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Toilet Paper: Luxury's Final Frontier


I initially heard about colored toilet paper at my maiden-voyage gynecologist appointment. My OB-GYN had won me over by recommending that I visualize Johnny Depp during potential future sexual encounters (“But only as a pirate!”) when the awkward stirrup'ed conversation turned to colored toilet paper and its gynecological misgivings. A popular bathroom accessory throughout the '50s and '60s, its dyes “wreaked havoc,” my gyno summed, referencing to the allergic reactions they caused down below. The FDA eventually cracked down on some of the cheaper dyes, but the trend had pretty much slowed down by then anyway. And that was that…

Until 2005—that year, Portuguese paper company Renova launched a(“sensitive area'-safe black toilet paper, and it became an instant staple for swanky washrooms such as (but not limited to) those in the Kardashian household, nightclubs with names like Double Seven, and the Stella McCartney boutique. But swanky doesn’t stop at black: for the humble price of $1,376,900 you can purchase 22-karat gold toilet paper. From the product description:

'This is the most expensive toilet paper roll in the world. A Quality 3ply toilet paper with 22 carat gold through the roll. As you use the toilet paper 22 carat gold flakes will fall onto the floor and your behind taking you to another level of sophistication. We have only been able to produce 1 roll at this stage. Naturally it comes gift wrapped.[ed note: Naturally.] This is 100% useable and safe. Made proudly in Australia by us. Please note this is for only 1 roll.”

For more cost-conscious(“My toilet paper, myself' set, luckily(?) there are places like, where a roll printed with $100 bills will only set you back $10 (please note that this is also only for one roll). Lipstick and heart patterns rank amongst the more subtle options.

Perhaps, like myself, you see very little need for bedazzled, fashion-forward, or otherwise designed toilet paper. However, if you’re feeling fancy or funny, might as well let the good times roll…

—Jenny Achiam

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