Perfect Blue
Kona Macphee
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Commentary: Pears Translucent Soap

When I was very small, my hair was often washed with Pears soap. The honey-coloured, semi-see-through block had a distinctive and lovely smell that now has a thoroughly Proustian effect on me. I've continued to buy it as an adult for sentimental reasons: paradoxically, that "traditionally British" product, now made in India, is one of my few ongoing connections with Australia.

The eagle-eyed and/or pedantic will note that the name of the product is actually "Pears Transparent Soap". (Naturally, I realised this on the very day that the first printed copies of Perfect Blue arrived on my doorstep!) In my mind (and in this poem!) it's always been "translucent" - not as nicely alliterative, but technically more accurate, I suppose.

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