Private Soap Opera

In 1998, I was looking for a Christmas gift for my father, when, sometimes that happens, I ran out of ideas and, coincidentally and quite by chance, Hermès had just launched their Rocabar men’s cologne, a very elegant fragrance that seemed perfect for my father. All problems solved. I bought the entire range. My father was delighted and smelled fine for weeks and months.

Today, however, when looking for a new piece of soap at my parents’ place, I found one of these gifts still untouched: the matching soap, stuffed in a drawer, next to various cosmetic items like tooth brushes, dental floss, lotion tonique aux plantes, toothpaste (white, extra white, and diamond white), shampoo (dandruff, extra volume, extra body, and some arctic prunes elixir), and other little helpers that we can’t live without, it has been waiting for the last 21 years to be finally taken out of the box and into the shower. I guess, some things just seem to need the right moment…

Tub time.


Soaking in the tub on a Wednesday night is a wonderful thing, sipping red wine from a glass wet with condensation, trying not to get your reading material wet while singing along to Benjamin Biolay’s Rose Kennedy album, novembre toute l’année, toute l’année c’est novembre, happily indulging in November tristesse although it’s only late October, but hell, one has to be prepared, eye creams come and eye creams go, you’re learning about new books, raising your brow at the latest gossip, getting to know Warren Beatty better, one of the guys you might have forgotten about otherwise, Vanity Fair seldomly disappoints, Benjamin Biolay features Marilyn Monroe, the volume goes up, I’m waiting for the neighbours to complain about it, suddenly realizing it’s still early, not like last time when Robbie Williams was screaming through the house, way past midnight, when I had to be so very apologetic to those people from downstairs, answering the door dripping wet, red like a fresh boiled lobster, wrapped in an ancient towel, Jil Sander from the early 1980s, part of what my mother ironically described as my dowry, with the old logo with the red plus sign following the name as it was originally designed by Peter Schmidt, they changed it in the 90s for whatever reasons, purism, I guess, but that towel hasn’t changed much, it might have lost some of its softness, but none of its style, and I can confirm that in that towel I was much better dressed than my neighbours in their matching comic pyjamas.