SOAP, pine tar
The Pine Tar Soap Situation
A few years ago Grandpa’s was purchased by Kirk’s Naturals—another soap maker (Kirk’s Castille soap, among others), and then in September ’17—without being aware of the new ownership— Will said “The pine tar soap is different. It’s lighter and smells flowery,” despite my suspicions that something has changed, Grandpa sez no. Maybe, but to my nose and the noses of several others here, Grandpa’s Pine Tar soap smells less pine tarrish than it used to, kind of like Will’s description . You might like it more now, but it seems to me that if you like the tar smell, more and stronger is better.
Anyway, in our search fore stronger we tried five other tar soaps, and one of them was so clearly the new king that the others may as well have been Dove. A year and a half ago somebody sent me a bar of it. I couldn’t recall the name AND I misplaced it, but when it came up in the search, I knew that was it and bought some samples for the crew to test.
The MSRP for the new soap (The Healthy Porcupine is the brand—for those who want to find out about it here and buy online) is $6.50 per 4oz bar…compared to $6 per 4.25oz bar for Grandpa’s. The “$X.50” is a problem here, because we sell only even dollar things. I asked if it would be OK to sell it for $6, but the The Healthy Porcupine Person said she’d prefer I didn’t undercut other sources. It wasn’t insistence, but her point is good, I totally get that, and it’s important to get along with other suppliers and vendors. It's not collusion, this one.
Our workaround is to sell in in 2-pax for $13. It is 20 percent pine tar, the same Swedish brand we’ve used for years on ax handles. Go, Swedes!
Porcupinetar soap doesn’t lather as well as Grandpa’s, but it lathers fine with a darker froth that smells Ultra pine-tarry! If you sincerely expect to like it and end up not liking it, send back the unused portion for credit. Ha! (But yes, you may do that.)
Grandpa’s Pine Tar soap— one 4.25oz cake
Lighter, less tarry, good entry level pine tar. Sold per cake.
PorcupineTar soap—two 4oz cakes (new item as of October 31, 2017)
Deep, dark rich, full-bodied, musky, lusty, earthy, and powerful. It’s 20 percent pine tar, for the ultimate pine tar soap experience. There’s no hint of anything else. Sold only in pairs.
The Healthy Porcupine's description as follows:
Pine Tar 20%
Pine Tar has a tremendous history of being used for its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. People have used pine tar in soap for dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, rashes, poison ivy, among others.
The pine tar we use in our soaps is authentic, highest grade kiln burned pine tar from Sweden. Auson makes pine tar the old fashioned way by burning pine tree stumps in kilns. This method is also known as, "genuine peasant made tar". For our customers to receive the maximum benefit of pine tar, each bar of soap contains 20% pine tar!
Net weight: 4 oz each bar
Ingredients: Saponified (grass-fed tallow, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil), Auson kiln burned pine tar