Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fortune Cookie Soap Haul and Review - Sampler Sets!

Hello! This post is going to be all about my very first order (technically second since I got a Fortune Cookie Soap Box, but this is my first "real" order) from Fortune Cookie Soap!

This post has been a long time in the making, and I want to start out by explaining why. For my first order from Fortune Cookie Soap, I wanted to get their sampler sets since I wanted to try out their different scents, not necessarily their different products. I was able to try out most of the different types of products they offer through my Soap Box, so I already knew which products I liked or didn't like. I also had the $10 off coupon from my Soap Box, which was very helpful. I ended up ordering a Mini Mist Me Sampler Pack, a Whipped Cream Body Butter Sampler Pack, a Soap Bar Sample Pack, and a Cupcake Lip Balm (because why not). After $8.79 for shipping (which seems a little high to me, but that's a whole other topic) and minus the $10 off, my total came to $34.21. Since Fortune Cookie Soap is a small, independent company that hand-makes its products, they ask that you allow them 4-5 days to process your order before it ships out. I placed my order on 6/15 and I received my package on 6/24, so it took about 4-5 days to process and 4-5 days to ship here, which is reasonable (though I did feel that shipping took a little longer than usual; I live in the Midwest and when I order things from Julep, which is on the West Coast, it gets here in about 3 days, and I'm pretty sure they use the same type of shipping). Unfortunately, there were some problems with my package...
See how there are two? The one I got on 6/24 is the big white box on the left. The box on the right I got 7/12.

The first package (the big white box) arrived in the middle of the day, but I wasn't able to open it until about 10:00pm. At first, everything looked great! FCS even threw in a free sample of Gelato Fizzy (it's like a bath bomb, I think) in the scent "I Scream, You Scream".
It's sitting on top of the bag filled with my Mist Mes; it got crushed in shipping and little bits were getting everywhere so I didn't want to put it on my carpet. I haven't been able to use this yet since I don't take baths, but I like the scent of "I Scream, You Scream" so if I ever get a chance to, I'll be happy to use it!

Then, I pulled everything else and noticed that something was missing.
Here are the three bags in my first package. FCS put each item (counting the four samples as one item, which makes sense) into its own white bag. From left to right are my Mist Mes, my Whipped Cream Body Butters, and my Lip Balm. My Soap Sample Pack was missing completely. I was a little upset, but I continued to unpack my goodies to make sure everything else was okay.
This is what I uncovered when I opened my Mist Mes. I got one complete Mist Me (in "Where the Sun Don't Shine"), one that was unlabeled (this was either "Vivid" or "In The Loop", I didn't actually check it), and two totally empty bottles. I think this upset me even more than FCS forgetting to include my Soap Samples. I can understand forgetting to include an item, but to include an obviously unfinished item? How did they not notice? As soon as I opened this, I quickly checked to make sure my Whipped Cream body butters and my lip balm were okay (they were) and e-mailed FCS's customer service right away. Because FCS is an independent, small company, they ask that you give them a couple days to respond to your e-mail, which I totally understand. Hannah responded to my e-mail on 6/26, apologized for the mistake, and said that shipping would send out my Soap Samples and my complete Mist Me Sampler Set that day. I was very happy with FCS's quick response and Hannah was very polite and understanding. On 6/27, Hannah e-mailed me back asking which scents I wanted in my Mist Me Sampler Pack since they couldn't find them on my order. I thought that was a little weird since they're right on the bottom of my order invoice in the "notes" section, though FCS may have a slightly different looking order invoice on their end. I e-mailed Hannah back that same day telling her the scents I had requested ("Where the Sun Don't Shine", "Cupcake", "Vivid", and "In the Loop".) I didn't hear anything for a while, so I assumed they were making my items/processing them for shipping. On 7/1, Hannah e-mailed me saying that they would ship everything out tomorrow and send me a tracking number. I waited but never got a tracking number. I figured with the holiday and the weekend, FCS may have been running a little behind, so I waited until 7/9 until I e-mailed them asking whether my items had been shipped out or not. Hannah responded to me later that same day saying that everything was shipped and gave me a tracking number. Three days later, on 7/12, I received my Soap Bar Sampler Set and my complete Mist Me Sampler Pack. Hence, my two packages.


As I said, the whole time Hannah was very kind and understand and was very helpful. In the end, my order was completed and everything was great! My only issue was that I felt like I was the one that had to keep things moving along; that I had to keep asking FCS to stay on top of my problem. I do understand that FCS is a small company who hand-makes their items and that mistakes happen and are a part of life, so I'm not upset that my order was messed up (especially since everything turned out fine in the end). I just don't think that I should feel responsible for "making" FCS fix their mistake with my order, which is how I felt, especially since Hannah told me twice that shipping would send things out tomorrow and they didn't; I had to actually ask whether my items were shipped or not to get them to ship out. As a first experience with FCS (minus ordering the Soap Box), this left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, which is a shame because I really want to order more FCS products! I really love their products and scents and want to get more of them, but I'm a little reluctant to order again because of what happened with this order. I think I'm going to wait until my next Soap Box (in September!) to order again since I'll get another $10 off coupon (though their new "Magic is Coming" collection is really tempting me...).

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about what I ordered!
I'll start with the lip balm, since it's all by itself. I kind of bought this on a whim; I'm always trying to find the next best lip balm so I figured I'd give one of FCS's balms a try. These lip balms are all natural and great for people with sensitive skin; like me! I really like the ingredients in this balm: coconut oil, bees wax, organic shea butter, organic cocoa butter, tocopherol (vitamin e), and fragrance. I went with the scent/flavor "Cupcake" because it's the most popular and I like the taste of cupcakes. It really does smell/taste like cake batter and makes my lips feel super soft. I really love this stuff and will definitely buy another one next time I order something from FCS. Another thing I really like about this balm is that it's in an oval shape instead of the more traditional circle; it fits the natural shape of my lips a lot better so I don't feel like I'm smearing it on the skin around my lips.

These are the Whipped Cream body butters I got! FCS's body butters are paraben free and cruelty free. For my four scents, I picked "Cupcake", "In The Loop", "Capitol Diamond", and "Tiny Tribute".

"Cupcake" smells just like cake batter; it even has that weird little "tang" that cake batter has. I'm not sure what it is, but whenever I smell (and eat...) cake batter, there's this weird tang to it. It's by no means an unpleasant taste and I find that products that claim to be "cake batter" scented/flavored that are missing that tang just don't smell/taste exactly like cake batter. This is my favorite scent out of the four I picked, and is one of FCS's best sellers.

I knew I had to try at least one item in "In The Loop", and I thought that the scent would be best represented in a body butter. "In The Loop" is supposed to smell like Froot Loops and it does! It really, really does. It's almost uncanny how much it smells like a box of fresh Froot Loops. FCS got the scent perfect, right down to the sugary, grainy smell of the cereal. On the site, FCS says it's a sweet, fruity, and salty scent, and I think it's the salty part that makes it smell like Froot Loops. It's a little hard to explain the scent, but if you've ever smelled Froot Loops, you'll know exactly what this smells like. I really like this scent, though I do feel a little weird using it all over my body since I'm not sure I want to smell like Froot Loops. I like to use it on my hands when I'm at work because the scent makes me weirdly happy.

I picked "Capitol Diamond" as my third scent because it sounded so complex and interesting. I really like unique scents, and was really excited to give this one a try. In the description on the site, "Capitol Diamond" is described as a "blend of crisp vanilla, citrus, coconut, cloves and some awesome strawberry notes". You definitely get the strawberry notes first and it comes across as a fruity scent, which is interesting since, in my experience, if something has coconut in it, you tend to smell the coconut first. You get just the slightest edge of coconut, followed by the vanilla. There's also a soft spiciness underneath the fruit that tempers it nicely and stops it from becoming too sweet. I didn't really pick up any citrus notes, though there is a brightness to the strawberry that might the citrus. It's a really great, complex scent that's not too fruity; it could be described as smelling "sparkly" and "effervescent", which makes sense for a scent called "Capitol Diamond". One thing that disappointed me about this body butter was that it has glitter in it. No where on the site does it say that this body butter has glitter in it. I even avoided getting "Unicorn Farts" (even though I really wanted it, just for the name alone!) because it had glitter in it. I don't like glittery products and feel weird wearing them since I'm in my mid-twenties (that's not to say that people can't wear glitter in their mid-twenties; hell, if you want to wear glitter and you're 80, more power to you. Actually, I'll probably wear glitter when I'm 80 because why not?). I also don't like how it gets everywhere; it irks my OCD. If you don't mind glitter, I would highly recommend trying this one out, too.

The final scent I got in my Whipped Cream body butter set is "Tiny Tribute". This one was kind of a wild card; on the site, the scent is described as having "some jasmine, some rose, some lily of the valley and some fruit notes too!" I don't like rose scents, including the scent of actual roses. It always smells way too heady and perfumey for me. What got me interested in this scent is that they also call it the "ultimate girly scent"; I figured I had to try it since, hey, I'm a girl who likes girly things from time to time. I'm really happy I got it because I really like it! The rose is incredibly subtle and is tempered by the other floral and fruit notes. I can still smell it, but it doesn't immediately put me off. I think it was really smart of FCS to add the fruit notes to this, because otherwise I could see it being way too floral and sort of..."old lady perfume" smelling. I'm also really happy that there aren't any powdery notes since I find powdery scents unpleasant. I was very surprised by this scent and enjoy using it when I want to feel particularly girly and feminine.

And that's what was in my first package. As I said, it was pretty unfortunate that my order was messed up in the first place because I was really impressed with the items that did make it to me! The body butters are super creamy and smell amazing but absorb quickly and leave behind a subtle scent; you have to within a few centimeters of me to smell it and every now and then I'd get a soft whiff of myself and smile. The lip balm is great, too; very moisturizing and non irritating.

On to the second package! My Soap Bar Sampler and Mist Me Sampler Pack came in their own white bags as well. I like the little stickers they use to seal the bags since it tells you what's inside. I know it sounds odd, but I was a little disappointed that FCS didn't  include another small freebie sample. It sounds greedy, especially since they already gave me a sample in my original package, but it would have been nice to include something extra to make-up for the slight frustration of my messed up order/time it took to actually get my items.
This is my new, fully complete Mist Me Sampler Set. Mist Mes are a type of body and hair spray. They're all natural and chemical free (as well as alcohol free,which is awesome) and great for refreshing your skin and hair. FCS also suggests that you can put these in the fridge to make them cold so when you spray them they are extra refreshing! I don't like being cold, so I didn't actually try this, but it would be nice if your exercising or something and use a Mist Me to rehydrate your skin (and make yourself smell better). It was a little different from the first iteration of my order since these bottles had black tops and have (what looks like) black electrical tape to help prevent leakage. The original bottles had white tops and were in a plastic bag with no tape. What's also interesting is that the sample pictures of the full size bottles show them as having similar black tops. The scents I got were "Vivid", "In The Loop", "Cupcake", and "Where The Sun Don't Shine".

"Vivid" is one of FCS's most popular scents and is a "Hawaiian fruit punch" smell. I got this scent because it was so popular and figured I had to try it in at least one type of product. I was afraid it was going to be way too sweet, but it's not; it's definitely fruity, but it has the nice citrusy "sparkle" to it that cuts through any overly sweet notes. I do like this scent and can see myself using it often.

I was also afraid that "In The Loop" would be too sweet, but once again, it has that soft "saltiness" that both makes it smell exactly like real Froot Loops and helps cut down the sweetness of the sugar and fruit notes. I picked this scent because it also a popular Mist Me scent (FCS labels their popular scents as "hot") and I just couldn't pass up the sheer novelty of a Froot Loops scented body spray. It's such an incredibly unique smell; I don't think I've ever smelled a mist like it!

When you order the Mist Me sampler pack, you can pick any four scents that FCS currently stocks. When I first placed my order, I'm 99% sure they had a "Cupcake" scented Mist Me spray in the store (not only that, but I'm pretty sure it was labeled as a "hot" item as well). When I was going through the FCS store to make notes on the various scents and products I got in order to make my haul video, I discovered that there wasn't a "Cupcake" Mist Me anymore! I'm not sure when it went out of stock (I'm not sure it even did that; it's completely off the site. Usually, if something is out of stock, FCS will just labeled it "Out of Stock" and that they'll have more up soon), so I don't know if that was a contributing factor in my Mist Me Samper set being messed up the first time or not. My Mini Mist Me in "Cupcake" has it's own label and everything so I don't know if it's from their left over stock or if they had to make it brand new for me. I was never told I couldn't have it, and, like I said, I had no clue it wasn't on the site anymore until I checked after I got my replacements. I went with "Cupcake" because I like the smell of cupcakes/cake batter and because I didn't want to get more than one of the new summer scents (since I've already experienced them all in the Summer Soap Box). It smells like the body butter, but with a little less "tang" to it.

Finally, I got "Where The Sun Don't Shine". This was the one mist that had come correct the first time, and it was very nice of FCS to send me another one. This smells like coconuts and bananas; the banana is surprisingly what hits you first (in my experience, things that have coconut sets usually smell mostly like coconut) and it's very sugary, almost like banana Runts. Even though I have something that smells like this already from my Summer Box, it's a product that I don't use very often (it's the scent the solid sunscreen stick came in) and it's such a wonderful, summery scent.

Overall, I like these mists. I like the idea of them being both a body and hair refresher and I like that they are all natural and paraben free. One downside to them is that the scents don't maintain their integrity very well. After a few minutes of wear, they to start to get a little..."warped". I'm not sure if it's because of the way they are formulated or what, but they start to get a little unpleasant, especially "Cupcake" (which may explain why it's not on the site anymore). "Cupcake" gets this weird musky undertone; it almost smells like a smoker who used a body spray to cover up the scent of smoke on their skin but it didn't quite work all the way, if that makes sense. "In The Loop" gets a smokey undertone as well, and "Where The Sun Don't Shine" gets really artificial and sugary. "Vivid" seems to stand up the best to wear; it smells like the sugary notes fade leaving behind a generic fruity scent.

And now we're to the last part of my order, my Soap Bar Sampler pack. I'm going to go through these pretty quickly since this post is already ridiculously long and I've only used one of these so far so I don't really have much to add beyond how they smell. In the Soap Bar Sampler pack you get 11 pieces of soap (which total to a weight of 4oz) that FCS selects randomly from their current stock. I think you can make requests like "no pink soap" or "no lemony scents", but you can't specifically ask for scents. The Sampler set is $7.95 while a full size soap, which is about 6oz, goes for $6.75-$7.50, so you are paying more for less, but you get the experience 11 different scents! The soaps are paraben free, and some are made with organic soap (when I was going through the soaps I got on the site, I noticed that some said they were made out of 100% organic soap in their descriptions while others just had the "organic" tag. What I found most interesting was that all the new soaps had neither "100% organic" in their descriptions nor the "organic" tag. I wonder if FCS is changing their soap recipe or if that's just for the summer scents).

I took a few pictures of my soap samples since I didn't want to try and squish all 11 of them into one (I tried this and it was way too hard to see which soap was which). I'll give each soap a brief description of the scent and my thoughts on it. Oh, I also wanted to note that the soap samples are all different shapes since FCS cut them to show off any special coloring or layering that the full sized bars have, which is pretty awesome.

"Body Shot": This was a summer scent and one I got in my Summer Soap Box in the form of jelly soap. It's a bright raspberry lemonade scent, but it's not as strong in bar soap form as it is in jelly soap form. It has layers of bright yellow and berry colors.

"Hazelnut Cappuccino": This is one of the soaps that had "100% organic soap" in it's description. It has a thin layer of coffee grounds to help with exfoliation and thin, tan top layer that looks bubbly, like the top of a cappuccino! It has a very soft, milky coffee smell with just a hint of hazelnut.

"Rose-Wood If She Could": This is a rose and sandalwood scented soap. I don't like rose scents and I'm not very keen on sandalwood, so I was sure this would be one of my least favorites. It's not as bad as I thought it would be; the rose scent is subtle and not excessively heady or pefumey and the sandalwood gives it a nice creaminess. I can't ever see myself getting a full size bar of it, but I don't hate it. While the description of this soap didn't say it was 100% organic, it is tagged as organic. It has a rose-colored base with a thin strip of lighter pink on top that has dried rose petals in it!

"Clearly Complexion": I was actually pretty excited to get a sample of this soap! This is a soap you can use on both your face and body and it's good for your complexion (...obviously). This soap had "100% organic soap" in it's description and it has activated charcoal, Rhassoul clay, Neem oil (which is both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal), and French green clay. It's scented with Tea Tree oil, which I really like (I know some people are put off by the scent of Tea Tree oils, but it smells very green to me and reminds me of when my grandparents would take me to this farmer's market near their home). I look forward to giving this one a try.

"Mother Pucker":  This is from the new summer line, so it doesn't have "100% organic soap" in it's description, nor the organic tag. It's a very bright and energetic Meyer lemon and mint scent and it even has bright neon green glow in the dark zebra stripes on top!

"Aquaholic": This is another summer scent (so not organic); it smells like a pina colada. It's a bright teal color and it's full of glitter (not sure if I'll ever use this one...I like to take showers to get glitter off, not put it on).

"I Scream, You Scream": Another scent FCS released for the summer! It's a vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate scented soap that has cute layers colored just like Neapolitan ice cream. This is the one soap I've used so far. I like it, but I wish it lathered more. One thing I do really like about it is that it lasts a long time in my shower. I've tried some other natural handmade soaps (basically just some from LUSH) and they waste away so quickly in the shower, even when I'm not using them.

"Hot Apple Cider": This one smells like, you guessed it, apple cider with cinnamon! What's cool about this soap is that the full sized bar has a stick of cinnamon right through the middle (FCS cut this sample to include part of the stick!). I like how the cinnamon scent in this soap isn't overpowering; you can still clearly smell the subtle notes of apple. A lot of cinnamon scented soaps are waaaaay too cinnamony for me. This soap was tagged as organic.

"It's Five O' Clock Somewhere": This one is from the summer line. I already have this scent in a body butter, but I really like it so I'm glad to give the soap a try.  It has the vague scent description of a "fruity cocktail" and I think it smells almost exactly like this cotton candy Cosmo they serve at a local bar here. It's a bright blue soap with a thin layer of purple on top.

"Gin Gimlet": Haha, I didn't realize I included both cocktail scented soaps in the same picture! This is a very unique soap and it is described as having the "piney-limey" scent of a Gin Gimlet. I thought the pine was going to very strong and artificial, but it's very subtle and rather pleasant. It doesn't scream "PINE TREE" so much as it whispers "wintery fresh". This soap had the organic tag and is a cobalt blue.

"Baby Doll":  This soap (made with 100% organic soap according to its description) is supposed to help with stress. It is scented with lavender and is made with Calendual (which is a type of Marigold I believe) and shea butter. It does smell rather soothing and it feels like it will make a nice, creamy lather.

And there's my whole order! WHEW! Sorry this got so long! Overall, I'm a little torn when it comes to ordering from FCS. On the one hand, they have amazing products with incredibly unique scents, but on the other, I'm worried that the next time I order from them there's going to be something wrong with my order and I'll have to go through another process like this one to get it fixed. Since this is my first and only order from FCS besides my Summer Soap Box (which got to me without a hitch), I could have just gotten incredibly unlucky and all my orders from here on out are going to perfect. Throughout this whole process I was treated very kindly and with respect, which I really appreciate since it shows that FCS cares about me both as a customer and a person. I may hold off on ordering for a while, but I'm very, very likely to order again from FCS!

Thanks for reading! <3

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