Hello, hello! Since I haven’t been anywhere new to eat in a while, and I have no writerly topics to ramble about, I thought I would try my hand at a different kind of review. Recently, one of my mentors/friends, Nina Schwartz, from SMU started selling her homemade soap. You can find her story and products at her website, Tremont St. Bath and Body. You can also keep up with her latest news by liking the shop’s Facebook page.
Back before Christmas, I messaged Nina to find out how her soaps worked on sensitive skin (before I bought some and had an unexpected allergic reaction or something). Not only did she answer my questions, but she also sent me four bars to sample. A Honey, Oatmeal, and Milk bar (currently not listed on the site), one called Perseverance (listed), an unscented/uncolored molded soap (see the picture of Clouds, Waves, Chrysanthemums below as an example), and one named Purple Zebra (also not currently listed). As of today, I’ve only had a chance to try the first two, so I will be focusing on them.
Aside from the beautiful designs, one of the first things I noticed about these soaps were the scents. They range from no scent to a very mild aroma to more intense smells. As I’ve said, I’ve only used the Honey, Oatmeal, and Milk bar, which had a subtly sweet smell, and the Perseverance, which is flavored with peppermint and rosemary, so it has a strong, in your face, kind of scent as you can imagine. Personally, I enjoy the more intense aromas, but if you don’t, you might want to ask about bars that you aren’t sure of.
Another thing I tend to notice about soaps is whether they leave behind a greasy residue (I hate feeling slimy after a shower or after using a lotion). I have dry skin, so I have to use moisturizing soaps, and it’s really difficult to find one that doesn’t leave me feeling gross. Nina’s soaps didn’t have that problem. In fact, most of them contain cocoa butter, shea butter, kokum butter, or some combination thereof to act as a moisturizer. I was a little wary my first couple of uses, but to my surprise, the soap rinsed off easily and left me feeling moisturized, but not greasy.
I suppose my only complaints would be that the soaps dissolve much faster than the ones you buy at the store, and that the edges can be a little sharp in the beginning, especially on the large bars. I got about seven uses out of the Honey, Oatmeal, and Milk bar, which is one of her medium sized bars, but I’m on my fourth or fifth use of Perseverance (one of her largest bars) and still have more than half left. So, I guess the former complaint really depends on which soap you get and how often you use it (I use it once a week), and the latter simply requires a little user awareness.
Overall, I’m loving the soaps so far and plan on buying some when I come close to running out. Check out the links above and see if you fall in love with any of the bars! It’s totally worth it.
2 thoughts on “Tremont St. Bath and Body: A Review”
Thanks so much for the feedback on my soap! It’s great to hear from you. I get what you are saying about how handmade soap tends not to last as long as store-bought soap. There’s a reason for this: handmade soap contains no chemical hardeners, and it does contain a lot of glycerin, which is a natural by-product of the saponification process (the process of fats, oils, or butters mixing with lye to turn into soap). Glycerin is great for your skin: it’s one of the things that makes your skin feel moisturized after you bathe. And it attracts moisture from the air, also good for your skin. But, it’s not so great for the bar of soap itself, because it means that the soap is always attracting moisture to itself. So, with this kind of soap, one needs to keep it as dry as possible between uses. You may have been doing that anyway, but if it sits in water at all, or in a humid place, it will get mushy and simply dissolve. Of course, I need to alert users to this fact before I send the soap to them, so your review is really helpful to me, because it lets me know what kind of information I need to put on my website and include with soap orders. As for the sharp edges: that’s good to know, too: I bevel most of the edges, but maybe I need to do all of them, and maybe I need to them a little more than I have been doing them!
Thanks again for writing about the soap, and I really appreciate the information as well as the endorsement! Take care,
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It really is a wonderful product! It’s good to know about keeping them as dry as possible between uses. I will do that!