Thursday, May 21, 2009

Saponification


Lately I have developed an obsession with soap. Bar soap to be specific. Don't worry, I don't eat it or anything, I just think it feels luxurious and nostalgic to use. Yes, and this after I convinced John to use a pouf and shower gel instead of his Irish Spring. It all started with a trip to Lush where I picked up a bar of porridge. It smells like maple syrup and is full of real porridge oats. Then I went to the Beehive Bazaar and found a lovely handmade peppermint bar. I feel a little justified in these purchases because they're really quite cheap. At least they weren't a $200 dollar pair of shoes! Another lead to this reconnection was reading advice on using cheap, scrubby washcloths because, according to this 50 year old lady, they're the best thing next to microderm for exfoliating your body (I have never had microderm but I think the word exfoliating sounds enticing to just about anyone) . What better to way suds up a washcloth than bar soap? The day after I read this I headed over to the store and bought a pack of 20 cloths for $3 and stopped using fabric softener with any of of my towels.

Well, the porridge soap smelled great, but those oats cut me and even made me bleed a little. The peppermint bar had instructions to let it harden for a couple of days. I reluctantly went back to this green tea stuff I had from Trader Joe's, but it didn't lather up like I wanted. Then I remember a little something I had stashed away.

Today I solemnly opened up my pack of travel sized Satu soaps that I picked up on sale at Anthro and carefully peeled back the folds of the pretty cherry blossom paper. I took my old bars, stuck them in zip lock bags (probably another of my obsessions) and prepared to lather up with my cheapy washcloth. For the next few minutes I was in a plum nectar heaven. What is it that makes some soaps better than others? I guess I should have remembered all this from Fight Club. Doing a little research I learned that those French soaps are actually a little better than your average bar of Ivory. The triple milling process creates a greater distribution of fragrance and compresses the soap so that there are fewer oxygen molecules. This creates a denser soap that lasts longer. Well, science aside, soap just reminds me of being a kid and I like it. Enough said.

Photo from Lush

2 comments:

Amanda said...

i got some soap from lush for my birthday. i LOVE it. it's coconut flavored. it's beautiful. really. :) maybe we'll get some french soaps while we are here...

p.s. did you want to buy something from toast? would you like me to buy it and ship it to you? we're heading into london on monday (it's a holiday!) i'm not sure how you could pay us back...maybe just mail a check or something?

Amanda said...

I do love LUSH. We have friends who have been giving it to us as gifts for years. They go all the way to Beverly Hills to get it. Try the bath bombs. They are awesome! Have you tried the lavender bar soap from Trader Joe's? I like it.