Scent your world

Over the years I have bought quite a few bath and body products in my favourite perfumes.

This is partly because if I love something I like to explore it in different forms, and partly because, before the internet came along, bath and body products were a viable way of buying an expensive perfume in a cheaper form.

But I notice on perfume blogs and forums that matching bath and body products are rarely discussed. Perhaps people don’t buy these products much any more? Would perfume appreciators would rather save their money for more fragrance, rather than spend it on creams and lotions in scents they already have? Or is it a sign of the decline of the signature scent? I’d be interested in hearing what people think. Here are some of my observations.

Chanel, not surprisingly, does a fabulous job. I have body cremes in Chanel No 5 and Coco, and they are beautiful. Rich, strongly scented and luxuriously packaged, both are good representations of the fragrance. I wear the No 5 creme along with the parfum, and despite their being at opposite ends of the product spectrum, they are surprisingly close in scent. It’s a gorgeous combination. Each of these cremes is strong enough to be worn alone if all you want is a gentle, whispery effect.

In Dior’s Miss Dior I gave the body moisturizer and shower gel. Both are excellent and, surprisingly, they lean towards the leathery, masculine aspect of Dior’s great classic. Highly recommended.

Not so good are a couple of Estée Lauder B&B products I own: body lotions in White Linen and Youth Dew. Both are harsh, hollowed out versions of the originals, and in opinion are not worth bothering with. It seems that EL does not invest as much money in them as Chanel and Dior. A pity, but perhaps not surprising. The Youth Dew bath oil, on the other hand is fabulous. Famously, this was the original form in which the product was released. I use mine just as a bath oil, but it can be dabbed sparingly as a perfume as well. Fantastic value for money.

Talcum powders: they seem a bit old fashioned now don’t they? Once they were huge. Years ago I bought myself a gift pack of products in Patou’s Joy, consisting of 30 mls of EDT, and some bath powder and a puff. Sadly, the powder did not hold the fragrance. I still have it, but the scent is entirely gone. My skin is now too dry for me to enjoy powders anyway.

B&B products lack some of the fragrance notes of the originals, and do not develop on the skin as the liquid fragrance does. And I do not find the lotions to be as moisturizing as a good, cheap, unscented lotion (and that even applies to the Chanels).

But if you love old fashioned shower and bath time rituals as I do, they are hugely satisfying. They cling to clothes without staining them, and provide a gorgeous cushion for the liquid fragrance. And they are wonderful at bed time.

Has anyone tried Sonoma Scent Studio’s body silks and shea butters? I’m thinking of picking one up for myself for Christmas.


31 thoughts on “Scent your world

  1. I have recently sampled the Amouage bath products and they are heavenly. Not only because the scent matches perfectly that of the eau de parfum but because the body lotions and creams are luxuriously moisturizing.

    Annick Goutal’s body lotions smell very close to the original fragrances too.
    I also enjoy my (vintage) Calèche body powder.

    1. Thanks, yes, it must be quite a technical feat to get the bath products to match the perfumes, and I’m not surprised that both Amouage and Goutal have done a good job. I’ve long wanted to try the dry body oli version of Heure Exquise, as I hear it is very good, and much cheaper than the fragrance.

  2. I prefer unscented body products for two reasons:

    1. I don’t want to exacerbate the fragrance “burden” my skin has to bear, I am very sensitive and react to perfume sometimes, so I try to keep it to the necessary fragrance – my perfume of the day.

    2. I can’t and won’t be tied down to one scent per day. 😀
    Often a fragrance wears off after a few hours and I apply something else, either because I am testing for the blog or because I am a very fickle person, what can I say… 🙂

    I received a few Amouage body product samples though and a shower with Epic or Lyric is a great experience, although I have yet to try the creams and lotions for above stated reasons.

    1. Not fickle – adventurous! Yes, the scented creams and lotions can last quite a while. It’s a pain about sensitivity to perfume. I react sometimes too. At the moment I seem to be okay.

  3. SSS’ rose shea butter is lovely and very moisturizing. I had a little sample (now gone) from a friend, and I’m now thinking about Christmas presents for all my aunts.

    Another friend sent me a sample of Heure Exquise dry oil, and I was surprised to like it better than either the edp or edt of HE proper. (Still surprises me that I don’t LOVE Heure Exquise, when it shares so much with No. 19 and Silences, and those two I do love. But there you go: we love what we love, for whatever reason.) The HE dry oil is much, much simpler in composition than the liquid scent, focusing on rose and sandalwood. It’s very pretty.

    I usually much prefer the body products from B&BW to the fragrances, which can often seem overly synthetic to me. My current favorite is the Dark Kiss body cream, which is a plummier, woodier version of Hanae Mori Butterfly. So far I have managed not to steal either one from my daughter, but I sometimes sneak a bit here and there. I still miss the original Freesia – Sheer Freesia is not AT ALL the same. Sigh. Also, I’m still stocked up on the versatile and recently-discontinued Orange-Ginger Aromatherapy.

    I usually prefer to use (cheaper!) B&BW body products that complement my real fragrance. I love scented shower gel, and the body creams are usually more moisturizing than the lotions. Unscented shea butter is terrific, as well.

    I have an old box of Emeraude talc that smells fabulous… wish I had other vintage bath products for that scent.

    1. Thanks for the tip about the SSS shea butter, and your comments about the HE oil. Damnit, I nearly bought some about two years ago. I saw it at a good price but could not quite afford it at the time. Now I wish I had taken the plunge, because it seems harder to get now, and more expensive. Must be out of production. I have not replaced my TPC samples of Heure Equise. I keep meaning to … it seems I don’t absolutely love it either.

      We don’t get B&BW (or Pacifica) where I live, sadly. It would be great to have them as an alternative. Crabtree & Evelyn is not bad. I have their Citron, Honey & Coriander liquid hand soap and it smells fabulous (if slightly stern and masculine). A bit drying tho’.

      1. Agree with Mals about the SSS shea cream–I had a jar of the Femme Jolie–it is wonderfully rich, and sufficiently fragranced to be perfect for bedtime even without the perfume. I also have the Velvet Rose lotion–easier to apply, but every bit as moisturizing. I’m planning to add several more lotions/creams from SSS this fall.

        Most of the time I wear unscented lotion/cream, unless I’ve already decided on a SOTD. But I like having the ancillary products for my favorite scents–just need to add on an extra room for storage space 🙂

        1. You and me both on the storage! (Do you need to store scented lotions and creams out of the light? I usually do anyway, but am just wondering … ).

          I do love Femme Jolie and bought a back-up before it was d/c. Too late for the shea cream now. But I’ll try the shea cream in another scent – thanks for your comments!

    2. second unscented shea butter! I usually just whip some with a camellia and a few other oils. Very moisturizing and perfect for the night (I do sometimes add eos and absolutes to it-sometimes go overboard with the )

  4. I use unscented lotions only. I use so many different perfumes that I would never be able to use up the lotion of the matching scent. Also, my husband is prone to migraines, so I try and be scent free around the house. What a situation for a perfumista! At least my co-workers get to enjoy my fragranced self! Also, as mentioned, the fragranced lotions tend not to be as moisturizing as the ones I buy – I’ve had a few that were very thin. I’ve switched from using shower gels to soap mostly, to cut down on plastics and packaging and such, but still enjoy a citrusy gel from Pacifica or B&BW to wake me up.

    1. Yes, that’s difficult for you, living with a migraine sufferer. I hope your husband is at least okay about you morning application of perfume, before work!

      I use a lot of unscented cream and am quite fussy about it. Generally I find that the thinner it is, the less moisturising it is. Years ago when I spoke to the doctor about my very dry hands, she said that unfortunately the thicker and greasier creams are, the most effective they are. Some creams can only be applied only at night, before bed. I did not find that to be always true – sometimes I’ve found thick creams that are not heavy or greasy and they still work – but the general rule still applies, in my experience.

      1. He is generally gone before me in the morning, so I can spritz away. Although if it’s something overly strong or patchouli-ish, he’ll notice it in the house when he gets home! When we first starting dating, he wasn’t as sensitive and I wasn’t really “into” perfume – just wore a few mainstream things which didn’t seem to bother him. Now, the smallest amount seems to set off his headaches. Even things that wouldn’t seem offensive (Duel and Vanille Insensee just this past week), he can notice 8 or 10 hours after I put them on. Oh well. Pity party over!

        1. Crikey, that’s a great reminder of how sensitive people can be. That someone could detect perfume in the house after so many hours after it was spritzed does surprise me, tho’ if anything is going to linger, it will be patchouli. I’m glad your routines allow you to enjoy your perfume.

  5. In general, I prefer unscented or lightly scented bath and body products for the same reasons as Birgit. I have just a couple of matching lotions – for Petite Cherie (Annick Goutal) and Tiempe Passate (Antonia’s Flowers) because I love these perfumes but they aren’t tenacious enough and I hoped to prolong their life on my skin by using a matching lotion (not sure if it helped though). I also have Coco Chanel body lotion from the set but I haven’t used it yet.
    After reading this discussion I will probably search for a dry oil version of Heure Exquise because it’s also one of my favorite perfumes and I’m curious to try it in that version.

    1. Ah, if you find a good deal on the body oil, leave a comment.

      I’ve never been able to quite follow the logic around scented body lotions prolonging a fragrance. I mean, the scent in a lotion will fade in a few hours – how does that prolong the longevity of the matching fragrance (unless, as I say above, it catches on clothes)? Surely you just start out the day twice as fragranced? Anyway, I hope you enjoy those lotions, independent of their longevity.

  6. Generally, I don’t buy the fragranced B&B products for one of the reasons you mention above: I save every single ‘disposable income’ penny on perfume! And since my disposable income isn’t much, and I love costly fragrances… doesn’t leave much room for anything else!

    Although I’ve been a long-time Cetaphil/CeraVe/Curel gal when it comes to lotions, I recently discovered a niche line that I’m totally in love with (review coming up soon!), and don’t ever want to live without— their body cream is thick and luxurious, yet so light and absorbent, I even use it on my face! It’s strongly scented, but the aroma fades quickly enough to not be a problem with perfumes clashing 🙂 Oh, and it’s very affordable… are you curious yet???


    1. Souinds too good to be true! Yes, you muct share.

      I do come across creams that are both thick but light, and I wonder sometimes how that texture is achieved. Clinique’s Comforting Cream Cleanser (not a moisturiser, obviously) is one of these. I love the stuff and am never without it.

  7. I tend to go with simple stuff that has a scent which fades quickly. I like Boots shea butter and almond butter lotions. I also like Cetaphil. I tend to think of moisturizer as functional and to suspect that the perfume houses are more interested in making it smell right than making it work well, which is an unfair assumption I’m sure.

    1. Oh not unfair at all. I’m sure the perfume houses work more on the smell than the mositurising properties. The Estee Lauder lotions I mention above seemed to me to actually dry my skin, not moisturise it. Also, I had some hand cream from Nivea once that produced a beautiful silky feel on the skin (and smelled wonderful) so you felt as if the skin was moisturised, but 10 minutes later my hands felt much as they had before I applied it.

      Guerlain is a major offender, in my book, when it comes to making their face creams smell and feel great, but not not necessarily delivering on all the moisturising and ant-age promises. Scent, after all, is what Guerlain is good at.

      1. The silky feeling is probably because of ‘silicones’ which coat the skin..:)
        Most companies use silicones and fillers instead of high quality oils and butters.

        1. Oh many thanks. Sounds like my instinct to ignore this stuff was correct. The stuff was very inexpensive, and that should have been a warning too.

    1. Thanks, yes, I just noticed that email but have not opened it. Good news!

      And I had been watching a little bottle of vintage No 5 bath oil on eBay but just last night decided it probably wouldn’t be worth it. Good decision, as it turns out.

  8. ooh- the Chanel no. 5 and Miss Dior creams sound so good!
    I have tried and liked perfumed creams like Jo Malone’s Pom Noir, Frederic malle’s Carnal Flower (though I prefer the CF more as a solid perfume than a cream)..Initially the reason I didn’t buy creams from perfume houses was to save $$ for the perfumes.

    The second more current reason is that I try to buy body and skin products that are ‘green(paraben free etc)’ and contain more natural ingredients. I usually buy fragranced creams from indie/etailers. After a LOT of research, my favorite is the goatmilk and honey lotion and the body butters from this small 1 woman-owned company called Cocoapink (.net). The quality and texture is comparable to all the high-end creams available, IMHO. The scent aesthetic is not always to my taste, but they have Jo Malone dupes that are very nice (I have some creams in orange blossom and nectarine blossom and honey).

    However, nowadays I just prefer unscented so it doesn’t interfere with my perfume at all. I also have a tendency to wear more than 1 perfume at a time on different parts of my arm, so un-fragranced is the best way to go for me…:) (I buy fragrance-free versions of the above mentioned lotions/creams)

    I have been very curious about the SSS and Ava Luxe creams for sometime now- so it is useful to read some of the comments about SSS.

    1. Thanks, that’s terrific. You’ve reminded me that I do have a small bottle of Jo Malone Lime Basil & mandarin bath oil. I was surprised at how much I had to add in order to actually scent the bath, and that led to quite an oily bath. Now I see why they sell it in such huge bottles – you obviously need a lot of it. I do like it tho’, especially the scent left on my bath towel.

      OMG that CocoaPink site is amazing! Thanks for the link. I’m so cross that I’m at work ayt the moment and don’t have time to explore it properly now. They have a scent called ‘Fear of Spiders’? ‘Fear of Witches?’ I’m in!

      1. you are welcome..:) They currently have Halloween phobia-themed sets.. I placed my ‘unscented’ butter and lotion order without exploring the site- so missed those scents, unfortunately..:) That fear of spiders scent does sound good! They also have a Chergui dupe that I get in conditioner.

        You might also love the products from villainess (.net)..I used to like their creams too (but I prefer the cocoapink cream’s texture and absorbtion). I did love this particular scent called Embargo in the cream (they call it whipped)- which had patchouli, cloves, tuberose etc.That reminds me- I should get some as a change. Their scrubs (called smooches) are quite lovely, especially their warming scrubs (particularly Dulces en fuego) – great for winter!

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