If you’re wondering about  the picture above , let me explain.  The black rectangle supporting the packaging is the actual bar of soap : lemongrass and charcoal, would you believe? Hence the marbled black  and cream appearance.  I’m nervously wondering if my skin will  be a trendy charcoal grey after I’ve showered? Time will tell. Odd colour aside, the soap does smell nice – with a touch of peppermint alongside the lemongrass.

Somewhat oddly, the  package depicts a nightjar. I know this, because there’s a helpful note around the back of the box which tells me so. The connection between the bird and the soap  isn’t clear to me, but hey! This is a whimsical soap bar. Re-reading the blurb to clarify the nightjar issue, I discover the soap is handmade from sustainable ingredients, in KwaZulu Natal, so I suppose the bird motif is in keeping with the natural origins.

However, the most intriguing thing for me, is the paper on which the soap and box are resting. It was neatly wrapped around the bar of soap, instead of the more usual waxed paper. Being addicted to the printed word, I grabbed it and checked that my first impression was correct. Yes, it was. The wrapping is a page out of a novel titled  The Eagle has Flown .   I’m familiar with the catchphrase The Eagle has Landed,  much beloved of thriller and war story writers. But The Eagle has Flown ?  So I Googled it.

Wikipedia says: “ The Eagle Has Flown is a book by Jack Higgins, ….. It is a quasi-sequel to The Eagle Has Landed . “ Thank you Wiki. What would we do without Google and Wikipedia?

I am baffled as to why the soap maker wraps the finished product in pages torn out of an old novel. Quirky marketing? Paper shortage?  Thrift? Dislike of Jack Higgin’s novels?  Enormous guilty satisfaction in ripping a page out of a book? Who knows? It certainly is wrapping with a difference, and one of my more unusual birthday gifts that’s for sure! Because chocolate is on the verboten list, people tend to trawl craft  markets in search of gifts, so I often receive splendid surprises, and the soap was one of them.

P.S. If you want more info, or even a bar of black soap,  then I suggest you do a Facebook search for Rondawel Soaps.  I discovered their info on the Woza Moya page.





8 responses to “A STRANGE BAR OF SOAP

  1. Sounds like a lovely bar of soap, really different. And a great bit of advertising for them too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dawn

    I think it’s wonderful to wrap in printed pages … sometimes a beloved book starts to shed. What better way to perpetuate its life? And … if the recipient hasn’t read that book, a great teaser, too. I confess, I read what I could of the page even before I read the blog … (sorry :-))


  3. Ulli

    Good morning Alison,
    that made interesting reading. Of course I had never heard ot them before, and although I can’t say anything about their soap’s scent and quality, I must say I like the lovely illustrations on the packaging. Obviously people with imagination and energy. it is the kind of enterprise you instantly take a liking to – just like the small, craft beer brewers that spring up in SA too.

    You’ll find a lot more information here:


  4. Ulli

    Alison, just a follow up.The husband and wife team Kate and Chikondi also run a site called “Veldtstudio” with a blog that may be worth looking into:

    Including an entry on how the intriguing illustrations are created.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Zonie

    And…have you tried it?


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