Friday, January 11, 2013

A Little Bit of Luxury

by Anna Campbell

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2013 brings you much health and happiness and lots of good books to read.

With Christmas just off the horizon, I was thinking about some of the lovely presents my friends and family gave me over the Festive Season. One of my favorite gifts - both from friends and from myself to me - is a lovely cake of scented soap.

Check out the pretty angel soap to the left of this text. Isn't that just the loveliest seasonal wrapping?

It just provides that little touch of luxury to use a sweetly scented block of soap in the shower or the bath. Definitely a lift to the spirits after a hard day or before you start a hard day!

I always use nice soap when people give it to me. My mother, on the other hand, used to store it in the cupboard for 'good'. Which means she never used and enjoyed it. So sad.

After she passed away, I found all these lovely gift soaps tucked away in various drawers in her house, a lot of going back years. So I ended up getting the benefit of the soap, rather than her. Mum had a cake of Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass - goodness knows how old it was - but the scent when I opened it was just beautiful. So evocative of long ago somehow.

Never fear, if you give me soap, it won't languish in a cupboard. It will make its appearance in my bathroom and I'll really appreciate it.

Hmm, that sounds like a hint to my friends and family, doesn't it? Oh, well. Snicker!

I have a friend who stores her scented soap in her underwear drawer so everything picks up the lovely scent. Must try that!

I also love the beautiful wrappings you get on gift soaps at the moment. Check out these two Italian soaps from the Christmas haul. Aren't they just scrumptious? You (almost) want to eat them. And they smell like heaven. I wish this blog had smell-o-vision! Instead, you'll just have to take my word for it.

What do you do when you want a touch of something special to leaven the everyday? Do you like scented soaps?  Any favorites?

22 comments:

  1. I'm not a soap person but I do love the scent of body wash. It's kind of the same thing but I think soap is a bit messy once you use it. It just doesn't look right to me once it's opened. I would have probably been like your mom Anna and stored it away for when my dad or older sister came to visit!!!!

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    1. Justine, how interesting. I never really got into body wash although I love bubble bath (use body wash for that - suspect there's not much difference).

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  2. Ooh, Anna, those soaps look so pretty! How lovely that you can enjoy the soaps your mum kept. I too store my soaps in my undies drawer, as well as empty perfume bottles.

    I sniffed many a bar of soap during last year's Christmas shopping expeditions. I love the Urban Rituelle cocoa butter/vegetable soaps -- there's a raspberry 'flavour' that a friend sometimes buys for me. Love the vanilla & coconut variety too. Almost good enough to eat!

    Congratulations on your multiple ARRA award nominations. You're a sweet-smelling star!

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    1. Hey, thanks, Vanessa, for the ARRA congratulations. What a lovely surprise I got when I woke up yesterday morning. So looking forward to the Australian Romance Readers Convention in March in Brisbane. Ooh, interesting about the urban Rituelle soaps. I've used their candles before. Lovely! I think my favorite of the local soaps is Mor - the packaging on those is to die for and the scents are gorgeous. They've got a marshmallow/bubble gum one that is completely addictive.

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  3. Since my husband has an aversion to scents, I rarely use scented soap. However some fruit scented ones do not bother him as much so I have tried some lemon scented ones and some apple scented ones.

    LOL on the hoarding of soaps. My grandmother used to do that with chocolates. They were much more perishable than soaps. Never knew if the box she offered to you would contain fresh or not so fresh chocolates.

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    1. Oh, Kaelee, laughing at your granny and the chocolates. My little brother had an awful habit of taking a nibble of a chocolate and if he didn't like it, wrapping it up again and putting it back into the box. Can't tell you how many times my poor mother offered a guest a chocolate only to discover John had been there first! Hilarious!

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  4. I'm with your friend. Whenever I get a bar of beautifully scented soap, I place it in my underwear drawer. Makes things smell so nice while wearing. I'll also put a bar in the drawer with my sheets. Love the scent when I hit the pillows!

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    1. Ooh, Karen, I'll have to start putting the soaps in with the underwear and the pillow slips. Sounds like a great idea - you and my friend have convinced me! Just at the moment with all the bushfires around, everything I take off the line stinks of smoke!

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  5. I love to be surrounded by LIGHT scents. Having written that, I must add that I don't care for heavy colognes or perfumes. I like the Vitabath line of Body Washes and one of my favorites is Luscious Lemon Creme. It smells like a yummy lemon frosted cupcake. They have other scents just as lovely. I also like hand soaps from Bath and Body Works. My favorite fragrance is Fresh Picked Cherries. Makes me want to wash my hands a lot! I also like a nicely scented fabric softener for the laundry. Life should smell good, right?

    It's nice to see my friend, Anna Campbell, here today. Through her, I have discovered many wonderful blogs. Thanks for bringing me here!

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    1. Hey, Connie, so glad I've brought you over to Tote Bags. Lee hosts a really interesting and eclectic lot of authors and there's always something interesting going on here. She does great giveaways too! Interesting about the fruit scents - my best friend loves those, especially lemon and limes. So fresh. There's a French brand called l'Occitane, not sure if it's in America. They do the most exquisite lemon verbena scented soap (so much so my current hero smells of it! Now that's showing how much I love it!). And their lavender is to die for. I must say I lean toward light florals myself - not heavily into things like Opium or Poison if we're talking commercial scents. But I love those fresh green tea scents that have come into vogue in recent years.

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    2. I agree on the soft floral and fruit scents. I cannot imagine why anyone would wear Opium or Poison. It's awful! There is also a men's cologne that I catch a whiff of now and then and it's disgusting. It smell exactly like mildew.

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  6. My family all prefer "Irish Spring" soap. Even when I take out the "pretty soaps", they go and get the other out instead. So ... there's more than one way to cook a goose/skin a cat (that just doesn't sound right!)! I have a crocheted "tie-up bag" where I put the "ends" of the soap (so that all of the soap is used), and we all use that bag in the shower. You guessed it. I throw in the occasional "special soap" and they don't even notice. I don't buy them, but we too are given some through the years, and I just hate waste. If I can find a way to use something, I use it and I enjoy using it. If there's no way that item is staying in my house, I try to find a friend or relative who might enjoy it instead (telling them we received it as a gift). Failing that, it goes in our yard sale pile for the following year (as I have organized annual individual yard sales for our street for the past 27 years).

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    1. Laney, what a good idea to have a soap bag! Laughing at you sneaking in a bit of good stuff. My mother was also stymied because my dad didn't like anything very highly perfumed. We used sunlight soap in our house always. So my mother used to tease me about my penchant for what she called 'smelly' soap - my dad wouldn't have put up with it!

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  7. I admit, I tend to tuck scented soaps in with sweaters and stuff... I remember we always used to use the English Lavendar variety, which still reminds me of childhood :)

    It's a treat to actually use and enjoy the things we buy and receive--good reminder to indulge that way sometimes!

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    1. Fedora, I really love lavender soap as long as it's perfumed with genuine lavender and not the sickly artificial oils. It's such a clean scent - it's supposed to help us sleep too, did you know that? I definitely use any soap people give me - my mum's example is always before me. And every day, that blast of beautiful scent hits me and it lifts my mood.

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  8. I'm the one with allergies, so I have to be
    careful of scented items. I do have scented
    soaps DD1 has given me but they have to be
    very "light" in scent.

    Pat C.

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    1. Pat, as scents go, I prefer something lighter too. Definitely florals rather than heavy musk scents.

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  9. Anna, I've with you, I love to indulge both myself and my family with beautiful soaps, you can get a lot of luxury for a reasonable price. I also love luxurious scented body washes and hand washes and always have them in the bathroom. We must be a clean family!

    BTW, my mother told me not to give people soap as a gift, as they might see it as a hint they might be lacking in the personal hygiene department. I'm not sure I believe that!

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  10. Hi Kandy! Lovely to see you. Are you melting down south the way we are in Queensland? Just went out to put some water on the ferns to try and keep them alive - losing battle, I think, in this heat! Yes, I remember the lovely handwashes and soaps in your house (by the way, I had a little rave over on the Romance Bandits about how much I loved your little attic office - we were talking about ideal libraries). Laughing at soap indicating inadequate hygiene - oh, dear, my friends must be trying to tell me something, LOL!

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  11. Thanks so much to everyone who swung by to give me the lowdown on clean! Will definitely try the soap in drawer trick. Hope you all have a lovely weekend and see you next month!

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  12. My family & friends know I love delicious soaps. I put them in my linen cupboard for a while to 'cure' them. When I do use them they last a long longer than. My linen cupboard always smell wonderful. If I have a lot they can go in my clothing drawers to.

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  13. I like scented soaps, but not those overly scented ones since I have allergies and most of the times it triggers my asthma. :(

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