Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Soap is one of those things at the bottom of the grocery list lumped in with baking powder and paper plates. It's an after thought- grabbed off the shelf as the buggy speeds on it's way to checkout. Probably not much consideration for the color or scent. Maybe there's a coupon involved in the decision. Or it's the kind that Mother always used. Not for me! When the Caswell-Massey store opened in our town, I was the first one in line. There's a whole wide world of wonderful soaps out there just waiting to be discovered. Soap from France and Scotland and Switzerland. Soaps made with almond and ginger and honey. Shapes and sizes that confound the imagination. The soap aficionado is always looking for the most exotic combination of fragrance, color, and form. A golden octagonal made with beeswax and a bee stamped on top. A huge handmade oval colored green from the extra virgin olive oil inside. Dried flowers, leaves, and ground fruit pits are mixed into some. Bears, bunnies, and bird soaps can bring a collector to his knees. They simply must come home to fill jars and baskets in the powder rooms. Even if there's enough soap in the house to bathe the entire Chinese Army, a bar made of fig and cassis cannot be ignored. Right this minute there's an Alice in Wonderland collection out there calling my name.

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