Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What's in a soap?

For years I've had this fascination with homemade soap.  I've read all about it, have several books on it, but I've never worked up the courage to make it myself.

GlycerinsoapApparently the easiest soap to make is with glycerin.  My first experience with glycerin soap was in Ottawa, Canada, at a Suites hotel.  (WOW--I loved it!  Could've moved right in.  This place was better than my two apartments and my first house.)  Every day they provided guests with lovely little cakes of apricot glycerin soap.  Whoa!  Nice!

Not long afterward, I bought that first book on soapmaking.  The problem is, one batch of homemade soap will wash an army and what if the soap was a dismal failure?  (A couple of years ago my friend Gwen's son made soap from pig fat.  Read her wonderfully funny account here.)

My parents jumped on the liquid soap bandwagon a few years ago.  I can't say I'm fond of the stuff.  Too slimy and it doesn't want to "wash off" easily.  I will admit I do have it in my powder room, Jergins cherry-almond scent, but it's the only kind I use because I like the smell.

Yardly soap We like hard soap.  Yardley oatmeal-almond to be precise.  We used to use Yardley baby soap, but apparently it's been discontinued.  As it is, we can only find the oatmeal almond version in The Dollar Tree...if we're lucky.

Dove soap I have no clear memory of what soap we used when I was a kid, but I remember my Aunt always had Dove soap.  I've always loved its scent (with its one quarter cleansing cream--now called "moisturizer.")  If we can't get the Yardley soap, I'm considering moving on to easily accessible Dove.  Then again, I'm not the only one who uses the stuff.  Mr. Ivy may want something more "manly."

What triggered this rhapsody on soap?  Some handmade soap I bought at a garage sale.  It was supposed to be vanilla-oatmeal, but there was little evidence of oatmeal and none at all of vanilla.  I also wondered about it's cleaning ability.  Plus, Frank didn't like the half-circle shape.  (Didn't fit well in the hand.)

What's your favorite soap?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ivy -

The Yardley baby bar is actually still available but in limited distribution - White Rose and Shoprite being two of the larger chains that carry it. In addition, you can purchase it at www.yardleylondon.com