Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Seasonal Anti-bacs?! The latest line of PocketBacs from BBW

Copyright (c) <a href=''>123RF Stock Photos</a>
It's the end of September, which means the stores are jam-packed with Halloween paraphernalia.  There are bags of candy to buy, as well as humongous pumpkins for carving (I can't wait to get my hands on one of those!), but one thing I didn't realize was that the Halloween theme had made its way into personal care products.

Admittedly, I was greatly bemused when I walked into Bath and Body Works (BBW) on Saturday and saw they had a range of Halloween scents in convenient travel size lotions.  Would you like some Wicked Spiced Pumpkin or is maybe Scream-A-Colada more to your taste?

I can't blame BBW, limited edition seasonal scents are an easy way to re-concept and re-invigorate tired fragrances or to test out new ones on consumers without too much consequence.  So, I understand their Halloween body lotion and hand soap ranges, but Halloween Anti-bacterial Sanitizing Hand Gel?

When I got home I went on BBW's website and it turns out that somewhere along the line I missed that Anti-bac had become a hot ticket item.  They have floral to gourmand to fruity variants in their trademarked PocketBac line.  It is undeniable that with this line BBW introduced the question to consumers: Who wants plain old Purell when you can have a cute, fun smelling BBW anti-bac?  Unsurprisingly, before I can answer that question, I'm going to have to get to smelling!

Zombie Tonic:  Marshmallow.
Vanilla accented alcohol that dries into a soft musk.

Bat bite: Apple.
Helloooo Green Apple!  The dry down smells like Granny Smith apple peel.

Phantom Pumpkin.
Pumpkin Spice Latte anyone?  This scent is barely discernible until the dry down, which is very subtly pleasant indeed.

Candy Corn: Caramel.
The most lightly fragranced one thus far.  At first there is a scent of alcohol and cream, which is reminiscent of first Bailey's and then Egg Nog, and then it dries down into a very light vanilla bean scent.

Gum ball.
Bazooka Joe!  Or if you don't know what that is just imagine a pink bubble gumball!  The scent is so strong and distinct, it's almost like you're chewing some bubblegum yourself.

Skulls: Forbidden Apple
Think McIntosh Apple 

Bones: Monster Mint
Minty with chocolately hints.

Scary Cats: Black Cherry
One word: Robitussin.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing and, actually, in use it is a very sweet, yummy black cherry scent which sits nicely on the skin.

There you go - my evaluation of the eight scents that I picked up on their 8 for $5 deal.  Now that I have smelled them, how about we get back to the question - Who wants plain old Purell when you can have a cute, fun smelling BBW anti-bac?

Well, I hate to admit this, and you might have sensed at the beginning that I was sceptical at best about the idea of seasonal anti-bacs, but you know what?  They've convinced me - I definitely don't want plain, old, boring Purell!  The question now is which of these Halloween Pocketbacs to use first!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Burberry Body: How to make a trench coat sexy, part 2

Back in August I learned from my sources that if I became a 'friend' to Burberry Body on Facebook I would receive an exclusive sample before the scent was available for purchase.  It sounded like a good deal to me, but then I went onto the Burberry Body page on Facebook.

It turns out that I had to sell my soul (i.e. allow them to have all sorts of access to my FB page/info) to get this free sample.  I debated about it for a couple minutes, but then decided my love of fragrance was worth handing over my soul for, especially if it gets me a new product before the launch date!

Oh, how wrong I was.  I only received the sample this week - fourteen days after the launch date.  There goes my soul for nothing, but on the bright side I now have a sample that I can evaluate, even if it is a bit delayed.

The fragrance opens with a strong hit of light, fresh and clean freesia (jasminey-orange) floral notes with a tiny bit of sweetness from a hint of peach.  It quickly develops into middle notes of rose and iris (still keeping the overall light, fresh tone) and finally dries down into warm woody-musky notes that are kept light and fresh due to the sweet, floral scents that characterize this fragrance.  There is nothing remarkable about it, but its dry down of musky-floral-sweetness is actually quite nice.

Thankfully, you won't have to sell your soul like I did to either sample or buy Burberry Body.  As previously noted, it officially launched at the beginning of September and can be found in most beauty/department stores.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chateau Lorraine - would you like some wine with your skin care?

This past weekend while swanning around L.A. and admiring all the ridiculously expensive cars cruising the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway for all those not in the know), I dropped by the Rosenthal Malibu Tasting Room to delight in some local wine with friends.

I could go on about all the wonderful aromas and the dynamic flavors of wine we sampled, but I'm not going to.  While pausing to let my palette rest between tastings I found a free sample of body lotion.  Not one to pass up introductions to new products, I snagged one, stuck it in my bag and promptly forgot about it until I arrived back home.

At the time I picked up the lotion, I thought it was odd that a wine tasting room would have personal care samples, but once I read a little bit about the product it all made sense.

Chateau Lorraine Skin Care was created by father and son team, Ron and Chris Lewis, owners of a private label manufacturing company.  They were inspired to create their own line of products based on - you guessed it - the wine grape.  They found that wine grape extracts have a potent amount of antioxidant and anti-aging properties, which make it the perfect ingredient for a luxurious skin care range.  You can learn more about the product range, ingredients and technology of Chateau Lorraine Skin Care here.

As for me, I'm just interested in the scent of my free sample - Chateau Lorraine: Private Reserve, Antioxidant Body Lotion.  The description states that there are grape seed and blackcurrant oils in the formula: from this I infer that the scent will be fruity and sweet, but the deep purple packaging leads me to believe that this could be a heavy, possibly oriental scent.  What will it be?

Neither!  Intriguingly the scent opens with delicate gourmand hints of cream overlaid with cinnamon.  In use it develops into a light scent of green grape skin, but unfortunately as the lotion absorbs into my hands and arms the subtle scent nearly disappears and becomes mingled with hints of base, as in the formula's chemical base, not rich, fragrant dry down notes.  Although a bit base-y in scent, due to the subtlety of the fragrance my skin wasn't left smelling strong or horrible.  There is no doubt that this lotion's scent would easily sit silently under whatever perfume you wear.

My assessment?  I won't be purchasing this product, but the use of the wine grape and other grape related ingredients to create an antioxidant and anti-aging product is notable and unique, as is their distinctive way of reaching their target market through leaving samples in wine tasting rooms!