Kaeline is well-known as an eco-friendly brand specializing in organic argan oil, but a new spa line called le Hammam gives a fresh spin on its range of skincare products with ancient Moroccan origins.  Thousands of years of history in the making, le Hammam derives from a sensual, ritual-based body treatment that includes aromatherapy, detoxification, steam, massage, and relaxation.  Le Hammam products draw from the traditional rituals of the Orient and transport their therapeutic, skin-enhancing properties into the home.

Savon Noir, or Traditional Black Soap (which doesn't have quite the same exotic ring to it), emits an overwhelming aroma of eucalyptus from its jar.  I was initially concerned that my entire body would reek of Vick's VapoRub after my shower, but the only lingering scent is that of supreme cleanliness.  As the first step in the Hammam treatment (to be followed by the Rhassoul Clay Mask and the Argan Oil), Savon Noir is meant to soften and purify the skin.  Imparting a slight tingle, the soap is so gentle that it can be used on the face as well.

Although Kaeline classifies Savon Noir as an exfoliating product, I think it more aptly belongs in the cleansing category.  It may be a thick mixture housed in a tub just like any other scrub, but don't expect it to slough off surface layers of dead skin.  Lacking substantial granules, its texture is goopy and creates a velvety feel.   After working up a lather and rinsing off, the emulsion leaves a residue just like any bar of soap.  Your skin will feel clean, though strangely not hydrated and certainly not exfoliated.

Post-shower moisturizing prerequisites aside, there is plenty to love about Kaeline's Savon Noir.  No animals were tested on and no parabens were resorted to in the making of this rich, all-natural soap.  The vegetable-based paste is an unadulterated blend of virgin olive oil, essential oils from eucalyptus, and salt.  While the high concentration of unsaturated fat and vitamins A and E in olive oil soothe and replenish, the potassium hydroxide from salt works to soften skin.

Breathing in the powerful aroma of Savon Noir conveys healing benefits, as eucalyptus oil helps relieve nasal congestion, ease muscle pain, and kill bacteria.  Eucalyptus oil's primary active ingredient, eucalyptol, functions as both a disinfectant and a diuretic.  With an array of germicidal, antibacterial, and decongestant properties, eucalyptus oil is used in modern herbal medicine to treat all sorts of ailments, from skin problems to fevers.  On a psychological level, it dispels mental sluggishness and wards off fatigue.

If eucalyptus oil didn't irritate the kidneys when ingested, Savon Noir is so pure that it could be eaten (though I don't recommend you go dipping a baguette in it).  I wasn't entirely won over by the dry sensation once the soapy lather had washed off, but I did feel clean and alert.  When used as part of a regimen that follows up with moisturizing products, Savon Noir is a therapeutic luxury.