- Lush Kitchen
- Everything Else
22 September 2016
To say that this soap is anything but a sensory experience would be a lie, and if it serves as any sort of a lesson, it would be to remember that preconceptions can detour immensely from reality. When it comes to Fireside Soap, everything I imagined and every judgement I made was soon washed away when I held my very first piece and gave it my debut sniff.
When Mark Constantine developed the concept of this seasonal soap, he went through every measure to ensure that the name and the fragrance matched, and while I have never been fortunate enough to share a house with an open fireplace, this product epitomises the very smell that I imagine those who do are able to indulge in during the colder months.
Despite its bright demeanour - one that I originally assumed would be accompanied by a citrusy smell, the aroma is anything but heated. Containing both dried chestnuts and chestnut flour, Fireside is a nutty and naturally sweet soap. It smells very much like a handful of gently roasted, slightly burnt chestnuts encased in a bed of pimento berries and a dusting of vanilla for sweetness. I should point out that when I say burnt, I don't mean that this soap is in any way smoky, just that it has a subtle smell that reminds me of when something 'catches' in the pan and you get an almost caramelised aroma.
The pimento berry oil is a very unique and rather interesting inclusion as it offers a richly-fragrant scent that smells a little like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove all rolled into one. These components don't really show themselves individually, but they do band together to form a bed of warmth that compliments the chestnuts so well. Not only included for its aroma, pimento berries are also known for their therapeutic properties, and are used to combat stress and depression - making it the perfect ingredient to include in this winter-inspired soap.
Fireside is one of those products where every ingredient gels together really well, so while I have dissected each component to give you a better idea of what this soap smells like, the actual fragrance is very much one single, beautiful, well-rounded burst of warmth. With the above ingredients being most dominant, I should mention that the smell is slightly 'foody' so it may not be to everyone's tastes.
If I'm going to be honest, this was definitely not a soap that bowled me over when I smelt it for the first time in the store. Nor was it one that impressed me when I unwrapped it at home and gave it another sniff. For this reason, I strongly suggest that if you're unsure about the smell, you should still grab a small sample and let it work its magic in the shower.
It was during one of my early morning showers that I fell in love with Fireside - something that I really wasn't expecting to do at all. As the heat traveled around the bathroom, the scent formed a comforting blanket that incased me inside and gave me what can only be described as a warm cuddle of smells - the nuttiness, the sweetness.
The soap went on to impress me by creating a wonderfully thick and fragrant lather, that glided over my body with ease and left my skin feeling really clean and smelling like a jar of chestnut puree or a winter cheesecake. While it didn't help my skin to feel as moisturised as a shower gel would normally do, my body did leave the shower well-cleansed, feeling slightly plumped up and looking rather radiant.
Overall, this is a soap that may disappoint to begin with, if you associate the brightly-coloured design with the scent you envisage when you see it. However, once you've give Fireside a chance, it turns out to be a very unique and beautifully crafted soap. While it wont replace the Old Father Time Soap that made an appearance last year (and should definitely be made into a perfume), it's still a wonderful product and a fantastic new addition to this year's seasonal selection.
Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Glycerine, Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Sorbitol, Perfume, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Dried Chestnuts, Clove Bud Oil, Pimento Berry Oil, Vanilla Absolute, Chestnut Flour, Sodium Chloride, Titanium Dioxide, Citric Acid, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Bicarbonate, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Benzyl Salicylate, *Citral Coumarin, *Eugenol, *Farnesol, *Geraniol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Colour 47005, Colour 45350, Colour 14700, Colour 15510, Colour 17200.
2016 Price: £4.25 for 100g.
Year Of Original Release: 2016.