Long Hot Summer ~ Soaps for the Sultry Days Ahead

Man at His Bath by Gustave Caillebotte

Here at Now Smell This we know it doesn’t take long to spend LOTS of money on scented toiletries (I’m not talking perfume, either). I’m a big fan of fragranced bath products, and current pricing for “fine” soaps and bath gels is high. Who’d have ever thought Diptyque and Frédéric Malle would be on the bargain end of ‘exclusive’ bath lines? Diptyque shower gels are $44 and a bar of scented soap is $15 (reasonable!); Frédéric Malle body wash is $55.

Bath gels sell for what perfume used to cost — Hermès cleansing gel: $59; Tom Ford shower gel: $65; Bond no. 9 body wash: $75; Sisley shower gel: $85; Creed body wash: $95. Fancy soaps are less expensive to buy and go from the “low end” (Jo Malone and Atelier Cologne, $20 a bar; Hermès soap, $22; Chanel No. 5 soap, $26 per cake) to high and higher end — Bvlgari soap, $30 a bar; one Guerlain Shalimar soap, $31; Tom Ford soaps: $35 each, and, as with bath gels, Creed is most expensive at $45 per tablet (I’ll pass).

Hey, Roja Dove and Clive Christian! Have you lost your nerve(s)? I was expecting over-priced bars of soap from each of you for at least $100 apiece and bath gels (with pulverized Swarovski crystals and gold leaf) for $400 in 8 oz. over-dreck-o-rated bottles!

Though I’ve enjoyed many of the soaps listed above (Diptyque, Hermès, Atelier Cologne and Guerlain), today I’m writing about less expensive options that deliver great lather and quality aromas.

Kappus Violet Lilac

Kappus Violet Lilac | Germany, $4: This is an old-fashioned-smelling violet and lilac glycerin soap…

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy

Boxwalla Beauty Box ~ scented body product reviews

Boxwalla Beauty Box

If you’re as interested in cosmetics as you are in fragrance, you’ve no doubt become aware of the “subscription box” craze of the past five years or so. It usually works like this: you subscribe by filling out a questionnaire about your tastes, and for a monthly fee you’re sent a box of trial-sized products purportedly chosen to fit your profile. Everyone loves getting surprises in the mail, right? I’ve joined two or three of these subscription brands in the past, and for a while I enjoyed receiving my packages; as the months ticked by, however, I ended up owning too many items that I just never used (bright coral lipsticks! sparkly highlighting powders!) so I unsubscribed.

More recently, variations on the subscription theme have emerged — several fragrance clubs, for example, and now Boxwalla, a service that “curates” boxes in four categories: Beauty, Food, Film and Books. The Beauty box promises to offer “luxurious and effective products to nourish your skin and body,” all made in the United States with non-toxic and cruelty-free ingredients. I’ve just tried Boxwalla’s December Beauty box, which seemed to have a “winter comfort” motif, and — unlike some of the cosmetics subscription services I’ve tried —it was an all-around success for me…

Read the rest of this article »

Holiday fragrance gifts 2015, part 6

Our annual series of holiday gift posts continues with scented bath & body products. Still to come: cheap thrills, followed by luxury.

Oriza L Legrand bar soap

From Oriza L Legrand, bar soap trios (“L. Legrand soaps, enriched with organic Shea butter, won their universal reputation for their soothing qualities and absolute purity. Heralded in the first issue of Art and Fashion (circa 1890); the soaps from Oriza L. Legrand are so delicate you cannot be afraid to use them on the face.”) in two fragrances, Verveine de Vénus and Mimosa Doré. Three 125g bars for $39.50 at Twisted Lily

Read the rest of this article »