Grandpa's – Wonder Pine Tar Soap

“Lapsang Souchong”

I bought this at the hippie store and it was a bit overpriced because it's very down-home—from some small town in Kentucky—and wants to give you the impression that it's made by, if not “Grandpa” himself, then one of the uncles or cousins. I am practical enough to know, however, that for a soap to reach the rich hippie store in Milwaukee it has to be from a fairly large company that has employees who couldn't care less about soap and are probably more focused on being disgruntled about not getting enough coffee breaks. This soap bar is imprinted with: “GRANDPAs Pine Tar Wonder Soap,” and on back: “The Grandpa Soap Company Erlanger Kentucky” and is a greenish, brownish black—it would be weird if it was another color than black, since it's pine tar—but it probably wouldn't have to be black, as a little pine tar goes a long way, right?—and is pine tar even black?

I looked at their website, and there's been some version of this soap and this company since the 1800's—that's pretty impressive, and they have a very entertaining website worth checking out. The soap is the bottom line, of course, and at first I loved it because it really does have a personality—a strong pine tar, smokey, organic smell—plus it's very silky and lathery, very nice. The weird thing is, I got tired of it well before it expired—really tired, to the point where I was eventually kind of repulsed by it. This is an odd phenomenon that only comes up once in a while with me, with certain foods and smells—the one that immediately comes to mind is with Lapsang Souchong tea. This really intense, personality-rich tea will not be confused with anything else, very smokey and full-flavored. It was my favorite tea at one point, but the last time I bought some I couldn't even finish it because it became so repulsive to me! I have not had any since. If I ever drink this tea again it will be a single cup at a tea shop, to see how I react. Why does this happen with some smells and tastes? (Come to think about it, it happens with music, occasionally, too.) Come to think about it, this Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap reminds me of, more than anything, Lapsang Souchong tea, so maybe that is behind my turning on it. Nothing against this soap itself, and they do have some other flavors, which I might try sometime because I'm interested in the company, and I may visit next time I'm in Kentucky and see if they have a tour or I can interview employees about their coffee breaks.