European Toothpaste: Botot or Elgydium, Anyone?

I’ve posted before about toothpaste as luxury item. GoSmile from Sephora, the morning and evening whitening toothpaste as an alternative to the same old boring Crest and Colgate varieties that fill the shelves at your local market or big drugstore.

There are other upscale brands out there. I’ve been checking out Elgydium and Botot since I first saw Elgydium at Bigelow Chemist in Greenwich Village. Their claims to luxury may be exaggerated; Elgydium is supposed to be the secret whitening method of movie stars who bring it back by the case from Paris and Botot is the world’s first toothpaste, created in 1755 for King Louis XV. Although it may be fun to imagine King Louis brushing with Botot in one of the fabulous bathrooms of Versailles before a liaison with Madame de Pompadour, what really matters today is just whether you like it or not.

Imported Toothpaste Elgydium’s claim to fame is its micropulverized bicarbonate. That sounds like fine baking soda particles that can get in those little crevices and give you maximum whitening power to get rid of those stubborn red wine or Gauloise cigarette stains that are always such a problem for French people. It does seem effective. It tastes kind of like Arm and Hammer baking soda (not very minty) and leaves your mouth feeling polished. A downside for me is that there does not seem to be any added fluoride, but it you have fluoridated drinking water or use a fluoride mouthwash it might not matter. Not to get too complicated, but they also offer a Decay Protection variety. Daisy misses the mint.

French Toothpaste

Botot, on the other hand, seems to have all the needed ingredients. Fluoride to prevent cavities and triclosan to kill germs (both added since 1755 is my guess), along with an unusual and very pleasant flavor of anise with a hint of cinnamon. Definitely a toothpaste for adults.

Clearly, these are much more expensive than the mass market kind, but if you like them, you can afford them more easily than a house in France.

Elgydium Toothpaste

Available from Amazon

Botot Toothpaste

Available from Amazon


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