Monday, July 25, 2011

A love affair, an addiction, and soap.

Yes, this blog is for Linnaeus Cosmetics updates. However, I've decided that should I come across any fellow indie companies that get me excited about their products, I'm going to use this blog as my roof top to shout from.

Now, if you know me, you know I'm easily excited. However, you must also know that I don't really gush about much. I'm a bit of a pain in the keester when it comes to being impressed, so if I'm going to carrying on praising something or someone, there's bound to be a lot of weight to it. Also, it should be noted that despite knowing Meghan (owner of Dreaming Tree Soapworks) via twitter prior to ordering, this doesn't influence all the gushing that's about to ensue. I'm genuinely impressed with this company, personal relations aside.

 
An introduction of sorts
I first found out about Dreaming Tree Soapworks after the owner, Meghan, followed LC on her personal twitter account. I then learned about her company via her tweets. Handmade soap always elicits the same feelings that staring at well prepared meals does with me; for some reason I just want to eat it. I know it's soap. It's not edible. For some reason though it just looks like it'd be a lot of fun to eat. Think: the food fight scene in Hook. Thus, I spent a great deal of time staring at DTS products and cleaning up my drool off the keyboard. Like many other bath and body companies, DTS wound up on my ever growing list of indie companies to check out.

I finally had a little spending cash available and decided to use it to buy some goodies for the July giveaway  (which you need to check out if you already haven't!). I've been doing my best to buy independently made goods whenever I have the chance, and this was the perfect opportunity to try out new companies, while also giving back to my customers. I contacted Meghan about the giveaway, letting her know that I was purchasing items for a giveaway. She responded promptly and was equally excited about the collaboration. My items were shipped within a reasonable time and she even threw in free samples of whipped sugar scrubs to include in the giveaway.

Presentation
I know, I know, a product isn't great just because of its shiny packaging. However, I put a lot of value into product presentation, especially with indie companies. It shows attention to detail and pride in the products that company makes. You don't have to spend a ton of money to make great packaging either. DTS' branding is consistent and well executed from the website to the actual products themselves.

While DTS is planning on setting up a new website in the month ahead, the current website is definitely on the better end of indie companies websites. It's easy to navigate and visually appealing. Pictures are clear and accurate. There is a wealth of information on the company available. Product descriptions are concise and easy to read. The only drawback (if you can even call it that) is that if you aren't familiar with the DTS branding, it may be difficult to find a specific product you're looking for due to how they are organized. For example "Familiar Fairy Tales" and "Once Upon a Dream" are options under the "Products" tab on the navigation bar. Both of which, upon clicking them, do you then find out contain bar soaps. There is a description at the top of each product page explaining what exactly that category is; i.e. "Once Upon a Dream" contains limited edition soaps. This isn't an issue with me, especially considering that all of the products are located right under the "Products" tab, and no where else. The cart system is also easy to use. I'm sure the new website will be even more lovely!

Upon receiving my order, everything was carefully packaged. It was like opening a little present- something I thoroughly enjoy about indie companies. The soaps themselves are brilliantly labeled. Meghan has done a wonderful job of keeping up with DTS' branding by creating labels that are professional and consistent. I keep harping on the "consistent" thing because it's a pet peeve of mine to receive items that are a hodgepodge of fonts and layouts and do not have a clear branding theme. There is a brief description of the item on the label, as well as ingredients. I was never left searching the label for information as everything is clearly presented.


 The soap bars themselves are like pieces of artwork. While I know very little of the soap making process and how much control anyone has over the appearance of the final product- the colors of these soaps are organic/natural and continue to follow the DTS branding perfectly.

Customer Service
A company is no good to me if it has shoddy customer service. I order form independent businesses to support the people behind them. If you don't take care of your customers, why should I take care of you via purchasing your goods? DTS' customer service is absolutely wonderful. DTS is run by just Meghan. I'm in awe of how much she does, and yet she's still able to readily reply to emails.

Here is why I really love DTS: Meghan knows her shit. She's not haphazardly throwing things together. She's not buying wholesale products and labeling them as her own. She/DTS is the real deal. All of her products are made from scratch. She is extremely knowledgeable about every single ingredient that goes into her products. This is an important characteristic that, unfortunately, seems to be lacking in the indie bath and beauty world (I'm looking at you, sketchy companies that pop up over night). There is a passion and drive behind her business. DTS is not just a business, it's a craft and she is a true artisan.

Product Efficiency
I ordered three soaps for the giveaway and placed a second order for myself. Thus, I'm just going to review the specific items I bought for myself.

So, I kept the soaps on my desk for several weeks because I wanted to finish using the current soap I had. My apartment smelt absolutely lovely because of these soaps! I almost didn't want to use them. Luckily, in my personal order, Meghan included a soy melt for me...something actually intended to keep the apartment smelling nice haha.

Anyway, I'm not going to cover the scents because I am daft when it comes to describing smells other than saying it "smells like ass" or "it smells awesome." Trust me, everything from DTS that I have purchased smells awesome. The scent descriptions on the website I would consider to be very accurate. Therefore, I'll just copy and paste them for each of the products below:


Enchanted Apple Soap: Like the magical wishing apple given to Snow White by the Wicked Queen, this sinfully delicious body bar smells of sweet apple with a cinnamon spicey bite.

Honestly, I wasn't too stoked about trying out bar soap. I prefer liquid soap to squeeze onto a loofah. Man, I've been missing out. This soap smells wonderful (awesome, if you will). It lathers easily and I ended up resorting to my loofah-y ways by rubbing it on my loofah in order to use it. Here's what I mean when I say "I've been missing out": I felt CLEAN after using this soap. Yes, I know how to bathe. It isn't the first time I've ever used soap. It's just that this soap does not leave a residue, not even the slightest. Something that I now realize liquid soaps seem to be prone to doing. I felt so incredibly squeaky clean and wonderful after I used this soap. It didn't dry my skin out either. I don't think I'm ever going to buy liquid soap again. Also, the soap leaves a pleasant lingering scent. Nothing too strong. Just perfect in my opinion.


 Misty Mountain:  Minty, woodsy and fresh like a hike through Tolkien's enchanted mountains. Enriched with French green clay to help cleanse and purify your skin. Avocado & jojoba oils add a moisturizing and healing touch to this magnificent bar for both men & women.

I bought this for my boyfriend, who promptly fell in love with it. While I haven't used it myself, he was thoroughly impressed with it. We had the same "OMG. I feel CLEAN" experience haha.

 Siren of the Sea-Sea Salt Spa Bar: Thalassotherapy, the practice of bathing in sea salt water, is not only relaxing, but therapeutic as well. The salt increases blood circulation, helps eliminate toxins, and activates the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Bathing with salt improves the skin’s look and feel, resulting in a radiant, healthy glow.
Siren of the Sea is a unique soap that is chock-full of sea salt and rich olive and avocado oils for a soothing, luscious lather. It's clean, fresh scent is a blend of sea moss, lavender, sandalwood, ozone (air) and other light florals that are truly reminiscent of a soft ocean breeze. It's an amazing spa experience at home!


I got this one for my mama. The woman loves it. 'nuff said.  

 Alyce Velvet Dream Whipped Sugar Scrub: We first take a magical blend of oils and butters, like apricot kernel oil, pumpkin-seed oil, virgin coconut oil,  organic fair trade shea butter and a few other secret ingredients and whip them into sugar for a creamy nourishing scrub that leaves your skin, so soft, smooth and glowing you'd swear it was velvet!

I received a free sample of this and will definitely be buying more. My skin was wonderfully smooth. I focused on my knees and heels when I used this and they felt amazing afterward! Much like the shave bar (below), I didn't need to use lotion once I got out of the shower because this left me feeling clean and super silky without any hint of a residue.

 Magic Mirror Facial Cleansing Bar: A lightly moisturizing facial bar with skin softening orange oil, antibacterial and astringent tea tree, and antioxidant rich grape seed oil for a smoother and clearer complexion. Perfect for oilier skin types!

I have the most obnoxiously oily skin. The kind that is super oily, but as soon as you wash it, it dries out. I think the Magic Mirror bar may be my new holy grail product. I haven't used it long enough to see any long-term effects (whether it helps clear my skin up at all or something like that), but so far I'm loving it. Again, my face feels clean. Yet, it doesn't dry it out. It leaves my face soft and not irritated at all.

 Dark Goddess Shave Bar: Specially formulated for nick free, seriously comfortable, sexy smooth, shaving! Scented with luscious Black Amber and Lavender to bring out the Dark Goddess in you!

Ok, so this was the one I was most skeptical about. I've never used a shave bar before. In fact, I stopped using shaving cream/gel a long time ago. I just use my liquid conditioner once I realized A) it was cheaper and B) it left my legs a hell of a lot smoother and silkier. It took a couple of seconds to get a lather going...then I realized it actually had a lather to it, but not what I was used to. When I say "lather" I don't mean a frothy, bubbly mess, but rather a smooth usable/spreadable amount...if that makes sense. I went ahead and applied it to my leg, not thinking much, and then Jesus on a pony! This stuff is amazing! My razor glided right over my legs effortlessly. My crazed axe-murderer shaving techniques were no match for this shaving bar. I sustained not a single nick! and!!! my legs felt freaky nice afterward! They were smooth and didn't have an oily residue. I didn't even need to use lotion after I got out of the shower.

The Bottom Line
I know I sound like I'm just spilling my guts here, but it is all well deserved. Very few indie companies have impressed me this much. I can't wait until I have the cash to try out some of DTS' other products. There's a whole bunch of fall products Meghan is currently working on! If you're looking for bath and body products, I highly recommend DTS.

Want a chance to try out DTS? Don't forget that I bought items from DTS to giveaway!

Have you tried anything from DTS? Have any items you'd like to try? I want to hear them!

-Marin

6 comments:

  1. I'm curious about the sugar scrubs myself. Thanks from linking me to the review on Twitter, Marin! <3

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  2. @VijiiS You should definitely check them out. I've used at least a few other sugar scrubs from different companies and this one is my favorite.

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  3. I haven't tryed anything from DTS but they look great, those soaps look amazing :)The Enchanted Apple Soap looks great I beat it also smells great:)

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  4. @broken.wings I highly recommend DTS! Not only do they just look great, each of the products performed great!

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  5. I really want to try them now! I love using bar soaps especially. I wish I wasn't always in a perpetual state of broke-ness, lol.

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  6. @Judikins I seriously cannot say enough awesome things about DTS. I just placed another order, mostly for soaps to give to my friends and family :)

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