Monday, August 25, 2008

An Old Fashioned Favorite, Pear's Soap

We used this soap in our home when I lived in Europe as a child. This wonderful transparent soap which first sold commercially in 1789 is no longer made anywhere except India. Hopefully, they'll never shut down. India still makes Pear's Soap using the original formula, although I heard that the scent has changed. Pears's soap is made from pure ingredients - glycerin, natural oils, rosemary, cedar and thyme. It contains no animal fat, nor is it tested on animals. Like good wine, it gets better with age, and becomes even clearer.

A little from Wikipedia:

"Pears began to experiment with soap purification and eventually managed to produce a gentle soap based on glycerin and other natural products. The clarity of the soap gave it a novel transparent appearance which provided a marketing advantage. To add to the appeal, Andrew gave the soap an aroma reminiscent of an English garden.

The concave shape of the soap is formed by shrinkage while the soap is drying, and is not due to deliberate moulding. After washing, the concave area on the top of the soap is used to dissolve the last sliver of the previous bar of soap. Pears Soap is often used by the elderly for its skincare properties.

From the late nineteenth century, Pears soap was famous for its marketing, masterminded by Barratt. Its campaign using Millais's painting Bubbles continued over many decades. As with many other brands at the time, at the beginning of the 20th century Pears also used their product as a sign of the prevailing European concept of the "civilizing mission" of empire and trade, in which the soap stands for progress. Between 1891 and 1925 Pears issued their now famous Annuals, now highly collectible. From the early 20th century Pears was famous for the annual "Miss Pears" competition in which parents entered their children into the high-profile hunt for a young brand ambassador to be used on packaging and in consumer promotions. Many Miss Pears subsequently entered acting or modeling."

The soap can be a bit pricey at up to $2.00 a bar, but I did find it at Amazon priced at $14.99 for 12 bars from an Indian food store vendor. This soap is great for sensitive skin.

I've also seen it at the Dollar Tree and Walmart. I plan to return to this soap due to terribly dry skin, probably caused by using my husband's harsh deodorant soap.


cyndyava said...

Oh, this is a wonderful soap. I love it and have often wondered if I'm the only one out there. When I was growing up in the seventies, it was the "in" soap, if there is such a thing! I remember many of the girls at my sleep-a-way camp had a bar of Pears. Funny how we remember things like that. Anyway, I have only seen it at the dollar stores in New York. It's always a dollar a bar. They even have a complexion soap now, which I use on my face and love. I always stock up, buying 10 bars at once, afraid that someday they will completely disappear. Thanks for this great info. I'm happy to have found another Pears lover!

Debbie J. said...

Wow, I'll be on the look out for it at my Dollar Tree now that I know what a good buy it is! Thanks Alexandra.

Alexandra said...

Hmm, maybe that's why we had Pear's! It was the "in" soap in the seventies. My mom was always trying to keep up with trends, and she was a soap-a-holic. Pear's was the steady, but she loved to collect all sorts of quality soaps.

No luck at Wallyworld today...I'll hit the Dollar Tree store tomorrow.

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