Eggwhite Soap – Eiwit Zeep – with Chamomile Flowers & Lecithin


This Eggwhite Soap is imported from Belgium—the box is bright blue with an old-fashioned font, and there are full color drawings of flower maidens, one with flowers, the other with little chicks and a basket presumably with eggs. There is a small drawing of a windmill—if you didn't know it was Belgium, you'd think Netherlands. It comes in a box with six little, white, egg-shaped bars of soap, like eggs in a carton. The bar itself is egg-shaped, snowy-white, and has “Eggwhite Soap” engraved on one side and “Eiwit Zeep” on the other. It has, initially, a lovely, kind of feminine, old-fashioned, maybe old-lady smell, but very pleasant, even compelling in the way of nostalgia, at least for me. I have smelled this smell before, but I don't remember where.

Internet says “Eiwit Zeep” is Dutch, and translates as “protein soap.” I found discussion of two different eggwhite soaps, one from Sweden, and this one, which includes, chamomile. I guess the idea is to put the lather on your face for five minutes and it will tighten up your facial skin, so essentially it's a beauty soap. I tried this a few times, and it was really very pleasant! I was surprised—I would normally be afraid that such an activity would make me break out in a rash, or at least itch unpleasantly—but it felt good, and was kind of fun. I'm not sure if it had any benefit—I guess you'd have to do it regularly over time to figure that out.

I try again to describe this charming soap with one word: “teacup” comes to mind. Teacup, because it makes me think of a really old, fragile, kind of corny, but still beautiful tea set—and the one little ceramic teacup that is impossibly thin, with a tiny handle that looks like it will break off when you pick it up. I think about some rich, old, elegant lady having tea. This would be her soap.

I kept this one going for a long time after it got smaller and smaller, just because I like the smell so much. It is a very elusive, elegant fragrance—very much the perfume of a rich, old person, but totally a pleasant one—not in any way off-putting. This is just about my favorite smell of any soap—and the feel, too—this would be my regular if I could afford it, but it's kind of pricy! I'm almost done with it, now—I kind of pathetically kept around a little sliver as long as I could just so I could go wash my hands with it and smell it—because every time I smell this soap it takes me back somewhere—not sure where, somewhere in childhood. But I don't think it's childhood, necessarily, as the time period—which would be the 1960s. This is a real olfactory time-machine to the past, this soap is. I'm actually mourning its demise—but then it occurred to me: I can go out and buy another little magic egg of this soap. I don't even have to resort to the internet—you can buy it at the store. It's a bit expensive, for me, but if I was a rich person, I'd always have one of these around in one of my bathrooms. But would it, then, lose its magic? Maybe, maybe not. But anyway, I am a rich person, if you consider the wealth of soap I have accumulated, at home, on my “on deck” soap box, waiting for me to try.

One final note (in what may be my longest soap review ever—but then, this may be my favorite, yet). I did go look at some of this soap at one local store—Beans & Barley (where they have a fine collection of odd soap), and the strange thing is that this soap is now yellow, not white. Or was some white and some yellow? But the packaging looks the same—weird. If it's yellow, wouldn't that be egg yolk soap? And when I smelled it, it didn't smell the same as I remembered. Was there a change, or would it be different if I got it home, started using it (soap is always different from the store to home, and from the box to using it, wet). Also, there is the Swedish version of eggwhite soap, which has weirdly similar packaging but is from another country entirely—how would that compare? Clearly, I am not done with the eggwhite soap. There are a few soaps I want to return to, and use more, research more, and see how time affects my opinion—and this is one of them.

Soap Review No. 32