Brand of detergent and other related products, produced by Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever and sold throughout Europe and in several countries outside it. In many European countries, if not elsewhere, it's the proverbial laundry
detergent, having been a household name for decades much like Hoover and Aspirin.
The name Persil is derived from PERborate and SILicate, its original ingredients when it was first marketed by Crosfields, a company which later merged with Lever, in 1909. Since WWII, "Persil Washes Whiter" has been one of the most enduring and familiar advertising slogans in European media, making Persil practically synonymous with washing powder.
This writeup is for the benefit of North Americans who are puzzled by references to Persil in documents and jokes written by Europeans. Substitute Tide for Persil and
you'll have something Americans will understand just as well since Tide's presence is worldwide. It won't sound the same though.