Scented soap is high on my list of little luxuries, because often it is just the thing to make a quotidian shower into a decadent pleasure. The feel of soft bubbles and the smoothness of the creamy round melting into the water and onto the skin—all of these elements contribute to the enjoyment. However, the fragrance that lingers gently after one has stepped out of the shower is what separates my usual not so exciting soap from what I consider a true luxury.
Frédéric Malle added soaps to the fragrance line in 2005. Currently there are three scents available: Vétiver (rich earthy vetiver), Bigarade (bitter orange), and Anterenea. The scent is very concentrated, more than that of any other soap I have tried. Unlike many ancillary products, the scents of the soaps are rather sophisticated, reminiscent of the tri-tiered perfume structure. Thus, my favorite Anterenea is at first a rainfall of rose petals and geranium leaves, which are enriched by the addition of clove and cinnamon dust. The resulting scent that lingers on the skin is a radiant rose underscored by luscious rosewood. Since the package arrived thanks to a friend, I actually became a morning person, which is something I never thought I would say.
The set of either individual soaps or all three scents is available at Barneys New York.