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Six Soaps for Spring & Summer ~ scented body product reviews

Saponificio Artigianale Fiorentino Mughetto Toscano and Nesti Dante Villages & Monasteries Soap

The last six months have found me getting more pleasure from home fragrance and bath products than from new perfume releases — I’ve spent LOTS of time washing off disappointing colognes, so I thought I’d report on some of the great soaps I’ve used to cleanse myself of dull or horrible liquid fragrances. All the soaps I’m reviewing are strongly scented, produce plenty of lather, and they don’t turn to mush with use or disappear too quickly. A Google search will give you lots of purchasing options for these soaps. (Please share your own soap “loves” or recent soap discoveries in the comments section; I’m always in the market for great-smelling soaps!)

Svensk Dröm (Swedish Dream) Sea Aster Soap

Sea Aster Soap from Swedish Dream contains, yep, sea aster extract (aster tripolium), sea grass and heather (calluna vulgaris). These “wild” ingredients give the soap an outdoorsy, sporty, seaside vibe (without resorting to Calone or other ozonic perfume notes). If you appreciate fresh/clean and bracing aromas, Sea Aster Soap delivers…

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Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel ~ body product review

Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty

Every winter Lush releases a small collection of limited edition products for Valentine’s Day. These items tend towards the pink and sparkly and sweet, but sometimes one of them catches my interest and makes me wish it were a year-round item. Two years ago, I felt that way about The Kiss lip gloss (really a whipped balm, and now back as a re-release!); last year, I was enthusiastic about the Tender is the Night massage bar. This year, my pick is Prince Charming Shower Gel.

Prince Charming’s ingredients include pomegranate juice, grapefruit oil, sandalwood oil and geranium oil, as well as natural “decoctions” of marshmallow (the plant, not the dessert item) and vanilla pod. Sniffed directly from the bottle, it’s a tart, juicy blend of pomegranate and citrus. Used in a steamy shower, Prince Charming smells deeper and more complex…

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Aftelier Chocolate Saffron Body Oil ~ body product review

Aftelier Chocolate Saffron Body Oil

Call it a Christmas Miracle, but last week at a reading by Mandy Aftel at Cacao in Portland (Portlandia fans snicker here),1 I won a bottle of Aftelier Chocolate Saffron Body Oil and Hair Elixir in a raffle. A Cacao employee proffered a deep ceramic cylinder for Aftel to dig in for names. She grasped one card, but it slipped away. I held my breath. She grasped another and lifted it from the cylinder. It was me! Friends, this never happens. I had the choice of a chocolate parfum or the body oil. Fragrance is wonderful, and although the parfum would have made a delightful choice, let’s face it: daily body products are often more important than the occasional dab of perfume. Especially in winter, when skin can be so dry.

The Aftelier Chocolate Saffron Body Oil comes in a tall, rectangular glass 100 ml pump bottle with a cap. Its notes are chocolate, saffron and ylang ylang. Aftel says that it’s one of the oldest things she makes and continues to make…

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Holiday fragrance gifts 2014, part 1

It’s Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day — but either way, window shopping never hurts. We’re kicking off our annual string of holiday gift posts with scented bath & body products. More to come over the next few weeks!

Dries Van Noten Par Frédéric Malle Body Butter

From Frédéric Malle, Dries Van Noten Par Frédéric Malle Body Butter: “This unique perfume of natural sandalwood, saffron, vanilla, Peruvian balm, and patchouli heart lends itself well to the form of an extra rich body cream, rich in shea butter and beeswax. This extraordinary comfort and silk like richness encapsulates the vision of Dries Van Noten’s world.” At Barneys, $185…

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