Soapbox

Bath and Body Works Soap

Photo courtesy of danabronsteter on Flickr

A couple of years ago, I made the decision that from then on out, I was going to be a “fancy” soap buyer. I was doing away with the dimestore soap. Does anybody even use the word dimestore anymore? I know nobody says “five and dime,” though I think that is just the cutest name ever for what we now call Dollar Tree. Not knocking on Dollar Tree – you can get some deal$ there.

I have tangential nostalgia issues.

Back to the soap. This morning, we ran out of hand soap in the bathroom. I know, right? Call the newspaper. That is, if you still have one in existence. Anyhow, it wasn’t just the end of the soap, it was the end of the water+soap mixture in the bottom of the bottle, as well. That’s srs bsns. If you don’t know what I just said, that’s internet speak for, “We’re not messing around.” It’s time to get thee more soap when the watery stuff is gone. I will like, freak out if I don’t have something proper cleansing my hands. (For me, bar soap is a last resort, though I will use it.)

Being the internet addicted diva that I am, I promptly sat down at my computer and browsed Bath & Body Works’ array of fine hand soaps for a few minutes and took advantage of their sale. (Do they ever not have a sale?) Five more bottles of hand soap are now on their way to me. Side note: they’re already using words like Spook-tacular and have Halloween-themed bottles of soap. Really?

Back to the point about how I purchased five bottles of soap. You wouldn’t think two people would need so much. We really do go through it faster than you’d think. At least, those of us who frequently hand wash do. Plus, the extra bottles let me decide which scent I feel in the mood for and then I don’t have to get in the car and go somewhere each time I run out. Which, as we’ve established, is at a rapid clip.

Whatever it is about B&BW’s soap, it feels “fancy.” And they know it. They have me in their Target Demographic sights and I have been pulled in. I’ve bought whatever they’re selling and I come right back to the trough for more. Some people prefer to shop at Crabtree & Evelyn or Williams Sonoma for their fancy soaps. All well and good. But I feel comfortable with the bright colors and hundreds of scents that they manage to re-create each year, not to mention the slightly-more-fancy-than-average plastic packaging that B&BW offers.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I think a person is slumming it if s/he doesn’t have fancy soap. Plenty of people are perfectly fine with a bar of Zest adorning their faucet. For a long time, the “aquarium” series from SoftSoap adorned my own sinks. Good smell, decent soap, average price, available just about everywhere. Somewhere along the way, after trying B&BW’s soap, I decided to stick with it. For a Super Smeller Girly Girl like myself, it just seemed the natural thing to do. I get to mix it up with the smells and textures and my hands will come away clean, soft, and amazing smelling. Win win win.

Plus! If I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to trudge up to the mall to face society and consumerism, shopping online in my pajamas affords me the luxury of having the soap brought to me, not to mention the fact that I don’t have to talk to any sales clerks or wait in line behind the woman trying to return used antibacterial hand gel.

All pluses.

All of this having been said….Are we amazed at my ability to discuss something as innocuous as soap yet? Fancy soap on my sink is like Folger’s in your cup. If ya know what I mean, and I think ya do.

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Comments

  1. Alan King says:

    I’m just realizing I’m a hand soap kind of guy. Bar soap was great when I was younger, but hand soaps do feel fancy. I went to Bath and Body Words with my fiancee, and we got the air fresheners.

    They worked for about a week, and then we couldn’t smell them anymore. We got our hand soap from Sam’s (yeah, I know, how barbaric of us, right?). But after this post, B&BW might be the move.

    Thanks, Zoe!

    • Hahaha absolutely nothing wrong with Sam’s, unless you were maybe buying a 12-pack of Ivory soap. (That’s the most basic soap I can possibly think of.) Just look at how air fresheners and candles have taken off with a company like SC Johnson Wax for the “average” consumer. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, good smelling air/soap/room/furniture/everything.

  2. Haha! This post was delightful. I’m also a total B&BW soap fanatic. I generally alternate between my trusted favs — Midnight Pomegranate, Sensual Amber, Japanese Cherry Blossom. I prefer the original antibacterial with cleansing beads, though will sometimes indulge in the lotion variety. I avoid the foaming ones as I have a conspiracy theory regarding their effectiveness and longevity.

    I’m so glad you inspired me to reflect on my soap-purchasing habits!

    • Nick, can I just say that I love that you are a guy who is into B&BW soaps and has his favorites. My dude Kevin is one of those that would probably wash his hair with bar soap if it weren’t for Female Intervention but even he has to admit that some of the scents and textures of soap from B&BW are really nice. (We’re big fans of Dancing Waters, Fresh Lime Basil and the Kitchen Lemon scents.) I agree with you about the order of preference: beads, lotion, foaming, though I still buy a bottle of foaming every now and again.

      Thanks for coming by to reply; I had my doubts that this post was very interesting!

  3. I am a sucker for Crabtree and Evelyn. Ever since I heard that song…which I know is kinda embarrassing to admit. But jeesh their lavender soap? LOVE it.

    • My dad is a huge Crabtree & Evelyn guy but I don’t know which soaps he likes. Do they have a Nantucket scent? If so, that’s the one I remember liking. Do they have C&E over there?

      • No we dont!! I miss it! haha Once I start getting a regular paycheck I want to treat myself to a mail order 🙂

  4. It appears that quite a lot of you guys are into soap scents and although you are swaying away from the bar soaps, you should check out “Woodlands” at BBW’s. This is such an awesome manly soap that smells soooo good. They even have a body wash too! (Just look for the green bars) I am personally into Ylang-Ylang Myrrh from BBW’s, but they discontinued it. Why is it that just when you find something that you love, it gets taken off the shelf. I guess when we find something we love – just buy everything on the shelf so you would at least have a good supply!

    • I think I bought Woodlands! I try not to buy everything girly since Kevin has to use the stuff, too, which is why Dancing Waters is so nice. I’ll let you know how we like it!

  5. www.giftspersonalized.us says:

    I am not that much of a soap nut; however I buy and just love the scent of Jasmine and Vanilla lotion for my wife. Good stuff.
    Ray

    • One thing that came out of that book “Perfume” is that scent is actually androgynous. There really are no “man” and “woman” smells and so they are universally pleasing.

      • Is Perfume the same as Das Perfume? That creeped me out but I loved it!

      • Yes, I think so! I didn’t finish it. That guy was way too weird. How’d it end? 😉

      • Oh it ended really weird!! Do you really want me to spoil it? It seriously had me creeped out for days!

      • I really do want to know. I will never finish reading it or watch the movie.

      • Ok…so you know how he killed all of those women? Well he ended up being let go from prison (he had poured a drop or so on himself) and the townspeople who had come to watch him die end up having a huge orgy. In fact, one of the girls´ fathers actually calls him son and thanks him. Then…the main character leaves and returns to the place where he was born, pours the entire body on himself and the beggars end up ripping him to shreds. Eerie…gave me nightmares and daymares!

      • Okay the only thing I am not understanding is “pouring the entire body” onto himself. I knew he killed a woman in Paris but then, he lived in a cave for years, and then he was discovered by society, and then he worked his way up to having a famous parfumerie and that’s as far as I got. He hadn’t killed anyone else and the book was going sooo slowly. That end sounds really strange and I’m glad I never finished!

      • oops I made a typo…bottle not body.

  6. I think you may be inspiring me to write a soap post of my own. Did you know, that those foam hand soap dispensers are easy to reuse? Yup, just put in about 1/8 to 1/4 liquid soap, fill the rest with water, shake it up to mix and then the dispenser does the rest. *GASP* I know, I’m fooling all my guests into thinking it’s expensive soap when it’s not. But I found a generic brand of liquid soap that I liked the smell of, so… well… hmm, does this make me a bad person? 😉

    • That’s awesome, Zoe! Sorry, I gave you no umlaut there. Do you have to type out an Alt+number character to get that when you write it?

      Anyway, I think it’s great you were able to find a way to reuse the soap. Though, the fact that it’s mostly water with only a LITTLE soap in it makes me not want to pay $4 for it from B&BW, scent notwithstanding.

  7. I’m with Nick – I LOVE Japanese Cherry Blossom! I wandered into Bath & Body Works while in the mall a few days ago, and was also startled by the amount of Halloween themed candles and hand soaps (but also pleasantly reminded of how close Halloween already is!!!). When I was a kid, my father always had a bar of Polish Spring on the soap rack in the shower. The same bar would sit there until it had whittled down to nothing, and eventually it would slip off of the shelf and into the drain, clogging it up. I hate bars of soap.

    • And unless you have a dedicated soap holder built in to your bathroom or shower, you have to find a way to keep it without it getting soggy and gross. I’m a big fan of baby wash, myself. It’s all pH balanced and stuff.

  8. I have to admit, I’m a ‘whatever is by the sink’ king of guy whether it’s Dial pump soap or a bar soap. Can’t say I care much about hand soap. Though I used to work blue collar jobs in high school and jr. college so I am accustomed to washing my hands with whatever soap but using a nice lotion to moisturize (cleansing agents are really abrasive, lol). So, I DO have a preference for great lotion. Maybe I’m putting the horse before the carriage…
    😛

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