Crabtree & Evelyn

When I was six or seven years old—definitely not more than eight—one of my mother's friends (she had a lot of strange friends) came back from a trip and brought me a little square box inside which was a shell-shaped soap. It was the kind of thing that came from a hotel, or at least that is what I assumed at the time. But I found it endearing and enchanting, and it smelled amazing. Almost too good to use, but certainly too good not to use.

Years later, as a preteen, my friend Emily and I were at the mall and we went into a store called Crabtree & Evelyn. It was filled with soaps and lotions, and somehow to us it felt like the height of elegance and luxury. And then I saw it: the shell-shaped soap of my childhood! Only much larger. I learned the name of the soap was "jojoba," and I absolutely had to have it. I used my bit of allowance to buy a bar, and after that I only ever wanted soap and lotion from Crabtree & Evelyn.

Until . . . By the time I was in high school Bath and Body Works had become the gold standard for soaps and lotions. And B&BW were in almost every mall, unlike C&E, which was harder to find. I abandoned C&E and forgot about it, later only occasionally buying their products if I happened to stumble across a store.

I realize that now I can buy these things online. But for soaps and lotions, I like to be on site, smelling the product. While jojoba remains one of my favorites, I also am easily bored and don't like to have the same thing all the time. And I like to have options.

Before long, I became tired of B&BW too. Disenchanted with it. In our local mall, we have LUSH, and so I frequently buy my soaps there. And I discovered Molton Brown and often use their lotions and body washes.

BUT. The other day—my birthday, in fact—I came across a Crabtree & Evelyn. Hadn't seen or been in one for years. So I had to go. And they had so many great soaps! Some I remembered from before, some were new to me, but I had such a wonderful time picking them out. And when I came home and used one, oh! I'd forgotten that, besides the fragrance, C&E soaps are so soft and moisturizing. Heavenly.

All this is to say, I'm so glad I rediscovered C&E. I'm particularly enjoying my Summer Hill soap at the moment, but can also recommend Nantucket Briar, La Source, and of course Jojoba. I used to use their Lily of the Valley a lot, too. (I'm really curious about Somerset Meadow, but they had no tester at the store and I only found it as part of a set, at least at that store.) As someone who dislikes soaps and lotions that smell like food, I'm happy C&E has an abundance of floral scents. And for the gentlemen, Moroccan Myrrh and Sandalwood are fine options as well. (Though I use them myself, too, because I love those scents!)

Do you have favorite soaps and lotions? Favorite scents? Let me hear about them!

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