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The Hand Soap Quandary

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Photo Credit: David July — Sink and faucet inside The Waldorf (1929) at Pebble Hill Plantation, 1251 US Highway 319 South, Thomasville, Georgia, 12 February 2011 I can be quite particular about things, so when I find a product I like I am apt to purchase it repeatedly. The last few times I purchased shoes, I got two pairs and kept one pair boxed for the future. In the case of my favorite hand soap, I venture to Bath & Body Works annually around Christmastime and buy an ample supply, usually with an excellent coupon Mom finds for me. Photo Credit: David July — Moonlight Path Anti-Bacterial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap by Bath & Body WorksThis past year however, my visit to the West Town Corners store in Altamonte Springs went quite differently. In addition to changing packaging and labels—apparently on all their products—they decided to discontinue several of the scents I enjoyed including my longtime favorite Moonlight Path. I was pissed. We drove to the nearby Altamonte Mall location and discovered the same thing. Based on my search online, it was no longer offered online either; the page describing Moonlight Path was removed from the site. I purchased no soap this past holiday season and am now down to the last few bottles in my reserve. Two of them are Moonlight Path and I am admittedly a little reluctant to open them. By the way, does anyone reading this article have access to a molecular analyzer? I would like for someone to reverse engineer the formula and produce Moonlight Path hand soap just for me. I contacted Bath & Body Works via the form on their website and gave them an abridged version of the above, sans the remark about reverse engineering their product. It did not take long for them to respond, but the news was not good for the Moonlight Pathers.
Dear David, Thank you for your email regarding the availability of the Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap in the Moonlight Path fragrance line. We regret to inform you that we do not currently offer this fragrance. We understand your disappointment in discovering that your favorite fragrance is not currently part of our product line. As an alternate suggestion, we recommend the Sweet Pea Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap. This scent consists of delicately scented petals of the sweet pea flower, blended with pear, loganberry, and fresh green rhubarb. To view this collection on our web site, please click on the link below [here] or copy and paste the URL into the address line of your browser. Be sure to visit our web site periodically as we often bring back discontinued fragrances as part of our Classics program. To view our current offerings, please click on the link below: [here] Customer feedback regarding our products and services is always welcomed and appreciated. We strive for excellence in both our merchandise and our customer experience, and we continually evaluate current and future trends, as well as customer response and reaction. Your opinion matters to us and will be part of the ongoing assessment of our web site offerings. We appreciate your interest in our products. Please visit our site regularly for exciting new products and great gift ideas. The chill of winter is still here but an Island Escape is waiting! Our three new Signature Collection scents will put you in a tropical state of mind; shop now by clicking here. Sincerely, Kim C. Customer Service Specialist Bath & Body Works Direct
I suppose I appreciate their Sweet Pea recommendation, but I really doubt it will be anywhere near as good. I am still too aggravated to venture in and try a few bottles. If and when I do, I will try to keep an open mind about Sweet Pea. If not, they will lose a customer and I will once again be on the search for the best hand soap. Any recommendations? Photo Credit: David July — Moonlight Path Anti-Bacterial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap by Bath & Body Works
UPDATE: 10 June 2011 — It is official, Moonlight Path Anti-Bacterial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap is once again available! UPDATE: 05 July 2011 — Now that I have purchased and tried it, I can report that the scent, viscosity and color are all different. I still like it but it is not the same. UPDATE: 23 July 2011 — Related article: "The Moonlight Permutation"
Photo Credit: David July Original Photo Credit: David July Original Photo Credit: David July

Two Comment Bubbles eight Comments

  • Claire

    My mother uses Sweet Pea in the guest bathroom at home and while it's a perfectly fine soap, I'm not overly excited about it. What I really like is Yardley English Lavender. http://tinyurl.com/48varlv
    I used to have a heck of a time finding it but from a quick search, it appears it's a bit easier to buy online now. If you ever want to try it out, I have some or - also - Outback keeps it in their bathrooms. :) It reminds me of the first time I got a tattoo and the kind of deodorant they used to adhere the traced image. Good luck in your search for hand soap!

  • David July

    Thanks for the input, Claire. I'll definitely have to come over and wash my hands at your place!

    Aside: Yardley of London is made in the United States? Go figure.

  • John

    Ahhhhh, the vanishing product syndrome. Over the years so many nice products have disappeared. It is really annoying in a discount store where products are stocked just to move them into the market (I assume). Once they start selling, poof ... they're gone.
    It is more evident outside of the states where transportation costs and import duties impact what profit remains for the end vendor. I mostly notice missing spaghetti sauces. Only the garbage ones remain on the shelves .... full of MSG.
    After years of this, you may become ... comfortably numb.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf3pc-7gfOg

  • David July

    All in all...

    Photo Credit: David July --- Broken brick in the Kitchen Garden (1917) walking path at Pebble Hill Plantation, 1251 US Highway 319 South, Thomasville, Georgia, 12 February 2011

  • John

    If that's the wall, looks like it's been knocked down
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFh2vpGeoIk

  • MEGAN

    Just looked at bathandbodyworks.com and moonlit path is being sold again. Just search path in the search bar. I am stocking up on the anti-bacterial hand soap!

  • Bill Brikiatis

    Have you ever tried using a soap with water from a rain barrel. It's quite different because the water doesn't have any chemicals in it. I tried washing my hands with water from my rain reserve downspout diverter and rain barrel and the soap smelled different and produced much more suds, probably because it was softer than my tap water. Try washing your hands with rain water some time, just for the fun of it.

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