I am a big fan of old-fashioned bar soap; those hard milled, dense bars that smell of some strong floral combination. Yup, love it! The trend now is for liquid body washes to be used with those ghastly nylon scrubber things. It’s rare to see a bar of soap in a soap dish in the bathroom anymore.
There are still bar soaps out there, to be sure. But most times they are some gelatinous brightly colored glob that dissolves almost instantaneously. It’s hard to find the old time stuff; the kind that was always present in every vintage bathroom soap dish.
I love the vintage ’40s and ’50s advertisements for bar soap in women’s magazines. Such charm! Such hope! “It will leave your skin softer, smoother…flower-fresh and younger looking!” claims Cashmere Bouquet. “For velvet-smooth Beauty Lather that caresses your skin, leaves your body glowing with a warm blush of fragrant loveliness, enjoy a beauty bath with Bath Size Palmolive”. Or, for the ultimate prize of ‘catching a man’ using Woodbury facial soap, “Jim wed his Woodbury-beautiful bride at majestic St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.”
I mean, really…who wouldn’t want to try bar soap after all those promises, vintage or not? Just wash your face or take a bath with it, and presto…instant allure that no man will be able to resist!
I’m always looking for the old-time soap, and find it from time to time in interesting places like rummage sales and thrift stores. I recently found a box of vintage thick, sturdy, tuberose scented French milled soap. No doubt it was probably given as a gift, and then donated (I’m always grateful to those who donate). The bars are just so solid, and the scent is divine. It really makes taking a shower a lovely experience, and the bars seemingly last forever.
The scent of these vintage soaps is what gets me. Such poignancy that touches some memory in the recesses of my mind. The feel of the delicate lather gently cleaning, the softly scented skin as a result. Just lovely. Maybe those vintage ads are true!