I don’t go in for body gel, or flavor bubbles, or aloe patches or whatever it is the kids use these days. I like to clean with soap, and my favorite soap is Cussons Imperial Leather.
Imperial Leather isn’t a particularly fancy soap. It’s English, and it’s been around forever, but it’s hardly artisinal. What it is is solid as a rock. It has a comforting, masculine smell, but it smells like soap, not like chemicals. It’s also hard milled to last forever – it rose to popularity in England during the second World War, when penny-pinching was the word. A bar of this stuff lasts me months.
It’s tough to find in the States, but there is one reliable way to get it – Indian specialty shops. Something in their colonial history has made them partial to traditional English soap. I bought two four packs for ten dollars from Indian Foods, and after nine months, I think I’m on my second bar.
As the good people of Cussons put it in the 1950s, “Cussons Imperial Leather is the choice of men of fame and men of promise. It is the choice of men of good taste.”