Flint and Steel
As aesthetically pleasing merchandise displays go, I would have to say that my favorite luxury soap boutique is on the minimalist spectrum. Its glass doors open to clean white walls adorned with matching shallow shelves offering highly-fragranced colorful soaps lined up in neat rows with custom-printed label bands on pastel scrapbook papers. The aromatic allure is a modern form of witchcraft.
Marbleized and solid colored hand-sliced bars promise relaxing or invigorating lathers of sensual transport to other worlds where worries and troubles are vaporized into steamy swirls.
So many choices: Mystic Quest (rumored to contain dragon’s blood), Oatmeal Honey, Vegan Castile, Morning Citrus, Cool River, Mountain Mist, Lavender Fields, Purple Haze, and the seasonal scents.
I can resist all these, though. I amble, spellbound, over to the men’s shelf and select a bar of Flint and Steel as my husband’s Valentine’s Day gift. I put it to my nose, close my eyes, inhale deeply, and smile. The label doesn’t reveal my suspicions, but I figured out its secret ingredient a long time ago.