Thursday, February 23, 2006

Favorite Things: Breath Palette

Since we eat chocolate on practically a daily basis, for Valentine's day I opted for something a bit unorthodox, fancy toothpaste. Breath Palette is a line of unusually flavored toothpastes from Japan. And when I say unusually flavored I mean it. The 31 flavors, (reminiscent of the famous ice cream brand?) are a mix of savory and sweet and highly aromatic and include Rose, Sweet Salt, Fresh Yogurt, Bitter Chocolate, Pumpkin Pudding and Indian Curry. Suddenly these toothpastes, which were just featured in Oprah's O magazine, are available at Nordstrom, Amazon and possibly even your local drugstore.

So what does Monkey Banana toothpaste taste like? Couldn't tell you. But I did check out some other morning fresh flavors such as grapefruit and lemon tea and am pleased to say they are wonderful. I don't like a strong menthol flavor and these are refreshing and mild. They contain a sugar-free base of herbal extracts and Xylitol and are less abrasive and less foamy than most toothpastes. This is especially good if you have an electric or electronic toothbrush. The flavors are primarily scent, because as the company says "smell is 80% of what we taste". The flavor, such as it is, dissipates quickly and leaves your mouth feeling fresh.

Most interesting might be the unflavored toothpaste, flavor zero. This version is actually a gel, a multi-purpose mouth conditioner that is pH-balanced. Breath Palette claims that professional chefs and sommeliers use this to cleanse their palates so they can better taste food and wine.

Breath Palette toothpastes are pricey, but make a nice gift, especially in someone's favorite flavor, like Darjeeling for my sweetheart or for traveling since the tubes are very small. You can buy them individually or in kits.

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