Friday, March 22, 2019

Something to get lathered up about

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

I like soap. When I was a little girl, my next-door neighbor used to bring back all the little cakes of soap from her business trips and vacations. I was fascinated by all the different wrappings.  I had an extra Barbie doll case where I stored all these wonderful little soaps. I also remember swiping a British Rail soap for my collection when I was ... cough cough ... we won't go into how long ago that was.

Anyway, I'm still fascinated by soap. I often buy sample sizes because I like the wrapping or the scent. I currently have enough soup to bathe most of Western NY. Part of that is because I have a big glass jar that sits on my bathroom vanity and is filled with Yardley Oatmeal and Almond soaps.  (The jar will hold at least ten bars.)  My mother told me that the old soap lasts longer than new soap.  Is that true? I don't know, but I rotate the soap when the jar is half empty and I stock up.

Right now I'm using a sample soap that's got olive oil in it.  Stacked up in waiting are soaps that smell like lilac, lemon, and goodness knows what. I stayed in a hotel in Ottawa once that had apricot-scented glycerine soap. Wow -- I liked that a lot. So for a year or two, I bought a bunch of glycerine soaps because they give you nice, soft skin. I bought this little square of black current & olive butter soap last summer and have hesitated to use it. It smells wonderful, but I just love the packaging and don't want to lose it.

I had a very nice soap I opened in January that had a nice scent, but I noticed that the more I used it, the less it lathered. So I googled "my soap doesn't lather" and found out that ... for a soap to work, it really doesn't need to lather all that much. Something about dirt and the surface tension ratio of soap to water. It sounded reasonable, but I chucked it because I like more lather than it was giving me.

And then there are those foaming soaps. My hairdresser gave me one for Christmas and I like the foam, but the Cherry Chill scent was overpowering for me.  I think it will live in my powder room. I like "bar" soaps best.

So, what's your favorite soap?


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