Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Soap Crazy Part V (Picture Heavy!)

Holiday soap extravaganza!

I sorta went crazy on soaps since I first discovered Etsy, but right around the last Black Friday-Cyber Monday, I officially went nuts. Yep, everyone got soaps from me this year 8D I bought so many soaps that even after wrapping boxes of presents, hubby and I are still set for probably another year!

The soaps below are ones I haven't listed before in my previous soap posts (I don't post repeats). The majority of them were presents, but some hubby and I did keep to ourselves to enjoy. I bought from several new vendors this time around too as I'm always on the look out for new and different things. Some of the vendors are one hit wonders (no offense), but some are definitely going on my permanent hit list :)

Anderson Soap Company: Dennis remains one of my favorite soap sellers and I think I'm not going to quit buying his soaps anytime soon :) So far, my absolute favorite bars from him are:
- Oatmeal Milk & Honey Exfoliating Soap
- Celsius Shea Butter Soap
- Rosehips and Kumquat

- Tango with Mango Soap: if you know what a mango really smells like, you'll know this bar smelled, and looked, a bit artificial (neon orange soap, anyone?). But it still smelled really really yummy.

- Maraschino Cherry Soap: now this bar scented my entire linen closet where I keep my soaps! Smelled so good, not like maraschino cherry, but just cherries in general, with a sweet note.

- Chocolate Citrus Dacquoise Shea Butter Soap: this bar I couldn't really smell the fragrance through the plastic wrap, and plus it went to grandma so I have no idea. Dennis doesn't offer it anymore, I think. At least I don't see it in the shop anymore :(

- Basmatti Aloe Vera Soap: hmm...this bar didn't smell anything like basmatti or aloe vera. It smelled more like, no, it smelled exactly like Bath & Body Work's Rice Flower and Shea.

- Black Cherry Hemp Soap: this bar smelled really good too, like cherry :P Like I could tell the difference between black cherry and just regular cherry, but it smelled great!

- Strawberry & Grapefruit Exfoliating Soap: I made a shocking discovery with this bar - I can actually use these bar soaps (in general, not just the ones from Dennis) in the shower!!! Now why didn't I think of that before?!? Okay fine, it was more of a hello-is-someone-home? moment, but I always had reservations about using soap bars in the shower because I was afraid they'd dry out my skin. Yes, another one of my silly unfounded fears because liquid body wash can dry out my skin just as well, just as -ahem!- Naive Grapefruit Body Wash did.

Anyhoo, this Strawberry & Grapefruit bar was freakin' awesome! I didn't use the bar directly on my skin but instead rubbed it onto the wet puff to create a lather. And holycrap it gave me a lather, a lather thicker, richer, and creamier than any I got with a liquid body wash before! Yes, even foamier than the Naive body washes, and I'm dead serious! Best of all, even though my skin was squeaky clean afterward, it didn't dry out at all! Let me tell you, if I was impressed with Dennis' soaps before, I'm even more impressed now. Not only that, but this bar has encouraged me to try all my future bar soaps in the shower! Now that's an achievement. Don't tell him this, but Dennis is my soap hero ^.^

Bubbles Variety Shoppe
: a new vendor! I bought a few bars as gifts because the soaps looked really pretty in the pictures. Of course, I fully understand that each batch will yield different results so I didn't expect to get exactly what I saw in the pictures. Anyway, the bars I got were huge, but they were all bent! Also, I must say the packaging could use some work as the plastic wrap was all scruffy and beat-up looking. Whatever, it was probably not the vendor's fault and they got this way during transit as we all know the post/UPS/FedEx man don't always treat packages like the precious thing they are (to me, at least).

As with all my other bars of soap, the first thing I do when I receive them is to, well, take a sniff. And here was what that utterly repulsed me - all soaps smelled like a wet dog!!! These were meant to be gifts, and I fully anticipate the recipients to do the exact same thing I did as soon as the bars come out of their wrappers, eep! After panicking, I wiped them all down with a damp paper towel and then left them out to "air" for a few days. Luckily, the odor did dissipate but I mean, what the hell! I totally didn't see that coming so it was appalling! In the end, I left positive feedback for the vendor because they might not have been aware of the "stinky issue", but I probably won't buy from them again. Ever.

- Cherry Forever Juicy Swirly Soap: the soap looks pretty, but after the initial sensory assault, I didn't want to try figuring the scent out again and only made sure the odor was gone before wrapping them. Let's just say I was very, very annoyed.

- Sweet Violets Swirly Soap: these are okay, but the neon pink was a bit jarring.

- Cool Coconut Lime Verbena Soap: a beautiful bar! I wished it didn't give me such a terrible first impression.

- Skinny Dip Goddess Butter Cream Soap: a funny name for a funky looking bar of soap. It was a freebie that came with my order, but again I couldn't smell the soap's fragrance. Actually, out of all the bars, this particular one had the heaviest wet dog odor. I couldn't help but imagine someone's pet slobbered all over this thing right before it was packaged and sent to me. Bleargh. Aside from wiping it with a damp paper towel, I was this close to actually washing it under a running faucet!!! Yeah, imagine having to wash your soap. What irony.

Fresh & Clean: another new vendor from Canada! Their shop was full of goodies and I wanted to buy them all but was somehow able to restrain myself. Phew! Because these shipped from Canada, they took a full 3 weeks to arrive and I was pulling my hair out by the time I got them! Anyway, coming out of the package, these carried a really strong soapy-plasticy odor very similar to the smell from cold process soaps that I hate. Right away, I thought, Aww, crap, but I proceeded to leave them out for a few days to air again anyway, just as I did with the Bubbles Variety Shoppe's bars above. Good thing the odor faded too after a while too and I was finally able to smell the soap fragrance underneath -.-'

So yeah, the shipping took forever and they smelled a bit unpleasant (better than repulsive!) coming out of the packaging, but despite all that I will buy from this vendor again when there's a good sale and I'm not in a rush. There are so many goodies from their shop, and plus after the weird smell faded the soaps themselves were heavenly. The bars below were gifts, but I kept a few to myself too. Will review those later.

- Orange Dreamsicle Goats Milk Soap: smelled like cream of orange, soft and fluffy but citrusy. Yum!

- Almond Silk Glycerin Goats Milk Soap: this soap's scent was harder to make out. I did smell the almond, but very faint.

- Apple Blossom Goats Milk Soap: the scent is light and not overpowering, but it's too flowery for my taste. Regardless, I would think someone who likes flowery scents would appreciate this bar.

Heathen's Hearth: in my last Soap Crazy post, I said the Tea Tree & Peppermint bar was my last Heathen's Hearth bar. Well, I lied. Digging through the soap pile in my linen closet, I came across yet another bar from Heathen's Hearth. So actually this bar is my final last bar from this vendor.

- Sweet Orange & Peppermint Soap: the fragrance of this bar was exactly what I was hoping to get with the Tea Tree & Peppermint bar but didn't. It was a perfect blend of citrus and peppermint and neither of the scent tipped the scale and messed up the balance. The "sweet orange," however, wasn't sweet but more like bitter orange peel. Still, I liked it a lot! With encouragement from Anderson Soap Company's Strawberry & Grapefruit bar above, I used this Heathen's Hearth bar in the shower. Yes, as hand soaps even their goat's milk bars were really drying, but I wanted to make sure I was being fair and gave their soap one last chance to prove itself. I didn't want to cross them out on my list, only to later realize I was using their products "incorrectly."

To my surprise, the bar didn't get all melty this time like all the other bars did as hand soaps. I guess hubby and I shower once a day, versus the both of us washing our hands multiple times a day, which meant the bar had more time to "gather itself" as a shower soap than a hand soap. Another redeeming point for the soap was that the peppermint oil. On my skin was cooling and tingly, so showering with it was a really refreshing, spa-like experience. I would imagine a morning-shower person would very much appreciate this bar - it would be a really nice wake up call! The down side is that it was still really really drying. Boo. Hiss. I mean, what was I expecting? If it was drying as hand soap, why would it not be drying as body soap? Oh well. I tried.

In conclusion, if you don't have super dry skin like I do, I actually would recommend this Sweet Orange & Peppermint bar. I'll even revise my statement to say that I'll buy from Heathen's Hearth again if they ever make their goat's milk soaps more moisturizing. I doubt it though, because they probably buy their goat's milk soap base in bulk from a supplier, which means the formulation can't be changed unless the change originates from the supplier, which is highly unlikely. Too bad.

KreatedbyKarina: another new vendor! I bought a bunch of bars from this vendor because in addition to the common yummy scents, they had some really unique scents that I haven't seen else where. Peach Magnolia - how cool is that? Most of the bars had the generic rectangular shape, but I was mostly impressed with the packaging and labeling. They didn't arrive occasion-ready and gift-wrapped in cellophane and ribbons like the bars from KcSoapsNmore's, but I could still tell they were definitely packaged with love and care.

That said, there were 2 things that bothered me about the bars from KreatedbyKarina, and one was that they came out of the packaging reeked of cigarette smoke. Urgh. It was not wet dog odor, but I'd rather put up with the soapy-plastic-y cold process soap weirdness than cigarette smoke. How is it that they took so much care in wrapping and labeling their soaps and then be so mindless with the cigarette smoke? Anyhoo, I used my tried and true method and left these out for a few days again to air. Yuck.

The second thing that really bothered me was that this vendor had a bit too much fun with their soaps' colorant. You can see from my previous posts that I don't mind wild and crazy colors, or even neon ones from Bubbles Variety Shoppe above. However, this vendor used their powder colorant in a very "creative" way, as in sprinkling it onto the soap bars instead of actually mixing it in and coloring the soap while it was still in liquid form. I'm think either they were being "artistic," trying [too hard] to make abstract art out of their soaps, or they were just plain forgetful, as in, woops forgot to add colorant-quickly sprinkled some on-problem solved. Why did this bother me so much? Because I can see it creating a freakin' mess if I'm not careful opening up the soap for the first time. The powder colorant can spill, scatter, sprinkle on things I don't want it to, etc., not to mention I don't want to dye my hand/puff/wash cloth the first time I use the darn soap!!! It's probably not a good thing either if I were to accidentally breath it in.

Anyway, regardless of all the rants I'd probably buy from this vendor again. They have lots of nice things, and their soaps are quality soaps. I do mind the cigarette smoke very much, but I guess it didn't affect the actual bar, or its quality, inside the packaging. At least not that I could tell. If I ever buy these as gifts again, I'd let them air out for a few days. As for those bars with the loose powder colorant on top, I'd just have to avoid buying them.

- Orange Dreamsicle Shea Butter Soap: an excellent, excellent bar of soap! I used it first as a hand soap and then in the shower, and both times it was not drying. The bar didn't crack even once and it wasn't until the very end when it was almost paper thin with knife-like edges that a tiny sliver broke off. Now that's an accomplished bar of soap, I tell you. Good stuff.

And this was what I'd call sweet orange, by the way. It was a heavenly creamy and sweet scent and reminded me of my elementary school days when my only kind of ice cream was Nestle's Push-up Orange Sherbet. I would probably buy this soap again!

- Tea Tree & Lemon Shea Butter Soap: see that dark green powdery stuff on the soap? Yeah, that's the colorant I was talking about. Sure it looks neat, but opening up the soap was a b*tch. The rest of the bar was just plain white. I mean, why don't they just leave out the colorant altogether? I wouldn't have minded a plain white bar of soap. But if it was going to be colored, I'd rather it's be colored and not half-assedly done this way.

- Sparkling Green Apple Shea Butter Soap: a very tart apple scent, and I gave it to my mum who's a huge fan of apple anything! Remember B&C Lab's Apuru Chan Lip & Moist Creams? She loves it so much my sister keeps her stocked up with several sets.

- Peach Magnolia Shea Butter Soap: another example of the vendor's "creative" use of powder colorant. At least the soap smelled good. It was a really neat scent combination, actually. I disliked the magnolia fragrance because it was too flowery, of course, but the peach mellowed and softened it out.

: yet another vendor whose shop I now stalk :) They had (and still do!) these really nice sample soap sets that I ended up buying a few of. You can get sets of 20, 25, or 30 soap samples (or more if you would like a custom purchase), and each sample in the set has a different scent. So yeah, you can literally try every scent they carry if you want to! They make these soap sample sets in various different shapes, so I bought a set of 25 snow flakes, a set of 25 leaves, and a set of 25 roses.

I used these soap samples as stocking stuffer at my office and they were just perfect. A colleague later told me her daughter took a bite into one because she just couldn't believe they were soaps and had to try it out for herself LOL! I definitely do NOT recommend doing that, but I can't deny how truly delicious they smelled! I had them all piled up in the middle of my living room when they first arrived and for the next few days, my entire living room smelled like a Bath & Body Works! So now that the holidays are over, I have this crazy idea of buying a bunch of these soap samples, put them into decorative plates and use them as potpourri to scent different bathrooms ^.^

Anyway, I used a few of these soap samples myself too, and they were great fun, not to mention great quality! However, if you are interesting in getting these samples for yourself, I would recommend getting the more "sturdy" shapes and avoid the more "flimsy" ones. By "sturdy" I mean something that will not thin out quickly and break. The rose, leaf, and heart shapes are sturdier than the snow flakes and the miscellaneous flower shapes.

- Rose Goat's Milk Sample Soap Set-25: The best shape to get, in my opinion. They were substantial enough to rub in my hands or against the puff, plus they're beautiful and would be suitable for year-round display :) The total weight for this set was supposed to be approximately 7 oz., which I think was a deal for the $6.75 I paid for them. So there, on top of being sturdy and pretty, this shape would give you the best bang for your buck, so to speak.

This Rose Sample Soap Set had all the scents below:
1 Jasmine Vanilla Sample
1 Sandalwood Vanilla Sample
1 Sandalwood Sample
1 Vanilla Bean Sample
1 Pumpkin Spice Sample
1 Pumpkin Pie Sample
1 Oatmeal Vanilla Sample - DID NOT GET
1 Hazelnut Coffee Sample
1 Cinnamon & Cedar Sample
1 Pearberry Sample
1 Midnight Sample
1 Pine Cone Sample
1 Lemon Meringue with Shea Butter Sample
1 Tibetian Amber Sample
1 Enchanted Pear Sample - DID NOT GET
1 Victorian Christmas Sample
1 Cran-Pumpkin Pie Sample
1 Spiced Cranberry Sample
1 Baby Powder Sample
1 Iced Cookies Sample
1 Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey Sample
1 Patchouli Sample
1 Lavender Vanilla Sample
1 Lost River Sample
1 Jamaican Me Crazy Sample
GOT 1 Cinnamon Vanilla INSTEAD
GOT 1 Midnight INSTEAD

- Snow Flake Goat's Milk Sample Soap Set-25: I disliked this shape the most. Sure, they're pretty, but they break too easily, being so thin. Also, each snow flake soap sample is supposed to be .4 oz. approximately. But as you can see, obviously several of these snow flakes are no where near .4 oz., which means for the $6.50 I paid for them, their 5.4 oz. total weight were actually more expensive than the Rose Set when they should have been cheaper!

This Snow Flake Sample Soap Set had all the scents below:
1 Lost River Sample
1 Mint Sample
1 Pumpkin Spice Sample
1 Chai Tea Sample
1 Noel Sample
1 Serenity Sample
1 Sugar Plum Sample
1 Sweet Pea Sample
1 Rice Flowers & Shea Sample
1 Lavender Sample
1 Lavender Vanilla Sample
1 Lemongrass & Jasmine Sample
1 Lemongrass Sample
1 Fresh Juniper Sample
1 Juniper Berry Sample
1 Bay Rum Sample
1 Sex on the Beach Sample
1 Oranges & Cream Sample
1 Sea Breeze Sample
1 Plumeria Sample
1 Rosemary Mint Sample
1 Pine Cone Sample
1 Apple Brown Betty Sample
1 Green Meadows Sample
1 Winter Dreams Sample
extra freebie: 1 Winter Mint
extra freebie: Victorian Christmas

- Leaf Goat's Milk Sample Soap Set-25: this set also had a total weight of 5.4 oz. for $6.50, the same as the snow flake set and was a bit expensive. I still thought it was better than the snow flake set given the leaf shape was more sturdy and felt more substantial in my hands. These samples lasted longer too before breaking up.

This Leaf Goat's Milk Sample Soap Set had all the scents below:
1 Cozy Comfort Sample
1 Sugar Plum Sample
1 Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey Sample
1 Coconut & Orange Sample
1 Chai Tea Sample
1 Eucalyptus Sample
1 Eucalyptus & Sage Sample
1 Pumpkin Spice Sample
1 Green Meadows Sample
1 Sea Breeze Sample
1 Lavender Vanilla Sample
1 Serenity Sample
1 Lemongrass & Jasmine Sample
1 Lemongrass Sample
1 Cinnamon & Cedar Sample
1 Apple Brown Betty Sample
1 Ginger & Frankincense Sample
1 Victorian Christmas Sample
1 Composure Sample
1 Plumeria Sample
1 Tropical Smoothie Sample
1 Jamaican Me Crazy Sample
1 Fresh Juniper Sample
1 Tibetian Amber Sample
1 Rice Flowers & Shea Sample

Paradise Body Shop: I stalk this shop now too. Candice had (the shop's on temporary break right now) lot of gorgeous soaps and lovely scents and I managed to get my hands on a few. Okay fine, more than just a few, I just couldn't have enough! Her soaps cost just a bit more at $5-6/bar, but they were also a lot bigger than any other bar soaps I have bought before. Actually, make that gigantic. I think each of her bar is about twice as big as Dennis', weighing in at approximately 5-6 oz. each! Other than that, they all smelled delicious enough to eat (don't do it!!), and as you can see they were very carefully wrapped and labeled.

- Ginger Spice Shea Butter Soap: very spicy but sweet, sorta like a spicier version of ginger bread. Mmm.

- Cranberry Goat's Milk Soap: you know what's funny? This bar had a layer of dark red shimmers on top that I didn't even notice. I wrapped it as a gift, and when it was opened the recipient exclaimed, ooh it's shimmery, and that was when I went, huh really? Even then I had to put it under a light to see for myself that indeed it was shimmery! Smelled yummy like cranberries.

- Fields of Lavender Shea Butter Soap: I was really tempted to keep this bar since hubby likes lavender, but I also remembered I needed a reason, any reason, to come back and buy more soaps from Candice so in the end, I wrapped it :D Smelled soooooo good!

- Pina Colada Goat's Milk Soap: a super fun bar that went to sister-IL. I love serrated bar soaps, the kind with the wavy cut. They feel fun on your hand :)

sunbasilgarden: also a new vendor whose shop I check out often. Lots of beautiful soaps, although many of them are glycerin soaps, which is a shame since glycerin is usually not moisturizing enough for my dry skin. For me, it would have to be goat's milk or shea butter, which they do have some, but not many of. Still, that didn't stop me from browsing through this shop at least once a week :) Their soaps are also well wrapped and labeled, which I very much appreciate.

- Strawberry Ruffle Soap: this is actually one of my most prized bars of soap. It was beautiful and smelled heavenly. Unfortunately I made the mistake of wrapping it for an office White Elephant gift exchange. The person who picked it happened to be a guy, and let's just say he was totally disappointed. So yeah, I should have known better than to give a way one of my most favorite bars of soap, especially when the other person doesn't appreciate it at all. Hate when that happens.

- Cobwebs Soap: this was a specialty Halloween bar that smelled like sweet cinnamon spicy something rather. I couldn't tell exactly, but it smelled good!

- Frosted Cranberry Soap: let's just say I bought this soap solely because it reminded me of Disney's Sword in the Stone, the scene where Madam Mim *caught* Merlo as a buggie and came down with Purple Pox LOL!

See my previous posts:
- Soap Crazy
- Soap Crazy Part II
- Soap Crazy Part III
- Soap Crazy Part IV


cacaopack said...

okay, truely deserve the title "soap crazy'! you can open a soap boutique already my dear =D

D. said...

Hey you!

*smirks, Elvis style* Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Citrine said...

That's... a lot of soaps...

D. said...

Yeppers. Eno thinks I need help. I think I just need his help to use them LOL!

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