26 November 2014

Spice Mountain Soap

I have always claimed that cinnamon is my favourite scent and I doubt this will change any time soon. I love adding it to sweet and savoury foods when I'm baking and there's nothing better that a sprinkle of the stuff on a Starbucks' hot chocolate. However, that's not to say that I cannot tire of the scent when it's used in cosmetics. Such is the case with this soap.

While I love Glogg Shower Gel, Christmas Kisses Bubble Bar and Melting Snowman Bath Melt, I recognise the fact that I love these products because of the inclusion of cinnamon alongside other ingredients. Despite Spice Mountain claiming to be a multi-layered spicy and fruity concoction, I found it's scent rather strange and rather one-dimensional at times. 

When Lush brought this back during a retro release in December of 2012, I was rather excited. Before this appearance, Spice Mountain hadn't been seen for eight years and I had resided in the fact that I would probably never get to try it out myself. For shame. However, when it made an appearance in the Kitchen recently, I couldn't wait to get a fresh slice as I couldn't remember what I first thought about two years ago. I wish I had saved my money.   

Described as possessing a mulled-wine aroma, this soap contains a combination of patchouli, cinnamon, lime and orange oil. The latter two ingredients supposedly add a fruity element to the scent whilst cinnamon gives it it's warm, spicy aroma and patchouli ties everything together with a gentle exotic kick. These ingredients have not only been added for their scent, but because they're great at stimulating circulation and aiding warmth for those winter-kissed bodies in need of something comforting. 

In the packet, I could immediately smell the cinnamon - a fresh, spicy aroma that was very welcoming and very Christmassy. Alongside this, I could also detect a playful fruity scent, which is no doubt the orange and lime coming through. Together, they reminded me very slightly of the rich and rather sweet combination that you would expect with a Karma product. Fans of Hot Toddy and Glogg will no doubt love this.

Unfortunately, when I removed the soap from the packet, I was able to detect an aroma that was far from pleasant. Now this is going to sound rather strange, but to me the soap possesses a note of what I can only describe as dried sawdust soaked in stale hamster urine. In all fairness, I never expected to use the words 'hamster' or 'urine' on this blog and it sounds a little strange doing so, but that is the only way I can describe one of the dominating notes that a fresh slice of this soap seems to have. Has anyone else experienced this or are my senses completely off? 

While I am aware that this distinctive smell would no doubt put most people off of using it, I was determined to test it out in the shower and was pleased to discover that the unwanted Eau-de-rodent aroma does dissipate behind the other smells. The heat brings the sweetness of the other ingredients to the forefront and the scent reminded me a little of old-fashioned cola cubes and Lush's Santa Lip Scrub. Unfortunately, the soap's fragrance doesn't diversify much in the water and I was disappointed to find that instead, it gave off quite a strong cinnamon smell that became a little unbearable at times. 

Surprisingly, Lush have also include soya milk in the ingredients list, which does make this soap slightly softer and gentler on the skin. You can see the milk in action when you're lathering it up in the shower as a light, creamy foam is dispelled from the chunk. This leaves your skin with a slight gleam after you've towelled yourself down, which is lovely. 

In it's defence, the soap does leave you feeling refreshed and more alert - snorting a load of cinnamon will do this to you! However, I didn't find it very easy to lather up when compared to other Lush soaps, and I ended up making my legs a little sore after I tried to massage the soap over these areas to clean.  

While the soap is definitely in keeping with the festive period, it didn't offer anything that I couldn't get from sniffing a pot of the spice and it wasn't anywhere near as comforting as the products I mentioned at the start of this review. For this reason, it's not one I intend on purchasing again, even if Lush take another eight years to bring it back. 

For some reason I get the impression that this would be more appealing for men as it's quite a strong, wholesome fragrance. Reflecting on my experience, I think I'll leave Spice Mountain for others to enjoy and instead share my winter showers with my much loved Hot Toddy Shower Gel. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Soya Milk (Glycine soja), Sodium Stearate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Perfume, Patchouli Oil (Pogostemon cablin), Lime Oil (Citrus aurantifolia), Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax benzoin), Cinnamon Leaf Oil (Cinnamomum cassia), Orange Oil (Citrus dulcis), Sodium Chloride, Titanium Dioxide, Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), Colour 18050, Colour 61585.

Vegan?: Yes.

2014 Price: £4.00 for 100g.
2016 Price: £4.25 for 100g.


  1. Oh, I'm glad I didn't decide to add this to my orders from the Kitchen this week after reading this review. The hamster urine part made me laugh out loud, don't know what that says about me. I guess it sounded rather absurd. Hamster urine is not, as far as Im aware, a common ingredient in soaps, haha.

    1. Haha - your comment on the hamster urine made me laugh on the bus and get a few strange looks from members of the public. And I would hope it was not a common ingredient - it would put me off soap for life!

  2. Oh, that's a shame. I just bought this hoping it would make a nice festive handsoap.

    1. Please don't be put off though - I had my flatmates give it a smell; one agreed with me and one said they couldn't detect the smell at all. It may work differently for you!

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