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Overfed Hotel Soap
Helan Laboratorio
By Daryn Guarino

The next soap I tried was Vetiver & Rum by Helan Laboratorio (3.5oz for around $5.00). The package appears to be an Italian import with English added almost as an afterthought and makes promises of "materials recalling an old artisanship tradition."

These raw materials, listed as precious and aromatic substances, included nutmeg, clove, Haitian vetiver, essence of black pepper, rum, and sweet almond oil.

For your information, vetiver is a grass, traditionally from tropical India, which is cultivated for its aromatic roots.

Included inside the package is a small ten-page product brochure, in English, that went on about heady notes of lemon, bergamot, and cedar and turning on my life energy with spicy hints and exotic tones that will leave a trail of warm sensual colors... I half-expected this soap to leave me with stripes.

After removing the paper inner wrapper, I couldn't help but notice that three and a half ounces is a puny soap. It was very reminiscent of an overfed free hotel soap. I also expected it to smell a bit more distinctive for all the hype that I had been fed, but all I got was a slightly spicier version of the, less expensive, English Leather by Dana.

The sweet almond oil and the other vegetable oils became a very mild lather that didn't make my skin any dryer, but didn't soften it either. It cleans well enough and smells nice, but there just isn't anything special about this soap. Unfortunately, it's just an average performance from a very average product.

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