I just got stuck downstairs thanks to a fire alarm and the lifts not working so I took the opportunity to go buy some soap as the cupboard at home is bare.
I tried Stenders, one of those trendy shops selling blocks of soap handmade by lesser known European Royalty and full of magic ingredients such as Unicorn sperm, fairy snot and magic strawberries. It looks fine, smells good too but it costs 19 PLN for a small slice (100 g).
This seemed like too much money for soap, so I moved around the corner to Body Shop. Their soaps are not quite as trendy but very good for the planet. They are made from ingredients like sweat scraped from the back of toiling African farmers or triple recycled Yak’s milk. Their soap was priced at 14 PLN for about the same amount as Stenders and I was beginning to think I’d spent my life seriously underestimating the cost of soap.
Undeterred, I moved on to Super-Pharm, home of cheap stuff! In there I found some Nivea Care Soap, attractively packaged in 90g chunks and it even has funky ingredients like green tea, chamomile and strawberry. This is priced at 1.39 PLN so I bought six of them and still paid less than for one bar from either of the other places.
I have to conclude that the Stenders or Body Shop soaps are only for putting in the guest toilet and not for daily use. “Did you see that soap in the toilet? Why that must cost all of 19 PLN a bar!”. My skin really isn’t that fussy.
My favourite two soaps are both British and have stood the test of time but not yet made the leap to Polish soil; Pears (since 1789) and Wrights Coal Tar Soap (since 1860). I hope I never see these companies on the growing list of icons of the British Empire to fall victim of the munch-crunch and its bastard sons; firms such as Woolworths, Waterstone/Wedgewood & MFI to name but a few..
They both smell good, although Wrights smells as though it will strip your outer layer of skin with one application. More importantly, they both last a long time and don’t leave a sea of soggy paste behind – not things I expect to be able to say about the Nivea stuff. For what it’s worth, a bath size bar (125g) of Pears will cost you the equivalent of 3.50 PLN in the UK and 125g of Wrights is 2.62 PLN. I always thought these were expensive soaps but now I know better!
For something as simple as soap, I find these massive differences quite amazing.