Scented soap bars in a rainbow of colors

On one side are the soapmasters, based mainly in the Mediterranean port that gave the soap its name. They say that the label of authenticity should go only to products made strictly by the original Louis XIV-approved recipe.

[...] On the other side are a group of 12 large companies, including L’Occitane, a global chain retailer of body and fragrance products. They want the government to certify their recipe, which allows the use of cheaper vegetable oils along with additives and perfumes to produce scented soap bars in a rainbow of colors.

— An effort to obtain geographical indication for Marseilles soap (a designation previously reserved for food items) pits the traditionalists against the world of modern manufacturing. Read more at In France, a Recipe Squabble over Marseille Soap at The New York Times.

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Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap and Hand Creme ~ fragranced body product review

Kalastyle Swedish Dream Sea Salt

Last week I reviewed Oriza L. Legrand’s Villa Lympia, a seashore-themed perfume with Belle Epoque-styled packaging. This week I’m continuing my summertime theme with Kalastyle’s Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap and Hand Creme, two body products featuring a “classic sea salt scent” and some very jaunty packaging of their own, with motifs of anchors and sailboats.

I’ve been using the Sea Salt Soap as a hand soap at the bathroom sink, but it would also be a fun treat in the shower and is even recommended as a shave soap. It’s a chunky circular bar that gives off generous creamy lather and an a cheer-inducing scent…

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Scented Father’s Day Gifts ~ 2016

pink tie

It’s Father’s Day ALREADY? This year I’ve assembled twelve gift choices (13 counting the non-scented tie above) that can be mixed and matched: a box of soap and a shower gel, or some grooming products and a bottle of booze (there’s always food and drink on my list…they’re “fragranced,” correct?) So, buy a nice box or bag and fill it up! (If the box is a lacquered Chinese antique or the bag is a leather tote — all the better.)…

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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…

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