Huntress of the Lens


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Love letter to not just any soap.

It's a rare day when I blog twice. Blogging is a morning thing for me, and goes along with coffee and those first crucial cigarettes of the day.

Sometimes, if I've had a particularly rough day, either emotionally or physically I like to immerse my body in extra hot water in my ultra-narrow cast-iron tub. This bathtub was "modern" when the claw-foot tub went out of fashion. I sit in the water, knowing that I am made mostly of water and try to imagine the solid parts of me as separate from the whole. Bones, teeth, skin, it's undiluted body.

Today my bar of Go Man, Go soap arrived, and I think it was the combination of the day and the allure of the scent that brought me to some hot water meditation time.

When you open the little muslin bag there's always something written about Jessie's soap, it's always got a clever name, and smells like nothing you can purchase in a store. Here's what it said about this one:

"Coconut milk and sweet mango? Yes please! You know here at Monkeypoo we don't play when it comes to delicious ingredients, and goMango is not exception.

Made with natural sweet creamy coconut milk for moisture, fresh food-grade cocoa butter for its skin loving properties and fresh pureed carrots (for beta carotene, vitamin A and its restorative properties.) A yummy homemade base of olive oil, coconut oil, soybean oil and sustainable palm oil. Get your skin a jump start on summer! The scent is sweet and citrusy and the perfect start (or finish) to your day.

Extremely moisturizing and skin loving and jam packed with vitamins, nutrients and natural glycerin. No crappy filler ingredients. Cold processed and made in small batches."

A lovely description, thoughtfully written. Unfortunately the essence and experience of this delicious bar of body loving goodness just doesn't come all the way through, even with that as the label.

It's nothing special to look at, it's beige. Why? because there are never any artificial colors in Jess' soap. It's just a plain little rectangle until you touch it. The bar (even before being immersed in water) has the feel of a "lotion bar" or some other moisturizing product that you would apply directly to your skin with no water. Dip it into a hot bath and it comes alive in your hand and that part of your palate that lives in your nose. I could pick up the scent of carrot (not the big old knobby ones from the supermarket, but the thin little babies that have orange light that shines from within. I covered myself with the smooth feel of it, then sat with the bar pressed to my nose, trying to pinpoint the actual scent, the memory trigger it was to me.

Its closest likeness was to the little hard candies my Grandmother used to keep in her purse sometimes, always a wonderful bribe to keep us quiet in church. the little ovals, wrapped in white cellophane with a picture of a fruit, and only spanish words on the label. Hard candies, but if you weren't patient and crunched them there was a sweet and soft center that made you wish you'd waited a little longer. That is the picture the fragrance painted for me.

I could feel my skin drink this liquid sunshine the bar was creating, and soak it up like a sponge. Now, dried off, I do not smell like a fruit salad, but I do still catch a whiff of summer breeze and golden light.

This is my love letter to something as simple as a bar of soap. Each different kind is a whole new affair I have in my shower, but this evening belonged to goMango. I treat myself to soaps that are only crafted by these two hands, these Jessica hands that I love. Sometimes the simplest treats are the most decadent.

Treat yourself to something delicious- beJessie on


  1. I too got one of her amazing mango soaps. I have yet to unwrap it. Your post reminded me to go ahead and live for today. What's the use in saving things for a special occassion when everyday we wake up is one. Off to the tub I go, Mango soap in hand!

  2. wow! i love the descriptive way you tell your stories. I was sucked in almost smelling the soapy goodness. I too have a love affair with Jessie's soaps.... how do I love thee, let me count the ways :)


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