Soap review: Frederic Malle Vetiver, Bigarade, and Anterenea Soap


Scented soap is high on my list of small pleasures. 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 a blend of rose petals and geranium leaves, which are enriched with clove and cinnamon. The scent lingering on skin is a radiant rose wrapped in rosewood.

The set of either individual soaps or all three scents is available at Barneys New York.



  • julien: Hi…
    I never tested these soaps.
    Well,something about them makes me feel it is too expansive for what they are…
    If you are interested in very good quality soaps,you should try Nicolai’s,they are wonderful and not that expansive.
    Nicolai is a mark i think should be much more known for its quality fragances(home or personal)and prices(well,in france they are almost under the prices we can find everywhere else for any ohter big mark).
    Let’s see…
    Kisses and thanks again for your report.
    J. August 11, 2005 at 8:15am Reply

  • Robin: V, I was also given a very special gift of the Vetiver soap. It is simply amazing, and the scent is so strong that one of them is still perfuming my office just by sitting (still foil wrapped) on my desk. August 11, 2005 at 9:27am Reply

  • Laura: The soaps sound perfectly beautiful. I will certainly check them out. Btw, did you get my email re Vacances? I am one happy Matisse lover! August 11, 2005 at 5:48am Reply

  • mreenymo: These soaps are incredible! I’ve smelled the Vetiver, and plan to try the Bigarade the next time I stop by Barneys.

    Hugs! August 11, 2005 at 12:18pm Reply

  • Victoria: L, I am so glad about Vacances. Sounds like a perfect fragrance for you. I saw more Matisse today, and I was thinking of you.

    J, oh, they are undeniably very expensive, but the scent is just gorgeous. I loved them so much, I am actually considering repurchasing once they are finished. As for Nicolai, I agree–the line has excellent products, and it should be more known.

    R, our entire apartment smells of these soaps! I walked into the main room and could smell Anterenea. I am very impressed.

    R (my CA girl 🙂 ), let me know what you think of Bigarade. I am not sure if you like the fragrance, but I cannot wait to use it after my shower with the soap.

    xoxo to all August 11, 2005 at 10:02pm Reply

  • Atreau: I just adore scented soaps and body washes, it’s such a shame when the scent doesn’t linger outside of the bath but it’s always a nice luxury. I saw in one magazine that they mentioned Malle soaps but which one escapes my mind. August 11, 2005 at 11:12pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: My other favourite is Alba Botanica Midnight Tuberose. It is simply wonderful. And not very expensive at all. August 12, 2005 at 12:35am Reply

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