It’s amazing how intertwined scent and memory are. Certain smells can take you back to another place and time.
The sharp scent of gas reminds me of NP stations in Trinidad, where men in red and black shirts pump your gas for you. The gas in my memory somehow has a sweeter and sharper smell than American gas does. The scent of freshly-struck matches and vanilla candles takes me back to blackouts and hurricanes, the week we spent without power after Hurricane Wilma.
And the smell of almond soap takes me back to a horrendous job I had after I graduated from high school. The one good memory I have about that job was the delicious bathroom soap, how the scent would linger on my hands. I always wanted to find a similarly scented soap for myself, but this was the pink kind that’s installed in public restroom dispensers.
Despite my love for that bargain basement soap, I’m a bit of a soap snob. I have yet to find a scent of Softsoap that I enjoy, and don’t even talk to me about Dial. I’ll use it if I have to, but let’s hope I won’t have to. For me, it’s all about the scent.
I want a thick, rich hand soap that has transportative powers. I don’t ask for much. For a long time I was stuck on Bath and Body Works Jasmine Vanilla Hand Soap. It’s luxurious and lathers well, and never left my hands dry.
I don’t even really want to get into my adoration of Ross here, our love is that deep. Let me just say, maybe 50% of my wardrobe has been carefully discovered at this store.
Last week I went to get a pizza stone (an incredible deal at $3.50), and came home with an awesome v-neck black-and-white polka dot tunic top that fit like it was made for me, the greatest black jersey headband ever (it knots at the front for that very Dynasty perhaps-I-am-wearing-a-turban look), and a funky wood corner unit TV stand that cost $50. Obviously I have a problem.
Buying cosmetics or beauty products at discount stores like this can be sketchy. Most often you’ll find a crowded rack of colorful bottles; some already open, some cracked, some sticky, some half-empty. Boxes of fine French soaps will be already ripped open, and any hand lotion has already been turned into a tester. But sometimes, sometimes you find something wonderful.
I’ve found milk bath wash in glass bottles, high end sugar scrubs, and coconut hand lotion miraculously intact.
Still, this hand soap came as a surprise. The label is printed with Florentine Paper, a thousand-year-old pattern that is ornate and lush.
I have no idea where these products are actually sold, but I was able to find it at Ross for $4.99, marked down from $10. It’s thick and leaves my hands amazingly soft and sweet smelling. I love it. My husband loves it so much that he actually commented on it.
I damn near squealed with delight when I went back to Ross and found the shower gel! Good Lord I am such a product junkie.
Now I’m keeping my eyes peeled for the perfumed paper, which is just fabulously decadent and belongs in my underwear drawer. These Tuscany Idea products proved to be the best beauty product discovery I’ve ever made at Ross. Now I want to find out where I can buy this stuff.
If any of you have seen these products in a store besides Ross, let me know! What’s the best discovery you’ve ever made at a discount store?