Last month, I trialled the Pinot Noir soap from Pacifica Skin Care packaged and sold under the ‘Banks & Co. Botanicals’ brand. I enjoyed using the soap for its smooth texture in cleansing and attractive fragrance it left. I was worried that the aromatics might be too much for a person working in the wine trade, especially attending tastings, but I’ve received no adverse reactions on this front. If anything, I sensed more friendliness in the company around me, and I don’t think I had any problem with hygiene previously! (Click here to read my article in July.) However, if I’m attending a serious event where bouquet and tasting is the priority, I’ll use the soap earlier so that the aromas will subside a little, or else I’ll use a more neutral soap just before.
Jenny Agnew of Pacifica Skin Care sent me the two other soaps in the range that are made using real grape material to try, following my pleasure with the Pinot Noir soap. The Chardonnay soap uses juice from Chardonnay grapes. This is a delight to use, as I find the aromas a little more subtle. The Pinot Noir soap, with its richer, more baroque character of red and violet florals seems to suit evening use. The Chardonnay soap is more apricotty and passionfruit-like, and has richness, and I like using it any time during the day. There is a pastille aspect to it, and I could almost consume it! Like the Pinot Noir soap, it is creamy in its flow and leaves no residue.
The Pinot Gris soap is quite different. It incorporates skins and seeds from Pinot Gris grapes in its making and milling. The aromas are more delicate, and the fragrances in the white floral spectrum. However it is the exfoliating nature resulting from the skins and seeds that make the real difference to the texture. Whilst also creamy to use, this soap leaves the skin very softened by the gentle abrasion. And I emphasise that it is very gentle. Having an outdoor toughened skin from plenty of mountain-biking, I enjoy its effects. I don’t know if I’d use it every wash, but certainly as a refresher and something to brighten the day’s outlook, this would be the one I’d choose. Those with very sensitive skin may also be a little more sparing with its use.
As noted in my previous article, the soaps come in a very generous 200 g size, and they last very well. They are available from premier gift retailers throughout New Zealand and from some tourism shops and of course, some wineries. The RRP is $14.95. For more information, go to www.banksandco.co.nz