Some time ago, I came across a bottle of La Lavande bath salts on the sales shelf of a Cost Plus World Market store. Loving the scent and look of this made-in-France product, I visited www.lalavandegifts.com where they sell not only bath salts, but also hand-milled French soaps, potpourri, essential oils, diffusers and soap dishes.
In their About Us page, La Lavande states that in 1986, they began to manufacture and distribute soaps from Provence, making the owners of La Lavande one of the earliest family businesses importing French soaps to the U.S. Their soaps are listed as hand-milled, using recyclable packaging materials to minimize waste. Individual product descriptions also state that their ingredients are all natural and organic whenever possible, with no synthetic oils, mineral oils, petroleum or detergent drying substances.
Since we could not connect with the business owners for an interview, we placed a couple of orders.
Placing an Order
A 250mg bottle of bath salt on LaLavande costs $12.95, so I opted to instead order one-pound bags, which cost $10.95 each.
The package arrived within a couple of days. In addition to my paid order, I received a free lime-shaped soap, at a total shipping cost of $10. I also placed a second order for a single bottle of bath salts. That one 250-gram bottle also cost $10 in shipping charges, making small orders not particularly worthwhile. Again, a free bar of soap was included in the box. On the receipt, that soap was listed as a $7.95 value.
La Lavande doesn’t send an immediate order confirmation via e-mail. (This may be different if signed in with an account.) On my first order, I also didn’t receive a PayPal receipt for my purchase, leaving me wondering if I was going to receive anything at all, or had just sent money into a mysterious online void. I e-mailed the vendor via their comment page, asking for an order confirmation. I quickly got a response from the owner telling me the package had gone out, but until the shipment arrived, I still did not receive an actual detailed order confirmation.
For my second order, I did get a PayPal receipt, but still no actual order confirmation. Again, I e-mailed and was told when the order shipped, but no order confirmation and no explanation or comment from the seller as to why they don’t send confirmations when the order is placed.
Out of the three one-pound bags of salts I received, only one actually weighed a pound (453 grams). The second bag weighed 426 grams, and the third came in at a disappointing 415 grams.
And while the scents of these salts are wonderful, they unfortunately don’t come through once the salts go into a bath. I tried anything from a small amount to half a bag – no noticeable scent in the water. In comparison, using just one cap of Kneipp bath salt actually produces a scented bath experience.
I haven’t ordered soaps from La Lavande, so I can only comment on the free soaps I received. La Lavande has a large assortment of soaps on their site, and in fairness, we don’t know the quality of all their products. The lime soap that came with my $30 order sells for $3.95 on their site. The second soap, which was just a plain brown soap, was listed at $7.95 value in the order form. It seems odd to receive a more expensive soap with a $12.95 order than when placing a $30 order. One also has to wonder about the profit margin of these products if the seller can gift a $7.95 bar of soap with a $12.95 order.
Both soaps were solid, not leaving any gunk after using it. However, the lime soap, which had a noticeable scent at first, lost that scent after one use. The second soap I received didn’t have any notable scent to it at all. It just smelled like plain soap – definitely not worth $7.95.
Overall, while the products are certainly decorative, I’ve not been impressed with the product quality so far. If we ever review more of their product, we will of course update the review. In the meantime, we’ll keep looking for other vendors to feature.