Sunday, June 26, 2011

“I wonder how much it would take

to buy a soap bubble, if there were only one in the world.”
~Mark Twain

I do love bubbles...
and neat soaps are right there with those bubbles!

I am on a Buy American kick...and buy from the those who are trying to survive in this economy on their own. I realize that not everything can be purchased that way, but even if we all try to buy that way every now and then, it will support an American. So, this week I am featuring a new soap that I have brought into the shop. It is made in New Hampshire. Did you know though that the Babylonians were the first to make a soap product? The earliest recorded evidence of the production of soap-like materials dates back to Ancient Babylon where a recipe for soap was written on a Babylonian clay tablet around 2200 BC. It consisted of uḥulu [ashes], cypress [oil] and sesame [seed oil].The Ebers papyrus (Egypt, 1550 BC) indicates that ancient Egyptians bathed regularly and combined animal and vegetable oils with alkaline salts to create a soap-like substance. Egyptian documents mention that a soap-like substance was used in the preparation of wool for weaving.

The word sapo, Latin for soap, first appears in Pliny the Elder's Historia Naturalis, which discusses the manufacture of soap from tallow and ashes, but the only use he mentions for it is as a pomade for hair; he mentions rather disapprovingly that among the Gauls and Germans men are likelier to use it than women. Aretaeus of Cappadocia, writing in the first century AD, observes among "Celts, which are men called Gauls, those alkaline substances which are made into balls, called soap."

According to research, soap-makers in Naples were members of a guild in the late sixth century, and in the 8th century, soap-making was well-known in Italy and Spain. Soap-making is mentioned both as "women's work" and the produce of "good workmen" alongside other necessities such as the produce of carpenters, blacksmiths, and bakers.In France, by the second half of the 15th century the semi-industrialized professional manufacture of soap was concentrated in a few centers of Provence— Toulon, Hyères and Marseille— which supplied the rest of France. Finer soaps were later produced in Europe from the 16th century, using vegetable oils (such as olive oil) as opposed to animal fats. Many of these soaps are still produced, both industrially and by small scale artisans. Castile soap is a popular example of the vegetable-only soaps derived by the oldest "white soap" of Italy.
In modern times, the use of soap has become universal in industrialized nations due to a better understanding of the role of hygiene in reducing the population size of pathogenic microorganisms. Industrially manufactured bar soaps first became available in the late eighteenth century, as advertising campaigns in Europe and the United States promoted popular awareness of the relationship between cleanliness and health.
Many people assume soap is soap, but many a bar of soap may not be labeled “soap.” Most body cleansers on the market today are actually synthetic detergent products and come under the jurisdiction of FDA. These detergent cleansers are popular because they make suds easily in water and don't form gummy deposits. Some of these detergent products are actually marketed as "soap" but are not true soap in the common and legal definition of the word.If the bar you use for bathing does not claim to be a soap, it's probably a synthetic detergent product. FDA defines a cosmetic as an article intended to be used on the body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance; thus, a nonsoap product intended for any of these purposes is automatically classified as a cosmetic.

So, if you see hand crafted soap and wonder why it is not dollar store priced, it is indeed the real thing, and, above all, it is made by hand in small batches with quality ingredients!

2 comments:

The Cinnamon Stick said...

Always learning something new...!!Planning on seeing you tomorrow if travel plans go right!! Can't wait to see you and The Dutch Rose...XO, Judy

Sherri said...

Ok, I want you to open an online shop so I can grab some of that soap! It's funny - I don't collect much in the way of material things anymore - you know the stuff us "girls" love to buy - Shoes, Jewelry, Cosmetics - I LOVE to buy Soap though. I am a stickler for pretty packaging too. Love this Post Sus! P.S. - Hope your Summer is going great!