The pandemic hasn’t been great for a lot of things. Movies in movie theaters, for one. Open-plan offices where people gather around the watercooler to chat about movies. Watercoolers.

But soap. Soap is having a moment.

Forget that showoff hand sanitizer. Soap just sits by your sink, unobtrusive, the unsung hero of you not getting sick. Shopping Siren has always just gone with a plain white bar, but maybe yours smells like roses? Maybe it foams? Maybe it has those little exfoliating beads?

Or maybe it should.

All of these soaps are made in Maine or sold locally. You can also find all of these online, so you don’t have to go out and, you know, actually touch things. Ew.

Siren Song bar soap, Casco Bay Soap Co., $4.25 per bar


OK, yes, so I chose this purely for the name. I mean, clearly it was meant to be! But it also sounds amazing: citrus zest, jasmine, lily and musk, handmade by a soap artisan in Harpswell. In other news, Harpswell has soap artisans.

Apple Orchard bar soap, Hummingbird Herbal Soaps, $4 per bar

You followed my advice a couple of weeks ago and spent a fabulous day apple picking. Now relive those cherished memories every time you wash your hands. The Hummingbird Herbal site describes this soap’s scent as “crisp and juicy.” So maybe don’t put this out if you have kids. Or when you’re hungry. Available online or possibly at Greenwood Orchards in Turner, which carries some Hummingbird Herbal inventory. So grab some apples, grab some herbal soap and don’t mix up the two for pies.

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin hand soap, Bath & Body Works, $7.50

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin hand soap for $7.50 at Bath & Body Works. And you thought nothing else could be made pumpkin.

It cleans! It exfoliates! It leaves you smelling like a Starbucks seasonal latte! The soap you never knew you needed.

• Black skull soap, LovesParisStudio on Etsy, $16


Made by an artist in Portland, this soap is shaped like a realistic skull. I feel I need to emphasize that. This soap is shaped. Like. A. Skull. And you get to select the scent you want! The site offers general “masculine” and “autumn” scents, as well as the option to go custom or no scent at all. It’s the perfect Halloween decoration and it’s useful. There are very few Halloween decorations that should also be useful.

Pink Peppermint Goat Milk Cold Process bar soap, Long Winter Soap Company, $8

Tested on friends, not animals, according to the Waldoboro company’s website. Which is great! Unless you’re a friend. Maybe be just an acquaintance.

Best find: Balsam Forest Natural Foaming Hand Soap, Frenchies’ Natural Products, $8.99

Smells like the woods, made in Maine, foams for maximum fun at the sink. Also helps keep you from getting COVID-19, according to the company’s website. So soap up and head out. Then soap up again when you come back. I don’t know where you’ve been.

Think twice: Fresh Sparkling Snow foaming hand soap, Bath & Body Works, $7.50

No, no, no, no, no. I refuse to think of snow yet. Put this away for two months. Or four. No need to tempt fate. Good hygiene is one thing, calling up a blizzard in October is something else.

Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who wash their paws at least once a month) and the customer service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at [email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: