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21 July 2013

Northern Lights Soap


On paper, Northern Lights sounds like my dream cosmetic. It's the most stunning looking soap on this planet and definitely the prettiest product that Lush have ever produced. If I had to judge it solely on how it's presented, it would easily score six out of six. When I received a block of Northern Lights as part of a gift set last Christmas, I was so excited to try it out. 

The soap was inspired by the Norwegian sky light phenomenon - the colours chosen and created to match perfectly with the colours of the auroras recognised by millions of people world wide. The bright, neon swirls of yellows, greens and oranges help to give it a magical glowing effect. To compliment the fluorescent look, the soap supposedly possesses an electric, fresh pine and lime scent that plays homage to the crisp climes of the Arctic circle. 

However, despite the promising descriptions, my excitement was short lived when I sniffed it for the first time. There was no crisp citrus scent from the lime oil, and no woodiness from the pine and cypress oil. Instead what my nose registered was a soap that smelt exactly like the cheap blocks you buy from the local supermarket. I could smell an overwhelming soapy scent that rid my senses of any of the zesty fragrance that the soap might possess. To say I was disappointed, was an understatement.

Two years later, Lush brought this soap back out in the Kitchen. Despite having  had a terrible first experience, I went ahead and bought a chunk - hoping that the piece I was given before was a 'dud' and that a freshly made slice would be more appealing. Smelling it for the first time was like experiencing a completely different soap - I couldn't believe that this was the same product that I chucked away - not even half used. The difference was baffling.

When experienced fresh, this soap offers a subtle yet sophisticated citrus scent - one that isn't as tart as Snow Globe or Snowman, but one that seems well-rounded and slightly richer overall. I can really pick out the pine and the woody scent from the cypress oil here - yet it rests just below the gorgeously refreshing lime oil. 

While a lot of Lush products are very heavy on the use of lemon, lime and grapefruit oils, this one isn't so 'in your face' with the citrusy elements. If you find the above products overwhelming, you may find this more pleasing. While it does remind me a little of cheap soap, there's enough natural oils here to stop it being as one-dimensional and weak smelling as this. 

In all fairness, this is definitely one of Lush's sturdiest soaps. Having used it over the space of a few weeks, I found that the 100g bar that I was using barely shrunk in size, despite me using it to lather over my entire body. I don't know if it's the different consistency or if the ingredients are more long-lasting, but I was pleased that it lasted so well and this makes it great value for money.

It also lathers up quickly and you get a fair amount of foam to play with so you get a lot of uses for such a small piece. The foam is slightly neon in the shower so it adds a little bit of fun to your daily routine - especially if you need something to cheer you up first thing in the morning. 

Unfortunately, this soap dried my skin out very quickly and the overwhelming soapy smell only served to increase ten-fold when the soap was in contact with the hot water. My face dried out after using it for a number of days and I began to see small patches of dry skin from where the soap had taken some of the moisture out of it. 

This soap is definitely a let down and not one I'll purchase again. I will use the remaining block to wash my hands as I feel this is really the only thing it's good for. The bright colours make it fun to use and the scent is not amazing but it is rather nice. However, there's not enough here to tempt me into buying it again. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Glycerine, Perfume, Sodium Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Pine Needle Oil, Cypress Oil, Lime Oil, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, *Citral, *Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, Colour 59040, Colour 45410, Colour 17200, Colour 42090.

Vegan?: Yes

2014 Price: £4.25 for 100g.
2015 Price: £4.25 for 100g.
2016 Price: £4.25 for 100g.

6 comments

  1. That's such a bummer! I just got a piece from AU's Xmas in July, and I think it smells -fantastic-! The main scent I pick up is lemongrass, and bits of a sweeter smell that keeps it from smelling like other 'herbal' like soaps I've purchased before. I haven't had a chance to lather up with it yet, but all Lush soaps dry me out terribly, and I plan on only using it as a hand soap. The smell alone is one I wish Lush would turn into a fragrance, it's soo heavenly! :D

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  2. It's strange isn't it, how two people can react so differently to the same scent. I can just catch a hint of lemongrass but there's still that overpowering soap smell that ruins it for me! I'm glad you love it though :)

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  3. Been testing it all week- did you get a good lather with it? I barely get any bubbles on my hands! The smell is fantastic, but the lather is "meh" for me :(

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  4. It was the same for me, I'm afraid. It's a very stubborn soap and didn't really lather up at all. Once I'd popped it under the water, it seemed to get quite oily and slippery and I found it even harder to get anything out of it then.

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  5. I LOVE this soap! So crisp and fresh, citrus and woody with a hint of neroli and mint. Its one of my Favs :)

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  6. Northern Lights is one my current soaps at the moment, it's not bad but i don't feel enthusiastic about it! The smell fades pretty soon and it stains a lot every surface it touches! I really don't know what to say about the lather! One time it doesn't make much foam, the following one it lathers pretty much! Maybe it's me! Sorry Jen and everyoune for my bad english!

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