Is this Nesti Dante soap the best-smelling bar to buy?
By May Goh
I am not a soap user but I do like to use soaps. Does that make sense? The last soap I remember using was a green bar that I recall to be known as Popinjay Soap, but is now, I was told, packaged as Parrot Botanicals (no. 333!), and is still available. Unfortunately for the toilet soap (in case you think I am referring to lubricating grease!), shower gels and creams and a bevy of Dove girls have made the liquid soap the cleanser of choice for our shower.
What got me into soaps again is this giant of a bar (11cm X 6.5cm) by the Florentine company Nesti Soap Works, which markets their soap products under the brand Nesti Dante. A friend gifted it to me and I thought it was a rather unexpected and delightful choice. Eager to try something that I have given up for at least 20 years, I put this irresistible cypress-scented bar to use as soon as I got home that evening. It released its aromatic power even before I could rip it off its paper wrapping. It lathered into a cloud and allowed itself to meander through my body better than a bath sponge.
What I especially like is the solidness of this triple-milled soap (triple-milling yields soaps without impurities and are known to last longer) is its smoothness and hardness. I was told that a Nesti Dante soap used by one can last four months! It is surprisingly non-drying too (and sulphate-free and parabens-free and the rest of it). What some users might find ungainly is the size of the bar. It is huge: larger than a kitchen scrub!
The soap is so well scented that you don’t need an air freshener in the bath room as the fragrance of the soap lingers long after you’ve showered and left the bathroom. Redolent of a cypress forest, this soap smells wonderful on the body and in the air. In the bathroom, I feel I am among conifers as it rains. Outside, I am enveloped by a breeze that is naturally intoxicating. In my bedroom, I feel I am in some highland lodge and the Yuletide season has arrived, and a fire is crackling to warm. Bliss.
Nesti Dante soaps, SGD15.90 each, are available at Robinsons and Tangs. Photo: Zhao Xiangji