When Lush announced that there would be close to 300 new products coming out in the Oxford Street store, I was pleased to hear that some of them would be revamped versions of older editions - with a few making a comeback from the vaults of the early naughties.
Bertie Soap is one such product that many may see as a brand new offering, instead of recognising that this product has been around for a good 12 years - just not making an appearance for a very long time. Described as more of an 'instalment' than something you'd want to use on your skin, this soap is one of the most visually stunning ones available at the flagship store.
Modelled on the famous Liquorice All-sorts candy and named after the person who created the very fragrance that goes into making this multi-coloured block of glycerine, this playful combination of yellow, pink, blue and black is a sight to behold - one you almost feel guilty for using because of how lovely it looks on the shelf.
Opting for a slice of the black, I was initially surprised by the smell that greeted my nose. While I knew the history of the product, I didn't put two and two together and so was expecting a much sweeter candied smell. Instead, I was blown away by the refreshing, almost clinical fennel smell that dominates the scent of this soap.
In some reviews I have heard Bertie being describe has having a very strong liquorice smell - something that I don't think really gives you a good impression of this soap at all. While it is heavily laced with fennel, it's a far more grassier, spicy aroma. When I think of liquorice, I think of the confectionary variation, which is much richer and more treacly than the smell of this soap.
This soap also contains both tarragon and pine oil - both of which give this product a gentle herbal aroma - the former ingredient making more of an impression than the latter. Together, these three ingredients help to make this a very refreshing, detoxifying experience in the shower - one that not only softens the skin but awakens the senses and helps to curb exhaustion.
In the shower, Bertie is very generous with its lather - producing a very thick and creamy foam that coats the skin and leaves a gentle fragrance on the body. The inclusion of charcoal powder also means that little grains are unleashed with the lather which offers a gentle exfoliation as well as a clean.
The product leaves your skin feeling really clean and soft, although it did dry my hands out a little when I was massaging this between my palms. I focused mostly on using this soap on my legs and found that it worked as a great alternative to shaving cream. It kept my legs moisturised and lubricated but taut enough that I didn't cut myself whilst shaving.
I found that cutting it into thin circular pieces (roughly 1cm in width), allowed me to hold the soap easily in the shower and exfoliate in circular motions without dropping my chunk. This also helped me to stimulate a really generous lather quickly and I was able to place the chunk away from the water and use what I had created to clean most of my body.
My skin felt really smooth after using this and I did appreciate the gritty texture as it helped to banish the dried skin on my legs without being too harsh on my body. Whereas some scrubs can be too forceful at times, this one offered a great balance between cleaning and exfoliating.
A 100g block will set you back £3.70, which makes it one of the cheapest soaps you can buy from Lush and definitely a bargain given its productivity and fragrance. It is also quite a compact soap so will last a lot longer than the softer variations you can get. If you keep this dry between uses, a chunk could easily last you up to two months, which makes it good value for money.
While I wouldn't say that the scent of Bertie is a particular favourite of mine, I did really like what it did to my skin and I would happily buy a few more chunks of this to see me through the coming months.
Quantitative Ingredients: Liquorice Root Infusion (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Glycerine, Rapeseed Oil: Coconut Oil (Brassica napus: Cocos nucifera), Sorbitol, Water (Aqua), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Perfume, Sodium Stearate, Powdered Charcoal, Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), Sodium Chloride, Titanium Dioxide, Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia), Fennel Oil (Foeniculum vulgare), Tarragon Oil (Artemisia drancunculus), EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citral, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool, Colour 45350, Colour 17200, Colour 15510, Colour 42090, Colour 45410.
2015 Price: £3.70 for 100g.
Year Of Original Release: unsure.