I used to have very hard mornings. Getting all my crap I need to do and making it to work was a always a risky business – frought with potential disasters. I can’t get myself up and out the door for the morning commute AND have my coffee, so many morning I am left before dawn stumbling blearily in the darkness, hoping I remembered everything, like my wallet and pants.
Sure, I could have downed an energy shot – but stocking the house full of energy drinks can get very pricey. I thank the Furry friendly crafty community for Con*Tact Caffeine soap – a new awesome soap company started by a couple of ingenious crafters who knew about soapmaking. Why Furry Friendly? Well, not only do they make all their soap from vegetable bases and not use animal products, but it is also in the shape of a dog paw, and have anthropomorphic animals drawn on the front by artists chosen from the Furry Fandom.
For those of you unfamiliar with furries, I suggest occasionally using this device called the internet. Being even a casual intrnet user and not knowing about the furry world at least a little is like not knowing Rebecca Black’s Friday Song. For those who don’t know, it is too late for you. DON’T look it up now, or you will have your eyes most likely seared off from images in 4chan and Dan Savage posts. Basically – it is taking Carlos Casteneda’s spirit animal to another level, choosing to really get down with their more animalistic natures, many times even donning an animal tail in public, wearing cat ears to class, getting a tattoo of a wolf creature or if you are really nutty, occasionally donning a full mascot costume (during my tenure teaching art colleges I have run into all the examples above).
The reason this comes into play is because their packaging is specially tailored to this market. The paw print these soaps work for this community, and their art on each package is popular in Furry Fandom. The whole gimmick behind this product does not make any sense if it were just caffeine friendly, but like my X Box soap I tried, this has a built in audience that wants to buy their wares.
That being said, the idea of making their label into a collectible sticker is genius. I have an old student that used to make decent money selling her art of anthropomorphic (and anatomically incorrect) foxes and cougars to the community too – What better way to honor your inner Sex Panther than to bathe with its essence!
The one thing I might do differently with their whole package is to actually design the sticker so it is collectible. Right now, the whole label is the sticker, so you get all the stuff you need on the package (the bar size, the ingredients, etc) on the sticker too. It would be perfect if they made this label into an actual sticker people would want to collect – making it a 3/4 circle sticker so people could peel off the bottom words and just be left with their favorite artwork.
The buzzed feeling you get from using a long scrub from this soap comes on slow, but you can feel it working throughout your body very shortly after taking the shower. The soap builds up a great foamy lather, and some of them coat you with sparkles or colored powder before washing you clean.
The secret is a long sudsy shower – letting the soap stay on your skin for a while after applying. You won’t get an immediate rush – but you can feel it working on you by the time you towel off. Their website claims that each bar of soap contains the caffeine equivalent to a strong cup of coffee in each usage, and I am inclined to agree.
In terms of ingredients, they use a cold process to make their soap – which all the caffeine soaps I have seen are using. Basically, they use a soap base and mix in what they want to, pour it in their mold, and Voila! Soap!
When talking with these people however, they do know their soaps (unlike other people I have talk with who make caffeine soaps), and would love to make hot process soap (thanks to a friend I have become a bit of a soap purist, and can really tell the difference between real soap made with lye and fat and melt-and- pour soaps, such as this) but they just don’t have the room to make it yet. Real lye soap making can be a bit like making meth – it is a delicate and sometimes deadly process. However, Con*tact uses a very nice soap base – one that is quite pure and free from additives such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and use Shea butter – so things get very foamy and sudsy.
I was sent six of their over 30 flavors to sample out and see what I thought. All six came in different colors and with very unique packages that go along with the smell. All use great artists for the package too – and the smell tends to linger on the skin very subtly after you get out of the shower too.
The six flavors I got to sample were:
This was a bright orange soap and had gold mica dust on the top – which gave a great Ravey shimmery glow on the skin. I know this is supposed to be a bunch of citrus fruit smells, but in reality this ends up with you smelling like you just bathed in Fruit Strip e gum – Yum!
The artwork was done by Erin Middendorf – a very talented artist and has some mad 2d amination skillz to boot.
Almost minty – but not quite. Almost herbal, but not quite. While this does not smell like Absynthe, it smelled really really nice. Its a lovely shade of green, and the art is a cute vampire bat, drawn nicely by furry artist Ferality.
Smells like – you guessed it – green tea. I was a little saddened to learn there was not extra caffeine from the tea – but just the extract. It had the color of tea too – this was probably the tamest of the bunch. Meditative Fox Art by Jill C, an artist and costumer
Love the masculine smell and fun packaging. Unfortunately, I felt nothing like Ron Burgundy after bathing, but loved the Savannah Horrocks, a woman who makes great concept art as well as creepy-as-hell puppets that warm my heart.
Another tame version – and one that you could smell well after you wre out of the shower. If you are unsure of trying out caffeinated soap, this is a safe first flavor to choose. The cool bull on the front is drawn by Kelly Lenza, another super talented friend of furry fandom.
Grapefruity and citrusy, this one smells like clean should smell. Everything about you will smell like you have just stepped out of an grapefruity orange-lemon steam bath. If Sex Panther made me feel more manly, this one made me feel Turbo-Zestfully clean. On top of that, there is a little bit of sparkly yellow mica to make you look tingly when you are done too. The art is cutely drawn by Miss Mayhem,
To join in the nice clean fun, you can pick up your own flavors at http://www.contactcaffeine.com.
http://www.caffeineaholic.net/2011/04/contact-caffeine-soap.html. I still have hard mornings, but at least now I have the caffeine to make it ’til the afternoon.