Fresh Thyme – Orange Patchouli


A “Fresh Thyme Farmers Market” grocery store recently opened near enough my neighborhood to walk a half hour extra for grocery shopping because they have so much my close-by store (which is a shithole) doesn't have. One thing that bugs me, though, is how, in keeping with their logo, Fresh Thyme's soap bag says: “Organic Handcrafted Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Bar Soap”—really? Modest research shows that the Fresh Thyme store is (relatively) new, small—but still a chain grocery store, ultimately owned by a very large company, so big, even, that they hesitate to reveal themselves, wanting to keep the image of a little mom & pop store, or, as in their name, a “farmers market.” Now, we all know what a farmers' market is, and this is not a farmers' market. I suppose there's nothing terribly wrong with them using that in the title of the store, with the understanding that they're not really trying to fool anyone, and the farmers' market thing is in spirit only. But if you transfer that logic to the soap, does that mean that this soap isn't literally “hand made”—but is factory made, but it somehow retains the spirit of handmade soap? There were hands involved somewhere in the process—say, the hands on the computer keyboard that arranged for the manufacture of the soap at the soap factory, and the shipping and payment of the soap, so it could reach your local Fresh Thyme. I don't know, really, but once someone lies to you, no matter what the spirit is that's involved, it makes it tough to have faith that they're ever telling the truth. So “handcrafted”—meaning, in the spirit of handcrafted, and “organic”—not actually, but in the spirit of organic? Can I believe, literally, any part of this packaging?

Anyway, the soap itself is fairly delicious—the fragrance subtle yet undeniably there—orange, and patchouli—and the feel of the soap very soft and clean. It takes on a beautiful, pale orange color which gives it even more of a feeling of something you can eat. There are little nubs of plant matter that reveal themselves increasingly as the soap wears away—larger as it goes along. I guess these are orange peel particles of some kind—I'm not sure. I don't think they are patchouli particles—I don't know what patchouli comes in, but not big nubs, right? It's only subtly patchouli-y—I suppose to be pleasant to the average person, but I'm always wanting a little more. I wonder what the most patchouli-y soap out there is? I can imagine a very Speenish one—maybe called Speen-chouli, or something, that just kind of melts your socks. But all-in-all, it's an extremely pleasant soap. It goes kind of fast, but that's okay—most hippie soap is not long for this world—unless it's owned by actual hippies, who don't bathe—and, hey, that's cool.

Soap Review No. 37