In ancient Egypt people were taxed on purchasing cooking oil. They were also forbidden from using the oil more than once.
During the Middle Ages, European governments taxed soap. This law stayed in effect for years to come, with Great Britain taxing soap until 1835.
Russian Emperor Peter the Great placed a tax on beards in 1705. He wanted the men to have the same clean-shaven look as the men in western Europe. He hoped the tax would encourage Russian men shave to avoid paying the tax.
In the 14th Century the French taxed salt, also known as the gabelle. It was one of the most unpopular taxes and said to have been one of many issues that contributed to the French Revolution.