Life is Like a Bar of Soap – Are You a Dove or Zest?

By Ann Ipock

Life is Like a Bar of Soap

It occurred to me recently while visiting my parents that life is like a box of soap. I was ready to jump into the shower when I realized that the gooey soap sliver lying in the dish wasn’t quite enough to lather my non-sliverish body. Yeah, I know – the bigger the body the bigger the bar of soap required.

Anyway, that fateful day, I searched through the cabinet to find a new bar. Why is it always me that has to replace the soap, refill the toilet paper or replenish the sugar bowl? I don’t get it; well actually I do, no pun intended. That day, I saw two bars of Dove and one bar of Zest. Now, Dove to me is absolutely boring. It has no real smell and if it does, it’s totally nondescript. It makes me think of those Dove models whose porcelain-like faces don’t seem believable: no wrinkles, no ruddiness and no realism. I am not a Dove girl. Dove chocolate? Yes (especially dark). Dove soap? No. Even the name is innocuous. With the symbol of a dove representing peace, it’s no wonder I can’t associate. I’m not a peaceful person. Ask anyone when I come storming in out of the rain, bombarding the first person I see with: “Do you have a towel, a blow-dryer – an umbrella?” (for when I’m leaving).

So I pushed aside Dove in favor of Zest – now that’s a bar of soap I can sink my teeth into. Uh oh! Wrong metaphor. I don’t eat soap; unless you count that time I got my mouth washed out with soap for saying a bad word. It might have been “Yankees” for all I know; but it was enough to make me remember that disgusting foamy, frothy taste and feel.

Zest smells great! The scent is fresh, alive and woodsy; which could describe me except for the woodsy part. Even though I am a nature lover, if a buzzing bumble bee or protective mockingbird starts harassing me, I’m out of there. It’s ridiculous! When I think of Zest, I think of a burst of energy, or better yet, food – zesty Italian salad dressing, zesty lemon grass tea.

When I take a shower I don’t want boring. I don’t want dull, and I don’t want nondescript. So I reach for all the gusto I can get; and no, I’m not doing a beer commercial – or a soap commercial. I’m just telling you that though “life is like a box of chocolates,” an expression I borrowed from Forest Gump, it’s also like a box of soap.

There’s another flavor, I mean, soap that I love. Have you tried the brand Kiss My Face? Seriously, that name is adorable. Any frou worth her weight in pink-and-lime green polka dots would agree to that. Just the thought of it conjures up a new born baby’s skin, nuzzling up against your face. Plus the green liquid gel smells like a perfect combo of tea tree oil and eucalyptus.

But as good as Kiss My Face is, here’s one that’s completely opposite. That would be Safeguard. I’m over it! That is about the most manly-man scent I can think of. Plus, Safeguard is the brand name of a burglar alarm. I don’t want to smell safe, I want to feel safe.

Yardley lavender is a great soap. Maybe that’s another reason I like to go to Outback Steakhouse. It’s not just the Victoria filet, although that’s a good reason. When I go there I’m like a child who’s anxious to visit the bathroom to take in the sights, except I like to use the soap they provide. But get this: I can’t find that tall white plastic bottle of liquid Yardley soap anywhere else but Outback. Oh yeah, most places sell it in the bar form in both lavender and oatmeal – that’s another story, but I’ll tell you now with a quick interjection. I don’t like oatmeal soap. I like oatmeal in a cereal bowl with brown sugar, but not on my body – I don’t think so. So, if this restaurant has some kind of smart, clandestine, covert plan going on, thinking – like, “the food must be good, the service must be good and the prices must be good, but the soap: Oh, the soap, it must be great!” Then, I say, hey guys, your marketing plan is right on the money. I’m all about the soap.

And finally, the all time winner of the worst soap is Dial. Why? Because I grew up using Dial. It was a staple in my house. It’s old school and it smells like mouthwash. The commercials are so cheesy. Aren’t you glad you use Dial? I say no! Don’t you wish everyone did? To which, I say, h*#@, no! When I think of the word dial, I think of Wheel of Fortune. Spin that dial, honey! The company came up with the name Dial because they felt it offered “round the clock” protection – but I say protection from what? I don’t want protection; I simply want to smell good.

About this writer

  • Ann Ipock Ann Ipock, the first Sasee hat recipient, is the author of the “Life is Short” humor trilogy. She currently writes for four publications and lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, with her husband, Russell.

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4 Responses to “Life is Like a Bar of Soap – Are You a Dove or Zest?”

  1. Terri Elders says:

    I loved this piece. I’m pretty ancient, so I remember when Irish Spring first came out, such a refreshing scent. But good old Ivory has always had the sweetest soapiest scent, and still reminds me of my mother.

  2. Lindsey says:

    I found Yardley liquid hand soap:)
    I have been looking high and low for it at my local stores and haven’t had any luck.
    Some Cracker Barrel’s have it and you can buy it online.
    It’s $4.04 for a 16 oz. bottle at

  3. Donald R Adams says:

    Love this article and zest. I rate a place over their hand soap.

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