Tuesday, March 08, 2005


A couple of years ago, Elder Daughter turned me on to a new flavor of toothpaste.

[“Turned me on to.” Now, there’s a real ’60’s expression. Bejus, am I showing my age. Oy.]

Anyway, I don’t know about you, but every so often, I get tired of the same old Minty Freshness. Pfaugh. So I start jonesing for an Interesting New Flavor.

Tom’s of Maine has a few unusual ones. They have a Fennel toothpaste I like, and a Gingermint flavor that is pretty good...but after half a tube of these bad boys, I find myself looking for the plain ol’ Colgate again.

Crest - a brand I normally despise - came out with a few oddball flavors, including a mint gel with some horrendous orangey-bubblegummy pong that made me want to boil my mouth so as to rid myself of the taste. Feh.

But Elder Daughter had spent a year in England a couple of years ago and had discovered a new flavor of Colgate that she was also able to buy back home. There’s a little Indian spice shop cum grocery in her neighborhood - Shalimar, I believe the name is - and they carry Colgate Herbal from time to time. The toothpaste is made in India, and it has an indescribable herbal flavor that is refreshing, never seems to get tiresome, and is just plain different.

After trying this stuff, I simply had to get my hands on it. But unless you live conveniently near an Indian drugstore (“chemist”) or market, fuhgeddaboudit.

I went so far as to call Colgate to find out where I could score me some of that fine Colgate Herbal, and to my astonishment, they told me that they were getting ready to introduce it in the States the very next month! Holy Crap, sez I to myself - there is a Gawd!

Well, the next month came around (this was January 2003, if my memory serves), and sure enough, Colgate “Herbal White” began appearing on supermaket shelves. I bought me a shitload of that stuff.

But I was disappointed to find that it is not the same as the made-in-India Colgate Herbal, alas.

Oh, it’s good, don’t get me wrong. Very good. It has been my standard toothpaste for these two years - except for abortive attempts to check out things like Crest and their Orange Bubblegum Wanna Makeya Puke flavored gel.

But it just ain’t the same.

The flavor is less intense. It’s almost as if they were ready to try something bold and different but got cold feet at the last minute, ratcheting the “herbal” flavor components back so that Americans - big flavor wusses that we are - would not be scared off by the exotic intensity of the Real Thing.

Well, screw that. The Real Thing is back in stock at that little Indian grocery, and I just bought a heap o’ toothpaste. I do believe a little Dental Hygiene is in order...

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