Barr-Co. Soap Shop – Willow

“Summer Vacation”

This soap comes in a simple green paper package with white printing—it's a square, white bar with an engraved logo, very old fashioned, kind of “Old West.” It's from St. Louis (so says the package) which I guess is where the West starts. It's got a really pleasant floral smell, that also reminds me of Ivory a little. Once I got into using it, though, the smell smoothed out and became just really lovely and floral and lush, not too subtle, but not at all artificial. I don't think I'd be able to, blindfolded, tell the soap from the flowers it gets its scent from. The suds are also very lush and soft—it's a great bath soap, and it's gentle, too.

Much later: this soap has grown on me more and more, day by day, so it's one of the things I'm looking forward to each day. The smell has just an intoxicating floral-ness. I wish I was able to identify the flower that it smells like. Maybe it's a combination. The name of the soap is “Willow,” after all, so maybe it's from that plant, or tree, but it's, more than anything, giving me the sensation of blossoms in spring. At this moment in time, the writing of this, it is my favorite soap. I'm looking at the package again, and it says it's made with olive oil and shea butter, and the scent is “a fresh floral, grassy blend of aloe and gardenia hinted with notes of black pepper.” I don't know about the pepper notes, but sometime its those hints that complete the complexity. Maybe it's the gardenia that I'm smelling most, though—what does gardenia smell like? I'll have to keep that in mind the next time I'm around some actual gardenias.

Much later now: almost done with this one—I've been keeping it around way too long, but it possesses my favorite floral scent of any soap, and I hate to see it go. I'm looking at the packaging again for more clues, and looking online. The package says “97% natural”—so what's the other 3%? Some heinous chemical-y bullshit? Though maybe in the soap world that's a good ratio. There is no actual address or contact info for where this soap comes from, no website, nowhere to write a paper letter, email, or call on the phone. That has me suspicious. The only place I see it online is for sale through other online stores, and the “Willow” variety is very hard to find. There's a bar of it on eBay for $14! So it's kind of baffling to me, because I would like to buy it again sometime. I have just really loved this soap—for the fragrance, anyway—I'd put it in the top 2%, maybe top 1%—and it might, I mean if I felt like I could count on it—and it wasn't some kind of a phantom or something—I might even put it in my actual top ten.

Soap Review No. 51