In Radar Magazine:
Luxury toilet paper. At first it sounds like an insultingly obvious joke. Who would want such a thing? But then visions of those notorious $900 Gucci dog bowls flit through your mind, and you’re haunted by the possibility that your cynicism isn’t polished enough to second-guess the world’s hunger for tiny, absurd self-indulgences.
You’d be right. Consider Renova Negro: This all-black toilet paper from Spain is brand new, real, and mercilessly chic. Very Pedro Almodóvar. And, as it turns out, 10 times more costly than the average Euro-wipe. Renova Negro is the brainchild of an established, successful company already famous for an ad campaign in which barely clad models dry-hump near a commode while rolls of toilet paper look on, unmoved, as though they’ve seen it all.
In Japan, meanwhile, luxury toilet paper is de rigueur. Japanese rolls are routinely scented, extra-thick, aloe-moistened, strictly “virgin” (unrecycled), patterned, or—the latest trick—infused with pineapple enzymes to counteract odor. And in Germany the American brand Charmin Ultra is known as Charmin Deluxe; it comes in urbane black-and-charcoal-gray packaging “designed with the consumer in mind,” according to Procter and Gamble’s European division, “with a Gucci look and feel.”