A bar of soap goes a long way and the shower does in fact not look dirty at all. Soap is cheap and relatively easy to make yourself with a few ingredients. A few books I found helpful are as follows :
the fragrant pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood
Soothing soaps by Sandy Main
The soap maker by Janita Morris
All books have merits in their own way. Soothing soaps offers recipes for soaps with glycerine base that enable you to create your own soaps using garden herbs, flowers and natural ingredients. If you combine this with the aromatherapy information given by the Fragrant Pharmacy it should be possible to create your very own soaps with scents that appeal to you and benefit your body beautiful.
The soap-maker takes it a step further by creating exotic fragrances and bath sets using base lotions and fragrances that sound fantastic. Only drawback is that you might need to invest then in a range of oils that you are not going to be using a lot of.
Looking around the house I found I had about 8 bars of soap lying about that have not been touched in years so it will be a while before I have a go at making soap per se, but I also have a stack of 100% soap which can and will be used to make a variety of things with.
Valerie Ann Worwood gives you exact instructions and formulas for creating anything from baby talcum powder for nappy rash, to advice on foot baths, hand-creams and a powdered toothpaste. It makes fascinating reading. I had a go at making a hand-cream and bought some ingredients, mainly cocoa butter and almond oil, although the rest was available from previous experiments. I managed to create a hand-cream in half an hour which was quite set, and next time may need to reduce the amount of beeswax and increase the amount of almond oil. I added lime, lemon and sweet orange oils and it smells fruity. I put it on my hands last night before going to bed and it felt a little sticky but this morning my hands are very soft and feel great. I guess I have become used to the hand-cream in tubes. It needs perfecting in a sense but is perfectly usable as it is and if I really cannot stand it I simply melt it all down again in the double boiler and add more oil until I get the consistency that I want. It is not tested on animals, just myself which also makes me feel a lot better.
The fragrant pharmacy also provides a recipe to make a soap soup which I guess is the same as a bubble bath base which I will be trying next.