Best Soap
February 22, 2018 11:48 AM   Subscribe

I love fancy-pants artisanal bars of soap. The kind you can get at farmer's markets, craft fairs or Etsy, generally cold-process, very nice smells, sometimes fun colors or with fun mix-ins or toppings. If you also like using handmade bar soaps, who are you buying yours from? What are your favorites?

Browsing on Etsy for this is overwhelming. Assume that I know of normal store options (Whole Foods' selection, Lush, L'Occitane, South of France, anything at World Market,etc) -- I'm looking for your favorite small business soapmakers.
posted by Fig to Shopping (22 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
 
I went on a wild soap buying spree a while back and got soaps from two Etsy soap purveyors.

I got a pile of flavors of the goat milk soaps from GorgeousSoaps. I've liked them a lot and will probably repurchase. My favorite was a flavor just called Energy, which I think I liked mostly because it looked and smelled like Zebra Stripe gum. The black raspberry had a LOT of red dye in it; it didn't cause any problems but the bloody looking runoff was disconcerting and I personally will probably avoid getting another red soap.

I also got a few (including a fig+olive flavor omg it's you on a soap) bars with toppings from Black Kettle Soap. They smelled and felt really nice but I discovered I'm not a person who likes shit in my soaps. It looks like since I purchased they've moved more to selling household soaps than person soaps and they have fewer options to choose from, so I likely won't repurchase from them.
posted by phunniemee at 12:19 PM on February 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Previously on MeFi: "Please recommend some bar soap", although some of the recommendations are for normal store option.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:22 PM on February 22, 2018


I love Uncle Mike’s All Natural Products!
posted by nathaole at 12:26 PM on February 22, 2018


I like the shea butter soaps from Formulary 55.
posted by mhum at 12:33 PM on February 22, 2018


Epically Epic Soap really lives up to the name. Would highly recommend. She doesn't have any soap up right now on Etsy, but there is plenty on her direct site.
posted by juniperesque at 12:35 PM on February 22, 2018


Seconding the shea butter soaps from Formulary 55.
posted by DrGail at 12:49 PM on February 22, 2018


I always stock up on Crate 61 soaps at the veggie food fair, but that's only once a year so I often have to get some online as well because they are all I like to use these days. So good. my favourites are lemongrass, cinnamon clove and eucamint. The grapefruit body butter is also awesome
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:51 PM on February 22, 2018


I buy them in person from the Bristol Ren Faire in Wisconsin any time I manage to make it there, but their online shipping is just fine, and they ship quickly and well: Cream City Soaps.

Their lip balms are really nice, too!
posted by wells at 1:12 PM on February 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


We found Filthy Farmgirl soaps at a farmers market in Hawaii and loved them so much we have ordered online from them for years now. I love the minty and pine-type smells and they have some really good ones.
posted by shornco at 1:13 PM on February 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


I love the textures and scents of the good and well supply company soaps, esp sunrise and meadow.
I also get their candles.
posted by rmless at 1:16 PM on February 22, 2018


I really like the soaps and lip balms from Wandering Goods (Portland Saturday Market) and on Etsy.

Their soaps keep their lather all the way down to the very last sliver and they don't get super soft and break in half when they're small either. They have a nice scent for the first few weeks, but they don't keep their scent forever, which is ok by me.
posted by hydra77 at 1:48 PM on February 22, 2018


I've been buying from Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve for years. I really like their Coffee and Clove bar, but everything I've bought there has been lovely.
posted by darchildre at 1:55 PM on February 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


I usually buy from two local places.

The 18th Street Soap Company makes a Himalayan Pink Salt that I love. It doesn't lather as well as some of their other soaps but I am addicted to the fragrance and keep it in my clothing drawers for ages before I use it.

My more frequently used soaps come from Pacha Soap Co.. I love their Spearmint Lemongrass, their Sand and Sea polishing bar, and their French Lavender.

I also love Nesti Dante, although they're not a small indie soap company. Every so often I'll treat myself to a bar of Cypress, so I can enjoy the fragrance.
posted by PussKillian at 1:58 PM on February 22, 2018


I'm a big fan of Paintbox Soapworks. Unfortunately, she hasn't been stocking her cold-process sea salt bars of late, but I'm hoping she'll bring them back for summertime, because she often does seasonal or limited-edition things. If you sometimes like hot-process or glycerin soaps, though, her scents are broad-ranging and fantastic, and the soaps themselves are gorgeous, big, and last for ages. She also does lovely scrubs and bath fizzies if those are of interest!
posted by halation at 2:16 PM on February 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


Thirding Formulary55. And the packaging is gorgeous.
posted by the webmistress at 2:18 PM on February 22, 2018


Response by poster: Yaaaassssss, my wallet is getting lighter by the minute. These all look great, you guys are awesome and probably all smell delicious.

To contribute, I enjoy Dirt Tribe's soaps, especially the Dreamcatcher scent. I'll pick up the "uglies" odds and ends when they're available, because it's a great discount.
posted by Fig at 2:59 PM on February 22, 2018


My very favourite soap ever is Salt Spring Soapworks' Sparkling Rhubarb. I love it so much. I have never come across another soap that smelled like rhubarb, and this one really, really smells like rhubarb. It smells like you just went out in the garden and got some rhubarb and cooked it up. The rest of their soap is really nice too, but this is my favourite scent.

I recently bought a ton of Nova Scotia Fisherman's products, including some bar soap. They are very good too--the ones I got were fennel + bayberry, seabuckthorn + shea, and sea salt.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:11 PM on February 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


I've ordered a number of items from Singing Jellyfish on Etsy. My very favorite scent is Under Your Spell. It smells incensey like a witch store, in a good way. I have a bath bomb in that scent which I keep on my desk for sniffing purposes. Black Forest Honey smells really good too, and it's so pretty with the gold honeycomb pattern on top.

She recently added a few things for men, which I want to try. The Rough Rider scent sounds intriguing, I want to get some soap and beard oil for my husband.

I enjoy reading her descriptions as well, she always adds a touch of humor.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:28 PM on February 22, 2018


Seconding Formulary55. She used to be in Seattle and I met her through a local artisan perfumer that she was also friends with, but now she has moved to Colorado and I see her stuff in cute little retail stores everywhere.
posted by matildaben at 5:22 PM on February 22, 2018


I have been gifted soaps from Basilwood Farms and really like them. They are made with goat milk from goats on the farm where the soap is made. I thought the mint one was very moisturizing and the “man” ones smell great.
posted by Red Desk at 12:06 AM on February 23, 2018


I keep coming across this local(ish) goat soap vendor at fests and crafty shows, and I really like their molds and scents: Simple Soaps for Simple Folks
posted by pepper bird at 9:04 AM on February 23, 2018


Seconding Paintbox Soapworks! Her soaps have lovely complex fragrances.
posted by Vatnesine at 1:33 PM on February 23, 2018


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