4 Oct 2010

Slimming, shopping, soaps and seduction

I have once again been remiss in my blogging duties. This past week I have been without my beloved Scotsman as he has been on holiday in Wales following golfers and getting rained on. In his absence my focus has been mainly on jiggling my curves like a crazy woman in a bid to lose some weight, and I am happy to say I have managed to lose a few pounds in just a week.

I have read that curvy creatures attempting to slim down should reward themselves with treats other than food. So I did, in a mighty big way. Through the magic land of the Internet I managed to order myself a small mountain of Scottish soaps.

I started with the Highland Soap Company, where they have soaps like Scottish Honeysuckle & Milk Thistle and Hebridean Seaweed. By the time I was finished I had cyber basket full of other goodies, including the following soaps: Wild Nettle & Scottish Heather, Sweet Orange & Cinnamon, and Scots Pine with Orange & Patchouli. As well, I couldn’t resist the Hebridean Seaweed Conditioner and the Lemongrass & Ginger body scrub.

So you’d think I would be finished, wouldn’t you? But no, because I accidentally discovered Applecross Aromatics, which sells things like Heather and Bracken soap, as well as Honey, Milk and Oatmeal soap and Raspberry soap. They even threw in a wee sample of Grapefruit & Bergamont soap for fun.
Today it all arrived in the post, one day before my Scotsman is due to arrive home. My goal, to make myself smell so delicious that he will immediately forget about the small fortune of future froth cluttering our bathroom.

First to study the prettiness of all my lovely new soaps. I love how Applecross have added a rustic quality to their heather and oatmeal soaps by layering the tops of the soaps with heather buds and pinhead oatmeal.

I bought two versions of the Highland Soap Company’s Hebridean Seaweed soap, one a traditional soap with added water mint, and the other a glycerin soap, also with water mint but with a weaker potency. I don’t usually buy glycerin soaps but I love the dreamy quality of this one, almost like a bit of the ocean has been frozen, pieces of seaweed locked inside.

Hands down the prettiest soap is the Highland Soap Company’s Wild Nettle & Scottish Heather, which is gloriously purple and textured with flecks of nettle and heather to give an almost bruised look.

Now for the all important sniff test. As my friend Linda says, Oh when will they invent the smell-a-blog?

I opened the lid of the lemongrass & ginger body scrub and my first whiff made me think of those cintonella candles my mother used to light to keep mosquitoes away, so I don’t know about that one. The water mint comes through really strong in the seaweed conditioner, and I can’t wait to smell my hair once I’ve used it.

The Applecross raspberry soap is a bit heavy on the fragrance which makes it smell unnatural. (My ultimate desire for a raspberry soap: that some perfumery genius could find a way to turn the Bouvrage drink into a soap. I put this to the universe and await the results).

The other two Applecross soaps smell wonderfully earthy and the Honey Milk & Oatmeal soap has a surprising undertone of dark ale, which I think my Scotsman might enjoy.

Breaking down the remaining Highland Soap Company Soaps on Sophia’s smell-o-metre:

Sweet Orange & Cinnamon: Reminds me of moist cake. I want to eat this soap. Perhaps not the best thing while attempting to lose weight.

Wild Nettle & Scottish Heather: Heather flowers bloom from this, like high summer in love, with tiny stinging dots of nettle which makes it smell just a little spicy.

Hebridean Seaweed with water mint: I am going to save this for the spring. I don’t get much of the seaweed but the mint is soft and warm, perfect for a wee energy boost, a bit of regeneration in a bar.

Scots Pine, Orange & Patchouli: Causes a pleasant light sting in the nose when inhaled. The pine comes in first and is quickly stirred around by the citrus and wrapped up with that lingering warm scent that clothing gets when you hang it in a room with incense burning.

Scottish Honeysuckle & Milk Thistle: Very gentle and aromatic, like one of those bouquets your grandmother keeps in her drawer to keep her clothes smelling lightly perfumed. The honeysuckle flowers and a whisper of orange are held in an invisible, distant basket of jasmine.

Top prize in my very first bulk soap buying experiment goes to The Highland Soap Company’s Wild Nettle & Scottish Heather, which wins on sight as well as the wild summertime scent.

In second place is the Scottish Honeysuckle & Milk Thistle, which is beautiful and feminine and makes me feel gorgeous just to smell it.

Finally, third place is the Applecross Aromatics with their Honey, Milk and Oatmeal soap. With that delicious whiff of ale that skims off the top, this shall hence be the soap I use when I am feeling naughty.

There we have it. With so many soaps to choose from my Scotsman will surely be helpless to resist my beautifully perfumed self.

Which of the soaps would you have chosen?

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