Stylish and Sophisticated Small-Batch Bar Soaps

From the whiskey-infused to the architectural, a list of cleansers with added value

While body washes, shower gels and bath oils have become exceedingly common, the humble bar of soap is experiencing a renaissance. Using much less plastic and packaging than liquid counterparts, bar soaps are oftentimes infused with natural ingredients, divine aromas and plenty of nourishing ingredients to keep your skin feeling hydrated and smooth. Each brand listed below reimagines the unassuming, old-fashioned bar of soap, whether infusing it with whiskey or crafting it to look like terrazzo.

Two Deserts Soap

Crafted by Marfa, Texas-based Marfa Brands for Joshua Tree, California-based Wonder Valley, the Two Deserts Soap ($15) honors two high deserts—a distinction made for dry terrain at or above 2,000 feet elevation. Wonder Valley’s lush olive oil acts as the foundation for the soap composed of palo santo, juniper, cedar, eucalyptus, ginger and a natural smoke tinge. Free from synthetic dyes and foaming agents, this all-purpose and all-natural cleanser comes in packaging designed by LA-based artist John Zabawa.

Cosmic Yuzu “Terrazzo” Soap

We’ve long loved Maine-based Wary Meyers’ artsy striped soap bars that bring a dock-side sea breeze or Japanese cherry blossom right to the bathroom sink. Linda and John Meyers have been experimenting with soap scraps, and the result are terrazzo-like bars that evoke the work of designer Shiro Kuramata—who created his own special terrazzo by embedding colored glass in concrete. The visually stunning bars are available in two shades/scents: Cosmic Yuzu or Astral Shower ($14).

Hand Soap and Dish

To limit single-use plastic, the brand by Humankind delivers their rich hand soap ($15)—which comes in tea tree, grapefruit or lavender—with an accompanying bacteria- and mold-resistant dish. Your first order will arrive with both products, but those that follow include just the soap. by Humankind’s cold-processed and cured cubes contain a higher amount of glycerin (the moisturizing agent in soap) and boast a greater density, making them longer lasting.

Welcome Soap

Shaped like a freshwater bream, this Welcome Soap ($42) is moulded with a Kashigata, and replicates the popular fish-shaped Taiyaki cake. Available in three colors, each one boasts a different fragrance: red is pomegranate, white is lily blossom, and black is brown sugar. With lovely, minimal packaging, this soap-on-a-rope is made in Japan.

Big American Bourbon Soap

Duke Cannon Supply Co’s oversized Big American Bourbon Soap bar ($10) incorporates Buffalo Trace Distillery’s award-winning (and delicious) Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The liquor lends this American-made soap a sweet and oaky scent—much like that of a whiskey barrel. At 10 ounces, it lasts longer than any average bar.

Hero image courtesy of Wary Meyers