Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Future of Soap

There was a time. my children, when we were told that in the Future (2K plus) there would be no more messy meals. We would start our brave new days with a pill marked"Breakfast" and go on from there to the more substantial ones labelled "Lunch" and "Dinner." Maybe the airlines would be interested, but for the rest of us now Food is bigger than ever.

I hope the same thing will happen with soap. Right now soap is disappearing, so messy! Turn it liquid and put it in a plastic pump instead! When my mother bought a bar of soap it didn't go in the bathroom it slid in between the sheets in the linen drawer. Her favorite was Yardleys Lavender. And she maintained that the bar hardened a little there, and so would last longer when used. Call me old-fashioned but sliding a cold plastic pump in among the pillow slips lacks something.

And even with soap, we are arriving at the state of No Fragrance! Some of the most expensive soaps now, do indeed take me back in time - to when my frugal grandmother cut up bricks of yellow household scrub-the-front-step soap for us to use. Apparently fragrance causes cancer - is that it? But like music and color and sunlight fragrance also creates delight and well-being and certainly an impulse to spend more than we should.

When my face cream smells like lard or olive oil it's a reminder to use olive oil. And for us who are buying pots labeled Revivify! Rejuvination! - by the time those evil fragrant fumes start to work on us, we'll be long gone. So keep the Fragrance Free for babies but let the rest of us enjoy. And no, I don't think spraying your sheets with something called Spring Delight or Pine Forest does the trick. You need the subtlety of a good soap - not the blast of public toilets.

Next: The return of the gilt-edged, leather-bound book.

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