Mysore Sandal Soap

“Rich Hippie”

This is an excellent and inexpensive sandalwood soap from India. I had used this soap before and I was a little afraid of it because it makes your whole bathroom smell like sandalwood, but this time around it didn't bother me and in fact I've very much enjoyed it. It feels a little rough, in texture, or that might even be my imagination, and it's a little “warm”—meaning, I don't know what exactly—but if you know what I'm talking about you know. It is intense, and not real subtle, as it contains sandalwood oil—“nature's gift.” It's a lovely light brown color with the names “Mysore Sandal Soap” on one side and “Govt. Soap Factory Bangalore” on the other. The box is itself a work of art and would, if produced in the US, coast more than the soap: it's red and green with pink and yellow flowers, and the words “Mysore Sandal Soap” in raised, red metallic letters!

I feel like at one time I was kind of freaked out by this soap, but I'm much more into it now. I really like how strong the woodsy, rich sandalwood fragrance is, and how it feels. It's gotten to be one of my favorites now—I'm kind of thinking that if I just needed an everyday bar of soap and I wasn't busy trying out lots of new ones, I'd just use this pretty regularly. But then, would the intensity get to me after awhile? I don't know. Anyway, I'm looking for one more description to try to round out my verbal feelings about this soap—which is now down to its final nub—and the thing I keep coming back to is that it's the warmest soap I've used—though the word “warm,” in itself, never seems like much of a compliment, as it implies a kind of blandness—so maybe the most fitting thing would be to describe this soap as “hot.” That doesn't work either. You see my problem.