La Saponeria Firenze – White Roses

“Rose Covered Coffin”

This is a fine Italian soap from Tuscany, according to the fancy box (which probably costs more to make than the soap) and is big enough to keep and use for something, like maybe a coffin for your pet rat, or a place to keep jewelry or old keys. It's a big soap—10.5 ounces, which is a little impractical, honestly, for even me, a large man, and certainly for someone who is small, old, or doesn't have superior arm or leg strength. I imagine it as a bath soap, but you'd have to be very careful not to drop it on your foot in the shower. It should maybe come with a warning. This long bar of soap—it's a tasteful off-white—has got an intricate design sculpted on the top on it——there are flower patterns, and a building of some kind, and the name of the company, and “Italy.” I imagine some people might put this in their fancy downstairs half bathroom—the kind of soap you just politely brush your hand against when you're visiting and ask to use “the powder room”—and of course are then impressed with the giant bar of Italian soap with the beautiful designs carved in it that's too large to pick up, or really lather up, which would almost feel like vandalism. Or it might be a soap you buy for someone as a gift (who more than likely never removes it from the box) in which you impress them with your deep pockets—that is, as long as they don't shop at TJ Maxx and see countless boxes of this for $3.99.

To me, the actual bar of soap resembles a boat—or maybe more a coffin, because it has a definite top and a definite bottom—and there is a little ridge around the outside of the top so it actually looks like it has a lid you could open. And because of the dimensions—how it's disproportionately longer than wide—it's more of a coffin shape than anything. The somewhat dated, floral fragrance fits the shape and look of this soap perfectly—it does conjure up roses, or maybe an elderly lady's perfume—but a wealthy, reserved woman, very tasteful, and subtle, not overdoing it. Just a pleasant, all around wholesome rose smelling soap—but maybe lacking passion to some degree. It reminds me of the scene of the two funerals in My Own Private Idaho (1991)—this soap would be the smell of the staid, dignified funeral for Scott's father, the mayor, while the funeral for Bob would be something else entirely—maybe patchouli, weed, and gunpowder.

Soap Review No. 64