Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ooh, that smell

My local pharmacy is selling Pears soap for three bars per dollar. I don't think I ever bought it in the UK, but seeing it here, smelling that smell, well I just couldn't resist. (Note to self - next time you spend over five minutes sniffing soap boxes you'll probably be arrested.) They also have liquid soap and shower gel, which I can't get my head around. I mean I love the smell, but head to toe probably constitutes a small crime against humanity.

This morning I lovingly set out a bar in my downstairs loo, to be followed in less than five minutes by a loud pre-teen wail, "Ugh! What is this stuff?" Ever the Pollyanna, I comforted myself with the fact that he had actually washed his hands. As with Brussels sprouts, Marmite and Scotch Eggs, he will be made to embrace his heritage.

When British visitors used to ask what they could bring for me, my immediate requests were decent tea, Branston pickle and Feminax. I can get the first two here now and the Feminax makes me "unreliable". These days my request is for Dettol, another smell I love. My gran used it for everything - scrubbing floors, cleaning kitchen surfaces and disinfecting scraped knees. I wouldn't be surprised if she brewed up with it, just to stave off the cold she swore you got from walking around with wet hair. She would even put a dollop in our baths, which turned the water a cloudy white. It didn't half sting if you had chapped legs though!

I am okay on the Dettol front for the moment thanks. I have four bottles hidden away from my cleaner, who also likes it and "borrows" it to deal with her doggie accidents. (What has the world come to - I'm squirreling Dettol away?) I also have a gigantic bottle of unscented Dettol brought by a friend with a cruel sense of humour. I mean, what's the point?


  1. Oh I totally know what you mean about the smell of Pears Soap, I will have to lookout for it too. My gran always had it so it takes me back to childhood.

  2. My necessity from all visitors from the UK is Radox. I don't know whether it is the childhood memories of my nan always having a Radox bath after a day of gardening but I love it and now it comes in shower gel, in different flavours but I always stick with original.

  3. Though I haven't the most remote of clues as to what you refer ... I simply adorethe fact that you honor and pay due respect to heritage, memories, and your own sense of comfort. Well done, indeed!

    (and I sense all of that from across that silly Pond [a smiling Yank])

  4. I think TCP is just as poignant as Dettol! I was actually told to suck on a sugar cube with TCP on it when I had a sore throat.
    It is difficult to know just WHAT I would miss if I lived off our little island! Thought provoking!

  5. Well, I'm sorry, but I can't stand the dmell of Pears' soap or Dettol!

  6. Mmmm TCP is lovely as is Radox... Also love the smell of Imperial Leather.

    Ahh, England :)

  7. Britgal - what is it about grans and smells? Nice ones, I mean.

    Softie - I think I would have to go with the shower gel as I always found Radox scratched my bum!

    john-micheal - I am working on a scratch-n-sniff link!

    Maggie - TCP doesn't do the same for me but that's because I vaguely remember having to gargle it when a child. Yuch!

    Mother - I am sure that if I didn't live so far away I wouldn't be so emotional about those smells!

    Nutty - ooh, there's another one! I also found a tube of Germoline in my bathroom cabinet last week which I had to sniff!

    Maybe next post I'll list a few more daft things that Brits abroad end up longing for.

  8. I'm with Nuttycow - it's got to be Imperial Leather or nothing!

  9. I just love reading your blog! but it does make me wonder about all those scents...Scratch and Sniff would be awesome! LOL!

  10. We must have had the same mother. I too was made to gargle with TCP so no desperate longings there. My gran used Camay, which I have managed to find here. I also hated Radox because of the scratched bum thing. Perhaps now it's in a gel I could be tempted to give it another try.
    One other thing - how do your visitors manage to smuggle all this stuff in? Teabags and Branston must count as food stuffs?
    By the way, I've found the occassional jar of B at Costplus along with my all-time favourite Heinz Salad Cream!

  11. Nutty - Imperial Leather - now which way does the label go again?
    And thanks mrs a for that nice comment.
    Kat - it's usually okay to bring in stuff that is sealed. I stocked up on Branston (which I can find here) because my mum sent me a newspaper cutting last year saying that the branston factory had burnt down and there was going to be a "world" shortage. So far so good!! (I preferred Sandwich Spread to Salad cream though).

  12. I cannot believe that our grans put Dettol in the bath to clean us up!

    Maybe that is why I am so petite!


  13. i put dettol in the kids baths. is that not normal? i thought that's what we had to do with kids.

    typical. i thought i was so zeitgeist and now i discover i'm heirloom.

  14. Well hello there too! I'm certainly keen on the Dettol and Pears soap still does something strange to my psyche. Luckily we can now buy Marmite, and proper crisps locally but there's still a whole long list of 'longed fors' even after all these years.
    Best wishes

  15. I am with you on the smell of pears soap - divine.

    But Dettol just reminds me of puppies peeing on the carpet!

  16. TCP in the bath maybe, but Dettol? Ow...

  17. This reminds me of a friend who went to live in the US 20 years ago. She misses proper tea still!

    But dettol??? That's like TCP and you know what THAT stands for don't you?

    (Tom Cat's P*ss for the uninitiated!)

  18. Dilly - too funny! What is it with grans?
    Grit - there's a cream for the zeitgeistt too!
    Maddy - hello. Yes, we've come a long way over here with what we can buy thank goodness.
    M&M - my Dettol comes in handy for the puppies equivalent - two boys peeing on the bathroom floor!
    Potty - I would've thought TCP knacked too?
    Cath- that's a new one on me. Will have to put it in the revised edition of my book.

  19. Imperial Leather & salt & vinegar hula hoops!!!

  20. Oooh yes, Dettol. Was thinking about that myself only the other day, when cleaning the bathroom, because I really don't like the smell of Lysol at all.

  21. Dettol jumped out at me too the last time I was at Myers of Keswick...I was shocked as I didn't know it was typically British I just thought it was some con fangled ointment that my mother insisted on using!! Little did I know!!


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