TOS Crew: Virginia Soaps and Scents

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One of the fun things about being on the TOS Homeschool Crew is getting to try products I’d never heard about before. When the soaps from Virginia Soaps & Scents arrived, it was like getting an unexpected present in the mail!

The soap sampler was beautifully packaged, a group of small hand-cut bars (three soaps and a shampoo) nestled in with a little packet containing the makings for homemade laundry soap. I wish I’d taken a picture of it! Here’s a picture from the Virginia Soaps & Scents website.

The soap bars are softly scented with natural oils, creamy to the touch, pastel colored or delicately marbled. They come in a number of scents: We received coconut lemongrass (refreshing!); oatmeal milk & honey (gentle scrubbing, with real oatmeal–but not drying to the skin); and fresh orange (mmm, that citrus smell). The bars were well-cured and have lasted well.

Soap bars are 4.5 ounces and sell for $4.50 per bar, or in various combinations (3 for $12, buy 4 get one free, 10 bars for $35). Victorian Rose, Violets and Lace, and Country Clothesline will make wonderful stocking stuffers for people I know and love (but shhh! Don’t tell the girls!)…

I’m really happy with the shampoo bar. I’ve used shampoo bars before but had gotten into the habit of buying inexpensive shampoo, some years ago, after young daughters-who-will-remain-nameless-here decided to use my somewhat spendy mail-order shampoo bars to wash their dollies… ouch!

Recently I’ve been reading the chemical list on the backs of those shampoo bottles, and looking for a more natural product. Our allergies have steadily been getting worse, and I’ve read some sobering information about the chemicals routinely found in health and beauty products, but hadn’t been able to find an affordable alternative yet. Virginia Soaps & Scents‘ package came along just at the right time!

Different hair types seem to respond differently to the shampoo bar. Middlest, with her thick, wavy hair, does best if she rinses her hair with a vinegar-water solution after shampooing. I have thin, fine hair and find I only need to rinse with vinegar about once a week, or I start having trouble with tangles. The rest of the time my hair is smooth and shiny, and looks about as it used to when I’d use one of those volume-promoting shampoos.

Each 5.5 ounce shampoo bar sells for $5.50 each, and lasts through many washings.

The Laundry Soap kit is fun! If you’ve read the recipes and how-tos on the web for making homemade laundry soap, this will look familiar. The kit contains grated unscented cleaning soap plus packets with premeasured amounts of borax and washing soda. This is exactly the recipe that I’ve been using the last few years!

The sample kit we got made 1/2 gallon of laundry gel (you use it about 1/2 cup per load), while the full size kit ($4.95) makes 2 gallons (64 – 72 loads at less than seven cents a load). There are no dyes or perfumes, making this a good choice for families with allergies (which is why I started making our own laundry soap awhile ago). I’ve been told that you can use this in HE front loading washers, but I don’t have one of those. I do know that it’s low-sudsing but does a good job of getting the clothes clean, and you can use it for pre-spotting stains as well as in the washload.

If you go to the Virginia Soaps and Scents website, you’ll find a long list of  products, including all-over body bars, pet shampoo, lip balm, body butter and body powder, gourmet and holiday soaps, and more. (Gourmet soaps, you ask? Chocolate soap, for one! The others range from elegant to practical, with a little whimsy thrown in.) I’m planning to order soaps for Christmas, including their bayberry-scented Christmas soap for our bathroom and a variety of scents for presents.

Along with our sampler pack, the Crew received a brochure telling the inspiring story behind Virginia Soaps & Scents. It is the story of a family crisis, of beauty rising from ashes, and finally, of a homeschool history project that turned into a family business.

I give this family business an enthusiastic thumbs-up, and tender thanks to The Old Schoolhouse for introducing us to their products.

To read more TOS Crew reviews, please click here.

Disclaimer: Members of the TOS Crew were sent free sample boxes from Virginia Soaps and Scents to use and review. Results reported here are from our own family’s experiences. TOS Crew members receive free products for review purposes, but no monetary compensation.

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