In Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Raoul Duke and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo, had 600 Neutrogena transparent soap bars.

I haven't been able to find an answer as to what their intended use was or why they would have so much.

Raoul Duke states that Dr. Gonzo had worked out a deal with some maids at a hotel they were staying in to have the stuff delivered to them in mass quantities.

When Raoul Duke is pulled over by a state trooper, the trooper asks about the soap and Duke says

I like to stay clean

to which the officer answers

I don't think so.

This implies that for some reason the soap is suspicious to the trooper.

So my question is, why is the soap significant?

  • The citrus enhances the effects of the lsd,the soap has to do with one of the drugs Feb 3, 2017 at 4:44
  • I'm curious if you know what drug the soap has to do with?
    – Skyl3r
    Feb 3, 2017 at 13:08
  • 1
    "Stay clean" has a double meaning: literally staying clean (hygenically), which is what Raoul meant, and staying off drugs, which is what the cop meant when he replied "I don't think so".
    – F1Krazy
    Dec 8, 2017 at 15:59
  • @F1Krazy I completely missed that! Good catch
    – Skyl3r
    Dec 8, 2017 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


They had all the soap because they could have it.

This isn't explained in the movie or in the books. However, it becomes increasingly clear in the book that much of the behaviour is simply drug and drink fuelled craziness. They don't do things that are logical. They just do bizarre, random things (remember, along with the soap they had grapefruits as well).

They were pulled over by the police officer who searched the car. Imagine if you searched someone's car and found a few bars of soap. You probably wouldn't think twice. Now imagine you find 600 bars of soap from a guy who's driving with a beer in his hand. It immediately looks suspicious.

Possibly the officer thought it contained drugs. Possibly he thought it could be related to bombs, or bomb making. In reality, it was just a collection of soap bars that had no significance and were only bought because Duke and Gonzo were so high it seemed like a good idea.

  • Great answer! I'll add though that eating grapefruit is commonplace in the psychedelic community due to the belief that it will lengthen or add potency to some drugs' effects. Not sure if this is true or not at the moment.
    – Skyl3r
    Feb 29, 2016 at 12:17

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