Often overlooked by you, but not by your guests.
As my mom used to say, “A little soap goes a long way.” I’m not sure this was what she was thinking of but the sentiment is good. Checking for that little bar in the powder room isn’t usually the first thing you think of when you’re hosting a group but it definitely needs to be on the last-minute checklist.
I prefer small bar soaps for the powder room because they can be changed frequently and will always look fresh. They don’t drip like liquid soap dispensers often do – making a complete mess, and they’re not as clumsy as large soap bars. That’s why I don’t like to use them no matter how pretty they are. I’ve even seen a clever dispenser that dropped little flakes of soap on your hand. The soap flake idea is novel, but the flakes get everywhere.
The big secret to those little bars of soap, and the one thing that makes them so ideal for home entertaining, is that they can add a lovely scent to the ‘room of necessity.’ They’re compact and can be intensely saturated with whatever types of perfume, oils, or minerals that you like. For that reason, they’re the one exception to my “no scented _______” rule.
The exception, of course, is the powder room.
This is the one room that I break the rule for when it comes to scented candles as well. A candle casts some beautiful light. But stay away from the scented sprays – they can be very ‘heavy handed’. Wetting a small favorite soap bar releases just enough scent.
“Guest” soap bars can be found almost anywhere and everything from unscented to herbal to floral of all types, in every imaginable shape. You can even look up novelty companies that will make ones monogrammed with your name or a personal message. A friend of mine, who was a writer for the Star Trek television franchise, had ones that featured the shape of a ‘communicator’ with the message, “Clean me up, Scotty!” It was perfect for his home.
Here’s a tip for having just the right little dish for those small bars of soaps. On your travels, look for small ornamental dishes or shallow bowls to hold the soap. Sometimes the same place that sells the soap will have soap dishes. But you never know what clever little dish you will find in the most unusual places. So, keep an eye out!
One more tip, make sure that you check it after a party or after your guests leave. If the bar has lost its shape, become very small, or become nicked or broken be sure to replace it with a fresh one.
And don’t forget to check out my video where you can see more guest soap ideas!