Last summer, I think it was, I stopped by this charming “lifestyle boutique”—in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood—called URSA—I looked for a FAQ (Further Asinine Queries) page to see what their name means, no dice, but it's all caps, so I'll take a stab at it. How about, Utmost Rad Stuff Around? (Though it could have something to do with a constellation or a bear.) It's the kind of store I normally ignore because it's not cluttered, which makes me nervous—even though, looking at their products—everything from accessories to plants to fragrances and soap—I realize that it's curated in such a way that I probably would enjoy everything there, especially the health and beauty products—that is, if my wages were in line with my tastes. But anyway, on this day they were having some kind of garage or yard sale event, outside of the shop, selling both personal items (I presumed of the owners, or employees, but I'm not sure) and, I guess, shop overstock and maybe discontinued items. There was some good stuff... affordable, too. A nice, vintage motorcycle and some older stereo equipment caught my eye—but as much as I like clutter, I'm struggling to live in mine. I picked out this bar of soap that had neither packaging nor logo engraved, asked how much it was, and this nice guy with a large beard (owner, maybe) said free. My kind of price. The bar of soap itself was medium-sized and rectangular, with a really pretty marbled green color. It was a fine bath and hand soap while it lasted, very natural smelling, kind of herbal, and with what I interpreted as a scent of possibly fennel or anise. At the time he gave it to me, he was busy with the sale, but I asked where it was from—and either he couldn't remember the name, or he told me and I can't remember. I think he said it was from Austin, and I'm presuming Texas, so that's my only clue. But it's mystery soap, at this point, and I think it's going to remain mystery soap.
Soap Review No. 57