Monday, June 11, 2012


I wash my hands a lot. That's the fallout from cooking dinner six nights a week, gardening, walking the dogs, picking up their poop, and being the parent of a medical student (what I know about pathogens is frightening!). Because of all that, my hands are plunged in hot water and soap a fair amount.

So I love a good bar of soap. These are some of my favorites.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. Available at my local grocery store. I like the old-fashioned typography all over the low-tech paper wrappers.

The lavendar and peppermint scents are so strong, the empty packages still smell wonderful two days after I've unwrapped the bars.

Inside, the bars are straightforward looking. No colors or odd things to distract from their honest goodness.

This soap, below, is made by a vendor at my local farmers' market. She makes dozens of kinds, but I keep going back for this one.

It smells like clear, blue, fresh water. And the color! Oh, how I love the color. I put a bar of this in the guest bathroom, and it's better than potpourri or a scented candle at sweetening the air.

I'd never tried this liquid soap, below, until I was on a recent vacation to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Chatham Bars Inn stocks a line of L'Occitane products--soaps, shampoos, and such--in its guest cottages. This big, handsome boy is Verbena scented--a citrus-y smell, like lemons or lemongrass. It's pricey--I paid about $23 for a 500-ml pump, but it will last a long time:

And I love that the label is printed with Braille. See the bumps?:

Liquid gold.

Makes hand washing pure pleasure.


  1. I LOVE L'Occitane too!! My favorite is the jasmine, seems heavy and cloying by the word and yet it's SO not. It's a beautiful summer fragrance! I just picked up a new soap from Portugal with Chamomile and I think cinnamon. It's got a crocheted little cover on's a useful addiction, right?

    1. Absolutely! Would love to see a photo of the crocheted cover....

  2. Love all of these soaps! However, I would consider redecorating my guest bathroom to incorporate that luscious blue bar!

  3. Ooops! I happened to discover the L'Occitane Co. on PETA's "DOES Test on Animals" list - dang! That eliminates the soap for me. (I've known about the more well-known companies that insist on the unnecessary animal testing, like Procter & Gamble, L'Oreal, Johnson & Johnson, Iams, Maybeline, and more...but I'm recently expanding my research and it is disheartening to learn how many of my favorites -- especially makeup and skin are products -- are on the no-no list; oh well, there are plenty of good products by reputable companies that are on the 'okay' list, so I plan on sticking to those.) It is challenging to be an educated "green" consumer these days, for sure.

    1. Oh, dear. I honestly didn't think about checking for animal testing. Well, I guess I've learned my lesson.

  4. I'm not as good as I should be about checking, and it was just a fluke that I stumbled on the when I was researching some of my cosmetics and skin care product. Its been unsettling to discover how MANY animal products are in the everyday things we buy,disguised by unrecognizable names. PETA has some helpful lists to navigate the maze and I'm going to make copies to refer to until i get around to orderiing their handy-dandy portable (purse-sized?) list.

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