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Soap in the City — Agraria Launches a New Range of Liquid Hand Soaps

San Francisco-based company Agraria has spent nearly 50 years making their customers’ homes smell lovely and inviting with everything from elegant candles to hand-packed boxes of  potpourri and essential oil blends  packaged inside vintage-looking perfume bottles and accompanied by reeds that diffuse the selected scent into the air. But, of course, you want the people living in this abode, as well as any visitors, to also leave feeling fresh and invigorated — and a key part of that is equipping your bathroom with hand soaps that have a lively but earthy quality. And, while bar soaps can be help to accomplish this feat, they can also prove a bit messy, leaving residue on any porcelain or metal soap dishes. Liquid hand soaps, then, tend to be a more practical alternative, which is why I was thrilled when I heard that Agraria had launched a new range of liquid hand soaps featuring citric, floral, or herbal scents that are light but pleasant and refreshing.

Each Agraria Liquid Hand Soap comes in a sleek 8.45 fl. oz. bottle with the Agraria logo printed along its front surface, giving the packaging a charming apothecary-esque feel, with a simple pump dispenser guaranteeing a goof-proof experience. The soap formula, meanwhile, is gentle and moisturizing thanks to ingredients like wheat proteins that help the skin retain moisture, panthenol to soften and soothe the skin, sage to work as an anti-inflammatory and also boost cellular regeneration, rosemary to act as an antibacterial and astringent, and antioxidant-rich gingko biloba to protect skin from environmental aggressors. You can choose between the Agraria Lime & Orange Liquid Hand Soap ($24 at AgrariaHome.com), which blends lime extract with orange blossom extract, night-blooming sampaguita, honeysuckle and jasmine with patchouli, oak, and moss; the Agraria Bitter Orange Liquid Hand Soap ($24 at AgrariaHome.com), the brand’s trademark scent, which blends clove, bitter orange, and cypress; the Agraria Lemon Verbena Liquid Hand Soap ($24 at AgrariaHome.com), a tropical-flavored aroma that fuses together lemon-scented verbena leaves with Caribbean lime, rose, and jasmine notes; and the Agraria Lavender & Rosemary Liquid Hand Soap ($24 at AgrariaHome.com), which mixes rosemary, lavender, bergamot and amber notes.

I’ve been testing out the Agraria Lavender & Rosemary Liquid Hand Soap for several weeks and have been pleasantly surprised — as has my boyfriend, who often moans about my choice of liquid hand soaps being a bit too girly (a legitimate gripe, I might add). Though I typically detest all things lavender-scented (for some reason, I associate lavender with granny gowns and robes), I adore this liquid hand soap since the Italian rosemary notes add an earthy, herbal quality to the fragrance that transforms the French lavender scent , while the bergamot note gives it a zesty and juicy kick, and a hint of English amber adds an air of mystery, a dose of warmth, and a slightly androgynous vibe.

Growing up in Puerto Rico, many of  our elders — grandmas, aunts, and even mothers — outfitted their bathrooms with colorful bar soaps sculpted into decorative shapes like seashells and birds, and they usually had an unobtrusive but crisp scent that was very similar to that of the Agraria Lavender & Rosemary Liquid Hand Soap. As you might imagine, the nostalgia element made me even fonder of this hand soap but, truth be told, no childhood associations are necessary to relish this product.

Not only does the Lavender & Rosemary Liquid Hand Soap feature a pleasant aroma that won’t overpower your senses, but it gently cleanses your hands without leaving them feeling dry or irritated. Instead, hands will feel smooth and soft — even before you apply any lotion. Jackpot!

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