A few years ago, I travelled quite a bit in my job, and I became accustomed to the kind of soap that they offer in their baths. I would always take the unused bars with me and stockpile them at home, because I could never find soap of a similar quality in the stores. Now that I’m not travelling as much, my stockpile has run out, and for the past year or so, I’ve been searching for a place to buy this kind. The soap I’m looking for, that hotels offer, is very lightly scented, and sometimes would have the words “French milled” or something to that effect stamped on the underside.
The only soap I’m able to find in my local grocery store is the knock-me-on-my-butt heavily scented kind, which I find offensive. All the name brands are this way, plus the in-house store brands, plus all the “boutique” labels I’ve tried. I also tried going into the Bath and Body Words store in the mall last time I was there, but all their products were even more strongly scented than the standard kinds. So where can I buy the same soap that Mariott (for example) uses?
Hotels get this either from a janitorial supply (check your local yellow pages) or directly from the arm of consumer goods companies. Bigger hotel chains probably buy directly, while smaller ones will use an intermediate. Maybe google for “soap + hospitality + french + milled”. The consumer goods company that I used to work for has a special, non-retail arm that sells to hospitality, restaurants, etc. You can try and contact one of them and ask if you can buy a case but they might not want to deal with you. Or you can see if you can find remaindered goods somewhere like an internet auction. You might also try and find a scent free version of regular bar soaps; they do exist even if your local store doesn’t stock them. Some of the glycerine soaps also have a very light odor, but don’t tend to lather as much as the bar soaps you’re used to.
I used to work for a luxury hotel chain and we’d get questions about bath products and bedding quite frequently. Usually, the client would call the 1-800 number for the chain, explain what product they were looking for (and which hotel in particular they might have used said product) and ask where to purchase. In most cases, we transferred the guest to housekeeping which could supply that information. I’m not sure if other hotels work in the same way (it’s possible their corporate office might answer such questions) but it’s worth a shot.
FYI: In many cases, personal items such as soap must be purchased in bulk from the manufacturer and are not usually available to an individual consumer. However, it’s not unheard of for a nice hotel chain to send you small items gratis if you are a frequent visitor or if you’re simply very polite. Good luck!
I used to sell this when I worked at the paper/chemical distribution warehouse.
If you can find one in your area that will sell to individuals, ask if they have any out-of-logo stock. Whenever a chain changed its logo, any soap we had left would end up being donated to charity or sold to, uh, lower level motels who didn’t care what the wrapper said.