I had been intending to order from GothRosary for a long time after reading about it in Nancy Kilpatrick's The Goth Bible, and since my stash of toiletries was running low, I took the chance to order several different products in a variety of scents. The products I have reviewed below cost around £25 altogether, including shipping from the USA to England, which I felt was extremely reasonable. I will probably never buy bland toiletries from the supermarket or drugstore again now that I have Goth-themed soaps and shampoos available to me. All AntiSally's products are organic, vegan, kosher, hypo-allergenic, cruelty- and conflict-free and there is nothing in any of them that I can't pronounce, e.g. no preservatives or nasty chemicals.
The parcel took about ten days to arrive and was beautifully packaged - when I opened the box the loveliest scent drifted out! Everything was wrapped in black tissue paper, held in place with pretty labels featuring snippets of poetry (or Poe-etry to be more precise), curliques and other pretty touches. AntiSally had even included several sweets, and a printed page of product care advice, FAQs, and advice on refunds, returns and damaged goods.
Black rose vegetable glycerin soap in Graveyard
GothRosary soaps are available in many different shapes and colours and you can choose any fragrance you like! I treated myself to a black rose, scented with 'Graveyard'. I love this scent - it actually smells like a graveyard, which, OK, won't appeal to everyone, but as someone who eats lunch in the local cemetery almost every day... well, I was impressed. The little note on the packaging describes Graveyard thusly, "Green and floral... the smell of rich loamy soil, fresh green grass with a note of floral," and yes, the slightly unsettling smell of damp cemetery soil is spot-on.
As for the soap itself, I panicked the first time I used it as black colouring ran all over me and all over the bathroom surfaces, but thankfully it rinsed off in seconds without leaving even the faintest stain. With further use, it stopped oozing black dye and now exudes nothing but a gentle greyish lather. My skin doesn't feel tight - if anything it feels moisturised, but not oily or greasy. The fragrance remains on your skin for a good few hours.
Worry Free (TM) foaming hand sanitiser in Funeral Flowers
Alcohol free, no-rinse, antibacterial hand sanitiser that kills 99.99% of harmful bacteria, and contains softening aloe vera, vitamin E and green tea extract, which is making my hands feel lovely and silky after just a couple of uses. Best of all, it doesn't make my hands reek like vodka, unlike most hand sanitisers. The bottle will fit into most handbags although it might be a squeeze to get it into a small evening purse. Orange-coloured sediment settles at the bottom of the bottle between uses but this is normal for 100% natural products and AntiSally advises shaking the product before each use anyway. (I did discover that if you don't shake it very well, you end up with a not-very-nice scent all over your hands, so unless you want to smell like compost, shake it, baby, shake it...)
One small squirt of foam is enough to kill germs and leave my hands smelling delicious. The scent is a delicate, funereal bouquet; but not overpoweringly floral or old-lady-ish. Not sickly-sweet either. Perfect for romantigoths or ethergoths!
Hair detangling and softening creme rinse in Crypt
This product works in a similar way to hair masks - apply to wet hair after shampooing, leave for 1-2 minutes and rinse. It's enriched with natural oils such as sweet almond, grapeseed, jojoba and hemp, as well as pro-vitamin B5, and promises to leave your barnet 'softer than a baby's mustache'. It only takes a small amount of product to comb through your hair, and after just one use my hair feels soft and looks glossy. Not to mention it smells great! Crypt is one of my favourite GothRosary fragrances and I love the way it lingers on my locks after using this product. I am extremely impressed with the creme rinse, works much better than anything I've bought at the drugstore, making my hair feel really silky without greasiness or feeling heavy with product.
Crypt is described as 'surrounded, haunting... the smell of moss clinging to a marble mausoleum', and is a somewhat ethereal, melancholy scent, putting one in mind of ghost girls drifting wistfully through deserted halls or lingering at the graveside. Tim Burton's Corpse Bride probably wears this scent...
Nourishing hair and body wash in Nocturnal
This is lovely! Upon opening the bottle and having a sniff, Nocturnal smells just like your local alt shop - patchouli and nag champa incense, very earthy and with a touch of the hippie about it. However when in use the scent is slightly different, you can pick up the definite tang of black leather, y'know, that scent that you can almost taste in the back of your throat, which makes it smell more like the local pub after Goth night, but without the smoke and stale booze (to clarify: that's a good thing).
I was a little worried about using this as a shampoo - having never used products that aren't laden with chemicals, I had the preconception that something with natural and fragrance oils in it would leave my hair greasy. It doesn't. In fact, a small amount of product leaves my hair very clean but not dry or brittle. The scent lasts much longer than that of a 'normal' shampoo and you can still smell it even after using conditioner. I can see myself buying this product in many different fragrances!
This is also a reasonably effective body wash; much like the soap it doesn't leave skin feeling tight and the fragrance lingers on. It produces a pretty good lather, which I was not expecting from a natural, organic product.
All in all I am delighted with GothRosary and have some more products of theirs awaiting review. I will also certainly be buying more!