I am working on another book about advertising (debuting Spring 2015) and in the process came across this wonderful bar of soap. At first I just assumed the “Dry” in Dryad had something to do with an antiperspirant. It does. Dryad was the brand name of a modestly popular deodorant in the 1950’s. I assume the company expanded their product line in the late 1960’s to include soap bars. This of course was the dawn of the Flower Power generation with its interest in health and nature and you can see that influence in the label graphics.
What I didn’t know was that the graphic artist responsible for the label design was also referencing Greek mythology. Dryads are female spirits of nature also known as “wood nymphs.” They preside over groves and forests, more specifically a single tree which the Dryad watches—either living in the tree as part of it, or close to it. Their lives are so connected with that of the tree—that should the tree perish the Dryad dies with it. If caused by a mortal, the gods will punish him for that deed. The Dryads themselves also will punish any thoughtless mortal who would somehow injure the tree. If you want to see Hollywood’s version of Dryads, they are featured in The Chronicles of Narnia.
So there you have it. The DRYness of an antiperspirant + The AD in advertisement + The DRYAD of Greek mythology.