One of modern living’s great frustrations is surely the unnecessary “improvement” of something which was already intuitive to begin with. Take body cleansers as an example: once upon a time these essential grooming products inhabited the form of a fragrant and natural chunk of triglycerides, only to be replaced (in the late 20th century) by all manner of goopy, fussily packaged nonsense. These are just some of the reasons why, in 2018, a disproportionate number of men still favour bar soaps. Tactile, reliable and simple, here are 5 of the most stylish soaps that are bound to satisfy your daily cleansing needs.
Like many of the great European apothecaries, Parisian beauty brand Buly was established around the turn of the 19th century. The brand’s collection of dermatologically approved Savon Superfin bar soaps (described on their website as “delightfully odoriferous”) has long been a favourite amongst customers, made with exotic ingredients like kiso yuzu and damascene rose. For something slightly more austere, we recommend the brand’s Scottish Lichen: which imparts a clean and mineral aroma upon the skin without dehydrating it. For especially whimsical individuals, any of Buly’s bar soaps (including the Scottish Lichen) are available to take home with a custom illustrated box and on-soap monogramming. (You can read more about the house’s personalisation program here).
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For those who can’t get enough of Le Labo’s Santal 33 eau de parfum, the American perfumer also produces their signature sandalwood fragrance in a daily cleanser format. Imparting the same linearly green notes as its predecessor, this bar soap is loaded with olive oil extract (known for its emulsifying qualities), shea butter and a complex of vitamin E. As with all of Le Labo’s grooming products, the Santal 33 is paraben and animal cruelty free; making it the ideal gift for sustainability conscious grooming enthusiasts.
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Geriatric connotations aside, D.R. Harris’s amusingly named “soap on a rope” offers a practical and cleverly designed solution to daily cleansing. The incorporated rope allows it to be fastened away from wet locations in the bathroom — ensuring that it dries out properly and avoids a buildup of grime or bacteria. Triple milled to ensure an exceptionally creamy lather, this grooming item comprehensively scents and moisturises with a time honoured recipe featuring rose, clove, lanolin and almond oil.
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Over the years, Australian beauty brand Aēsop has built a dedicated clientele through products which marry science and nature; and a design philosophy that’s widely imitated yet never equalled. Aēsop’s body cleansing slab is an example of everything the brand does right in miniature. Made using vegetable-based fatty acids, this bar soap is suitable for a variety of skin types, being pH balanced and non-drying. Fragrance imparting ingredients include bergamot, ylang ylang and Tahitian lime; all of which leave the skin feeling cleansed and thoroughly refreshed. The best part? It comes in a hefty 310g format, giving you roughly 30 percent more soap for your dollar; and is less prone to disintegration than daintier thinner soaps.
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Named for the Florentine basilica within which it’s housed, Santa Maria Novella is among the most significant Italian perfumeries to emerge over the past 400 years. The house’s traditional hand packaged fragrances have spawned a whole line of related grooming products, including bar soap that is made using a plant based formula enriched with the addition of whole milk. This particular variety is scented using their sandalo eau de cologne: a fragrance renowned for its slow-releasing heart of Mysore sandalwood, evoking imagery of burning incense and weathered Italian barbershops. Available to purchase in single bar or 4-pack sizes.
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