I love balm- type products so I knew when I first saw the black soap in a L'Occitane store it would only be a matter of time before it took pride of place in my bathroom.
Because I'm a bit impulsive (just a tad), I took this home without even looking inside the tin so it really was a complete surprise once I opened it up and was met with the sight of semi-transparent black balmy sludge stuff and the scent of eucalyptus.
The black soap is essentially an olive oil based paste ('paste' sounds marginally more pleasant than 'sludge') with the addition of eucalyptus essential oil and is part of the L'Occitane 'Rebalancing' collection. The Rebalancing collection also includes a massage cream, exfoliating shower gel, bath infusion and a face mask but there's just something a bit extra special about the soap that got a lot of people interested.
Because of the consistency of the soap, it took me a while to figure out the best way to use it. I realise how ridiculous this sounds. My fail safe method is just to scoop a little bit out with my finger and spread it over wet skin before going to town with the loofah and getting all sudsy. It leaves me feeling clean but maybe wanting a little more in terms of fragrance? It just smells like eucaplyptus really, which is lovely of course but the scent doesn't tend to linger on my skin once I've rinsed the soap off. I suppose the fact that the scent doesn't stick around makes it suitable for pretty much everyone, after all, eucalyptus is quite a medicinal scent and might not be the kind of thing you want to walk around smelling of (especially for those of us who grew up in Australia with parents who used eucalyptus oil to remove ticks from the dogs). That said, if you're feeling a bit under the weather or as if you're coming down with a case of the winter lurgies, the eucalyptus in the black soap should help you breathe a little easier, which is never a bad thing.
Overall, I do enjoy using the L'Occitane soap. It is quite refreshing and sort of fun to use and has garnered a load of positive feedback on the L'Occitane website. As an end note - L'Occitane advise that you use the soap once or twice a week as a treatment, which I don't really adhere to. To me, it's just soap - and a pretty good one at that.
L'Occitane Black Soap is £16 in store and online.