Monday, August 13, 2018

Paintbox Soap Works

I woke the witch. And boy does she smell incredible. Paintbox Soap Works has come my way here and there over the years. It all started with The Soap Box Company several years ago and then my friend Jean. I would get a soap sample here, a scrub sample there and always enjoyed it. But ultimately it took a craftily written review for Waking The Witch on their Facebook page that got shared in a group I am a member of and then next thing I knew I had a cart full of this scent and was happily clicking "submit." And I submitted totally. No regrets. Do yourself a favor and click here, scroll down to the reviews and read it. This lady describes the scent way more masterfully that I can, but I will still have a go at it.

Waking the Witch luxury glycerin soap ($6) is full of nourishing oils and soybean oil to condition. Here is the description for Waking the Witch on the website:

"Smoldering, sticky resins, wrinkled apples drying over the fire, tea leaves & bitter berries packed in oil, & sacred jasmine & frangipani blossoms to scatter in the flames.
Waking the Witch is a blend for the night of the soul, shapeshifting from dark sticky incense to jammy fruit & dry tea, through a cloud of heady florals & back to warm coals & woodsmoke. It's the smell of gathering revelations, of plans revealed, of lines crossed & power embraced. It's deep & wild & not here to please anyone but the stars as they whirl overhead.
We have been quiet & patient & good for a very long time. Enough of that. This blend is for all of us as we dig deep & find our voices & howl into the darkness & scrape at the sky. "

This generous six ounce bar is a deep smoky hue with a smattering of silvery and icy blue glitter. I carved a slice off and it is the most incredible fall scent that has graced my shower. Petite hand-carved wooden bowls swell with wild cranberries and black raspberries in their bellies. They await the many tincture jars that line the scarred butcher's block, along with their soon-to-be-companions of herb and spice, clove and anise and nutmeg, peppercorns and patchouli sprigs. A well loved patchwork apron hangs in on a peg, decades of sage, resin and incense burning cling delicately to the fragile threads and a handpicked wildflower bouquet is tucked inside the lone pocket. The daughter inhales the scents of homecoming.

This soap not only smells amazing but it feels great too. The base is a deep smoky brown with bronze and sable mica running through it. It lathers effortlessly and rinses cleanly. The sliver in my shower is almost gone because I have been using it so much. I have one at my tub side and two more tucked away in my cabinet.

Waking the Witch Sorbetto is a thick rich sugar scrub ($12) that contains avocado and grapeseed oils, rice bran and mango butter. The texture is thick and sticky and makes for easy scooping and scrubbing. It is along the lines of The Bathing Garden but less dry and more solid. I very much like the texture. It makes fun shapes. Helpfully, it also makes for a fabulous exfoliant. I mean, that is what we are here for right? Scrubbing, not playing? Eh. I like playing. 

Everything came professionally sealed and it is encouraged to use the product up within 3 months for optimal freshness. The scent in the scrub is just like the soap.

A little goes a long way with the bath streusel ($12). I poured about 1/8 of the jar into warm running water and it fizzed and foamed and turned the water murky with its strong blackened flower scent. Nourishing golden globes of oils floated up from the warm water to the surface, to cling to legs and arms and skin. It acted as a built in lotion so that when I emerged from the bath and toweled off, there was no need to apply any. Waking the Witch is much  more moody in this version. Much more smoky and earthen.

I also threw in a wax tart clamshell into my cart. 

Kattegat- Notes: Birch, frost, cold sea water, dragon's blood. $4
Deb, if you are reading this... you knew I had to get it. VIKINGS! This smells divine. Subtly sweet spruce and birch woods stand along the water rimmed cliffs of the fjords. Resinous dragon's blood and hearth fires in the long houses keep the scent from being overly aquatic and balance it out perfectly. Two cubes threw medium-strong in the living area and kitchen. This is a scent that I will be buying more of in the future. 

I had two generous free samples in my order, both 2.5 ounce Sorbetto sugar scrubs. 

Mandinka- Notes: Spiced honey, carnation, incense and saffron.
This is gorgeous. Not sure if it is named after Sinead O'Connor or the African people but either way it smells lovely. Supremely light smoke trailing from an incense stick joins the wild honey and Balinese spices at the temple altar. Handwoven baskets of flowers, incense and spice are left as offerings and when chanced upon them, lend their sweet fragrance to the breeze. I want to bathe in this. So I will look and see if it is offered in bath products.

Gardensong- Notes: Sun warmed herbs, tomato leaf, pimento and yuzu.
The sweet grapefruit tang of yuzu features prominently then is backed up by the subtle greenery of the herblings. A summery scent that I am going to use up in the bath right now. 

I am head over heels for my Paintbox Soap Works order. I would kick myself for not ordering sooner but now I know I have time to catch up. Can't change the past. 

Do you enjoy Paintbox Soap Works? Favorite scents? What are you favorite products?


  1. LOL!!! As soon as I saw the wax name Kattegat while scrolling down, my immediate thought was 'My name will be in here somewhere...' And I was right! That's awesome. Probably not my type of scent but I suppose an ancient Vikings harbor village is not going to smell like Oatmeal, Milk & Honey. lol


    1. You knew I had to tell you about that one. <3 I bet maybe their breakfast smelled like Oatmeal, Milk & Honey. :-)

  2. Yes!!
    I've been eyeing up Waking the Witch and Mandinka for awhile.
    I really need scrubs. I need to order more of her scrubs, I love them so very much.
    Thanks for getting and reviewing that bath soak, cuz I've been interested in grabbing some for Fall bath soaking.

    1. I think you would love these two scents so very much. I know I do! I really like the bath soak and plan on getting some more. I saw all her yummy fall goodies drop. And Arcana's too. All the fun smells are coooooming!

    2. Yeah, all the Autumn scents are beginning.. I'm dying and drooling and wanting like everything already!! lol
      Yeah, those new Arcana blends sound amazing! :O Pumpkins Crave Quietude sounds like a big cult fave, but I'm hesitant on the white amber, white musk notes.. white musk usually smells awful on me.

  3. I feel dorky commenting on it but I like a well piped scrub, like in the sample jars. Recently I logged back into my Soap Box Co account, I have a few dollars left in points. Deciding if I should use them on anything, the typical problem being not knowing the age of the inventory (and shipping at a minimum is $7.20 for a small flat rate box).

    1. I think in past discussions you said you like to buy from the source or as close as possible to it, once you know you want to be a repeat buyer.

    2. What?!?! Don't ever feel dorky about that!!! I appreciate a nicely piped scrub. They can be very satisfying to look at. Plus it shows a level of care and passion for your work I think. I went to The Soap Box company last year and was poking around and found some older Arcana scents and picked them up. With perfume oils it isn't so bad to have them aged a little but not really for anything else.

      I do!!! I prefer to buy directly if I can because I know it is usually fresh and that the maker gets a larger cut of the profits. Plus sometimes the makers add fun little exclusive things. Like Sixteen92 sometimes throws in a button or sticker and I am a sucker for things like that.