Happy early valentine's day to me from Crabtree & Evelyn! Here goes, my opinion of every last yummy smelly treat:
1. Nadira Body Oil Spray: Hands down my favorite. The box is colorful, far fancier than the few-frills clear plastic spray bottle inside, but what's great here is the actual product. There's no better beauty product for winter in Chicago than body oil, and no better way to deliver its intense moisturising punch to ashy skin than via spray pump. And the scent here --sweet almond and fig -- is blended with Moroccan argan, a rare oil famous for its moisturizing power. It reminded me a bit of Chanel #5. Verdict: A must-buy!
2. Natural botanical body butter: Very lemony -- almost overpoweringly so, as if I had been mystic-sprayed with Lemon Pledge. That's probably due to the inclusion of lemongrass, as trumpted on the label. Although this isn't the subtle scent of the true stuff. The packaging, however, is lovely: brownish-redish glass with a brown metal lid embossed with the brand name and an olive branch. Patch test: skin was noticibly silkier, and the lemon smell subsided into a sweet, sugary smell after about 10 minutes. And lord knows I love me some cosmetics in a pot! Verict: If you like lemon, buy it -- use it and keep it out on your vanity for display.
3. Lip conditioner: Giant box contains a plastic tray holding a smallish tube of lip treatment. Hardly eco-sensitive packaging, folks. So already I am a bit annoyed -- what's the purpose of the box again? Why not just sell this stuff as is? Also vexing is the condition of the tube -- the stickers affixed to both sides of the tube extend past the surface area. leaving the corners sticking up ... the box is lovely enough but the whole shebang seems a bit off. That said, the lip conditioner smells wonderful -- lightly fruity! -- and goes on smoothly. Once on the lips, though, I have to say it's a bit unremarkable. But you know how I feel about lip conditioners and remedies (see post of a few months ago entitled "Battle of the Balms"). The SPF factor seems to be the sales point here, and the back of the box is set up like something you'd see on a prescription medication, with "Active Ingredients" -- yet they are all sunscreens and nothing seems to say it's higher than SPF 15. Verdict: Caveat emptor, I'd say.
4. A duo of perfumes, one called Lost, one called Found. I have to admit, this is a supercute idea. The Lost package is an eau de parfum, a squat, square bottle containing a light blue liquid that is, as its tagline suggests, actually "fresh, reflective, unique." Actually, I am no expert on this, but the scent is light and not bad. A good scent to give as a gift because the bottle is pretty and the scent is mild. Verdict: Great gift. The Found packaging mirrors the Lost packaging except this one is pink. The Found product I was given was the solid perfume, a tall stick of shimmery yet non-greasy fragrance, like a non-powdery stick deodorant. When I applied it, it left a light shimmer -- I wish I'd used it last night's Marc party. I liked this scent -- on me, it went on lightly fruity and mellowed to more of a vanilla note. I will definitely use this, probably when it gets warmer out. My usual summer fragrance is Mimosa from Christiane Celle, but I will make room for this one, too -- a real, ahem, FIND! Verdict: Buy it!
5. Rose & Glycerine Soap: Inside the creepy, Miss Havisham box is a beautiful perfectly shaped heart soap that would be cute, cute, cute if the box weren't so hideous and the soap reek like an old lady. Hey C&R -- keep the mold and fill it with cherry vanilla-scented soap, put it in a cute box (recycled paper maybe?) and market it to tweens. I promise your sales will triple. Verdict: Smell so overpowering you can't even keep it in your house. If you don't like rose, take this outside and leave it there.