In the 12th century, the English began making soap. It wasn’t until 1600 that soapmaking became a commercial industry, in the American colonies particularly, but for many years before that soap was made for household use.
In the 17th century, cleanliness and personal hygiene started to become popular in most of Europe, and even more so in the wealthier communities.
During the 19th century, soap was taxed heavily as it was considered a luxury item in many regions and countries. After this taxation was removed, it became more accessible to more people. This was when cleanliness standards have improved dramatically across societies.
Larger scale soapmaking began in 1791 when Nicholas Leblanc, a French chemist, patented the process for using common salt to create soda ash. This is obtained from ashes and mixed with fat to make soap. This discovery quickly became one of the fastest-growing industries of the 1800s.
Soap manufacturing remained relatively the same until 1916. During the two World Wars, however, the shortage of vegetable and animal fats and oils essential in making soap posed problems. Chemists resorted to other raw ingredients and synthesized them into chemicals that had the same properties.
Today, we know these as detergents, but we call them soap. Because they’ve become so common, it can sometimes be confusing to call soap as a detergent, especially when shopping, because you might be referring to laundry or dishwashing detergent instead.
Popular English Soap Brands
Floris London was founded almost three centuries ago when Juan Famenias Floris came up with his first-ever fragrance. He documented his formula and kept on crafting different blends to sell to his distinguished customers. Each new fragrance was another new formula written in his book. For 300 years, these records have been kept securely in the vaults of the company, and have been handed down from one generation to the next – all within the same family – to provide inspiration for the Floris products still created today.
You can see Floris London’s creations today on their website and on Amazon. They have an in-house team that produces unique fragrances and products, all of which need to be approved by the Floris ‘nose’, Edward Bodenham, who is actually the 9th generation Floris family member.
The Floris London Rose Geranium Soap is a great example of this meticulous attention to quality and fragrance. It is a traditional soap that’s embossed with a beautiful floral design. It does not only cleanse the skin but also leaves it deeply moisturized and nourished.
The House of Creed all began with one bottle of Royal English Leather that was commissioned by King George III. It was a rich blend of sandalwood, ambergris, and mandarin. The King was so enamored by a pair of scented Creed gloves.
Since then, the company has been passed from father to son for 7 generations since it was founded in London way back in 1760. James Henry Creed started the company and it has since become a name synonymous with carefully handcrafted uncommon, unique fragrances for exclusive patrons and royal houses. It has been in business for more than 250 years.
Learn more about the history and legacy of Creed by watching this short video:
Yardley London is a popular manufacturer and dealer of luxury soaps and fragrances. A really fun fact about this company is that it was born in mid-17th century England, as King Charles I was still reigning. During the time, Jonathan Yardley was a young entrepreneurial spirit who obtained a royal warrant to provide ALL the soap for the entire city of London.
There is no tangible proof to explain how such a sizeable warrant has been acquired by a young man, but many speculate he had to pay the monarch a large sum. Since then – to this very day – Yardley remains not just as a huge soapmaker, but a luxury brand that people seek out all over the world.
This Yardley London Soap Bath Bar Bundle is an ideal representation of the quality of its products, as well as the assortment that you might expect from the brand.
The bundle includes 2 English Lavender bars, which are made with pure lavender extracts and essential oils. These are great for calming and soothing your skin. They gently exfoliate the skin gently while creating a very aromatic and therapeutic experience. You’ll end up revitalized, hydrated, and nourished and your skin will thank you for it.
It also includes 2 Oatmeal and Almond bars, which are ideal for soothing dry skin. This soap bar features sweet overtones of natural oatmeal and almond mixed together. What you get are gentle exfoliation and natural skin protection. It’s perfect for dry skin because it defends against further dryness and irritation. These two ingredients have been tried and tested to provide gentle moisturizing and cleansing.
You will receive 2 Aloe and Avocado bars, too. These are a great choice for your morning baths if you want to wake up energized and ready to go. They’ll give the start of your day an extra boost with the lively citrus and herbal scent. In addition, these will be great for nourishing your skin.
2 Pure Cocoa Shea Butter and Vitamin E bars are there, too. These are ready to soften and hydrate dry skin with a creamy and rich lather. The scent is a nice plus. You’ll end up with luxuriously rejuvenated and soft skin.
Finally, the final pieces of the set are 2 Lemon Verbena bars, which are designed to soften and tone the skin. They come with natural shea butter and pure citrus oils to give your skin the ultimate protection.
The Somerset Toiletry Company
This company was founded in 1999 by Roger and Sakina Buoy. Roger was a business tycoon, while Sakina was an expert in aromatherapy. Together, they identified a market gap that they intended to fill. As a result, the company was born to produce beautiful, reasonably priced luxury toiletries and bath products.
Roger and Sakina Buoy founded The Somerset Toiletry Company in 1999. Serial entrepreneur Roger and aromatherapy expert Sakina identified a gap in the market to produce beautiful, honestly priced luxury toiletries.
In this video below, Sakina herself talks about herself, the company, and how proud she is of their unique and high-quality products.
The Somerset is always dedicated to sourcing the highest quality of ingredients to create unique formulations and fragrances. This company sets itself apart by being fully transparent as to what ingredients it uses, most of which are natural extracts. Its best-selling collections are paraben-free and SLS-free. All products are tested in-house and are cruelty-free.
The Asquith & Somerset England Gardenia Flower Luxury Soap is a stunning example of this ethical approach to soapmaking. It is triple-milled, ensuring high purity and quality. It has been enriched with shea butter to not just clean, but also moisturize the skin. What you are left with is cleansed, fragrant, and nourished the skin.
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