Black Leather Soap



Last week I was up and down and out of town, and the sole scent experience of the week was a bar of the great black Spanish soap Magno.  I used to wash with Magno in the past and had forgotten how wonderful it is.  In a time when most perfume companies let you down with awful reformulations, sometimes soap makers do a better job of maintaining old formulas.  Magno appears to be one of them.

I am a bit of a nut on soap.  There are a lot of days on which I wear no perfume at all but do scrub with scented soap, and in the past have loved Magno, Roger et Gallet, and even Zum, which tends to have rather strong scents. If you asked me my favorite it would have to be Magno.  This preference is based partially on the fact that like many people I have reactive skin.  Soaps,cosmetics, skin creams, and sun screens are apt to give me dermatitis and so I am careful about what I wear.  Magno never has brought on an episode though, and I do love the stuff. The reason why is not very difficult to figure out.  Leather!  Leather is a great favorite of mine and Magno is leather to the max, but somehow or other also clean.  It’s probably due to birch tar which often masquerades as leather.  Either way It’s a wonderful soap that lingers on the skin and if you decide to wear something else is a great friend to leather scents, animalics, leather chypres, and woody perfumes.  Woody orientals would probably also benefit from a close association with Magno.

If you ask me it is a perfectly fine date night scent on its own.  I also wonder why  that I cannot find Magno Blanco? This came in a cream colored box and was also sold as a cologne as I recall it, however now seems to be gone.  A shame, it was a slightly lighter version of the leather scent of Magno and just a tinge more feminine. it was fun introducing my pitifully small number of autumn fragrances to old Magno.  Tabac Blond loves it, as does de Nicolai Vetyver, and Magno seems to get along just fine with Plus Que Jamais. How can you go wrong? I suppose that you could, but not very easily, and as things stand I will be very happy to finish my bar and maybe even buy another one.

Perhaps now I can go and track down one of my other old loves from the past: Valobra.  They used to produce a great complexion soap made from …lettuce.  Really and cross my heart, lettuce it was called lattuga sappone and was a great help to  sensitive skin that was prone to breaking out.  Sporting a fresh rash from this morning’s overly energetic disposal of dusty old curtains, I certainly wish that I had some with me.  sappone-lattugaBut this is  the US, where Zum and Etsy and no guarantees are what you get in place of something utterly reliable like Valobra or Magno.

Do you have a perfect soap whether for complexion or scent?


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10 thoughts on “Black Leather Soap

  1. I had never heard of either of these soaps, but am marvelling at the colour of one and the ingredients of the other. Black soap sounds very exotic indeed.

    I am currently still exploring what toiletries do and don’t irritate my skin – I assumed all soap might turn out to be off limits, but it seems not from your experience. And I am still using a bar of Morny Sandalwood that doesn’t seem to be doing me any mischief. Hope you recover soon from the unfortunate encounter with the curtains!

    • Thank you, I do seem to be very splotchy still but this will pass, and is not in the same league as the nasty reactions you suffered through!

  2. I use boring face washes made by Cerave and unscented Dove soap bars, but I am so intrigued by this delectable leathery black soap! Four bars for $15 on Amazon…not bad. I do see the Valobra Lettuga soap for…wait for it…$19 for a 6 oz bar. Perhaps it is worth it?

    • I think Valobra is one of those things which cost a lot less in their place of origin. So now am kicking myself that I did not buy a few bars in Italy. $19.00 strikes me as a bit steep for soap.

      Magno is reasonable though 🙂

  3. I need another soap probably just slightly more than I need another perfume but that black one … is already in my Amazon cart.

    I’m not ready to “wear” a soap instead of perfume but I enjoy using nice soaps before putting on nice perfume.

    • There you are soap- is irresistible 🙂

      It’s also my go to fragrance when I am going somewhere there is bound to be trouble with perfume! Like the eye doctor’s office where we went today.

  4. Black soap that smells like leather… how on earth did I never run across this before?! It sounds absolutely amazing.

    For years now I’ve used Dr. Bronner’s Unscented liquid soap. It’s boring but it never causes any skin issues (which I get with other soaps sometimes), and it doesn’t compete with perfume.

    During one of my fleabay jaunts a year or so ago I ran across a vintage box of Solon Palmer Sandalwood de Oriente soap. It’s from the 1920s or 30s, and the three soaps are still in their original paper wrappers (the box is gorgeous). I haven’t tried any of the soaps yet, mostly because I doubt that even sandalwood lasts this long. Also, I hate to break up such a lovely set (and I bet that most of the women who owned the set before me felt the same!).

    Think I’ll head on over to Amazon and give Magno a try…

    • Oh I hope you like the Magno!

      Unopened boxes of soap always look like treasure to me but I do use them. Old boxes can lose their scent but maybe sandalwood as a base note will last longer than most things 🙂

  5. Pretty and fragrant bars of soap are enchanting. With liquid soaps popular in plastic dispensers the familiar bars of soap are getting backburnered.

    I like the way hard bars can hold carvings of letters and designs.

    I am also very sensitive to chemicals in soap. A recent bar left me scratching badly before the healing balm of (wait for it) Desitin diaper cream healed me in minutes. That zinc oxide is amazing for any itch or rash.

    Soap has a tendency to break me out, even dish soap. The old green Palmolive used to set the palms of my hands itching fiercely.

    I especially like bars of pink soap, and little square bars. Do you remember when tiny round soaps shaped like little carved roses were all the rage?

    One last soap story:

    in Vacation Bible School one summer, our craft was to take an oval shaped bar of Dove soap and wrap it in netting fabric (the kind they used to wrap rice in for weddings. It comes in all colors and fine or coarse mesh).

    We took our rectangle of net and wrapped it around the fish shaped soap, tied it at one end with a satin ribbon. We left the fluff at one end long and fanned out to form the tail fin of our fish.

    A few silk flowers were glued around the ribbon. A small straight pin pushed through a sequin made the eye of our fish as a fragrant gift for Mom. Practical, the soap could be useful even if the art were……well, you know, done with more love and enthusiasm than skill.

    • Oh I like your fish story, that is a really nice little gift for moms. When my daughter was small, we got the hand prints and poetry at her school which was charming but you couldn’t wash with it!

      Palmolive was a bugaboo for me too. The bar soap used to make my face swell and turn red-so a no fly zone for me. Apparently I’m not alone…

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