April 14, 2010

Villainess Soaps- An Introduction

One of my favorite indie bath companies - run by one of my favorite people.Villainess  is an artisanal soap e-tailer like few others. Unlike many soapmakers who rely on standard, reliable fragrance formulations, Brooke blends up original scent blends to evoke unique concepts, and then translates them into soaps, scrubs, lotions and perfumes. Her style has always been edgier than cute, but always with an undertone of humour - gunmetal-Victorian chic that's just this side of steampunk.

Her soaps are absolutely to die for. Take Krakatoa:
Krakatoa - Flashes of exotic foliage - coconut, banana, papaya, dewfruit, mango - amidst slightly more domestic fruits - nectarine, red apple, peach, plums, pears, and raspberries - and an explosive burst of citrus - mandarin orange, pineapple, lemon, and tangerine. Light musk, salted driftwood, sugar cane, and dry sandalwood work to ground our island paradise.

Or in other words: NOMNOMNOM.

It is succulent and refreshing and sweet and brisk. It's neither saccharine nor cloying, just perfectly juicy, the faint wood and musk notes keep this from being a tropical fruit punch nightmare. It's great in the summer, and then again in the winter, to remind you of summer. 

Like all  Villainess soaps, the lather is silky-soft and as emollient as you're likely to get in bar soap, without sacrificing that 'clean' feeling. (Very emollient soaps often feel like they're leaving an ooky layer behind on my skin. With these, my skin just feels soft, not slick or overly squeaky.)

Or try Chloroform:
Chloroform is listed as having notes of "crisp cucumber, sickly sweet green vegetation, a dizzy whiff of violets, mind-numbing plum, and a stiff shot of anesthetising vermouth." To me the big standouts are the wet greens and the plum, juicy and sharp and crispy. Not my usual thing, but it's very refreshing, like napping in freshly cut crass.

Of course, the perfumes are equally amazing. As evocative as the scent-blends are in soap form, they are doubly so as actual 'fumes. And also, the CUTEST BOTTLES EVER.

Of course, I didn't even get to the wonderful scrubs! I'll save that for Part Two.

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