Saturday Question: Do You Finish Soaps?

Following great tradition started by two wonderful bloggers, Birgit (Olfactoria’s Travels) and Portia (Australian Perfume Junkies), once a week I or one of the guest writers will keep the lights on in this virtual leaving room, but I hope that you, my friends and readers, will engage in conversation not only with me or the other host, but also with each other.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #21:

Do You Finish Soaps?

Nicely scented soaps are probably the easiest way of scenting our lives without commitment: they smell nicely while we use them and maybe for a couple of minutes afterwards, but then the scent is gone, and we’re free to use whatever perfumes we want.

But what about soaps themselves? Do you finish them? Do you use them until they are tiny slivers, or do you through them away before they reach that state?

Bonus question: What are your favorite soap bars?

My Answer

While I like scented soaps, I have problems with them: at the rate I use them, most of larger bars (standard size, I mean) lose their scent long before I finish them. Until now the only soap I’ve been able to finish is Caswell-Massey’s Sandalwood Soap on a Rope (I told about it in the post Gift that keeps on… lathering). I’m on the third bar of it, I still enjoy it and hope they’ll keep making it.

 

Rusty and Soap on a Roap

 

I had to throw away probably a third of the nice linden soap, about which I wrote in the post In the Search for the Perfect Linden, Take 2. It was nice while it lasted, and I felt bad throwing away the remaining part.

 

Linden Soap And Rusty

 

I told myself that probably I waited for too long before using it, and that it was too big for me. So, my next attempt was with a smaller Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir soap bought directly from the brand’s site and opened soon after it arrived (in the next second after the picture below had been taken, Rusty jumped up to closer inspect that soap). I was amazed with how long it lasted with daily use… but long before it got too small to use, it dried out, cracked and lost the scent. I had to throw it away, and now I’m hesitant to buy any other Jo Malone soaps.

 

Rusty and Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Soap

 

Now I decided to try another approach: I bought a couple of sets of small guest soaps (50g each) by Pre de Provence – my favorite linden and an assortment of 7 different scents. They arrived today, and I hope that maybe in thit format I’ll be able to finish my soaps without either them losing their properties or me making myself to keep using something I don’t enjoy any more.

 

 

Do You Finish Soaps?

 

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48 thoughts on “Saturday Question: Do You Finish Soaps?

  1. I don’t use bar soaps because I don’t like the feel of my skin after using them, but my husband does. He normally uses them down to a thin sliver then tosses, unless there is something he really doesn’t like about them. He particularly complains about soaps with sharp corners poking his sensitive self. ;-)

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    • What I remember from the times I used square/rectangular soaps, those sharp edger are first to go once you start using the soap.
      What is your favorite shower product if you don’t use regular soaps?

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  2. I use only soap bars, and I really dislike liquid soap ( for many reasons). When I come across a nice soap, I buy it and keep it somewhere in the wardrobe where it gives off a nice scent until it’s ready to be used. I usually use them up completely. If they are too big to comfortably lie in the hand, I cut them in half, that way they keep much longer and don’t break.
    My absolute favourite is the vintage Mitsouko soap, which lasts very well scentwise ( and had the perfect hand-size). I also like the Dante soaps (I love the wrapping).

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    • I’ve never heard about Dante soap before today. The next time I’m looking for a soap, I’ll take a look (I made a bookmark).

      I don’t like liquid soaps as well (unless it’s a kitchen sink), but I keep planning to get some for the guest bathroom… Maybe I’ll do that when we can have guests again :)

      I almost bought Chanel No 19 soap but missed it (I didn’t realize it was something that would disappear). So, I can imagine that a vintage soap from the major brand is something dry well made.

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      • Ooh Chanel 19 soap sounds super nice, perhaps try the bay? Yes, just saw that Nesti Dante is the correct name, and the have “tester’ packs of 6, in a much handier size 150gr. instead of the quite large 250gr soaps.

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  3. Hey Undina,
    I LOVE soap.
    We have four in the house on the go at any one time. Two in my bathroom, one basin, one bath and one in the laundry. In the kitchen we have the place where old soaps go to die. When a soap becomes cracked, loses its scent or in any other way becomes disliked from all the other places in the house they end up in an amalgamated mess at the kitchen sink. Because we have dogs and before every food related adventure this mass of unloved soaps gets used really quickly. Not long ago I had to break out a brand new cake of soap because the mass had become the tiniest sliver. That sliver was added to the new soap.
    It’s not like I need to do this. There are two drawers in the perfume office full of soaps collected from around the world and gifted over time. It does give me this weird feeling of joy at using things completely till they are gone.
    Just so you know, Jin has a bottle of liquid soap in his bathroom. It’s a much easier and neater option for him as I refuse to clean that room and he is a desultory cleaner at best.
    Yes, I know I’m a weirdo.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • I remember your post about your soaps collection. It was impressive :)

      In my childhood, I remember adults putting those small slivers into old nylons and using that as a sponge in the kitchen. With “fancier” soaps we would add the remaining part to a new bar. We did it because it was hard to get nice soaps, so you didn’t want to waste anything.

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      • I love that idea of putting them into a pair of old stockings. So clever.

        Our early years are a study in opposites Undina. It’s hard for me to even imagine life in the late 20th century USSR and surrounds. Even having been through Russia last year, we don’t get a sense of the way it was. I think I’d have to go with someone who lived it and then could pass on the stories in situ.
        Portia xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Don’t use bar soap really. Liquid soap, usually fragrance free, but sometimes L‘Occitane. I would bin them before they turned into little slimy bits. But nah – I don‘t like soap.

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      • I don’t like anything smelly, and use fragrance free everything. (Although I would love one of the Malle body butters but they are always sold out when I look.) Yeah, basically not to mix with perfumes. No favourite brand. I wonder if hands permanently in Fairy Liquid counts as soap? ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The only great soap I ever had was a Pomelo Paradis soap from Atelier Cologne and I used the whole bar until it turned into nothingness. Other than that I don’t buy these expensive soaps for myself. Sometimes I get one as a gift but it usually ends in the wardrobe to add some freshness to the clothes inside and to repel moths.

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  6. I have around 6 soaps waiting to be used, since mostly I use liquid soap from L’Occitane. They wait in the drawers in the bedroom mostly, spreading subtle scent to my clothes. I like placing the soaps on a soap dish which allows water to drain off. If the soap cracks too much, I toss it before it is used up. So I like those smaller guest soaps better than giant bars. i

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    • I’m yet to find a soap dish that has good drainage. From this standpoint my soap on a rope is ideal, but unfortunately it works only for a shower but not for a sink.

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      • I have a simple square and partly transparent soap dish with double bottom to let the water gather away from the soap.Muji or some similar brand.

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  7. I love the look and smell of new soaps but not actually using them :) It’s the thought of the mess and like Val says, those slimy slivers. I always buy eco hand wash though.

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  8. I use both liquid and bars of soap.
    I like the Bronley soaps, especially when they have a sale.
    I’ve just looked up the Dante soaps. The packaging really is attractive. I’m in the UK, it seems that they are sold in Next so I will have a look. All Beauty are selling a mixed 6 pack for £15.
    I try to use as much of the soap as I can.
    I also put soaps in with clothes and underwear to make them smell nice.

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  9. I use mostly bars, but also have some gels, liquid and foam soaps. I collect the leftover of the bars and twice a year I send them to one of the many organizations that collect for recycling the ends of soap bars or just used soaps that were discarded for different reasons. They process them to make new soaps that will be distributed around the world to poor communities in need of that essential item. It helps the needy and the environment.

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    • I didn’t know that there are organizations that take used soaps from individuals (I read about hotels’ soaps recycling). With my usage of a couple of bars per year, it’s probably not feasible to use that approach, but I like the idea, especially for larger households with extensive soap usage.

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  10. We don’t use bar soaps. My husband used to use them in the shower and I always hated the scrubbing of the tub; somehow his soap residue really clung. I do have a few beautifully wrapped scented soaps made by a friend that live in my dresser drawers.

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    • I like the idea of keeping them to scent drawers! I also use only liquid soap, but a long time ago when I used to use bar soap, I would piggyback the old sliver onto a new bar and let them meld together into one, regardless of whether they matched!

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    • I haven’t used soaps for scenting my drawers until recently. Now, after reading all the comments, I put those newly bought soaps in different parts of my dresser. I’ll see if I like it :)

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  11. I buy handmade art soaps from a woman and use them until they get too small. Not slivers but not big enough to soap the body and hiney well. I get joy opening and choosing a new one out of the addicted hoards that I have.

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    • Do they keep the scent well? I noticed recently that a lavender soap that I had for a while and kept postponing the time I open and use it, after several years completely lost its scent.

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  12. I have some scented soaps made by artisans in various places I’ve visited, and some Crabtree & Evelyn soaps, but I mostly use Dove. My dermatologist told me to do so as she says it is less drying to skin. At least it comes on a lavender scent!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to like Dove: it’s very smooth and pleasant. But then for a long time I was using some random soaps from places I visited or given me as a present. I wonder if Dove soaps would still feel the same as they did 20 years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Until recently I didn’t realize for how long most of my bar soaps lasted. I don’t remember them to be that long-lasting when I was a child. I wonder if my perception has changed, or are these different soaps now.

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  13. When I lived with Mr Bonkers, one of his very few domestic duties was “soap joining”, meaning the slivers left from bars. I don’t have this knack, unfortunately, and usually end up throwing them away. Also cracked bars, especially ones that have dirt in the cracks. Scent loss, while regrettable, wouldn’t stop me finishing a bar.

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      • Hilarious! I had actually completely forgotten about that one myself till you mentioned it. ;) I do remember a post about an ‘albino’ bar of Roger & Gallet sandalwood soap that had lost both its colour and scent, but not that one though it is now coming back to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I normally use body washes (my favorite being Chanel’s Deauville). But I am now using some goat milk soaps my daughter in law gave me and I love them. Great lather and they leave my skin nice and soft. I will definitely finish these soaps.

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    • I keep planning to get one of the Chanel’s body products… and then something comes up and I get distracted.

      I remember on one of the NST’s threads people praising Trader Joe’s goat milk. I don’t remember why I decided not to get it – either I didn’t like the scent or I couldn’t smell it through the packaging.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a soap. I’ve occasionally bought a scented one when it caught my fancy but the scent doesn’t always last. A “nice” soap to me is all about the texture etc..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure I would have been able to finish any of the soaps by myself, but my vSO helps me (and even then it’s a task! :) ).
      I kind of assumed that texture is good since we’re taking about the high-end soaps, and those are usually quite nice. But yes, in general, I agree with you.

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