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Though heavily scented and ultra-creamy soaps are largely preferred, fruit and herb-based soaps are fast carving out a niche for themselves. Among the brands that sell them, Fabindia has the widest range: 17 in all.

Available in soothing yet appealing colors, these 17 soaps when displayed together make quite a rainbow. Catering to Indian as well as global sensibilities, Fabindia soaps are available in exotic fragrances like Khus, Indian Lotus, Sandalwood, Shea Butter, Seabuckthorn, Orange Neroli, Lavender & Basil, Tea Tree and Avocado to name a few.

Here, however I must point out that the fruit-based soaps tend to leave a more lingering fragrance than the floral ones, Lavender being the only exception to this. The Orange and Lemon soaps have a very strong and distinct fragrance, while the Shea Butter soap serves its purposes of moisturizing the skin, leaving it soft and supple.

The fragrance of the soaps doesn’t overwhelm or jar the senses; instead it lingers, making the bathing ritual a relaxing affair. The Mint soap, in an appealing aqua blue, is a blast of coolness and a strong minty fragrance that leaves you feeling rejuvenated. Each bar of soap offers something unique to the buyer, who if s/he is indulgent, ends up picking up 2-3 at a go.

The Lemongrass & Rose and Geranium soaps come with a Wild Torai (bottle gourd) Loofah for skin exfoliation and moisturizing at the same time. What sets these soaps apart is that each is true to its natural extract. The soaps suitably relax and refresh the skin and do not leave it feeling dry and stretched. Instead, they hydrate and exfoliate the skin, both in good measure. However, I’m not entirely sure how many would prefer the slight harshness of the loofah while enjoying the smooth texture of these soaps. I personally prefer to skip the loofah.

A 100 gm Fabindia soap is priced at Rs. 65, while the ones with the loofah can be picked up for Rs. 85. Agreed, the price is far higher than the usual suspects on mall counters that cost anywhere between Rs. 35 – R. 45, yet for those inclined to opt for soaps with fewer chemicals, these are a great buy. But it’s an indulgence all the same!

With soaps available in a dizzying range of fragrances and attractive packaging, the modestly presented Fabindia soaps may not seem alluring enough to make them worth the price. You can buy a single Fabindia soap, or a pack of three of the same fragrance, or a combination pack which can make for a good gifting option.

Even though this range of soaps is really catering to the pampered part of us, at some point, our inner miser is bound to kick in and wish the soap bar was a tad bigger to justify its price.

Real Reviews: Fabindia soaps are priced between Rs. 65 and Rs. 85

Product: Fabindia soaps

Price: Rs. 65 – Rs. 85 (with Natural Loofah)

Some Soap History: The ritual of bathing dates back to prehistoric times and the origins of early ‘soap’ are found in Babylonian clay cylinders and Egyptian records. Soap, however, got its name from a fictitious Roman mountain, Mount Sapo, where animals were sacrificed. Rain washed down a mixture of melted animal fat, or tallow, and wood ashes into the clay soil along the Tiber River. Women found this clay mixture made their skin cleaner with much less effort. Famous for their lavish baths, soap along with other substances like clay, oils and mud, soon became the essence of a Roman bath.