Soap on a Rope Fit for a Chinese Empress

The best new thing out of a Portland is actually a Chinese-inspired scented skincare bar.
Publish date:
June 22, 2015
pearls, soap, China, Pearl+, Portland

As much as people like to make fun of Portland, it keeps producing things I love. We can all thank Portland for (re)popularizing PBR, the beard-and-flannel combo, treating dogs like children, and obsessively brewing coffee. And of course, there's one of my favourite shows ever: Portlandia.

And now, Portland is home to the most unique and fancy soap I’ve ever seen. Do you like sexy man scents? Like woodsy, musky, lumberjack man scents? Then you’re going to be super-into the fragrance created by the essential oils and herbs present in these luxury bars.

But First, A History Lesson

Wu Zetian was China’s first female emperor, way back in the Tang Dynasty (the tail end of the 7th century). But I’m going to let you in on another interesting fact about her: this was not her only legacy. She was dedicated to a unique beauty routine that involved crushed pearl powder, and it has influenced Asian beauty treatments in the thousands of years since.

Janet Jay, creator of Pearl+, was introduced to this interesting tidbit of information via her grandmother, who used pearl powder throughout her life to achieve her gorgeous complexion. Janet created a flawlessly designed luxury soap complete with revered beauty ingredients like essential oils, activated charcoal and white clay.

Handcrafted in small batches, Pearl+ offers two variations: moisturizing and detoxifying bars. Unisex in nature, all Pearl+ products are all natural and cruelty-free. They’re also the classiest version of soap on a rope ever. There are rope-free versions too, available individually or in beautiful bundles ranging from $7 to $35.

Pearl+ Moisturizing Bar: An earthy herbal scent. This bar touts ingredients like coconut and olive oils, along with gotu kola powder -- derived from a herb popular for it’s healing and antibacterial properties.

So what’s it feel like? I offered up the moisturizing bar to my roommate, Courtney, and she can’t say enough good things about it. A fan of “man smell,” she loves the fresh herbal scent and the fact that it doesn’t make her skin feel dried out. Imagine April Ludgate being impressed by something. It’s pretty legit.

Pearl+ Detox Bar: This bar smells like a super babely dude if I ever smelled one. Man smell. White clay and charcoal play a major part in the detox bar. If you’re keen on really refreshing your skin, this fancy soap is for you.

I tested out the Detox bar, which I’m super-into. I’m on that mossy/earthy scent kick, and the fragrance coming off this bar totally fit the bill. I can also happily say the scent wasn’t overwhelming when applied to my face as a cleanser, which I’m totally cool with as the bar is pretty fragrant on its own.

Cleansing with this left my skin feeling clean but not stripped of moisture, which is always something a cleanser should strive to accomplish.

Not only does it work, but the bar itself is beautiful. The blend of charcoal and white clay create a gorgeous marble effect throughout the block. I think it’s safe to say Pearl+ bars are a beautiful and practical addition to any bathroom or beauty routine.

  • Have you ever tried anything with real pearl powder in it?
  • Did you know it was a thing?