Pacha – Patchouli Mint

“Illusion of Collapse”

This is a thin bar of Patchouli Mint soap, which I guess is a sample size, but it's been pretty long-lasting, so it endured much longer than an inexpensive drugstore bar. It's from the Pacha Soap company which is in Hastings, Nebraska, so I'll have to look that up. The patchouli and the mint fragrance are both very subtle and pleasing, though for me, somewhat too subtle. I know that for a lot of people, patchouli evokes masses of unwashed, long-haired young people listening to very long, directionless songs while getting sunburned, but I think that's unfair. I'm not sure exactly when or how this happened, but I've become quite fond of patchouli, and I imagine it difficult to ever have a negative feeling about it no matter how strong, though I suppose we all have our limits. Anyway, this soap has a nice lather, a pleasant smell, is clean and wholesome feeling, doesn't give me a headache or make me break out.

An interesting thing about the architecture of this bar: it's very thin and contains small fragments of what I am led to believe are mint leaves (though it could be patchouli leaves, I suppose—where does patchouli come from? Something else to research). The bar resembles a broken piece of slab, as if to expose the interior of the soap—so what it looks like is an external structure with more of a concentration of the leaves inside—so that while I was using it, I kept expecting it to just kind of collapse in a cascade of pure leaves. But this never happened—so what it seems like, then, was an illusion, with a concentration of the leaf particles on the broken end in order to seem like it was a “filling.” Odd choice, in a way, but I understand it, in that it felt dynamic and changing, even if it wasn't really.

The Pacha Soap Company has a very good website you can check out and they seem to be young people deeply involved with environmental and global issues, activism, and giving back (they give away a bar of soap for every one sold), and of course making soap by hand. They have some really interesting varieties, too, very into experimenting, so I'll be buying more. I'm kind of fascinated with places like Hastings, Nebraska, too—like why is it there? It's about the size of my home town, and apparently increasing in population—there are some schools there, I guess, and it's most famous for being where Kool-Aid was invented. If you, for some reason, wanted to be in the exact center of the USA, this would be the place, though it's also a place one might describe as “the middle of nowhere.” It's not even on the river, and it's not on the Interstate. It is, however, an Amtrak stop, which is why I remember the name. It's also on US Route 6, a national highway that I'm kind of obsessed with (having lived on it in three different cities, and... just check it out sometime). It's a longterm idea for a project, I have, to explore the length of Rt. 6, and write about it. If I ever do, maybe I'll spend some time in Hastings, and I'll be sure to visit the Pacha Soap Company.

Soap Review No. 14