and palm oil that made it so good.

            But the proof of the pudding etc, caused me to re-evaluate how it felt after bathing. I used this without any bath oil or creams, just hot water and the soap. It was a bit of a shock to the system after noticing so much dead skin in the bath, since a lot of this gets trapped in the oils and washes we use in our bath/shower. But I got out feeling clean and my skin was flushed but not uncomfortable. Instead I felt quite clean after rubbing with a towel and my skin felt soft and ready for some body butter.


            I honestly don't know what the fuss is about. To me it's still the product I remember although its got some extras that weren't there fifty years ago. I imagine alcohol wasn't used for such mundane things as soap ingredients post war, but then again, I didn't read wrappers. So it's just as good as before and gains the full 5 dooyoo stars from me. It does show one thing though-We British don't approve of changing some of our heritage.

            Price: About 48p for a 125g bar in Boots. I'm sure it's much the same everywhere.

            Thanks for reading.

            ©Lisa Fuller 2011.


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              24.01.2011 07:42
              Very helpful



              A fantastic soap.

              After an incident involving my two children, a bar of soap gifted to my daughter and a young mischievous boy taking a bath, and completely smooshing said bar across the tilework behind my bath, I found myself in Asda buying a new bar for my daughter to replace the Christmas one, paid for by my son.....lol, what a palaver!

              After much perusal, (and negotiating, my son is what we refer to as "squeaky tight"!), we decided upon this particular soap to buy, much to my pleasure as I have never tried this before.

              The soap in question is - "Pears translucent soap".

              The soap itself comes in the same type of packaging that most of the other brands of soap come in, this being a small box, with the soap contained inside.

              There is the usual information to be gleamed from the box, brand name, product name, description, weight (125g) and ingredients list.

              Within the box the soap comes in a second wrap, a plastic pouch with the "pears" name emblazoned across it (just incase you forget it during the box opening process!), with the soap being much fatter and substantial looking than I had anticipated.

              The soap itself is indeed translucent, with a lovely pale amber colour to boot, though at this stage there is no real distinctive smell to report on, though this does of course change once wet.

              The first thing that impressed me was the sheer size of it, the soap itself is an oval shaped bar, with the "pears" trade mark printed into both sides of the bar.
              I am not sure whether this is technically wider than the soaps I normally purchase, but it does feel much more substantial in my hands, though (even with terribly small hands!) I am still able to get a good lather on the bar without too much struggling.

              Once lathered up the bubbles are very impressive, with there being plenty of them and this is when I noticed the scent, which is rather unusual but very nice.

              The smell has a very fresh almost medicinal scent to it, making this the ideal bar for both men and women, with the obvious upside for me as a mother being, I can always tell if my children have given their hands a good scrub after visiting the toilet, the smell of this soap enters the room before they do!

              The soap states on the box that this soap is really gentle on the skin, containing mostly essential oils and glycerine for there cleaning properties, well my skin is that of a lizards most days, so the ultimate test would be for me to use this in the shower, especially on my face!

              After cleaning thoroughly with the soap, and even being able to shave my legs with the aid of it (the bubbles are very thick!), I dry off and see how tight the skin (especially on my face) feels.

              Don't get me wrong my skin still felt a little tight, but with a real sense of freshness to it, and after using it for a good few weeks, I haven't had my usual rebellious breakout of face spots to contend with, so this soap is going to be a keeper!

              Longevity wise, this soap with daily use by a four member family lasts a good 2-3 weeks, which for the price (60p a bar, Asda), is exceptional value!

              This is a lovely well aged product (my mum used this when we were kids, with the brand being stated as being 200 years old!), that does just as it should, with no complaints from my brood, recommended!

              Thanks for reading x


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                15.09.2010 23:21
                Very helpful



                Why change something, if it ain't broke??

                I started buying Pears soap a few months ago as I wanted something gentle and my usual Dove soap was out of stock.

                I liked the simple look of the packaging and for just 53p for a 125g bar I was quite pleased with the price too.

                It comes in a small rectangular white box, with a picture of the amber coloured soap bar on the front, with the Pears logo, 'Gentle Care' written on the bottom and the weight.
                The side of the box contains the ingredients, the other small side contains the contact details, and the back of the box gives you a bit of information about the soap. Inside the box you get the bar of soap wrapped in a transparent plastic wrapper with the Pears logo printed all over it.

                The bar itself is an amber coloured transparent oval shaped bar with the word 'Pears' imprinted on the top.

                Pears is a 200 year old brand that it well know and trusted. It was the world first ever transparent soap and was sold in 1789 by Andrew Pears.

                It has quite a strong scent which some people liken to coal tar, but seeing as I have never smelt coal tar, this isn't the case for me, I think has a clean, slightly medicated scent about it, it's quite nice and not at all unpleasent.

                I use it in the shower, rub it on the shower puff thingy and give it a scrunch, it lathers up well on my body and I do feel that it stopped my skin drying out any futher and put a bit of moisture back when I suffered dry skin, I feel clean and refreshed when I step out of the shower and the smell lingers for a while, which I find quite nice.

                In 2009 the ingredients were changed and this hasn't been greatly accepted. The original ingredients were simply ~

                Sodium Palmitate, Natural Rosin, Glycerine, Water, Sodium Cocoate, Rosemary Extract, Thyme Extract, Pears Fragrance Essence.

                Now it contains this ~

                Sorbitol, Aqua, Sodium Palmate/stearate, Sodium Palmkernelate, Sodium Rosinate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, PEG-4, Alcohol, Glycerin, Perfume, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Meta Bisulfite, Etidronic acid, Tetra Sodium EDTA, BHT, Cl 12490, Cl 47005, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Cinnamal, Eugenol, Limonene, Linalool.

                I had never used it prior to this change so can't personally coment but after reading numerous articles I think -
                *Why change something, if it ain't broke?*


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                03.09.2010 17:04
                Very helpful



                Before Buying this wait till England gets Pears back and puts it back to its original formula.

                Pears soap has a long history , and its one of the reasons i love using it.

                The brand of soap first produced and sold in 1789!
                by Andrew Pears at a factory just off Oxford Street in London, England...
                ''Pears Soap was the world's first registered brand and is therefore the world's oldest continuously existing brand.''

                Unfortunately it's no longer an English brand,Pears soap is now made in India by Hindustan Lever a company in which Unilever controls a fifty two percent stake.

                Pears Soap was often used by the elderly for its skincare properties,
                once again unfortunately Recent changes to the quality of the ingredients used in the manufacturing process have changed and made the physical shape of what pears use to be. today the bar is flatter rather than concave, and there's a difference in scent with the classic version.

                quote:''The aroma, which used to be a characteristically mild, spicy fragrance, is now a very strong frankincense-like smell. Again, in the UK the same has been noticed in 2009 with a scent almost like coal tar and with a reduction in the moisturizing properties, and in a differently shaped bar.''

                now comes in two new sizes: 69g and 119g...Now this soap comes in three co lours, the classic amber, the green, and mint (blue color),each one with a different aroma.

                ''The original listed ingredients were: Sodium Palmitate, Natural Rosin, Glycerine, Water, Sodium Cocoate, Rosemary Extract, Thyme Extract, Pears Fragrance Essence.''

                Todays ingredients for Hindustan Lever produced soap from 2003 were ''Sodium Palmate, Sodium Peanutate, Rosin, Sodium Stearate, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, Alcohol Denat, Parfum, Benzyl Benzoate, Eugenol, Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate.''

                (off topic)
                i had a friend who collected pears paintings as well,which were a great collectors item.anyway..

                as you can tell they stripped pears herbal like properties and added there own chemical mix to the soap...
                the new owners of the soap are full of it read this :

                ''it was reported in the media that Pears planned to abandon the new formula and that by March 2010 a new version would be available that is "much closer to the original". On 8 January 2010, it was reported in the media that Pears will not abandon the new formula but will "make further improvements, by delivering a scent that more closely resembles the product our consumers are familiar with while retaining all the benefits that the new formulation delivers".

                I don't understand why they changed it in the first place..pears was popular back then why change something that wasn't broken to begin with?''The original version was completely free of industrial cleaners, free of synthetic colours and (apparently) free of synthetic odorants, whose place was occupied by natural herbal fragrances!''

                hopefully someone in England will buy back Pears and bring it to its original glory as a more herbal soap.

                i'm only giving 5 stars cause i like the older version and history.


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                  12.07.2010 12:11
                  Very helpful
                  1 Comment



                  Although now slightly different, still a great buy.

                  I have used Pears' Bar Soap ever since my mother had used it. (Since I can remember!) There would always be a bar of Pear's Soap to hand, no matter where you were in the house!
                  My mother would never be without her Pears' Soap and would not use any other soap!
                  Pear's Soap has been used for years as I discovered. And I can see why. The soap retails around £1 or so and you get a lot of use from it. The soap does not foam up dramatically but it does clean your hands amazingly well! Squeaky clean hands is what you will get from this product that's for sure!! You can use the soap on your face and body, although I found it can be drying if used too much on the face. I must say too that this soap is FOREVER slipping from my hands ! It gets soooo slippery!!! It looks amber in colour and has a fresh soft Pear scent too. The soap has a translucent look to it also. It looks like a block of amber!

                  The main reason I personally LOVED this soap is that this is the ONLY soap I have found to get rid of fake tan from my hands!! For all those self tan lovers, you will NEVER have orange hands again!!! Liquid soaps do not get off fake tan off no matter how much you try ! There is always a slight tan left on your hands. This soap gets every inch of fake tan off your hands. It is great for cleaning your make up brushes too! Even rubbing the soap on a stained garment helps to get the stain out! I've found that this soap can be used for so many things because it WORKS.

                  Earlier this year though, my mother asked me to buy her a bar of the soap whilst I was out, and when I brought it back I heard my mother ranting on about the soap and how the packaging and formula didn't seem to be the same?

                  And it is true, the Soap has been re formulated with now triple the amount of ingredients then before. The smell is slightly different, and the colour not as bright. There has been huge up roar about the huge change with the Soap. I've heard that it is now more 'economical' too. It does still clean you the same way though.

                  Have the manufacturer's done the right thing? Well I'm sure they knew that not everybody would be entirely happy with the new re formed soap. Who likes change?? But at the same time, there is still nothing quite like this soap on the market that I have seen or tried. If sales of the new soap have stayed the same or increased then I very much doubt that the manufacturers will bring back the old Pears' Soap.

                  I would still highly recommend this soap. It is hypo-allergenic too so everybody can use it. Even those with highly sensitive skin.
                  Try this soap if you haven't already. You'll be cleaner then clean!!


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                    25.05.2010 00:29
                    Very helpful



                    Yeah, it's alright.

                    I've often used soap instead of shower gel over the years, usually buying one of the varieties of Dove. Once Mr Niff subjected me to 'Fairy' soap, seriously, they should use that stuff to help clear up the oil spill, my skin was so dry it split open revealing my fleshy underblubber. Ok, it didn't, but you get the picture.

                    Pears soap was on special offer about a month ago from Superdrug, two for £1. Oooooooooh, I thought, that's a bargain, Pears have been around my entire life (221 years actually) and I imagined that I would be getting something that was traditionally made, hopefully from quality natural ingredients and that would feel nice on my skin.

                    The bar looked as I remembered, a striking transparent syrup colour. As a child this fascinated me and I was still rather thrilled with it. I gave it a big sniff and filled my lungs with its strange bitter-sweet fragrance.

                    Next on the list is the lather up! I would say the bubbles are of a medium thickness, certainly not as lux as Dove, but still good. It was easy to create lots! The fragrance was nice and lingered in the bathroom and on my skin. My skin felt clean, smooth and moisturised.

                    Mr Niff likes it so much he said 'I wouldn't mind if you bought that again' from him this is great praise indeed.

                    So, between the two of us, using it everyday in the shower or bath, one bar lasted nearly 4 weeks, for 50p that's good value. The soap doesn't seem to disintegrate as quickly as cheaper brands, and doesn't make too much mess in the soap dish (this is important to me!).

                    On a final note, I had a scout about the internet, just seeing if there was anything interesting I could add... In January of this year a Facebook campaign was launched as the manufacturer, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, has recently changed the formula (not spotted by me) taking the list of 8 ingredients from simple fare like rosemary & thyme extracts up to 24 items. Mostly with long names. Pears obsessives/fans who use the stuff all the time have complained and the manufacturer says that although it won't go back to the old recipe, it will try to bring the smell back to something more familiar. I reckon I have bought some of this middle recipe stuff as they promised to launch a successor in March (although I couldn't find out if the new one has been released). Extra points are awarded for Soap Shenanigans.

                    The article of saw was on the Daily Mail website and made much a mention of the company and soap being made India. Hmmm as per usual then Mr Mail.


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                • Product Details

                  Pears Original Soap is especially made to take care of even sensitive and delicate skin, cleansing thoroughly, yet gently and rising clean / It is , contains a mild cleansing formula and no colorants / It is non comedogenic, so it won't clog pores /

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