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I have a serious weakness for bath and body products. When I worked at LUSH, it got to be real bad. I even had to buy extra shower caddies and stick-on soap holders for all my product. But I also drank the kool-aid while I was there — I only bought and used LUSH product. Now that I don’t work there, I don’t feel such overwhelming guilt for going outside the fold. So, in my never-ending quest to be the best-smelling person in the world, I ventured into the well-known indie brand Haus of Gloi a little while back.
Haus of Gloi has made quite a name for itself in the few years it’s been around. The indie shop started out on etsy, as so many do, and has now branched out into a stand-alone e-front. All their products are vegan and cruelty-free, and besides the usual suspects of bar soaps and lotions include whipped soap, bubbling scrubs and even the ability to create your own perfume. My first go around, I could barely contain the order to a reasonable size.
Apothecary bar soap
Troika body emulsion
Picaroon body emulsion
Ploughman bubbling scrub
Perfume samples in Elevenses, Litchi Milk Tea, Madcap Garden, Imp and Peach Mama (free sample)
I loved them all so much, that several weeks later, I went back for another round.
The second time, I ordered:
Earl Grey pumpkin butter
Beguiled pumpkin butter
Zazz pumpkin butter
Perfume samples in Honeysuckle Lemon Curd and Sanctum (free sample)
First off, the quality of everything is awesome. Amazing. Superb. More than that, all the scents are beautifully unique. One touch I really appreciated is that the products come in sealed jars, both on the outside and inside.
Shipping was super quick — my first order shipped the very next day, and my second shipped within a few days. I was pleasantly surprised to find a partial refund on shipping costs for my first order, as I had apparently paid more than it actually cost to ship.
Each time, I got a free perfume sample and some candy included in the package, as well as a personalized thank-you note and a business card.
Instead of going down product by product, I’ll do an overview of the types of products then look at the scents individually.
The bar soap is perfectly sized, at a generous 3.7-4 oz. Each has a unique design, and is as beautiful to look at as it is to use. They are shrink-wrapped with a sticker label. It lathered well and rinsed clean without any scummy feeling. In the bar soap, I got the scent Apothecary. It was decorated with dried flowers, just like you might press between the pages of a book.
The body emulsions are a lighter coconut oil-based lotion. The texture is extraordinary. They have an airy, whipped feeling, and the closest way I can think to describe it is like a meringue — it’s fluffy, but upon pressure (i.e. blending it into the skin) it breaks down and turns almost liquid-y. It’s super hydrating but quick absorbing, especially perfect for the summertime.
The pumpkin butters, on the other hand, are denser and more moisturizing. They are thicker and feel more like a traditional body butter. At first, I thought I preferred the body emulsions to the pumpkin butters, but after extended use, I can’t pick between the two. The pumpkin butters would be better for wintertime because of how rich they are, but I’ve been using them throughout the muggy Louisiana summer and haven’t had any complaints.
The bubbling scrub is a sugar scrub that, as the name implies, can double as your body wash or soap. Haus of Gloi also makes an emulsifying scrub which is more of a traditional, moisturizing scrub that doesn’t necessarily cleanse as well. It’s densely packed and incredibly scrubby.
The perfumes are definitely the shining star. They are all oils, so they have great longevity and throw. I do find, however, that especially with my body chemistry, oils tend to be incredibly hit or miss for me. They smell great in the bottle, but once worn, they can tend to turn a bit strange. That’s something that’s going to be totally dependent on your own body chemistry, though.
And speaking of perfumes, here are my thoughts on each individual scent.
Old books, bubbling concoctions, herbs and creaking floor boards! A pure essential oil blend of: Lemongrass, rosemary, blood cedar, sweet basil, lavender and the tiniest drop of vetiver.
This is probably one of the most unique and extraordinary scents I’ve ever smelled. It really does smell like an antique book store — a little dusty and earthy, but warm and comforting at the same time. My boyfriend, Mike, chose this scent, and he loves it.
A trinity of soft milks, almond, oat and coconut, lashed with sweet agave nectar and the ethereal scent of clean white.
This is by far my favorite scent. Long-time readers know my love affair with almond scents, and it’s perfectly blended with rich, sweet oat and coconut. It’s gourmand and dessert-like without being cloying. Once my sample jar runs out, I’m definitely going to re-order more of this. It reminds me a little bit of LUSH Snowcake, but better, if that’s possible. (Don’t tell Snowcake I said that…)
Sun scorched mahogany bough crusted with a crystalline sea spray! Faint plundered spices, lemongrass, coconuts, expressed Mexican lime, and Haitian bay rum.
This was the second scent that Mike chose. This is a great tropical scent that doesn’t veer into pina colada territory. It’s got a sharp bite of lime, rum and coconuts at first, then settles into a bright, spicy lemongrass. This is a great scent for summertime.
Well worn leather, dirt n’ dandelions, carrot, a pinch of tobacco and a light sheen of feral skin musk.
These aren’t scent notes that I normally go for, but I was just so curious I had to try it out. This really does smell like, well, a ploughman. It smells overwhelmingly of dirt and grass, but not in a dirty way, if that makes sense.
Elevenses – Not quite breakfast and not quite lunch, its the little sip and nibble in between! Bring out the old cracked china! Tiny, little, fluffy orange cakes, sugar coated toasty almonds and a wee steaming cup of black tea.
To be honest, I thought I’d love this scent more than I do. To me, it smells like orange marmalade — a little bitter and pithy, but sweet and fruity. The hint of black tea grounds it, and the almond prevents it from turning into a fruity scent.
Litchi Milk Tea
Tart lychee fruit and black tea met with a splash of coconut milk.
This is another of my favorite scents. A few years ago, when I dabbled with making my own soaps, I found a scent called red litchee tea. This smells just like it, but the coconut milk prevents it from being too one-note. It’s sweet and fruity, just my kind of scent.
A lively blend, pure black tea chilled with peppermint and the tiniest spike of sweet honey. Very unisex, stimulating, addictive, and bright.
This is such an interesting blend. I got the perfume sample of this, but I think it would be great as a lotion. It’s a sweet peppermint that’s not candy-like. The peppermint is naturally cooling and refreshing, but the honey also warms it up. I didn’t like it too much at first, but it’s grown on me.
This little fellow longs to be your bath time companion! Peculiar passion fruit mingling with sun cured apricots, perfectly pink grapefruit juice and innocent whispers of wet mimosa blooms.
Of course, I knew I’d love this one. It’s all fruity floral sweetness, but with a tiny little hint of tartness that prevents it from becoming too sugary. It reminds me just a teensy bit of Victoria Secret Love Spell, but infinitely better.
Peach nectar and a host of resins: offertory frankincense, styrax, copaiba balsam and ambered labdanum absolute. Warmed with cassia and a barely audible breath of black patchouli.
This came as a sample with my first order. If I’m honest, it’s one that I never would have picked for myself. I can’t stand patchouli anything, and I’m not a fan of any resinous scent notes at all. I still wouldn’t wear this, but I don’t hate it like I thought I might. The peach nectar keeps this from veering into dreadlocked head-shop territory.
Honeysuckle Lemon Curd
Rich and lemony with a touch of fresh honeysuckle.
This is a great refreshing scent. I assume because of the lemon curd, it turns a wee bit sour but the honeysuckle keeps it fresh and spring-like. I want to try this as a soap.
A welcome respite: Muskmelon, coconut water infused with bergamot flower, kaffir lime, polished ho wood and sticky benzoin.
This was the perfume sample that came with my second order. I was interested in this by the description, but I wasn’t sure if I’d love it, so I’m really glad I got this as a sample. It smells just like the melon soda candies I used to buy as a kid.
Lemon cake made with the tang of fresh buttermilk, raspberry coulis – an otherwise innocent cake corrupted by cardamom and deceptive pink peppercorns.
I’m so obsessed with this scent. It really does smell just like fresh lemon cake. I love using this with Troika — it makes me smell like a bakery.
When something feels a bit lackluster, dull and boring, it obviously is lacking, zazz. To fix this we recommend something definitely zazzy and not overly complicated: Tart cranberry, pink grapefruit, sparkling champagne all shook up with crushed ginger root.
To be honest, this smells nothing like I thought it would. The ginger comes out dominant, with the champagne playing a close second. It smells a little like ginger beer, and is hardly fruity at all. This is actually, in my opinion, a male-friendly or unisex scent. Mike likes this one a lot.
Black tea misted with bergamot
This is a Reverie scent which means it is potentially a one-off. Haus of Gloi plays with random blends, and puts the results up for sale. They may or may not enter the general catalog. Unfortunately, it seems this did not make it into the GC. I was hoping this would smell just like earl grey tea, which is one of my favorites. The scent notes are all there, but it doesn’t smell like a cup of brewed tea. I think this is one of those workhorse scents that you can wear all-year round. The bergamot is fresh and citrusy, and the black tea rounds it out. It’s a simple scent that is becoming one of my new favorites.
Overall, I’m very impressed with Haus of Gloi and I highly recommend them. It’s easy to see why they have made such an impression on the overly-saturated indie soap and body care market. The shipping was quick, efficient and fairly priced — as I mentioned above, I received a partial refund for my first order’s shipping costs. It’s all reasonably priced, as well.
They were packed nicely, and all the products came in perfect condition. Besides that, all the scents are expertly blended and totally unique. The products themselves outperformed my expectations, and I’m a huge fan of the body emulsions in particular. They’re great for the humid Louisiana summers without having to sacrifice on moisture.
Have you tried Haus of Gloi before? I can’t wait to try more products. I’m especially interested in the scents Vice and Twice is Nice.