Roger & Gallet Oeillet Mignardise Soap

If I had a vintage vanity table with a large mirror, I would decorate it with perfume bottles, makeup brushes and neat rows of lipstick and nail polish. I would fill the candy dishes with face powder pearls and top them with colorful Caron powder puffs. And I would be sure to keep at least one package of Roger & Gallet Oeillet Mignardise soap in the drawer for that distinctive whiff of carnation scented retro glamour. Then nothing would stop me from feeling like a Hollywood starlet, the lack of other qualifications notwithstanding.

rg soap1

A girl can dream, right? While I have no space or practical use for a vanity table–my makeup application is usually a distinctly unglamorous, rushed affair conducted in the bathroom, the carnation part of my fantasy is something I insist on keeping. Oeillet Mignardise is a simple way of having it, and I usually stuff these soap bars in my linen closet and lingerie drawer, in addition to using them in the shower. If I had to use a single type of soap for the foreseeable future, Oeillet Mignardise would be it.

The soap smells of the spicy, clove laced carnation that you would be hard pressed to find in a perfume bottle today, with the exception of Caron Bellodgia. This kind of accord screams retro, old-fashioned or plain dated, depending on your attitude to vintage things. I, for one, can’t get enough of it, and to me, it conveys the kind of romantic aura that I look for in black-and-white movies and Jane Austen novels.

Wrapped in crinkly pale coral paper, the soap bars are strongly perfumed, and you can easily use them like scented sachets. The fragrance lingers on skin well, and if you like the idea of layering, try putting on a rose or jasmine perfume after taking a bath with Oeillet Mignardise. It goes without saying that carnation fragrances pair well with it. At 5,90 € for a nice, large bar, it can even qualify as a cheap thrill.

rg soap2

In Paris, you can find it at the Roger & Gallet boutique at 195, rue Saint Honoré and some pharmacies. So, if you or someone you know are traveling to Paris, this unusual soap is a great souvenir to bring back.  In the US and elsewhere, Ebay and Google are your sources. Like many interesting things, Oeillet Mignardise will take some effort to find, but for the carnation fiends among us, it will be worth the trouble.

Roger & Gallet Savon Parfumé Oeillet Mignardise is available at Roger & Gallet boutiques and select pharmacies (such as La Grande Pharmacie d’Auteuil, 4, rue Poussin, in Paris; the pharmacy also offers it via its online boutique). Also, look for it on Ebay and Amazon. 100 g/5,90 €.

Extra: Denyse of Grain de Musc introduced me to this little beauty, and you can read her other Roger & Gallet soap suggestions.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Subscribe

146 Comments

  • Cornelia Blimber: Oh, nostalgia! my mother always had wonderful soaps, and also this Oeillet Mignardise. Bronnley soap, Morny soap, lemon soap, cucummber soap, you could buy these in every drugstore (in Rotterdam). Nowadays they are hard to find. I still have Yardley Lavender, and I enjoy Maja and Vinolia Très Chique. I found Morny’s Sandalwood somewhere in The Hague, can’t remember where. I wish I could find easily Yardley April Violets, Roger et Gallet Oeillet, Morny French Fern, Bronnley’s peppery cucumber…my favourite pleasure was a bath with Yardley Red Roses, and then extrait No 5.
    You made all these memories so vivid with this article! Well, I still have the wonderful liquid Fabre Sandalwood soap. September 22, 2014 at 7:25am Reply

    • jillie: Cornelia, you have just reminded me of the lovely soaps fragranced with herbs – parsley, rosemary, verbena etc – which I think were made by Bronnley. Each Christmas I would be given a wooden chest of them; I think the lining was hessian! The smell was gorgeous, so clean and fresh. September 22, 2014 at 9:16am Reply

      • jillie: Oh, and I adored Vinolia talcum powder which I reckon was scented with a fougere or chype type fragrance. I’d love that now. September 22, 2014 at 9:21am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: YES! I know that box! Marvellous. September 22, 2014 at 11:48am Reply

    • Victoria: Maja soap is wonderful, and the perfumer who created it, Jean Carles, always said that it was one of his best compositions. I love all of these retro soap scents, and I was happy that R&G reintroduced Oeillet Mignardise. September 22, 2014 at 9:16am Reply

      • Nikki: That’s great! I had no idea Jean Carles created the scent and I love the soap. As I am going to Paris, this is very timely for me and I will certainly get some more carnation soaps there. Sometimes one can find the Roger and Gallet soaps at the discounter Ross in the USA. September 22, 2014 at 9:43am Reply

        • Victoria: Lucky you! The R&G boutique is beautiful, and the staff is very nice and helpful. September 22, 2014 at 10:01am Reply

  • Marsha: I have instant access to Yardley Lavender soap and not much else but that will do for me. I wish I could find a really good soap that smells like sandalwood! And Victoria, I think you would make an incredible Hollywood starlet! September 22, 2014 at 8:04am Reply

    • Marsha: And I also have the vanity table fantasy and used to have the fancy perfume bottles to put there but I’ve had to sell most of them. September 22, 2014 at 8:07am Reply

      • Victoria: I love the idea of displaying bottles, but I admit that a couple of fancy bottle that I own mostly stay in the dark closet in their boxes (to protect their contents). September 22, 2014 at 9:20am Reply

        • Marsha: These bottles were not perfume brand bottles, they were just fancy perfume bottles made by different glassware manufacturers. Some very gorgeous perfume bottles came out of Czechoslovakia during the 1930’s. And as to the sandalwood soap, I live in eastern NC, an hour from the nearest metropolitan area, so no Indian grocery stores around for me! Hispanic grocery stores, but no Indian! It occurred to me after my first post today that I rotate different brand perfume bottles on my night table to help with my vanity table craving. I only leave them there a day or two, then I’ll put them back on the dark shelf and put something else out. September 22, 2014 at 12:21pm Reply

          • Victoria: These sound beautiful! My grandmother had some Czech crystalware, and I remember how beautiful it looked in her glass cabinet. I now have only one little vase, and it’s such a charming piece. September 22, 2014 at 2:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: Fabre sandalwood soap that Cornelia mentioned is terrific as well as Mysore sandalwood soap you can buy at any Indian grocery store. Another plus–it is very inexpensive but smells really luxurious.

      Thank you. 🙂 September 22, 2014 at 9:18am Reply

      • Marsha: Hey Victoria: I now have a collection of Mysore sandalwood soap and Flower and Bee sandalwood soap. I also ordered a large hunk of Aleppo soap and it is absolutely incredible! I have a large knife and have divided it into three sections to make it easier to handle. I will be purchasing this soap frequently in the future (just in case). This was an enjoyable article! Thank you! October 2, 2014 at 8:03am Reply

        • Victoria: I’m so glad that you’ve made so many soap discoveries! Sounds like a fine collection. 🙂 October 2, 2014 at 11:10am Reply

    • limegreen: Chinese sandalwood soap, available online (like amazon) and in Asian grocery stores (less than a $1). Smells like Chinese sandalwood handheld fans
      Bee and Flower sandalwood soap
      (they have other scents, too, including ginseng) September 22, 2014 at 10:16am Reply

      • Lynley: I used to always use those Bee & Flower soaps! Sandalwood is my favourite, and Rose, but yes, I forgot about the Ginseng. I saw these the other day actually and nearly bought some, so this post has inspired me to get some. They were still very cheap ($1 maybe..) September 23, 2014 at 4:00am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: Marsha, One of the best sandalwood soaps I’ve found is Caswell-Massey’s. I’ve been buying it for decades. http://www.caswellmassey.com. Give it a try! September 23, 2014 at 11:35am Reply

      • Marsha: Thank you! I had a tin of the dusting talc and it smelled heavenly and lasted forever. When I finally had to buy a new one, the scent had undergone a “reformulation.” I’ve never tried the soap before. I ordered some of the Mysore sandalwood soap and it came today. I’m going t have to prowl the internet looking for sandalwood soap, cause it’s my HG scent. September 23, 2014 at 7:43pm Reply

  • Kiss & Make-up: I’m definitely a R&G fan, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried their solid soaps. I love the retro vibe of their soap bars though 🙂 September 22, 2014 at 8:40am Reply

    • Victoria: Their solid soaps in general are really well-made and the scents (as well as the bars themselves) are longlasting. I haven’t tried their liquid soaps yet, though. September 22, 2014 at 9:21am Reply

  • maja: My pharmacy doesn’t carry it, just the regular line. 🙁 But I love almost everything from them generally. Yesterday I paired their Rose body cream with Stella and it was just perfect. 🙂 I might go for Gingembre next time I’m there.

    ps. One my “new” finds is Violette soap by Compagnie de Provence. It smells a little bit like Iris de Nuit by Heeley, violet and iris. September 22, 2014 at 8:53am Reply

    • Victoria: Their Rose soap is one of my favorites too, and I love the cream. My mom layers it with Serge Lutens’s Sa Majeste la Rose, and the combo is very good.

      Violette is now on my list. I have their Linden and Orange Blossom soaps, and both are excellent. September 22, 2014 at 9:23am Reply

  • WJ: I loooove everything carnation. My mum used to have this soap, I think that started it all. You can’t buy it in Australia though. September 22, 2014 at 9:10am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, even in the rest of Europe, this carnation soap can be hard to find, except for online boutiques and Ebay. But it’s too good not to mention, in case someone spots it online. September 22, 2014 at 9:24am Reply

  • jillie: Thank you, Victoria, for another trip down memory lane. I now want some R&G soap immediately!

    I do have an antique dressing table; tt was my mother’s and is very beautiful but I don’t put much on it! I have a few cut crystal bottles (empty) and a Neom diffuser. I am frightened to put my fragrances on it in case they spoil, and then I realised I didn’t like dusting too many objects so don’t have any ornaments. However, it looks lovely any way. September 22, 2014 at 9:19am Reply

    • Victoria: You made me smile, because I also thought about the dust (although then I remembered that my husband is the one to whom the dusting duty falls, so…) Anyway, I bet your dressing table looks beautiful! What kind of period/style is it? September 22, 2014 at 9:26am Reply

      • Marsha: LOL at your husband doing the dusting! However, my (late) husband did the cooking! September 22, 2014 at 12:24pm Reply

        • Victoria: It is important to divide up the chores. He usually does whatever I don’t feel like doing, and the main thing I like is cooking. I also like grocery shopping, so it all works out well. 🙂 September 22, 2014 at 2:11pm Reply

          • Marsha: Well, to be honest, it was the mental picture of your husband dusting around fragile, frilly perfume bottles. His face was kind of blurry, though. September 22, 2014 at 4:12pm Reply

            • Victoria: He is pretty good at such delicate tasks! Better than I am. 🙂 September 23, 2014 at 1:37am Reply

      • jillie: The dressing table is from the 50s, but is in the French style – it’s ivory coloured and has gilded decorations. It is not “kidney” shaped and is quite angular; it has three shallow drawers and three mirrors sit on its top. It also has a matching stool.

        My husband does not see dust, even though he has very good eyesight! September 23, 2014 at 2:59am Reply

        • Victoria: Sounds like my dream table!

          My husband can’t find anything in the fridge!! I almost have to leave diagram drawings for him. September 23, 2014 at 4:30am Reply

          • Marsha: Neither can any other husband! September 23, 2014 at 7:45pm Reply

  • Austenfan: Yum, is all I can say! Yum!
    I love Roger et Gallet. I want some of their Cédrat soap, and you’ve made me crave this one as well.
    Are their soaps gentle on skin? September 22, 2014 at 9:20am Reply

    • Victoria: They’re gentle, and my skin doesn’t feel tight afterward. The best soap I found for keeping skin perfectly moisturized is the olive oil Aleppo soap, but these are very good too. September 22, 2014 at 9:27am Reply

      • Austenfan: Thanks for that reassurance.
        Alep soap is incredibly gentle. Another really gentle soap is the Savon de Marseille. I wonder though, are real Alep soaps still made? September 22, 2014 at 9:32am Reply

        • Nikki: I bought them through a company in Canada specializing in furniture 1001nights.ca or so. They are still in business. While I liked he idea of these soaps, they were so soft they fell apart… September 22, 2014 at 9:46am Reply

          • Victoria: Real Aleppo soap shouldn’t do that. The bar is soft, but one of the distinctive traits is that it lasts well and holds its shape. September 22, 2014 at 10:00am Reply

        • Victoria: I found this website (their soaps are very good,) but the contact seems to be in Lyon, France. Most of their updates are not recent.

          http://www.savon-d-alep.com/

          There was a terrific Aleppo made soap I used to buy from a local Syrian shop, but it has not been available for a while. Aleppo was devastated in the fighting. A store owner whose family left Syria several years ago, just shook his head and said, “La Syrie, c’est fini…” And there was so much sadness in his voice that it left me with a lump in my throat. September 22, 2014 at 9:55am Reply

          • Austenfan: I’ve still got a stash that will last me a good while. I got some from a French soap maker who actually showed me how he made his soaps. I think I’ve looked at the site you mention.

            As humans we do not seem to be growing in wisdom much, do we? I watched the news about the refugees in the south of Turkey. And to think that our civilisation started in what is now mostly a war zone. September 22, 2014 at 10:05am Reply

            • Victoria: From a soap maker in Provence? When I was in Milan recently, I stocked up on some artisanal soaps at what must be my favorite food store in the world, Eataly. All of them were made by small soap makers in Italy, and the prices were much more reasonable than the fancy “department store” brands, not to mention niche boutique soaps. This is the kind of initiative I love to support.

              I saw the marvelous film adaptation of Lampedusa’s The Leopard not long ago, and one line stuck in my mind. “All this shouldn’t last; but it will, always; the human ‘always’ of course, a century, two centuries… and after that it will be different, but worse.” September 22, 2014 at 10:17am Reply

              • Austenfan: In Evian actually. ( Haute Savoie, near the Geneva Lake)
                I love buying from small soap makers. I found one a few years ago when I visited the Azay-le-Rideau castle. I got a brilliant vetiver soap, with a really powerful rooty vetiver scent.

                I remember watching Il Gattopardo years ago. A very young Claudia Cardinale and an equally young Alain Delon. I don’t remember the quote but I fear it is true.
                Have you seen any other Visconti films? September 22, 2014 at 10:47am Reply

                • Victoria: I don’t think so. The Leopard is the only film by him I’ve seen, but Brussels is currently hosting a Visconti festival at Cinematek, so I might see a few more. September 22, 2014 at 1:56pm Reply

                  • Austenfan: I’ve just had a look at the cinematek site, it’s very tempting.
                    I’ve seen Rocco and his brothers and Morte a Venezia.
                    Both highly recommended. September 22, 2014 at 2:35pm Reply

                    • Victoria: Oh wait, I have seen Death in Venice several years ago! September 22, 2014 at 3:04pm

                • Ariadne: Visconti’s The Damned is also a must watch but hold on to your seat, it is a very disturbing story, graphically told, and supposedly based on true life. There are 2 other Visconti films that follow this one making a trilogy of sorts. September 22, 2014 at 7:13pm Reply

                  • Austenfan: Have you seen The Stranger? I haven’t but it got some good reviews. ( And it stars the wonderful Mastroianni) September 23, 2014 at 6:07am Reply

              • Lynley: I saw an interview with the Eataly guy recently, and he mentioned the store was in its way to Australia. Yay! It’ll be a couple of years but it looked like it’ll be most welcome when it arrives 🙂 September 23, 2014 at 4:06am Reply

                • Victoria: Great news! The store is also coming to Paris, and I’m excited about it. September 23, 2014 at 4:06pm Reply

            • Marsha: You are so right! September 22, 2014 at 12:26pm Reply

          • solanace: My heart ached as I saw the souk in Aleppo being burned. The carved sandalwood walls! And I´ve been wondering about Aleppo soap, as well… And, of course, the most important, all the people there! It´s all so sad and stupid, and it does not seem to be ending soon… September 22, 2014 at 12:03pm Reply

            • Victoria: I very much regret not going to Syria when I had a chance. It’s really one of the most beautiful and fascinating countries in the world. September 22, 2014 at 2:07pm Reply

              • Lynley: I was in the midst of organizing a holiday from Egypt through Syria to Turkey when the fighting broke out. I changed it to 5 weeks in Turkey, which I LOVED, but also deeply regret that I didn’t get to Syria on time. September 23, 2014 at 4:08am Reply

                • Victoria: My Lebanese-Syrian friend used to organize these amazing discovery tours of Syria, with an emphasis on food. Imagine what they were like!

                  Very much hoping for peace, and I can’t explain how depressed all of these bad news make me. September 23, 2014 at 4:11pm Reply

              • solanace: I still want to visit Palmyra and show it to my kids! September 23, 2014 at 4:58am Reply

                • Victoria: One can just hope! September 23, 2014 at 1:27pm Reply

  • Mer: I cannot wear makeup anymore due to skin issues, but I still am so attached to my antique vanity that I installed a row of lightbulbs on the wall, curving along over it’s oval mirror in our new house. I may not be able to use it anymore, but I can still look at it 😀 I also store my small perfume collection in the dark, though, so just the makeup brushes and some compacts are on the vanity gathering dust.

    These soaps sound fantastic (most often I put lily of the valley soaps in my drawers – the brand escapes me), I guess I won’t find them locally, so I will have to look online. September 22, 2014 at 9:51am Reply

    • Victoria: It sounds beautiful and very glamorous! 🙂

      I don’t think I’ve tried their lily of the valley soap, so I will have to see if I can find it next. September 22, 2014 at 10:02am Reply

      • Mer: Beautiful and glamorous, fits me to a T, LOL 😀

        I think I’ve seen that one in Belgium. I’m afraid I am getting mine on Kruidvat for the time being 😉 September 22, 2014 at 11:57am Reply

        • Victoria: 🙂 Thank you, I’ll check it out. September 22, 2014 at 2:00pm Reply

  • solanace: Thank you for this tip, this soap sounds great!
    I actually do have a huge old vanity table, which is of course totally unpractical. It takes half of our room, but I love it! Because it is so unreasonable, it was a great deal, like 100 Euros, so how could a hoarder like me resist? I even had the bench covered in burgundy silk! And even if most of my perfumes are safely stored inside my closet, I love the look of Loulou, Champagne, Sublime and Hypnotic Poison against the dark, glossy wood. One day I´ll get one of those Caron puffs… September 22, 2014 at 10:48am Reply

    • Victoria: I would not be able to resist it either! And by the sound of it, a bright pink Caron puff is a requirement. 🙂 September 22, 2014 at 1:57pm Reply

      • solanace: You understand my essential needs, Victoria!:)
        But seriously, I end up doing my make up at the microwave door, because there is a better light there. Mer´s project is something I should consider… September 22, 2014 at 2:11pm Reply

        • Victoria: I just remembered that my Caron puff has not been in use for ages. It’s mostly because I wear sunscreen every day, and in order to apply powder over it, I need a brush. The down on the puff doesn’t handle the task that well and invariably gets too sticky. So much for the glamorous makeup application. 🙂 September 22, 2014 at 2:16pm Reply

          • solanace: LOL! I´ve actually quit using powder, following Lisa Eldridge´s advice, now I just use concealer and leave the ´good´ parts of my skin naked (with sunscreen, of course). So the Caron puff is not an essential need, in the end… September 23, 2014 at 5:19am Reply

            • Victoria: Not essential but oh so pretty! 🙂 September 23, 2014 at 1:30pm Reply

  • Jaime: Clove and carnation –the soap sounds lovely!

    I went thru many bars of Fragonard’s soaps in the past, and you have reminded me to bring this little luxury of scented soap back into my daily life. September 22, 2014 at 11:32am Reply

    • Victoria: You put it so well. A bar of nice soap can cost only a few euros, but the pleasure it gives is huge. September 22, 2014 at 1:58pm Reply

  • Amer: Oddly enough, these have been keeping my towels fragrant for ages! A long time ago, an elderly neighbour brought a box of these as a gift to my mother, who tucked them neatly in the linen cabinet instead of putting them in the bathroom for use. The strong scent of one box of these has kept for well over ten years. It is amazing! I had no idea they can only be found in Paris these days. September 22, 2014 at 12:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: Wow! Mine are not that old but they are still very fragrant, and I also keep them in the linen closet to get a whiff of carnation every time I open it. September 22, 2014 at 2:08pm Reply

      • Amer: My favourite RnG fragrance is their old vetiver (now discontinued). Very straightforward but never too heavy or too earthy. A pleasant, sunny scent that I’d love to smell in a soap too. September 22, 2014 at 6:10pm Reply

        • Victoria: L’Artisan used to have a vetiver like that, and yes, also gone. September 23, 2014 at 1:44am Reply

          • Amer: The RnG version was more lasting and heavier on the oak moss (but discontinued long before IFRA regulations). At a fraction of the Artisan price, it was a marvel! I still weep for it and cherish my last drops in the bottle. Come to think of it, every bottle I have with a few drops left in it is a sad story of discontinuation or reformulation. September 23, 2014 at 7:07am Reply

            • Victoria: Yes, they spend well on perfume and not just on packaging or distribution. September 23, 2014 at 1:35pm Reply

      • Alessandra: My granny introduced me to Roger et Gallet when I was a kid and she used to keep the bar soaps in exactly the same place 🙂 September 23, 2014 at 4:21am Reply

    • jillie: Amer, I copied something I saw at someone’s house – they had filled a crystal bowl full of R&G soaps and put that in their cloakroom to act a pot-pourri. It smelt amazing when you opened the door. September 23, 2014 at 3:05am Reply

      • Amer: Nice idea and very practical because you can still use the soap later 😉 One product that does the work of two. And I think that even when the soap loses its fragrance as a potpourri, it will only be the outer layer. The inside will still be intact. September 24, 2014 at 2:49am Reply

    • Lynley: It’s amazing how long the scent of some soaps last! I have some Maja soaps that my nana gave me almost 30years ago, and I still keep them in a drawer, and they still scent my clothes. September 23, 2014 at 4:13am Reply

  • Domestic Goblin: What a coincidence! I was thinking about soap yesterday and in particular carbolic soap that was used in the ‘olden days’.

    After reading your post I am really tempted to try a bar of Oeillet Mignardise… 🙂 September 22, 2014 at 1:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: Once I tried it at a friend’s house, I went straight to the boutique and bought several soaps. I noticed that it is the first one to disappear from my soap basket. September 22, 2014 at 2:12pm Reply

      • Domestic Goblin: Just ordered three bars of soap: Bois d’Orange, Sandalwood and Jean Marie Farina 🙂

        Couldn’t find any Oeillet Mignardise without paying hefty delivery rates to eBay sellers… September 22, 2014 at 4:32pm Reply

        • Amer: eeeeek, I hate the Farina Cologne… September 22, 2014 at 6:08pm Reply

        • Victoria: I love all of those too. Jean Farina Cologne has a classical mossy-woody citrus scent, and I’m a fan. Sandalwood is creamy and non-sweet. Bois d’Orange is also bracing and uplifting. September 23, 2014 at 1:39am Reply

          • Domestic Goblin: UK fans: Just found out that John Lewis still carries some Oeillet Mignardise soap! 🙂 September 23, 2014 at 1:58pm Reply

            • Victoria: That’s great! Thank you for mentioning it. September 23, 2014 at 4:13pm Reply

  • Alessandra: Definitely going to buy this in Paris next week 🙂 September 22, 2014 at 5:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: Good timing for a post about these soaps, then. 🙂 September 23, 2014 at 1:41am Reply

      • Alessandra: Haha, totally!!! 😀

        I wonder why Roger et Gallet only makes soaps of certain fragrances, like this one…. 🙁
        Nevertheless, the magic of their soaps makes up for any disappointment.

        Anyway, I will stock up on this soap, shiso and amande persane, cos I can’t find them in my country 🙁 September 23, 2014 at 4:16am Reply

  • Dain: Wish these were easier to get ahold of in the US. They are lovely. September 22, 2014 at 5:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: Me too. Or here in Brussels. R and G is sold here, but not these soaps. September 23, 2014 at 1:42am Reply

  • George: I stare at that first picture of them and am disappointed they can’t be eaten. September 22, 2014 at 6:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: Then imagine how tempting the soap section at the boutique looks like! September 23, 2014 at 1:44am Reply

  • Bela: Two friends of mine, several years apart, gave me a box of R&G Tea Rose soaps. The design on the boxes is wildly different: I like the older one better.

    I adore those soaps but can’t use them any longer. My plumber said I shouldn’t use real soap with the decrepit pipes we’ve got in our building. The last time it cost me over £400 to have my pipes unblocked so I’m following the man’s advice. I only use products that don’t contain soap now, but they’re not as lovely as those soaps. September 22, 2014 at 6:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: The designed changed a lot! Now, it is more pastel and frou-frou. I saw the older dark boxes online, and they looked very glamorous.

      I hear you on the pipes! We had to get ours unblocked, but in our case, the reason was lime, the dreaded stuff that even the regular anti-calc treatment doesn’t remove. September 23, 2014 at 1:48am Reply

      • Bela: The earlier box for Tea Rose was very yellow; the later one has a lot of pink on it and the R&G logo is huge and right bang in the middle – much less elegant and subtle.

        Oh, mine were blocked by limescale too. It makes the inside of pipes rough and soap scum sticks to it and creates worse blockages. Btw, limescale is mostly caused by hot water. If one only used cold water, one wouldn’t have such problems with limescale. Anyone for a cold bath or shower? 🙂 September 23, 2014 at 10:14am Reply

        • Victoria: That’s an interesting explanation, but no, I’m not up for cold showers. 🙂 Incidentally, the mineral deposits affected not only our pipes but also our boiler, so for a month this summer we had no hot water. A month is exactly how long it took a plumber to show up. At least, it was during the hot summer weeks, but it was still uncomfortable. September 23, 2014 at 4:21pm Reply

          • Bela: Sorry for the delay, V.

            You were without hot water for a whole month?! How inconvenient!

            Btw, have you smelled the green Pears soap? It’s a dead ringer for Bandit. It’s amazing. I’ve got one in a drawer – since I’m not allowed to use it. September 26, 2014 at 7:42pm Reply

            • Victoria: Yes, it took him ages to respond and then even longer to visit us. Our landlord insisted that we use only this plumber, so we had no choice.

              I haven’t tried Pears soap, but I will have to look for it. Not only would I like a soap scented this way, I have a friend who would really appreciate it. Thank you for mentioning it. September 27, 2014 at 8:36am Reply

  • Alessandra: Oh, Victoria, I forgot: my usual concern, when it comes to these bar soaps, is what perfume, or cologne, to layer them with after the shower. Sometimes I love one specific soap bar but I lack the right scent to pair it with and, of course, I don’t want to cover the scent, either. It’s not much the case of the soap bars that are part of a full line including body creams or perfumes… but in the case of oeillet mignardise, for example, what could I layer it on with without hiding its charm? 🙂 September 23, 2014 at 4:32am Reply

    • Victoria: You can try any florals or woods. They will match well, especially roses and white florals. September 23, 2014 at 1:25pm Reply

      • Alessandra: Thank you 🙂 September 24, 2014 at 5:29am Reply

  • Aurora: Yes to Roger & Gallet and I agree with you there is something extra special about the oeillet mignardise soaps

    You know, their original line-up of soaps was tea rose, fougere, lavender, cologne and oeillet mignardise, they have added other fragrances from time to time but thank god do not discontinue their classics.

    To use them in the shower and bath remains an unrivalled experience, they make such soft bubbles and seem to nourish the skin and last forever.

    I too find Bellodgia the oeillet mignardise of the perfume world, not disfigured by reformulation, and keep a bottle for a carnation hit when the fancy hit me. September 23, 2014 at 4:59am Reply

    • Aurora: and sandalwood too, I realize, how could I forget that beautiful fragrance. Your wonderful post has triggered many memories, it takes me back, traditionally any respectable pharmacy in France carried them and they were not behind the counter you could touch and smell them. September 23, 2014 at 8:00am Reply

      • Victoria: The quality of these soaps is excellent, and since a pharmacy across the street has most of the range (not carnation, alas), I stop by to smell them and try out something new every time. September 23, 2014 at 4:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: They make the loss of carnations in the perfume bottles less obvious for me. But of course, I shouldn’t forget a terrific new carnation by Aedes, Oeillet Bengale. September 23, 2014 at 1:29pm Reply

  • Tourmaline: Hello there Victoria,

    It is lovely to see a post written about this particular soap. The very last present that I ever gave my mother, about four years ago, was a box of three 100g bars of Roger & Gallet Oeillet Mignardise soap. I had remembered her once telling me that carnations were her favourite flower. I bought the soaps from my local David Jones department store in Brisbane. (According to the website, they don’t currently stock Roger & Gallet products.) By that stage Mum had advanced dementia and spoke very little, so although I had to open the gift for her and she didn’t say anything when she saw it, I hope that she enjoyed the soap’s fragrance. I know that either my father (who visited her every day) or one of the nursing home carers later unwrapped one of the cakes of soap for her, because I saw it in her bathroom and noted that it had been used several times. It was the last perfumed soap that Mum ever used before she died a few months later.

    After she died I retrieved the box from amongst her possessions. I used one of the soaps myself during the first year after her death, but will keep the last one within the pretty gilt box for the remainder of my own life. It still smells wonderful.

    As for Bellodgia, that is a perfume that I had read about and was keen to try, because, like my mother before me, I love the scent of carnation. Two years ago I bought a 240ml bottle of the vintage eau de cologne on eBay for about AUD $160. It was worth every penny, because the fragrance is divine, and despite being only cologne, it is quite strong and lasts on me for many hours. As I ration my use of it, I still have most of it left, and I expect that it will last me for many years.

    I am fortunate enough to have a dressing table with a large mirror, and I decorate it with embroidered cloths, perfume bottles, vases of silk roses, cotton wool balls and q-tips in crystal lidded-jars, a hand mirror with an embroidered back that my mother gave me decades ago, lipsticks, bottles of nail polish, and china of the “Old Country Roses” pattern, including a powder bowl. I must investigate the Caron powder puffs that you mention! I’m sure that I have shortened the life of several perfumes over the years by displaying them on the table, but these days I tend to display only the empty bottles of a few favourites, as well as a couple of less expensive simple floral fragrances that I use up more quickly.

    Thank you for a delightful article that brought back special memories. September 23, 2014 at 6:58am Reply

    • Lynley: What a lovely story Tourmeline, and I hope that fragrance memories are ones we hold on to.
      I bought some R&G from Perth David Jones just last week, so they do still stock it! They didn’t have this though as I was smelling all the soaps. I was hoping they had the osmanthus range to try but didn’t. I just got a couple of the small perfumes (Bois d’Orange and Citron) as they were only $19. Maybe your local DJ’s still has a decent selection.. September 23, 2014 at 9:14am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Thank you, Lynley. My understanding is that fragrance memories are among the memories that we are able to retain the longest, which is good to know for all of us perfume lovers. That is great that David Jones still stocks some Roger & Gallet products; I know that the website is not always reflective of what’s available in stores. Unfortunately the local DJ store (at Toombul Shoppingtown) that I mentioned was cleared out not long after I bought the carnation soap for my mother. It was replaced by a Target store and some offices on the upper floor. However there are other DJs a little further off. I hope that you find the osmanthus range that you are seeking. September 23, 2014 at 7:29pm Reply

    • jillie: Oh Tourmaline, that’s touching and uplifting at the same time.

      Funnily enough, I ordered some of this soap this morning as Victoria’s writing inspired me to get some for a friend of mine who has recently rapidly descended into Alzheimer’s. I remembered how once I was so sad when she admired my Imperial Leather soap and it occurred to me today that perhaps a beautiful bar of the Roger & Gallet might provide her with a happy stimulus. I am sure it did for your mother. September 23, 2014 at 1:16pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Thank you, Jillie. That is a lovely idea. I’m sure that your friend will enjoy the Roger & Gallet soap; the packaging is so pretty and the soap is of such excellent quality, with a strong and lasting fragrance. September 23, 2014 at 7:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful, touching story! I’m sure the scent was a great comfort to your mother, and I can just imagine how many memories it evokes for you. It also makes me appreciate my box of soaps more, knowing how many stories are connected to Oeillet Mignardise.

      And I’d love to see a photo of your table and those of others. Must be so gorgeous! September 23, 2014 at 1:34pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Thank you, Victoria. Yes, I guess you never know, when you write a post, how many readers will have some special connection with your subject matter. When I saw the title of the Roger & Gallet article, my heart skipped a beat and I was excited to read your thoughts on this special soap. A photo – hmmm, perhaps I’ll take one sometime soon, but first I’ll have to dust my dressing table (yes, a fiddly job with so many small items on it) and tidy up anything in my bedroom that is reflected in the mirror! There is always a price to pay for beauty! September 23, 2014 at 7:36pm Reply

        • Victoria: 🙂 It’s so true! The more pretty things are on display, the more dusting one has to do. September 25, 2014 at 10:34am Reply

    • Marsha: A vanity table purist! September 23, 2014 at 7:54pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Indeed, for better or worse! September 23, 2014 at 8:11pm Reply

        • Marsha: I like your name. I am also a gemstone-aholic! Whoever makes these decisions has added tourmaline to the list of my birthstones. I love tourmalines, but the opal will always be the number one choice of my birthstone. September 26, 2014 at 7:46am Reply

          • Tourmaline: Thanks Marsha, although Tourmaline is only the name that I use for commenting on blogs. I chose it because I, too, am a lover of gemstones, and tourmaline is the stone that comes in the widest spectrum of colours. It is sometimes referred to as “the gemstone of the rainbow”. Opals and tourmalines are my birthstones as well; we must both have been born in October!

            If you don’t have it already, I would highly recommend that you seek out a book called “Gemstones of the World” by Walter Schumann. It is only a small, hardcover book, but the colour photographs and information in it are second to none. It is considered to be the “gemologists’ bible”. I happened upon my first copy in a bookshop here in Brisbane in about 2000, and it was as though all my gemstone Christmases had come at once! Finding it was the gemstone equivalent of obtaining my first copy of Michael Edwards’ “The Fragrance Manual” (as it was known back then) in 1991. As with that manual and the magnificent “Fragrances of the World” volumes into which it morphed over the years, I can lose myself in it for hours at a time.

            My first copy was the third edition, and then in 2010 I found the fourth edition, which had a significant amount of new information added. I have just checked on Amazon and found that the fifth edition was released in July of last year. How exciting; it will have to go on my Christmas wish list! September 27, 2014 at 9:50pm Reply

            • Marsha: Thank you for recommending this book. I do not know how it has slipped by me since I have been buying books about gemstones and jewelry for the past 30 years! I do have my GG degree but do not work with it, since my knowledge is too old (finished in 1996). I just looked it up on Amazon and I do not have it so I ordered the fifth edition. Now if I could just find a few bars of Oeillet Mignardise! I’ll just have to keep digging. And my birthday is the 22nd of October. September 28, 2014 at 8:18am Reply

              • Tourmaline: Hi Marsha,

                Ah, well having a degree in gemology, you would know all about tourmalines! I think that unless you see “Gemstones of the World” in a book shop or know someone who has a copy, you could easily miss hearing about it, because of course it isn’t advertised, although I’m a little surprised that you didn’t hear about it when you were completing your degree. I know a gemologist who has used his copy so much that it is practically falling apart. I’m certain that you will spend many happy hours browsing through your copy of the book.

                I hope that you eventually find some Oeillet Mignardise soap. I also hope that you don’t have to pay too much for it; some of the prices that have been mentioned are ludicrously high. The box of three soaps that I bought for my mother four years ago cost only about $25, which was fairly typical for such soaps in Australia back then. Reading about the difficulty that some people are having in finding the soap these days makes me realize how fortunate I was to find the soap at all, and makes my remaining bar seem even more precious. September 28, 2014 at 7:29pm Reply

                • Marsha: Thank you again for recommending the book. It could have been one of the books they recommended when I was doing the course work, but this was during the mid 1990’s, so I do not really remember. I’ll keep looking for the Oeillet Mignardise soap, but in the meantime, I might try their sandalwood since I’ve never tried their soap and everyone here certainly seems to like them!

                  I have certainly enjoyed our back and forth exchange! I would really love to see your vanity table since it also has nail polish. That is another one of my addictions. September 29, 2014 at 7:15am Reply

                  • Tourmaline: Hi Marsha,

                    Oh my gosh, don’t get me started on nail polish…! Clearly this is another passion we share; I have every colour of the rainbow in both creams and frosts. I have over 200 bottles, and although I don’t wear them all, I enjoy simply looking at the colours and textures behind the glass. I suspect that many people don’t realize how long nail polish can last if it is shaken once in a while, although there are some poorer quality exceptions. I have bottles from over 25 years ago that appear as fresh as the day I bought them and are perfectly wearable. I, too, have enjoyed our exchange! September 29, 2014 at 6:52pm Reply

                    • Victoria: I testify to this! I just painted nails with Lancome nail polish that’s at least 15 years old and it is still perfect. The main miracle is that a bottle has survived through all of my moves. It’s one well-traveled bottle of polish. 🙂 September 30, 2014 at 10:05am

                    • Marsha: Hi Tourmaline: Regarding the nail polish – I had to recently move to a small apartment and had to scale down my polish collection by about half – which I think about 200 remain. I still keep my eye on the Chanels though in case any future “superstars” emerge – like Jade, Holographic, Ciel de Nuit, etc. I had all of those but had to sell them.
                      I received my copy of Gemstones of the World today and now I see why if I would have seen it in a bookstore that my eye would have passed right over it. I like BIG books! But you are right – it is a great book! And again, thank you so much for the recommendation! Since we are counting nail polish, I decided to count the books I have on gemstones and jewelry and I now have 23. I have the book about Liz Taylor’s jewelry, 2-3 books about the Queens jewels, a book about the Romanovs jewels, books about Faberge, some books about gemstones, The Duchess of Windsor’s jewels (I didn’t particularly like hers – too modern for my taste). Also I have a book about the designer
                      Temple St. Clair. I absolutely love her stuff. And there are still some more left at the house where I moved from and where my brother now lives (a big old southern house, the family homeplace) but these are all I could bring at the time. Next time I go back (probably tomorrow) I’ll look again since I have made some more room. I guess you can see I don’t find many people I can talk to about this stuff! Cheers and best regards to you! October 2, 2014 at 8:29am

  • Annette Reynolds: I’m a soap junkie. I have been since I was a child, and that’s a LONG time ago. Whenever someone goes on a trip to some exotic or foreign land and they ask what I’d like them to bring back I always say “soap!”

    Now, carnation flower is one of my all-time favorite fragrances. I simply love it. And it does remind me of my mother: she had an entire bank of carnations growing at her last home. Oh, the fragrance when you stepped out of the car! It was amazing. I wanted to strap one of those flowers to my nose and wear it all day long. (An interesting image, I admit.)

    Which brings us to: I’ll be looking for R&G’s carnation soap ASAP. Thanks for the remembrance, Victoria! September 23, 2014 at 11:46am Reply

    • Victoria: I never realized that I was a soap junkie until I noticed how varied my soap basket has become and that friends bring me soaps from their travels! I even have a bar of camel milk soap from Dubai which a friend found for me. It smells amazing, so buttery.

      The image of you with a carnation under your nose is sweet. How do I love that spicy, fiery scent! September 23, 2014 at 4:17pm Reply

  • Figuier: I love Roger & Gallet soaps, and in the past have got through a box or two of the carnation ones. They’re so hard to find now, though, that I usually settle (v happily) for one of the other scents. At the moment it’s sandalwood, but I also enjoy the lemon, ginger, Jean Marie Farina….any advice on what scent to try next? September 24, 2014 at 2:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: Their linden soap is very nice, and I like their vetiver scented bars too. September 25, 2014 at 10:33am Reply

      • Figuier: Thank you! I’ll look forward to trying them out. September 25, 2014 at 1:07pm Reply

  • Joy: I looked on line intensively for the R & G Oeiller Mignardise soap. I found it only on Amazon for $290/3 bars. Not in my price range!! In addition, I would rather give my spend my dollars at local stores or small businesses. I did find many lovely R & G soaps on-line and was able to order. I will look the next time I travel to Seattle. I did look at the European R & G site. It seems as if they do not have the Oeillet Mignardise either. From the beautiful photo, I could almost feel my fingers removing the gold label and peach tissue paper, and smelling the carnation/clove fragrance. The photo was very suggestive!

    Joy September 25, 2014 at 3:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: Woah! That’s too much for any soap, and well, many other things. It costs around 5-6 euros for one bar. Yes, Oeillet Mignardise is hard to find, which is why I debated about posting a review. But then I hoped that if there is more demand for this soap, it might become more widely available. It has been reissued not so long ago. I do see it online time to time for much more reasonable prices, so you have to create an Ebay search alert, or something like it.

      Otherwise, if you can find other R&G soaps, they are all worth trying. The scents are excellent, very natural and the soap itself is great. September 25, 2014 at 3:32pm Reply

      • Joy: Hopefully the demand will stimulate R & G to recreate this soap. I will send them an e-mail. Thank you for the tip on E-Bay.

        I did order some of their soaps. They had three versions of rose scent. I am looking forward to receiving those.
        Joy September 25, 2014 at 3:43pm Reply

        • Victoria: Their rose soaps are wonderful, and also very retro. September 26, 2014 at 4:17am Reply

  • Alessandra: So, I bought the soap and it smells sooooo great! I adore it!!!
    The shop in rue saint-honoré is too amazing, too cute… the only problem is the prices… I am under the impression that everything is more expensive, there!!! Whyever??? Wile a normal box of soaps would normally cost about 16 euros here, there it was over 25!! Weird. I think it’s worth for things, like oeillet mignardise, that are hard to find elsewhere, but I guess I would be buying the other roger et gallet soaps elsewhere… October 9, 2014 at 6:52am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t remember noticing the price difference, since R&G products in Belgium are more expensive. But the boutique itself is so pretty, isn’t? October 9, 2014 at 8:40am Reply

      • Alessandra: yes, superpretty!!! Will definitely go back for the things I cannot find elsewhere 🙂 October 10, 2014 at 10:20am Reply

  • Kate: I have emailed them also as I adore this soap and do hope it is reissued. Fortunately I have some in and the smell is glorious, it lasts beautifully. A marvellous and nostalgic fragrance. October 25, 2014 at 8:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, it’s great that you did! This soap is very good, and it’s a shame it’s so hard to find. October 26, 2014 at 10:14am Reply

  • Kate: Dear Victoria, I was interested to see your comment when reviewing Penghalion Bluebell that carnation accords are not so popular today because of an association with antiseptics and dentists. I myself actually have no such association and adore the fragrance! You mention that it is created with a mixture of clove, rose and ylang ylang. I wonder if you could give me an idea of proportions as I have been having great fun making my own scented ‘bath line’ following your post on that subject. As ever I thank you for your beautiful blog. It means a lot to me. (And I love reading about nostalgic associations and literary connections ) very best wishes, kate October 26, 2014 at 3:06am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Kate! Isn’t a perfumed bath great?
      I also don’t have such associations, which is probably why I love carnations so much. Besides the associations I mentioned in that review, carnation by itself is a very classical accord, but it also has a distinctive feel and smells of another era. So, in other words, many people consider it old-fashioned. But it’s indispensable for many legendary perfumes, and I can’t get enough of it. 🙂 October 26, 2014 at 9:42am Reply

  • Catherine: I just wanted to thank you for this lovely post. I’ve always been a fan of carnation scents, and my husband recently traveled to Belgium and France. He was able to find two bars of this soap in a French pharmacy after searching in quite a few. I’m excited to have them and my plan is to use one and save the other as a sachet in my drawer. Hopefully, I can visit Paris in the future and track down more of this gorgeous scent. I have to say that it is my favorite among the Roger & Gallet soaps I’ve tried. November 8, 2014 at 10:21am Reply

  • olivia alban: would you know of where I can purchase some of the Roger and Gallett carnation soaps??? I am also looking for Roger and Gallett paris::Ceillet Mignardise after body friction lotion in carnation. any help would be greatly appreciated. I am searching for this product for a senior that I help with and she loves this product. thank you. February 24, 2015 at 8:11pm Reply

    • Victoria: Olivia, please check my recommendations at the end of the post. Yes, they are a bit tricky to find, unfortunately. February 25, 2015 at 10:44am Reply

  • Kate: Just to say that if you are in France, or visiting France, try checking out the “parapharmacie” section of the supermarket Monoprix (easily found in city centres). I was in my local Monoprix this week and in the big bin of R&G soaps in the parapharmacie section, found this soap! September 25, 2015 at 5:42am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Kate! Such a great tip. September 25, 2015 at 12:25pm Reply

  • Tio: Ze zijn hier in Nederland ook te koop en wel in meerdere geuren. December 23, 2015 at 12:50am Reply

What do you think?

From the Archives

Latest Comments

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2018 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy