The English name printed makes me chuckle. Araiko translates to “washing powder” — add “toilet” in front of it and together with the rather bemusing “Highly perfumed with violet, white rose. Jockey club essences and musk” blurb printed, you’re instantly conjuring up thoughts of an antiquated odour-removing toilet cleaner. But, the name isn’t your usual case of linguistic misfires. Club’s Araiko was released in 1906 — a period where toilet (or toilette) is a (now dated) term for the process of washing yourself and fixing your appearance. It also makes me think of toilet water — which is what a lot of dogs like to drink and also what diluted perfume is called.
Club Araiko Toilet Washing Powder is a real nostalgic kickback — it has barely changed since 1906! Inside the quaint paper envelope contains 30 single-use sachets. The powder cleanser looks exactly like flour when you tip it out. It immediately goes lumpy and gummy when you add a little water, just like actual flour. The key to getting a really rich, dense creamy lather with the minimum amount of fuss is to use a foaming net. Of course, you can just use your hands sans tool. Just add a little water in your palm and rub your wet hands together briskly — but it’s a lot more difficult than it seems. I have neither the skill nor patience, so I use foaming net — quick and easy.
The cleanser itself is rich and a pleasure to use. It doesn’t leave my currently slightly winter dry skin dry or uncomfortably tight, and it does a decent job of removing grime (though you should use a dedicated remover like an oil or a balm beforehand if you wear makeup). Skin feels completely clean, refreshed, and soft without any residue. And despite the packaging suggesting it might be a bit on the “highly fragranced” side, its rose scent is actually subtle and beautifully delicate.
The sachets are 3g each — that doesn’t seem like a lot until you pour the whole content into your hand. It’s meant for single-use but there’s actually enough powder in there for 2 washes! The little sachets aren’t as ideal a situation as opening a lid but it’s super convenient if you’re often travelling or staying away overnight. One is enough for my face and body.
You can find Club Araiko (or Toilet Washing Powder) online at Amazon Japan HERE — it’s ¥1,345 for 30 sachets, cheaper than RRP. It’s also at Amazon USA. Full ingredients and other technical product details have already been posted separately, as usual.