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Luxury bath products for under $10: Yardley

Updated on November 8, 2015

Two of Yardley's newer bath products

Yardley's tradition of upscale bath products since at least 1770

If not for the Great London Fire of 1666, we might have known more about a Renaissance era predecessor of Yardley (of London). Their earliest surviving corporate records date from 1770. As appreciative as we may be about a relaxing bath, just for a moment imagine just how precious it would have been then! After all, though Romans had installed aqueducts, they grew into disrepair and it wasn't until the 17th and 18th centuries that London was supplied with reliable river water through pipes. Then, there was the aspect of heating the water! For centuries, that was a kettle on the stove affair . . . which is not a bad technique to keep in mind when your hot water heater goes on the fritz.

After showing their wares at the Great Exhibition in 1851, Yardley's products became extra popular. English Lavender -- a strain of which is grown exclusively for them -- became a favorite with Brits and Americans during the Victorian era. British royalty has honored the company with Royal Warrant Appointments on several occasions:

  • 1921 – Edward, Prince of Wales, "Perfumers and fine soap makers"
  • 1932 – Queen Mary, "Perfumer"
  • 1949 – George VI, "Purveyors of soap"
  • 1955 – Elizabeth II, "Manufacturers of soap"
  • 1960 – Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, "Perfumers and manufacturers"
  • 1995 – Charles, Prince of Wales, "Manufacturers of toilet preparations"

Modern Yardley bath products: priced right, still luxurious

Today, especially in the US, we have definite ideas of what kind of bathing products we prefer. Yardley has moved into the modern era beautifully with some of their new offerings. I was happy to be hosted to experience it!

In any situation where multiple people are actually going to be washing their hands -- not just the fake guest soap in the half-bath situation -- Americans prefer liquid soap. We just don't know what's lingering in the soap dish if we aren't the only ones using it! Yardley Oatmeal & Almond Luxurious Hand Soap smells like a dessert treat pumped from a bottle. Sweet almond oil and oat are helpful in soothing chapped, dry hands. It's creamy upon dispensing, but still suds well. If you're washing your hands as often as you should be, a protective hand-wash is more a "must" than a luxury! This product, in its standard (not refill) 8.4 oz size, is priced at less than $10 and is available at mass merchandise stores, drugstores and even many 24 hour grocery stores. Just think: for such an affordable price and at great convenience, you can own the same product adored by British royalty!

The same is true for Yardley Lavender & Rosemary Bath & Shower Gel: a great price for such a quality item. Incorporating that famous exclusive scent, this gel utilizes real essential oils from those plants into a creamy gel that doesn't have a bunch of fake dyes. I would describe the fragrance as very sweet and floral, quite feminine. It's perfect for shaving, showers or bubble baths! If you are traveling to foreign lands, I suggest you dispense a quantity into a TSA-approved 3-1-1 carry-on travel bag container. Outside the US, you never know if your hotel will have just a tub or just a shower . . . so it's best to come prepared for both. You can even try a few drops in a sin basin when hand-washing your delicates: they'll smell great.

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