After I had made my initial visit to the Oxford Street store, I was surprised to hear people talking about the range of 'gourmet soaps' that they had picked up for themselves. While I had not been particularly scrupulous on my debut exploration of the superstore, I thought I would have at least noticed a range of unique soaps such as these. It was only after my second visit that I noticed the strange but rather wonderful array of long soap sticks - wrapped in plastic and sitting by themselves.
Olive Tree Soap is one of three gourmet soaps - one that is intended to be used as more of a facial soap but one that works equally well on the body as a whole. Packed full of wonderful and quite strange ingredients, this soap emits a smell unlike anything that Lush have ever brought out before. It's a scent that'll render some people to run in the opposite direction, but one that is obscure enough to attract some dedicated fans as well.
So what exactly is a gourmet soap? And how does it differ from a regular one? Well according to Lush, this new type of soap is supposed to be more moisturising. Featuring more oils than a regular soap, these beauties are supposed to offer a far more nourishing experience for the skin. Furthermore, the oils and butters featured in each of the three new soaps are supposed to be of a higher calibre than those featured in Lush's regular soaps. For this reason, these soaps should give your skin the best possible treatment going.
What immediately warmed my heart to each of these three soaps is that not only are they a feast for the skin, but they also represent and support global causes. Olive Tree in particular, is created using ingredients sourced from a not-for-profit organisation in Israel, where Israeli and Palestinian communities work side by side to produce Fair Trade goods. Not only are the ingredients exquisite and highly-effective, but they also support a cause worth mentioning and sharing.
How this soap differs from most of Lush's regular ones is that it's of the non-foaming variety. Much like Movis Facial Soap, this one is intended to be used to moisturise, heal, restore and hydrate the skin - doing so in a gentle, non-drying way. Olive oil is known for being rich in vitamin E and contains hydroxytyrosol, which is thought to be one of the most powerful antioxidants in the world; Cypress oil works best at adding a wonderful calming fragrance to any product it is featured in, while rose oil nourishes the body and gives a gentle, uplifting aroma to soothe even the most overworked of people.
What is interesting about this soap is that it also features granulated sugar, black olives and petitgrain - reading almost like a starter than a soap. In fact, it is these three ingredients that help to make up a large part of the product's aroma.
Out of the packet, Olive Tree smells like a flourishing meadow in the spring time - a grassy, herbal fragrance that is made up of multiple layers - each of which make an appearance at various times during use. On the one hand, this soap has a very strong element of Rooibos or green tea - a gentle and very natural smell that has a very subtle citrus undertone. On the other hand, this soap also smells like a pile of freshly cut flowers - dandelion and tulip spring to mind here.
In the shower, various other smells make an appearance - the most interesting being a distinctive note of wild sarsaparilla - a wintergreen scent with a slight element of liquorice that went down a treat.
While it's described as a non-foaming soap, I found that it does produce a very gentle oily lather that coats the skin and quickly gets to work on hydrating and repeating damaged or parched skin. After a single use, I found that the soap had made some impressive improvements - most notably how soft my arms and hands felt after I had rinsed away the oils.
The ingredients featured here mean that this soap is gentle enough to be used on the face, and I love the fact that after only two days of use, the colour on my cheeks seem slightly radiated and my complexion just appears more radiant in the mirror.
Despite this, I did find that my hands felt a little taut after use and I had to moisturise them to prevent myself getting dry patches between my fingers. Furthermore, from experience I would suggest that you don't use this directly under the running water as it is a very soft soap and I noticed that it shrunk a lot quicker than regular glycerine-filled soaps. For the price you pay for the privilege of using this, you certainly don't want it to shrink all that quickly!
Unfortunately, I found that the scent didn't really linger on the skin much beyond the shower, but the benefits saw me through the most part of a the day. For this reason, I will definitely continue using this to clean both my face and body and I look forward to trying out the other two variations that are currently on offer.
Quantitative Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Fair Trade Olive Oil, Glycerine, Granulated Sugar, Sodium Hydroxide, Perfume, Black Olives, Cypress Oil, Petitgrain Oil, Rose Oil, Gardenia Extract, Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Chlorophyllin.
2015 Price: £7.50 for 100g.
2016 Price: £7.50 for 100g.
Year Of Original Release: 2015.