…you’d be missing quite a lot. I happen to be a person to whom the olfactory and the tactile senses are crucial—not that I could imagine myself blind or deaf, but I have a strong memory of smells, so that a combination of smells can bring back memories from more than 30 years ago…

Guess what happened to me in the last year or so? I discovered the magnificent universe of the truly natural soaps with fabulous perfumes and essences. Not those cheap, fake scented soaps that lost their perfume shortly after you start using them. Oh, I forgot: bar soaps, not liquid ones!

Surprisingly enough, despite their so many lavender products Made in Provence, France is not the producer of the best such soaps. I’ve bought a couple of dozens of different soaps made in France, Italy, Germany, England, Scotland, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States and the winners are… Italy and England!

An easy start for England: the soaps bearing the brand of The Royal Horticultural Society (usually made by BRONNLEY). Some are available in Germany at Karstadt and at Galeria Kaufhof. (OK, The Scottish Fine Soaps Company also makes some decent soaps. As for the Welsh…)

For Italy, to only mention a brand that can be found at Karstadt and at Galeria Kaufhof (many more brands and from many other countries used to be available at Tk Maxx, but not so much lately): Nesti Dante.

From their huge collection, I’ll tell you what I smell every single time I visit my local Karstadt: Rosa Campagna!

Yes, it’s much, much more interesting than Rosa Principessa:

One has to try both to see what I mean (there is also a Rosa Sensuale variety that I couldn’t find). There are 1,000bn smells one can sense, so neglecting this field would make you live… unfully.

Oh, one thing: I saw a strange package online, which sounds fishy: Rosa Champagne. For fuck’s sake, Campagna means countryside or rustic, whereas Champagne is… the sparkling wine or the French department where it was invented!

Is this a fake, or a misprint?

Note: the above soap brands are some of the most popular in Continental Europe; there are many more (dozens if not hundreds) that offer higher quality soaps, and focusing on the natural ingredients (seaweed, hemp, exotic fruits, cocoa, Dead Sea salts, various plants and oils, spices, etc.) instead of the perfume (BTW, is lavender a perfume?), but they’re quite difficult to find, so I chose not to mention any of them.