An Ivory girl since first grade when I marveled at the boats we carved from the big square white bars that floated, I was disheartened by the apparent formula change a few years ago, when the formerly firm soap morphed into a bar that turned into a soft mess after only a few moments in the water.
I began to search for a soap that would last like Ivory used to. One that hadn’t been cheapened like most products today seem to be. I tried Lifebuoy and Lux from the Vermont Country Store, as well as all the other tried and true brands, used for years by the American population. None seemed worthy of becoming my new favorite soap.
Finally one day The Vermont Country Store came through. Pictured upon the pages was a new soap, in surpising scents of lettuce, poppy, and cucumber. The labels looked like works of art. I sent for the new soap and am so thankful I did.
That soap was Nesti Dante Dei Colli Fiorentini Red Poppy Soap 250g by Nesti Dante, crafted in Florence, Italy, and I still use it today.
The Italians can’t be beat when it comes to food, wine, and soap. Overall, the Italian lifestyle has much to recommend it. Simplicity and quality are key in most everything they make, including soap.
When I received the bars I was delighted with the artistry of the packaging. I still save the labels and have one of the poppy print designs framed and placed above my bathtub.
The scent is so soft and lovely, it makes one feel as though strolling through a garden on a soft summer day. The sensation when bathing is the same. Skin feels silky in the tub and maintains a sheen upon towel drying.
The inspirational message, “Saponified and packaged with love and care by Nesti Dante” is molded into the bar. Those who discover this soap can truly “feel the love”.
Soap is formed by a process called saponification. That’s a chemical reaction between a fat, such as tallow, and an alkali, such as lye. After a neutral base soap is saponified, it is grated into fine particles and passed between a pair of closely spaced rollers, a process called milling, until it turns into a paste.
Triple milled soap goes through this process three times. The resulting density creates a bar that lasts a long time.
Yes, this special soap is a bit more pricey than supermarket soaps, but it’s quality, not price that provides the best value. This soap will last long after most supermarket bars have washed away.
Nesti Dante Dei Colli Fiorentini Red Poppy Soap 250g by Nesti Dante, is a luxury soap that saves money. Try it for yourself and see. A variety of innovative scents are available. In winter I prefer poppy, in summer, cooling cucumber or lettuce.
Alas, for whatever reason, the Vermont Country Store stopped selling this lovely soap. Today I obtain it from The Italian Art Shoppe.
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