Shikakai

“Pink”

This is, as far as I can tell, the least inspiring soap I've bought recently—at least based on its smell—I can't place it—it definitely has a smell, but it's just kind of a nondescript soap smell. I guess I'd describe it as a “soapy” smell—which, of course, means nothing. It comes in an oval bar, with beveled sharp edges, and the company name, which looks like “Godrej”—though it's hard to tell because it's cursive—imprinted in the soap (I think, it's washed away now...) It's a deep pink, almost rose color, not really very pleasing to me—not pink enough, not deep enough, not pale enough, to be pleasing. I can't get anything from the smell. The packaging is interesting, though: It boasts “AmlaPlus” conditioning, and says: “3 in 1”—referring to its three crucial ingredients (pictured as roots, plants, and berries, huddled together on the wrapper, along with a smooth-skinned woman)—Shikakai, a natural cleanser, Amla, which conditions your hair, and Bhringraj, which “nourishes your hair from the roots and promotes hair growth.” Maybe if I'd used this all along I wouldn't be bald, but I want more from life, as far as fragrance goes.

Addendum: A couple of attentive friends to the Instagram arm of these soap reviews made the point that this is actually bar shampoo, which, now that I think about it, is obvious; the three ingredients listed on back all refer to hair, and it mentions conditioning on front, and the the picture of the woman features her hair, cascading down from her head like black lava. I looked up a few Shikakai self-made YouTube videos (Danger Will Robinson: rabbit-hole!), and I have to admit, the world of hair-care is so vast that it's kind of dizzying to me. I personally spend almost no time thinking about hair products (that aren't wigs). This also brings up the question of the purpose of various soap; some is more for hand washing, some for body washing in the bath, and some is shampoo, and some primarily for face washing. I use them all for everything, if I feel like it, but I want to be aware of the differences. This also brings up the question of: am I focusing more on fragrance here than the soap's performance? Probably I am. I'm not really giving a fair assessment of the moisturizing or cleansing qualities as much as the sensuous (primarily smell and memory, but also feel and appearance) qualities. These reviews are admittedly extremely subjective, and probably are weighted in this order: smell (memory and nostalgia), intrigue (where does it come from, what's it about), sensation (what does it look like and how does it feel), function (what is it supposed to do and how does it do it). As always, we appreciate any comments and opinions and feedback; see contact page for email addresses.