A while ago I set out to write as much as I could on cinnamon soap for no good reason. Here are the obvious, shocking, silly, disastrous, and blase results:
Metaphor Organic Cinnamon Soap
Okay, this first entry is not biased at all, haha! (I might know the owner of the soap company.) It also happens to be the gateway soap that got me hooked on all things cinnamon. Each bar is hand-crafted in a small studio in the San Francisco Bay Area. Or rather, a large soap loaf is hand poured and then the individual bars are later cut. The cinnamon scent comes from all natural cinnamon essential oil as well as cinnamon powder, but there are also a couple other essential oils thrown in to add complexity. Like a fine wine, haha. Did I mention the lather is incredible? Check out Metaphor Organic Cinnamon Soap.
Filthy Cock Soap
Oh my. Wow. Yep. Okay. So how do I not choose this one for my second ever review? Filthy Farmgirl stamped an audacious name onto an equally ambitious bar. This soap features above-average lather and a decidedly rooster-like appearance, not to mention a scent far more complex than mere cinnamon. (The aromatic blend successfully combines cinnamon with a bunch of other spices and vanilla.) Not organic, but fully natural. It's made in Hawaii, so if you're worried about how far your soap has to travel, you might want to wait until your next visit to the islands to pick up a bar. How do you not grab some of these as novelty gifts to go with your chocolate-covered macadamia nuts? Farmgirl also makes a Filthy Beaver soap that does not include any cinnamon, but does make me feel compelled to post this extremely NSFW video of a young lady washing her beaver. When do I get to meet a filthy farmgirl?! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do some scrubbing.
Cassia Clove Aromatherapy by Plantlife
The swirl of real cinnamon caught my eye with this bar, which is not unlike another cinnamon soap I know and love. But wait, what the hell is cassia? Cassia is a species of Chinese cinnamon tree. Really, it's just a fancy way of saying "cinnamon." So with that, we have two autumn scents together in a single soap, which might make you inclined to give this as a seasonal gift. The packaging is more utilitarian than gift, though, so maybe reserve it for a mother-in-law, or order a case for the entire office. Since it's branded as an "aromatherapy" soap, you'd expect Plantlife to give you a generous dose of essential oils. In this department, Cassia Clove doesn't disappoint, being one of the smellier bars I've tried. Perhaps the best part about this soap, is the bold claims I've seen about it on various sites. For example, the manufacturers mention they take care to leave in the glycerin, which acts as a humectant. Well, yes, most small-batch soapmakers leave in the glycerin, because it's a pain in the ass to remove. So you might as well leave it in, because it's a natural product of the soap reaction, and it's not really hurting anything. But glycerin would work much better as a humectant in a product you leave on the skin, such as a cream or a lotion. Another site claims the essential oils in the soap can heal rashes and skin infections. Well...maybe? I hope it works just as well to prevent rashes, since my last encounter was, after all, with a filthy farmgirl.
Green Garden Cinnamon Soap
At this point in the journey, I'm beginning to regret my single-minded focus on all things cinnamon. Not that I don't still love it, but it's getting harder to write about the subtle nuances among the different hues of this classic scent. I find I'm becoming more and more focused on the visual design of the soaps. For example, at 3.5 ounces, this Green Garden Cinnamon Soap is a petite bar, but it also carries a relatively petite price of $3.99. The dark monochrome shade and cursive font evoke mid-century Americana. This bar looks like it could have been snatched right out of a blue highway diner bathroom or non-chain motel. I'm always impressed by soaps that have their logos stamped into their sides. This extra step somehow suggests an extra degree of care, even though I'm pretty sure it actually takes less time than fitting an individual soap bar into an individual box. Still, you have to cut the bars and stamp them at the right level of firmness. Too soft and they stick to your stamp. Too hard and they crack. Could soapmaking serve as an allegory for the greater forces of, say, politics, or perhaps even the cosmos?
Pacha Cinnamon Cedarwood
Pacha's Cinammon Cedarwood fares well you take into account chemistry, bar art, box design, and scent. The bar includes unrefined shea butter, which you don't see in every natural soap, as well as madder root powder. I have to credit Pacha for introducing me to this ingredient that adds both the interesting rust highlights, as well as exfoliating grit. This is the first time I had heard of it. The splotches of madder root powder against the lemon-beige natural tint of the bar give it a decidedly giraffe-like appearance. Pacha soaps come in custom boxes that are a step more sophisticated than the average cigar band. The design draws on elements of western nostalgia with a 60s revolutionary edge. Cinnamon and Cedarwood combine in a simple pairing that results in a complex scent. The spicy cinnamon is broadened by cedar's richness. But the real selling point of this company is its social mission. A substantial portion of its revenue goes to fund sustainability and community betterment projects around the world.