Huiles No. 7 – Luxurious Soap Sticks: Charcoal, Himalayan Salt, Coffee

“Paris at Dawn”

I found this plastic jar containing 12 sample size bars of soap and I thought it'd be a clever way to experience a lot of soap cheaply, but it turns out there are really 3 varieties here, 4 bars each, and there is no way for me to know for sure which is which, so I've got to write about these all at one time, so my plan kind of backfired. Plus, I'm wondering if the scents are influencing each other. Also, I can't find anything on the internet about this company, Huiles. I have found a few things, sure, but not in English—I think it's French, but it's hard to tell, since I don't speak French. It's interesting how many languages around the world will have ready translations in English, but French speakers just don't play along; it's like, fuck you, we're French, it's the language you should be learning, not the other way around. It's hard to argue with that sentiment, actually. It's a better language, and I should have learned French, way back. If I have any regrets (and like Sinatra, I have a few) it's that I didn't concentrate on learning French at some point when I was younger and that part of my brain was more malleable.

Anyway, I'm going to try these little bars of soap out one at a time, but compare them all, too, best I can, and I guess do it without any internet support, so what is here is what we get. The packaging says: “infused with coconut oil” and the ingredient list has the usual Sodium Palmate, then a lot of chemically sounding bullshit, and then one does have charcoal powder, one does have Himalayan salt, and one does have coffee, but I don't know which is which, so I'm going to have to guess. Each ingredient list also includes “Parfum” as one of the ingredients, which I assume is an additional fragrance, but what goes in the parfum? Impossible to know, I guess. I'm starting out with the black bar, which seems the mostly likely candidate for “Charcoal.” My first impression is that it is perfume-y, as in kind of strong smelling with a kind of sharp, acidic scent that reminds me, at first, nothing so much a urine. This is not necessary a terrible thing, as it's not all that unpleasant, at least when you know it's not urine. Or, I guess for some people, even if they knew it was. I suppose, in some cases, even, this could be a selling point.

So rather than wait too long, so I still have a point of reference, I started to use the other two bars. The all white one I'm going to guess is the Himalayan Salt, and the one with little brown specs, the coffee. The all white one can't be either the Charcoal or the Coffee, right?—that would be weird. Anyway, as far as I can tell, they both smell exactly like the first one... the black one. I'm going to try some blindfold tests to see if I can tell. Not that I have a blindfold—but my eyes closed... and, yeah, they all smell exactly the same. Or at least very close. Like, I'm sure one does have Himalayan salt, and one does have coffee, and one does have charcoal, but each one also has this similar “parfum” which I think is the dominant fragrance. And it smells a little like urine. But at this point, I have to say, it's growing on me a little, kind of the way a city, which might seem harsh at first, can really grow on you. Which really, with soap, is better than the other way around, when it's intriguing at first but later becomes repulsive. You just never know.

Soap Review No. 31