Sunday, 5 June 2011

The most fragrantly fragrant products of the bunch

Fragrance is incredibly important to me in beauty products - in fact it is almost important as efficacy. If a product doesn't smell nice I just can't seem to bring myself to use it, no matter how good it is. Then there are others, that on first sniff are nothing special, but somehow they draw me in. Either they evoke a memory that makes me feel warm and fuzzy or they smell so intriguing that I can't stop sniffing them, until suddenly I am quite obsessed.

Therefore, I thought that I would dedicate a post to my all time favourite smelling products.

Moisturiser: Lush Afterlife
I discovered this by accident when it was on the way out in Australia. Lush were running a post Christmas promotion - spend $50 in store and choose any Lush product for free. I chose this. I used it that night and loved it so much that I went back in store the next day, spent another $50 and got another Afterlife. It smells amazing - kind of a creamy vanilla and orchid flower concoction. It was quite unique on my skin as well. Whilst my skin felt quite greasy to touch, after application, it looked completely matte. And my skin really did love it - it drank it up leaving it looking so uniform in tone. I actually got a few compliments that my skin was looking glowing, when I was wearing this moisturiser. It came back to Australia again, but unfortunately its reappearance was short lived so I have to satisfy my Afterlife cravings when someone visits the UK and picks it up for me.

Cleanser: Pod Puraceuticals Liquid Detox
This is a gorgeous gel cleanser that has a fairly strong floral fragrance. The main floral note I detect is ylang ylang. It is non drying as it does not contain sulfates which can strip and dry out the skin. It lathers up well and cleanses very effectively. It is also very gentle. The company claims that it helps dramatically reduce blackheads, blemishes, hormonal bumps, and sun-damage. To be perfectly honest, I can't say that I noticed an improvement on my blackheads. I think that it would be great for keeping them at bay and preventing new ones from forming but once they are there, no cleanser I have used has been effective in removing them. Extraction is the only real option. But other than that, this cleanser is a real pleasure to use and I look forward to using it each morning.

Toner - Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
This was the first Jurlique product that I ever tried and is what got me hooked on the brand. This smells exactly like a massive bunch of red roses. The smell is amazing. I honestly feel quite euphoric each time I inhale it. I find it so calming, both emotionally and to the skin. I used to work in a hospital so was stuck in air conditioning all day so I would keep a bottle of this on my desk and each time I sat down to my computer would give myself a couple of spritzes. It kept my skin feeling hydrated - it didn't look so wrinkly and tired by the end of the day. It also helped to rid my world of hospital skin, if only for a few seconds at a time!

Hair Care - OK, I couldn't narrow it down so there are 2 sets in this category!
 Moroccan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner: I have to say that I LOVE the whole Moroccan Oil range (well the oil, mask, shampoo and conditioner that I have tried!). It leaves my curls looking so healthy, well defined and shiny. I actually add about 5mls of the oil directly into the shampoo and conditioner, shake to mix it well, then use them as normal. I find that it gives extra nourishment to my hair and means that I don't have to apply the oil every day. When I use the shampoo and conditioner, that has extra oil added, I find that I don't need to add any product to my hair - the curls are naturally defined (though without product can become fluffy in unfriendly weather). Now, this is meant to be an article about fragrance, so what is so good about the Moroccan Oil fragrance? Well, its pretty hard to describe - kind of herbally maybe, but I just love it. It subtly lingers in my hair throughout the day, but it is not the type of fragrance that would clash with any other scents that you are wearing.

 The other hair care products that I just adore the scent of are Lush's Curly Wurly Shampoo (right) and American Cream Conditioner. Curly Wurly smells exactly like a vanilla/coconut custard pudding. It is absolutely delicious smelling, in fact I am drooling a little bit just thinking about it! It does leave my curly hair feeling soft and in great condition but it is a tad annoying to use. It has desiccated coconut throughout it, which I find doesn't completely rinse out. It is not until I do my final comb that I get the last bits of coconut out. American cream is another divine smelling product. It is a triple strength conditioner scented with vanilla and lavender - two fragrances that are just made to go together. On its own, American cream is a little bit too rich for my hair - it leaves it looking limp - but since I love the smell of it so much I mix it 50:50 with Lush's Coolaulin Conditioner which then becomes ideal for my hair. Coolaulin doesn't smell too bad, itself - it smells of coconuts - but it simply isn't as amazing as American Cream, hence why I had to devise a way to make American Cream work for my hair!

Body lotion/creme - Nivea Creme as the fragrance of this came as such a pleasant shock to me. I had actually never tried this until earlier this year when Nivea was celebrating their 100th birthday. I thought that if a creme had been around for that long I should probably give it a go, and I am glad that I did! I guess I had always imagined that it would smell like Sorbolene. Wrong. Very wrong! It smells gorgeous - like lily of the valley, very fresh and green floral. I have seen that people describe it as Grandma-ish - and they are not far off as it is a very classic scent. I adore it! It is an extremely thick cream so I only really use it at night, but I use it all over my body. If my face is feeling dehydrated, I'll use it as a night cream a it is very greasy, but I wake up with beautifully soft smooth skin. Otherwise, I'll use it as a hand cream or to banish the scales that keep growing on my legs!

 Hand cream - Jurlique Rose Hand Cream
 This is a delightful hand cream that smells exactly like roses. It absorbs instantly into my skin, leaving my hands soft and smooth. But that is not why I love it so much. This cream came close to saving my life. Sort of. I was in a lecture at uni and the guy next to me kept doing burps that smelt like noodles. It was a 9.00am lecture so that was really too early for noodle burps and they were making me feel quite nauseated. I was terrified that I'd puke in the middle of the lecture. I put my hand over my nose to cover the smell and was greeted by the most gorgeous aroma of roses. I had forgotten that I had put on my Jurlique Rose Hand Cream! I sat there for the rest of the lecture resting my head on my hand so that all I could smell was roses, and not noodle burps. See, it really did nearly save my life. Sort of!

Shower gel - Lush Skinny Dip
Just to be really cruel, I am going to talk about a shower gel that is no longer available - Lush's Skinny Dip. On paper it shouldn't smell nice - white chocolate and cloves is not what I would normally go for when it comes to fragrances. And when I first sniffed it, I didn't know what all the fuss was about. This is a gel that Lush fanatics rave about and beg to be brought back whenever Lush are doing another discon round. On first sniff it is quite herbally, yet also creamy. It is intriguing. Not attractive, yet for some reason you want to smell it again and again. It's like your brain is desperately trying to work out whether it likes it or not. So you sniff and sniff and sniff, and somewhere in all that sniffing you have become hooked by this enchanting and highly unusual shower gel. It is also super creamy and really moisturising so it is an all round treat to use. In the near future I am hoping to invest in some Philosophy shower gels so hopefully I will soon be able to update this with one that is actually available!

Body Scrub - again, I couldn't narrow it down to one scrub - this time I have 3 favourites. They are all so different so it is acceptable to have 3!

Philosophy Amazing Grace Hot Salt Scrub
Wow. This is amazing! A name couldn't be more fitting! The fragrance is a gorgeous perfume fragrance. I don't know how to describe it better other than it is very very feminine, and it smells so stunningly beautiful. It makes me feel happy just to use it. The salts are quite fine so are not to harsh or abrasive and you step out of the shower with the softest feeling skin that is still beautifully fragranced.
Mor Marshmallow Body Scrub
I bought this on a whim at DJ's when it was on sale. I don't usually go for sweet fragrances - I am more of a floral girl. I am glad I made the exception/impulse buy! This is absolutely delicious. It is super sweet, yet not sickly. Its a lovely sweet musky marshmallow fragrance. It comes in a massive tub so you can grab handfuls and massage it into your skin. The fragrances lingers for ages on you skin, and even longer in your shower! I would find myself entering the bathroom, hours later, thinking how amazing it smells. It is a very effective scrub, but as it is made up of sugar, the scrub particles dissolve off easily leaving no annoying residue.

Ajana Lavender, Lemongrass and Tea Tree Body Scrub
I'll be reviewing this in more detail in the coming weeks but I just wanted to throw it into this post as it fits in perfectly! I have a real soft spot for lemongrass. I went to Thailand for my honeymoon and found that a lot of the hotels fragranced their foyers with lemongrass. It is such a clean, refreshing fragrance that is also so uplifting. This scrub doesn't disappoint. When you take the lid off the tub you are immediately hit with a blast of lemongrassy goodness but when you actually use the scrub, the lavender notes come out. It leaves your skin feeling so soft and moisturised afterwards. It is a complete luxury to use.

 Bubble bath - Molton Brown Celestial Maracuja Bathing Nectar
This bubble bath is pure luxury. The fragrance is exotic floral - I guess like the smell of an orchard. It is the consistency of honey - extremely rich and thick, and only a small amount is needed. It doesn't produce a heap of bubbles but it does intensely fragrance the water. The fragrance subtly lingers on your skin afterwards, and it leaves your skin feeling lovely and soft. A matching perfume is available, and it is one that is on my wish list as it is a very unique and sophisticated floral scent. It really made me feel happy when I bathed using this.

Soap - I could probably choose just about any lush soap to make the cut for my favourite fragrance list, but that was the problem - I couldn't narrow it down to just one. So instead I have chosen a lesser know soap, because of the special memories it evokes. The soap I am talking about is Fiesta De Mozi Fig, Cedar & Mistletoe. My sister bought it for me for Christmas as the scent reminded her of Christmas and she knows just how much I love Christmas. On first sniff it is very different - very green, like fresh cut pine trees (hence the association with Christmas). But it also has a sweetness to it. It is very intriguing. You just want to keep sniffing it over and over as it makes you feel so happy, smelling Christmas! I loved it so much I asked my sister to buy me a couple of spares to keep in my sock and undie drawers, to fragrance them as well. After a couple of weeks she hadn't mentioned anything so I assumed she had forgotten. Then I gave birth to my first baby and she brought the soaps to me in hospital. So I used this soap for my first post giving birth shower - which was the most glorious shower of my life (even if the hospital water was set to luke warm!). So each time I smell this, not only does it evoke memories of Christmas, but also of that magical time of having just welcomed my first child into the world.

Perfume - I have about 30 perfumes in my collection so narrowing it down to one was impossible! I have managed to narrow it down to two.

Penhaligon's Ellenisia The exhilarating scent of gardenia and rose combines with intoxicating creamy musk and vanilla. That is the description by the company and it is absolutely spot on. It is the most beautiful delicate creamy floral fragrance. I got a sample of this from DJ's and was instantly smitten so had to rush out and buy a bottle straight away. The scent is truly beautiful and quite unique for a floral. It last for ages. Its top notes are fresh floral and these mellow to the gorgeous creamy floral. Each time I wear this, after spraying it on I sniff it then sigh in happiness. It really does make me feel happy wearing this fragrance.
BNever Two Hearts Beating as One BNever was Lush's sister company, although I believe they have now shut down. Rather than sell natural skincare like Lush they focused on fragrances and makeup. My sister lived in the UK for 18 months and so brought me home a massive parcel of BNever goodies, including the Two Hearts Beating as One perfume. It pretty much consists of just two notes - rose and jasmine - which happen to be the two most glorious floral notes there are. It is a very strong rich perfume, very elegant and of course very floral. It is the perfume that I wore on my wedding day so now, each time that I smell it, I am reminded of the intense happiness and excitement that I felt on the day. It is a truly joyous perfume, perfectly fitting for a special occasion. I am really hoping that Lush start selling this as I can't image never smelling it again once my bottle runs out. It comes in an old fashion bottle with an atomiser, which looks gorgeous on the dresser but is actually bloody annoying to use as you need both hands to spray it - one to hold the bottle, one to press the atomiser - therefore making it difficult to spray onto your own wrists. But that is the only fault to this amazing concoction!

Well, that's my very long list of favourite smelling products. Have you tried any on this list or have you discovered any that you think that I must try?