Welcome back, old friend.
Before our reunion this morning, Irish Spring bar soap and I had been separated for nearly six months.
I’d often been admonished for my soap of choice — folks either pooh-poohed the bar itself or scoffed at the brand — or both. It causes dry skin, It leaves a residue. It smells like a highway rest-stop.
So, in April, in a mission titled Operation End of an Era, I vowed to end my relationship with my favorite bar soap and “level up” my showers. After finishing the last bar from a bulk purchase (Irish spring coupons are always aplenty), I experimented with a litany of organic, not-organic, bottled, major label, and homemade alternatives.
I first purchased a $16 Malin & Goetz dark rum bar and watched as it lathered away in just under one month. The dark rum scent is one of my favorites — I love the perfume oil — but the soap left an unpleasant linger, and I felt ashamed for having spent so much on a single bar. This price could have bought me 16 Irish Springs.
Next, I experimented with homemade organic bottle and bar soaps from a perfumery I once visited in Ireland. The order totaled just over $100, and all of the soaps smelled like thyme despite their different woodsy names. The bars disintegrated in as little as one week, and the bottle soap was liquidy.
Finally, I purchased Nivea white peach body wash while browsing in a drug store. The scent may be divine, but the puffy loofah thing that I hung on the shower wall kept hitting me in the head while I was washing my hair, and otherwise felt grungy after two weeks of use.
I don’t want any of these fancy alternatives. Feel free to scoff, snark, or judge. When I am just home from a 12-hour flight or in from a hike where a bird has regaled my shoulder with a stroke of good luck, I want the real deal – classic, green, straight-forward Irish Spring.
Operation End of an Era is over, effective today. Eight bars of crisp, clean, Irish Spring bar soap sit eagerly in my bathroom cabinet ready to resume the good thing we had.
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