About the Item:
3.5 Oz for $5.95
Available in any size 3.5 oz and up
The Official Lush Website says that Noubar is “as delectable as it looks,” containing ”smoky vetivert oil and Turkish rose absolute to keep you sweet every time you wash…You’d be nuts to miss out on Noubar.”
This item contains: Water (Aqua), Glycerine, Rapeseed Oil, Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil (Brassica napus; Helianthus annuus; Cocos nucifera), Chopped Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea), Chopped Almonds (Prunus dulcis), Chopped Walnuts (Juglans regia), Sodium Hydroxide, Perfume, Titanium Dioxide, Pistachio Nuts (Pistacia vera), Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), Vetivert Oil (Vetiveria zizanoides), Rose Absolute (Rosa damascena), Cedarwood Oil (Cupressus funebris), Sodium Chloride, Geraniol, *Citronellol, FD&C Blue No. 1.
Peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios? Did someone drop an industrial-sized tin of mixed nuts into one of the soap vats? And what’s with the name? I mean, props for referencing Diran Noubar, but is an obscure French documentary filmmaker really that relevant (kidding of course. Nougat + Bar = Noubar)? Of all the Lush products I have tried thus far, I think I was most resistant to this one. The smell simply did not enliven my pallet and I found the handful of tasty morsels peppering the soap more baffling than enticing. Nonetheless, I was intrigued by Noubar’s alien texture, verdant hue and latent air of mystery/edibility. And since it was technically free along with my $17 dollar chunk of Karma under the auspices of the Clean Slate Sale, I thought I might as well suffer what slings and arrows might lie ahead in the interest of providing you, fine readers, with a comprehensive review.
Looking at the list of ingredients, Noubar seems pretty light on the soap and heavy on the fixins’. This may explain why some people have a hard time getting this soap to lather. Personally I haven’t had an issue, so I can’t really complain. It’s got the standard palm-oil free soap base, of course (good news for endangered species everywhere), along with a healthy dose of earthy, woody and floral scents. Gardenia and rose mix with cedar and vetivert to produce the subtle but unmistakable aroma of a healthy garden or a well manicured lawn. As I mentioned before, I was not initially turned on by this green-funk, but when I got the soap home and used it for a few days, I found its clean, botanical aroma had started to grow on me. It’s certainly an acquired taste however, and I actually prefer it as a hand soap to one I lather up with in the shower. I don’t really need or want my pits to smell any more like fresh cut grass than they already do. On the other hand, catching subtle hints of Noubar lingering on my palms is a nice feeling throughout the day.
Alright, but seriously, what’s up with the nuts? Granted, many of the most decadent, luxurious and moisturizing fats in the world are derived from nuts (cocoa butter, almond and coconut oils, etc.), but these are usually highly concentrated (not to mention added to the soap during the saponification process) and not confined to the cellulose prison of an indehiscent seed. As Lush suggests in their description, the nuts do indeed serve other purposes: namely olfactory and tactile appeal. As I mentioned before, this soap definitely has a natural smell and the nuts certainly lend a kind of barky, mossy richness to the whole concoction. Also, anyone who has read my other soap reviews will know that I’m a sucker for anything that exfoliates the skin; usually the rougher the better. The nice thing about using nuts to accomplish this goal is that they are rough in texture, but unlike dense seeds or coarse minerals, they have a natural flexibility that makes them relatively forgiving, and less harsh on the skin. I find that the nutty protrusions that develop over time from soap erosion can be used like the scouring side of a sponge, softening my callused, battle-worn, time-gnarled and work-hardened hands, while at the same time moisturizing them to the pliancy of a broken and well-oiled catcher’s mitt.
Lastly of course, there is the matter of the soaps peculiar appearance, which I’m actually rather smitten with. Let me paint it for you: half a dozen shades of green — from creamy, St. Patrick’s Day beer-foam and pistachio gelato, to translucent TMNT Ooze — all speckled and swirled together, with splashes and constellations of brown, chunky nuts, like rocky islands lost in an alien sea. The photo truly does not do it justice. In an odd way, I’m inclined to say this soap is actually one of the loveliest I’ve seen at Lush (which would put it high in the rankings for loveliest worldwide); a triumphant synergy of Lush’s unique aesthetic and conscientious world view. In short, a soap to unite the muddled and over-commercialized “green” movement, to inspire and lead the apathetic masses into a fertile and sustainable future with like… wheat grass just growing all over the place and… kids running around with Super Soakers full of sunshine and… huge bees everywhere and all that. Yeah….It’s going to be awesome.
Weird-hippie-tangent aside, this soap really is easy on the eyes. And, as it turns out, the wallet as well (at least by Lush standards). At $5.95 per 3.5 oz. you really can’t go wrong. Hurray for defying expectations!
Bang-For-Your-Buck Rating: $$$
Overall Rating: 4 as a hand soap. 3 as a body soap. -20000 if you’re allergic to nuts.