Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Soap shopping

Before I write what I intended to write about I have to add a small note regarding a personal conquest. I promise never to do it again - which is easy because it is not likely to happen again anyway. You see I knocked Dan Brown out of the top crime/thriller spot on Amazon in Germany.

This might have something to do with his sales being divded into two - i.e. my buddy Dan warms the second and third place for some reason. If added toghter he would probably knock me down a notch. I am not complaining. I might even send Amazon an e-mail asking them to divide Dan Brown into three so that I can stay there for longer. 

Back to business:
he radio here has been broadcasting a series of programs about the development of consumerism. The presenter has gone to great lengths in researching the subject and the outcome is highly interesting and entertaining. Food for thought.

One of the things discussed is the entrance of brands onto the market place, bringing consistency to the table. Something I for one had never given any thought, i.e. that prior to brands purchases were a haphazard venture as quality varied greatly. Today the cabbage for your gruel was fresh – tomorrow limp. The poor were particularly bad hit as the merchants made sure to give the best of their stock to the rich and those with any power. After brands came along, quality was unchanged irrespective of where the purchase was made and prices were also more stable. A box of barns name oats does not provide the merchant any leeway to discriminate against those who have less. A barrel of oats does.

So the take on the evolution of consumerism in this program is very different from what one would expect. It focuses on the positive as well as the negative. I had expected a sermon about how we all buy much more than we need and how we throw away 30% of all food that is produced in the world. Which we do and which is something the future must fix. And since the future in my previous sentence is the present in this one, i.e. the one that follows, I guess I cannot shy away from doing my share. And guess what, the future that was the present in the previous sentence is now the past. This is how life passes you by.
Just so you do not think I am trying to get away from my responsibility regarding the waste of food, we had left over chicken for dinner. And we have not gone much to the grocery store these past few days. It must be admitted that this has more to do with our son being in the States on holiday than world waste. He does the grocery shopping for us.

Anyway, my son offered to ferry across stuff since he will not fill his suitcases on the trip. So I went on the internet to shop. I decided that I would buy soaps in every shop I made a purchase in order to fill the quota for free shipping. I thus looked at a lot of soaps during my time online. Which brings me full circle to the consumerism thing. What does a brand do when all competitors also have a brand? They try to discern themselves. Sometimes this leads to ridiculousness. Such as for the soaps. Some examples of manufacturers that were trying to stick out by being inventive in their fragrance lines:
Gin & Tonic (great for work)  -  Mud (great for farmers)  - 
Sex on the Beach (made in Mykonos)
And here are some trying to look different:
This looks like marble
When in doubt throw in some hearts and the left over orange peel from your lunchbox

I don't what they were shooting for but this soap looks like a chunk of Shamu from Sea World
And the ones that tried to come up with a catchy name:
Silk and Cyanide (tempting)   -  Suds of Time (oh the poetry...)
Finally here is one that insults a whole continent, soaps supposedly from Africa:
at loss for words

I did not buy any of the above - I do not want to smell like Gin and Tonic, the dead sea mammal look clashes with the colour scheme in my bathroom and I would be took scared to try a soap made of cyanide - even if it also contains silk.
Yrsa- Wednesday


  1. Dan Brown, who's Dan Brown? WAY TO GO, YRSA!

    As for the "Sex on the Beach" soap, I studied the label but couldn't find the reference to it being "Made in Mykonos." Oh, I get it, it must be on the backside.

  2. Hi Jeff - it had to do with the survey regarding cool countries remember, Greece had the most sex and since it is not all that big geographically I guess some of it has to occur at the beach. Also, when I think of Greece now I always think of Mykonos.

  3. Yrsa, you may not want to smell like gin and tonic, but for those of us who hang around the Dan Brown dethroner, we prefer you with that rather than your Eau de Hákarl.


  4. Yrsa, I guess your reply to my comment shows why I should never post a comment at three in the morning returning from the town you describe so well. By the way, from my non-scientific observation of the current nocturnal activity of the natives and seasonal visitors, this is peak season on Mykonos for running up those national statistics.

    So, to explain. I really wasn't seriously looking at the label to see if the soap was made in Mykonos…I was making a lewd reference to the reputation this place has as a "gay" island. Thus my, "I get it, it must be on the backside."

    As they say…once you have to start explaining… leave the stage.:))

  5. I for one found your comment hilarious - most will and those that don't should have....a gin & tonic....

    And Stan - you gave me idea,I should start a soap business using Icelandic delicacies. I could use the killer whale look for the bars except in shark coloring. Add a tooth or two...

  6. I'm thinking a spy thriller where, instead of biting down on a suicide capsule the captured secret agent asks to use the bathroom and there eats the soap.

  7. Hi Annamaria - you have something there....