One Thousand Scents

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Barking Up The Right Tree: Method Cinnamon Bark Hand Soap

The new round of Christmas-themed Method hand soaps has hit the market, more or less. There are three of them: last year's Peppermint Vanilla, plus one called Hollyberry (probably as uninteresting to my nose as last year's Frosted Cranberry) and another called Cinnamon Bark. Unfortunately, only the lattermost one has shown up locally, for reasons I can't guess. I'm very sorry not to be able to get last year's Spiced Pear again, because it was lovely--I'm just about using up the last of it now--and I don't know why the Peppermint Vanilla isn't available here; I would buy a couple of bottles for sure, because I finished up my one bottle months ago. But the Cinnamon Bark is exceptionally good, so I should be thankful to have that.

There were exactly two bottles in the Superstore--a Canadian supermarket chain--the other day; I noticed them because, unlike the other Method soaps in their clear bottles, the Christmas releases are a pearlized bottle, very festive. (Also, the Christmas bottles now have a little stylized snowflake just below the embossed Method logo. And also the bottle was brown, a colour I'd never seen before in the Method line.) I bought one; perhaps I'll have to go back tomorrow and snap up the other, if it's still there. Or perhaps, in a spirit of Christmas generosity, I'll leave it for some other lucky soul.

Is there a leak in the bottle? I can't find one. Is there some sort of technology that makes the bottle smell like its contents, or did someone smear some of the soap onto the bottle, or is it just so strong that it penetrates the plastic? Because Cinnamon Bark soap is so strongly scented that I can smell it without even using it. An hour after I put the bottle into the bathroom, before I even tried it, I walked in and was puzzled--astounded, really--by the intensity of the scent. It's still there every time I walk in.

It doesn't smell like ground cinnamon; that's a Christmastime cliché. It smells more like wood than spice, and although it's clearly a cinnamon scent it smells more like mixed spices than specifically like cinnamon; there definitely seems to be a clove note in there. In fact, it seems like some gorgeous, complex men's scent--not any particular one, but a mélange of the sort of notes you'd usually find in a spicy-woody scent such as Calvin Klein Obsession for Men or Halston Catalyst for Men.

And it lasts forever! The scent soaks into your pores and stays there; you can still smell it on your hands a couple of hours later. For a soap, that's a hell of a feat.

You can mail-order this stuff, but damn, the shipping is expensive: at best, it doubles the cost of the product. I'll take my chances with finding it locally. Sometimes the universe is telling you to put the brakes on.

The Superstore had, in addition to the Method soap, a house brand (President's Choice) in a very boring apothecary-styled bottle; that one was called Honey Cinnamon Kitchen Hand Soap. I bought it despite the boringness of the bottle: I'm not sure why it apparently ought to be in the kitchen, but it's going in my bathroom. It's nothing like the Method Cinnamon Bark soap, for two reasons; first, it smells not of honey or cinnamon but, bafflingly, of Obsession bar soap (the women's version), and second, it leaves no trace of scent on the skin once you've washed it off. Neither of these is a bad thing.


  • I found the Cinnamon Bark hand soap to be lovely because it's one of the only "cinnamon" scents widely (and cheaply) available that isn't sweetened up. Red Hots are nice, but I don't want to wear them.

    I enjoy reading your reviews. Keep them coming!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:58 PM  

  • Little did I know there were soaps that lasted on your hands smelling of Obsession without being it.
    Thanks, I found your site through a comment through mine and like your approach.

    By Blogger Perfumeshrine, at 6:35 PM  

  • I found all three of these at our local Wegman's, and bought the cinnamon and the vanilla. The hollyberry was not to my taste (I cheated and opened the cap to smell prior to buying). Both smell great, as you said, but I'm disappointed not to be getting the sillage through the bottle that you got. But thanks for pointing me towards a fun and inexpensive product - it is as you wrote, not a typical cinnamon, but something more complex, and for less than $4 USD, even.

    - Existentialist

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:46 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 7:31 PM  

  • Going to look for it tonight at a Target store in Florida. Somehow I ended up with a bottle of this about 3 years ago and although it's still has some inside, it's below where the pump oil properly dispense it. The only reason I save it is to remind myself the next year to buy some... And to oh, every once in a while... Take a sniff of it when no one's looking... Hence, it's kept way beneath the sink counter way in the back. If I find some I'm going to pick up about three or four bottles.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 7:32 PM  

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