One of Aesop’s greatest charms is their knack for spinning an inane product category, pricing it outrageously – yet offering such a compelling, niche, case for its existence that I find myself doing all the convincing on their behalf. It’s brilliant. You could dismiss it as contemporary consumptive behaviour – the reason to buy something is simply its subsistence – but I think that Aesop is really on to something here.
An ongoing stint at a fairly well-known corporation granted me the luxury of trying out the Post-Poo Drops first-hand (or cheek). I was previously unconvinced and utterly dismissive of the trivialities of a product that promises to literally make your shit smell like “Ylang Ylang and Tangerine Peels”. My first encounter with The Drops came about after a particularly potent serving of lasagna from a friendly local restaurant in god-forsaken Knightsbridge. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one in the office running for the newly-renovated bathroom at 2PM. As you’d expect, I was bracing for a literal shitstorm when it got to my turn. Instead, when I tenuously sniffed around, all I found was – gasp – Ylang Ylang and Tangerine Peels! It felt like the time my parents first installed a lock on my bedroom door when I was 13. Waves of relief.
A fairly aggressive and dehydrating deposit ensued, of which I will spare you the details. Ordinarily after such a violent experience, I would’ve washed up, left a cash tip for the next user as compensation and ducked out. This time, I had no fear walking through the valley of death. I had the Post-Poo Drops. Emptying the vial after flushing my shame quickly restored the crime scene into its former poop-free glory. I held my head up as I welcomed the next tense defecator, as any good doorman would. What I’d lost in bodily fluids to that bathroom I had gained in confidence. And £20 doesn’t seem like a massive price to pay for some dignity.
Aesop’s icing on the proverbial cake here is their ridiculously straight-faced pitch for the Post-Poo Drops. Their website touts it as: “A botanical bathroom deodoriser that effectively neutralises disagreeable smells with crisp notes of citrus peel and discreet florals.” On using the Drops: “Dispense into the toilet bowl after flushing. Additional drops in the hand basin will intensify the aroma, to the benefit of subsequent visitors.” How could you not buy into such a politely described offering? Intentional or not, I’m picturing Michael Caine buying Christian Bale the Drops and narrating these instructions in his baritone.
Whether you’ve been a devout Aesop follower or a skeptic of the Australian brand, it’s hard not to be intrigued by this product. Everything about it seems to be born out of an effort against discivility to the extent of, almost literally, attempting to polish a turd. And in these ugly years of social activism and dirty politics, maybe what we all need is just that bit of dignity – post-poo.
In Defense Of… is a series dedicated to making a case for the absurdly overpriced (and absolutely unnecessary).