Friday, February 10, 2012

Review - A Wild Soap Bar

A Wild Soap Bar is another company I'd never heard of, another suggestion from blog reader 'chickadee.'  I'm all over the place about this one.  When I first went to their website I was all 'Ooooooh, I love this place!'  Their soaps look awesome, the type I love, and I easily found several I wanted to try.  I noticed they had 'body balms' and was interested in those but feared they would be the harder type . . . you know, *balm.*  So I used the contact form on the website to ask if they had samples available.  Days went by and I did not receive any reply.  You know by now what a huge pet peeve that is for me.  Then I noticed they had been active on their Facebook page during those days I waited, which told me they were not too busy, which then made me cranky.  I asked my same question on their Facebook page and received a quick answer, but an answer that seemed cold, like I was inconveniencing them.  This plain ol' pissed me off and I stewed about it for a while, then decided I wanted to try the soap anyway.

As mentioned, there were several soaps that I wanted to try.  However, since I'm trying to be more careful about my crazy shopping I've been trying to order only one bar of soap from new shops I find, instead of just grabbing all the ones I see that I like.  I looked at the body balms again and decided not to risk it because they are quite pricey for a tiny 1oz jar.  With one lonely bar of soap in my shopping cart, I began the checkout process and discovered an outrageously high shipping cost of over $13.  What?!  For ONE small bar of soap?!  I went back over all the information, checked my numbers and everything, looked for different shipping options, and that was the lowest.  Ha, no freakin' way . . . and I emptied my cart in a huff.  I was so mad I even went back to Facebook, deleted my question/reply, and unliked them.

Some time went by, probably a week or more, and I kept thinking about this company.  I don't remember exactly what made me decide to do it but I eventually went back to the site and looked around again.  I get stubborn and obsessive about things sometimes, hehe.  I decided to try again, and added one bar of soap to my cart and started the checkout process once again.  I was so surprised to see a more reasonable shipping price of something like $5.95 pop up this time.  Why wasn't it there the first time??  I don't know.  And although that's still a high shipping price for one bar of soap, I decided it was within reason and I placed my order.

The day after I placed my order, I received a shipping notice.  Well alright!  At least they're prompt.  Things were looking up.  Maybe I'd been too harsh on this place afterall.

The day after that I received an email stating that my order had been cancelled, and that if it had already been packed I would receive 15% less of my refund.  No reason was given for the cancellation.  Um, WHAT?!  I promptly emailed them, simply (with raging anger and impatience) asking why it had been cancelled.  The next day I received a reply saying it wasn't cancelled, that it had been a software error, and everything was fine.

Two days later I received my order.

Of course I had picked a goat milk soap, and of course it was Honey Oat.  You probably know that's what I will usually buy from a shop I'm trying if I see they have it. 
It was when I saw the packaging that I realized this is a much bigger company than the usual handcrafted shops I order from.  They have a bar code.  They are available in stores all over the United States.  I felt a little bad about my earlier angry thoughts . . . but then got over it, and focused on the soap.

As always, I used this soap in the shower with a mesh shower pouf, and I again point out that I have very hard water (country well water) so results in your situation might be different.  Even though this soap has no added fragrance I thought it would still have the usual subtle 'soap' scent and possibly even some light scent from the honey.  But no, this bar has almost no scent at all.  When I was using it and had it right under my nose I could pick up a slight sweet floral scent but overall, nothing.  That was fine with me.  It lathered nicely, a creamy type lather that lasted all through my shower and rinsed away easily.  Although there is oatmeal in this bar it is finely ground (says 'oat flour' on the label) and I didn't feel it at all.  No fear of scratchiness in this soap.  My skin did not feel dry or tight or itchy after my shower, not even my face, which is my real test when I try new soaps.

I liked this soap.  I would say it is about average among the many soaps I've tried.  This 3.5oz bar of soap, on the smallish side among soaps, sells for $6.00.  It is made with local and organic ingredients though, and a portion of the profits is donated to two charities.  I like that the ingredients are simple, not overloaded with 'high end' ingredients meant to impress.  I really did like this soap.  But . . . all of my frustrations that came before have tainted the experience and I don't know if I would order from A Wild Soap Bar again.  

Do you have experience with this company?  I'd love to hear about it.


  1. Wow. That was a soap buying adventure!

  2. Thanks for the review Deb. I'm not sure what happened to your initial email, but I've never purposefully ignored a customer's question. We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service, so I do apologize that for some reason you didn't get an answer.

    I tried to go back and look at what was said on Facebook, but since you deleted it, I couldn't tell. I'm sure my answer was short because I wear a lot of hats around here and my time on Facebook is limited.

    We've had the cheaper USPS shipping option on our site for months, so you must have had the UPS option checked the first time you ordered. It's usually more. You paid $5.65 which is what it actually cost us to process and ship your order.

    As I explained, the cancellation notice you got was sent in error by an automated email response. Our website inadvertently cancelled 37 orders that day, something that's never happened before in our 17+ years of business. Sometimes computers have a mind of their own, so this really wasn't our fault, even though it was unfortunate. Again, I apologize for the mix up.

    I'm glad you liked our Honey Oat Soap and I hope you'll consider ordering from us again.

    Maggie Hanus, Founder/Owner
    a wild soap bar LLC

  3. Well hello, Maggie! Now I feel like important company has dropped in while my house is a mess. LOL

    I did try to tell myself that it was all a series of unfortunate events, that I was making too much of it, especially once I saw you were a bigger company than I'd realized. I really do enjoy the soap though! :)

    And thanks for taking the time to visit and comment.


  4. Jean - Indeed it was. The soap is nice though, and there ARE others I'd had my eye on so perhaps I'll try again some day. :)


  5. Yikes that must have been frustrating!!

    Another good, informative review.
    Would like to see more non-goat's milk soaps reviewed if possible though, and maybe compare a non-gm soap against goat milk soap from the same shop wherever possible. Wild Soap Bar's wild weeds, carrot, yucca root and juniper berry soaps seem promising if you're up to ordering again in the future.

    On the other hand, it'd be great if you could do a comprehensive "top ten" or "best & worst" list of all the goat milk, honey and oatmeal soaps you've tried!

    Anxiously waiting for the next soap giveaway too... :P

  6. Hello, chickadee.

    I prefer goat milk soaps, so that's what I buy. Originally I hadn't even intended on doing actual reviews because I've always been of the opinion that what I think about something might be totally different than what others think. There have been several non-milk soaps in older haul posts, but I guess that's not the same as a review.

    As for your other suggestions, I'll have to see what I can come up with. I tend to just like what I like, without hard comparisons. And it's funny, I was wondering myself recently, what my favorite Oatmeal, Milk & Honey soap is!


  7. I think you've probably come across this shop already but thought I'd nominate A Life Deliberate for your goat milk soap list. I think at one point this shop was mentioning in their listings that they do not use water in their formula, only goat milk.

  8. I do like Haul posts - especially when thy're followed up with review posts. So many times I've ordered and been thrilled when I see the packaging/physical appearance - and then the actual experience of using that product is, well, meh. But on the other hand, sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised when it's the other way round. It's good to see the follow through experience.

    And oh boy do I have a goat's milk soap for you:

  9. Thank you for the review! I just found out about them and was wondering if I ought to try them. My interest in non-commercial, harsh soaps is new and I was introduced to goat's milk soap through your blog (thank you)! I found a great goat's milk soap and actually thought of you lol The soap is from a family who runs a small goat farm in Indiana. The mom decided to raise goats so she would have healthy milk and soap for her children. It seems fabulous; I have not yet tried it though because I just found it lol. It's called Goat Milk Stuff.

  10. Hello, Alexandra!

    Oh yes, I know ALL about Goat Milk Stuff. They are the ones who got me going on this whole handmade soap adventure years ago. They are still my sentimental favorite shop. What did you order from them? It's been ages since I've ordered from them because I've been having so much fun trying everyone else.

    Did you order from A Wild Soap Bar? I hope your transaction went much more smoothly than mine.

    Thanks for reading!

  11. Jean - I know of that shop but have not ordered from them. I'll have to give it another look when I decide to start ordering again.

    Chickadee - I've also heard of Platypus Dreams but am not very familiar with that one. I'll check it out. :)