“ Brand: Kings and Queens / Type: Soap „
Perhaps because I'm not much of a shopper I'd never heard of the Kings & Queens brand until I was looking for some small items to add to my virtual basket to qualify for free postage. On the grounds that I like pretty much anything that has a cinnamon fragrance, and that this Queen Isabella Cinnamon Soap appeared to be a bargain, I added a couple, if it turned out to be nice, the spare one would be a useful standby present.
Kings & Queens is a Greek brand. The soap is packed in a simple paper packet that has a lining of thin card. It looks like a quality product wrapped in a simple paper wrapper but there is too much information on the packaging and the important points risk being lost; it doesn't help that the information is given in several different languages. According to these notes Kings & Queens soaps are 'enriched with royal mix of pomegranate, blue Egyptian lotus and malachite extracts to maximize your enjoyment'. Information on the side of the packet says "Queen Isabella of Spain was very fond of cinnamon's mild taste and exquisite aroma but not of its exorbitant price. So, she financed Columbus' search for a new route to Ceylon's cinnamon and this set the wheels in motion for his accidental discovery of the New World".
I also learned from the packaging notes that this soap is mineral oil and paraben free.
I was hoping to be greeted by the warm aroma of cinnamon when I opened the packaging but I was disappointed. There was a general aroma of mild soap with perhaps a touch of what smelt to me like long faded patchouli but I couldn't detect cinnamon or orange.
The appearance of the soap what not what I was expecting either; it looked like a brick of foie gras, or maybe a block of beeswax. The bar weighs 185grams and measures approximately 10x5 cm. I have quite small hands and found the soap a little awkward to handle.
While the fragrance is a let down, the soap works easily into a lather which is thick and luxurious. The soap is gentle on the skin and after rinsing my skin feels clean and soft. Unfortunately the fragrance doesn't improve once the soap is wet, if anything it develops a slight whiff of vegetable fat which is quite unpleasant if you bring the soap right to your nose.
As this soap was on a special offer and considerably reduced in price, I wondered whether it might have lost some of its scent because it was old stock; in spite of the soap perfuming well in terms of lathering and moisturising, I wouldn't buy it again based on the disappointing fragrance. I might, however, consider trying one of the company's other products but only if I could smell the fragrance first in a shop.
I didn't really get what the purpose of the pomegranate, Egyptian blue lotus and malachite extracts is in this product, especially when the orange and cinnamon should be the ones that contribute to the fragrance. It would be nice if it was explained why they've been included. I decided to do my own investigating. I was particularly interested in the malachite since I only knew of malachite as a vivid green stone used in jewellery; when I googled it I learned (and several sources seemed to back this up) that this stone extract is used in skincare products as a detoxifying agent and for its power as an antioxidant. Apparently the Russian Tsars used to use incorporate malachite in the interior design of their royal palaces to lend extra energy.
Blue lotus was particularly treasured in ancient Egypt and was symbolic of eternal life. It is said to have anti-inflammatory properties. Pomegranate is, of course, known as a good source of vitamin C.
This appears to be a good brand with commendable ethics and a cute little back story to each of the products (once you've waded through all the information on the packaging). I wasn't impressed with fragrance but it wouldn't put me off trying something else from the range.
I paid just £1 for my soap as part of a sale but the usual price is £4 and various online retailers sell this and a similar shower gel and body milk.
Note: this product contains hazelnut oil. I didn't know this when I bought the soap and I used it before I kknew. However I experienced no reaction to it though I would advise allergy sufferers not to risk using it and I consider myself fortunate not to have been affected.