Thanks for all the email suggestions! We added them to the post....
"I never really thought pump soap could be sexy until I smelled the hand soap at Norwood, a club in Chelsea..." ~ gochrisgo
Three years ago I did a roundup of the sexiest bathroom soaps I knew of at the time. I started it and then asked for other people's suggestions. The premise? That whether you are in your own home or visiting someone else's, soap is a very personal choice and says a lot about how someone feels about their body, their grooming and, potentially, their sexuality...
Which is to say that someone's soap can send strong "sexy" or "not sexy" vibes to your special guests.
Take, for example, the lovely young woman who has a Dove bar melting in a small pool in her shower. Not sexy, right? How about the cute guy you just met who has Irish Spring in his bathroom. Weird, right?
Is liquid soap sexy? And what ever happened to the Ivory Girl?
Sexyness aside, buying soap is often an unconscious habit and one you don't change very often, so it's worth examining how you are taking care of yourself - if only to perk yourself up in the midst of a long, cold winter. This is from the 8 Step Cure, Week Six:
"If you are not in the habit of soaking with bath salts or buying fine soap, do so this week. Look for natural, perfume-free salts and soap. Remember, the soap you buy will be used each and every day to wash your body, so be sure that you buy a bar that makes you feel good."
This is my best start at a list for 2009. What are the sexiest soaps you know? email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, put SOAP in the subject header and I'll add it when I post later this week.
• Method Natural Moisturizing Body Bar - For those that want their cleaners to line up with their soaps. Method's light fragrances are really nice.
• Juniper Ridge Coastal Sage - With a distinctive black color, this is Natural with a capital "N": "This is the real smell of California's coast because this soap is made with real leaves of the Sage plants that blanket the precipitous hillsides of the coastal mountains from the San Francisco Bay region south to Baja California."
• Kiehl's Ultimate Man Body Scrub Bar - Still popular with an oatmeal appearance and the trendy Kiehl's logo
• Olive Oil Soap - I just love the raw appeal of these rough olive bars and they smell and feel good too.
• Cussons Imperial Lather - Found this brown bar in England 20 years ago. Never forgot it.
"No one is disappointed in this soap, it is awesome. In terms of lather, scent, it is unsurpassed. It has been around for nearly 100 years and is still loved by many." ~ Amazon customer review
• Dr. Bronner's Almond Organic Bar Soap - A great scent that still has followers, though some prefer it in a bottle.
>> Sexiest Soaps 2006 with 57 Comments
From Our Readers:
I must've been a mermaid in my previous life because I love soaps! In the bath, in the shower, cake of soap in the tray over the sink, you name it. I cannot pass a beautifully smelling bath shop without buying soaps. I'm not a big fan of liquid soap. The cakes I love, because I first use it in the lingerie drawer and after enough time passes, it's used up in the bathroom. The fragrance it leaves as you enter my condo is lovely. Now here are my favorites, probably in the order I love them:
• PEAR's transparent soap and CUSSON's Imperial Leather bring back childhood memories (am, I aging myself?!).
• FLORIS' Edwardian Bouquet.
• CASSELL & MASSEY's Sandalwood, (is the BEST Sandalwood fragrance I know).
• CASSELL & MASSEY's Lily of the Valley, Lilac, English Lavendar and Almond.
• ELIZABETH W's Tuberose and Vertiver.
• NEIMAN MARCUS' Tuberose.
• MOLTON BROWN's Blu Maquis (unfortunately they dont make it in cake, but liquid).
• AVEDA's Refreshing Bar.
AMY IN BROOKLYN:
My favorite is Bliss Soap from Seattle. If you read their website, you'll see they use true soap ingredients, and do not use Lauryl Sulfates. Not only does my skin feel amazing, I don't have any soap scum in my tub! And they smell amazing! Way better than Lush! I stock up on trips to Seattle or have friends bring some for me. I cut them to make them last longer and allows me to have a few in the shower.
• My other favorite is lavender/oatmeal soap from Minetto, NY based SallyeAnder. I want to try their ginger chai soap!
• And last but not least - French Roget and Gallet, Ginger soap is sort of unisex (although I am currently using the R&G Shiso scent).
I am a huge fan of the soaps from the firm, Claus Porto. I have been using the Pansy soap for many years. It is a beautiful soap- quality, scent and just wonderful bubble bath and lotion.
THE ACADEMIC SOCIALITE:
Any of the Fresh line of bar soaps are very sexy. They are generous, luxurious, and smell terrific!
I never really thought pump soap could be sexy until I smelled the hand soap at Norwood, a club in Chelsea. It has this amazing grapefruit meets myrrh smell, totally fresh but also smoky sultry. I'd go as far as to say the smell of the soap perfectly compliments the look of the place. I hear it is Molton Brown soap, but I can't figure out which scent yet. The Kiehl's grapefruit pump soap is pretty great too.
I use the Kiehl's scrub soap you wrote about here. I really like it, but it is a bit too scratchy for everyday use. I'm all for exfoliation, but this is a bit too much like sandpaper. I wish they made a non-exfoliating version of this soap.
JACKIE in BROOKLYN:
Thanks for mentioning this about soap. I love a nice bar but all too often soaps melt-a-way or they are way too stinky. (When I was young, my friend and I used to sniff soaps to make ourselves sneeze! What fun that was.?)
Anyway, my choice lately is Kirk's Castile soap. It has a great retro label and is natural. Coconut oil, hypoallergenic, no animal by products and it has a very light scent. Ingredients listed: Coconut soap(what?), water, vegetable glycerin, coconut oil, natural fragrance. Ahh, heavenly.
There was also a soap that I was buying from Sahadi's on Atlantic that was a laurel olive oil soap and was around $1 a bar. It, too, had a clean light scent. But the owner's brother is not importing it anymore...I may check out Kalustyan's to see what they have on an out-of-the-way, lower shelf.
P.S. I buy the soap when I'm visiting my family in Minnesota. I haven't found it in Brooklyn but I think that they sell it at Wegman's.
• Woodspirits Soaps: especially "The Sun & The Sky" and "Pacific Mist"
• Burt's Bees: the Complexion Soaps and Baby Bee Buttermilk Soap (smells heavenly)
• And, my husband Dave's homemade soaps! Pictured are Oat & Honey, Peppermint, and Olive Oil:
Now, *that's* sexy!
My favorite, guilty pleasure soap which never fails to make me feel wonderful, sensual and alive is: L'Occitane de Provence's Verbena shea butter soap. The smell is incredible and the nice rich bubbly lather is also a great pleasure. It's good at all times of day and before or after all sorts of activities. It's good alone or with someone else. Last summer I bought the giant size bar at their annual sale and it lasted a long time and made my bathroom smell good for months just by having it in the shower - I'd walk in and the wonderful soft buttery citrus scent would be there permeating the bathroom. It's a soft sort of pick-me-up. Just creates a good mood and made me feel GOOD. Their shower gel in the same fragrance is lovely as well. But you asked for soap. I hope I can afford another bar soon. There have been many favorite soaps in my past and I'm a real soap-fetishist (is that a word?) -- but this is my current favorite.
I love soap, an affordable splurge... My favorites: • Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien • Lush soaps: Figs and Leaves, Demon in the Dark, Karma
sexiest soap must be Lush's Karma soap. hands down. it's heaven.
Oatmeal with Italian Bergamot or almost any bar soap from LUSH
ROCHELLE IN WA
My #1 is SAIPUA soap!</a> Sarah & Eric run a flower shop in NY and make soap for the shop, wholesale clients & online retail. When I ordered several of their bars online they even included a personal note apologizing for the delay when my shipment (to Seattle) was late in getting sent out. Their soap is an amazing way to start my day (love the Rosemary scented bars) and their packaging is cute enough to keep on hand for hostess gifts or "just because" for friends.
Sarah keeps a blog with photos of her flowers and miscellany from her trips around the NY area and abroad.
Savon de Marseilles - buy anywhere in France - even corner markets. Makes a great lather and has terrific "flavors" including olive oil, lavander, and milk. Heaven on earth!
My absolute favorite soap is Nubian Heritage. I have been a faithful user for 5 years. I REFUSE to use anything else. I only use the bar soap but i will keep the liquid soap just in case I have company. I like the Shea Butter and the Black Seed with Apricot & Wild Honey. I've tried their other products (lotions, oils, etc.) but they just don't measure up (Granted that was a while ago. Maybe they've made some improvements). If you live in NYC they have a store in Harlem and another in Brooklyn. If not you can always buy on-line.
I am a soap acifiondo and it needs to be pure, smell good and also work! The best for men is Bee and Flower sandalwood bar soap, which is forty cents at chinese markets, also available at health food stores.
My personal favorite is Dr. Bronner's liquid peppermint soap, to feel minty )
I don't know how sexy it is but I dig Pears. It is healthy glycerin soap priced right.
DIANNE in AUSTRALIA
I just love 'Lily Savon'from Lush. Now THAT smells sexy!!!
JENNIFER in IOWA
I read your article on soap with a lot of interest! I've been making soap for 11 years and consider handmade, artisan soap a very personal and sensuous product.
I think my Apple & Oats, Oceania, Vanilla Nut, and Sandalwood Vanilla as especially sexy soaps! I'd love it if you took a look: Two Rivers Soaps.
My friend gives me this soap each year, Sun Stone Soap, and I am always grateful: locally handmade soap in a whooole lotta flavours.