The Body Shop Olive and Moringa Shower Gel : Bath & Body Review

Olivetbs Orangeblossom

Although for the past few years I have been waking up at 6am every day, I am far from being a morning person. Therefore, I create strategies to wake up quicker and to start my day uplifted and rejuvenated without resorting to caffeine. One of my favorite tricks is a scented shower, a vivid burst of fragrance that feels refreshing. For the past few weeks, I have alternated between The Body Shop shower gels in Olive and Moringa, depending on my morning mood. If I crave a sparkling, fresh scent, I reach for Olive, which is fragrant with green tangerine and cardamom. Should I wish for a lush, floral scent, Moringa is my choice for its orange blossom and jasmine bouquet.

While bright, fruity Body Sope fragrances like Satsuma, Mango, or Pink Grapefruit eschew typical saccharine sweetness, I still prefer Olive and Moringa for their fresher, more unusual scents. Another big advantage in favor of these shower gels is their reasonable price. With few exceptions, I find that lower priced body care products are likely to perform as well, if not better, than their luxury counterparts. This is due to the fact that while the scents may differ, the product bases remain similar. Some mass market brands actually invest far more resources into developing and testing their product bases for optimal performance, and in case of The Body Shop, its owner L’Oréal is known for the excellence of its bases, whether in cosmetics or body care.

Unsurprisingly, Olive possesses none of the salty, leathery darkness of cured olives, but instead plays upon the bright, peppery, grassy notes of olive oil. The moment I smelled it at the store, my impression was of deliciously zesty, lemony cardamom, a spice I adore in all forms. While I do not think that there is any cardamom in the formula, the combination of peppery and citrusy notes gives a vibrant cardamom impression. As I lather the dark jade gel on the sponge, the green, leafy notes become more obvious, and they linger pleasantly even after the foam is rinsed off. In fact, Olive makes a good companion to Hermès Un Jardin Après La Mousson in that it delicately enhances the sparkling cardamom notes of the perfume.

Moringa, on the other hand, has a tropical floral appeal, without the typical milky sweetness of gardenia and frangipani. It is a bright orange blossom fragrance, with accents of juicy orange and lemon. Out of the bottle it has a rather rich jasmine-linden blossom perfume, but as it gets diluted in water, it becomes a light and airy orange blossom, a pleasant morning shower experience. On the whole, the quality of The Body Shop shower gels is very good. Being soap-free and formulated with glycerin, they leave the skin supple and moisturized, which is especially important in winter. All in all, a great product that turns a morning routine into a delightful pampering ritual.

8.5oz for $8, available from The Body Shop stores and online.

Picture of bitter orange flowers and fruit from White Lotus Aromatics.

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21 Comments

  • Joan: I can’t say I’ve tried Moringa, but I find Olive body butter to be delightful. Being, well, a bit of a teenybopper though, I generally use the satsuma/blueberry/strawberry scented products. February 13, 2011 at 6:35am Reply

  • Marina: Both sound great. It is just I am afraid to enter Body Shop. I am even afraid to pass it by. The strength of aroma coming from there! Aiie! 🙂 February 13, 2011 at 7:34am Reply

  • Victoria: I love their Satsuma as well, which is really bright and vivid, with a nice zesty-peppery note. I used to love their body butters too, but I have not purchased any recently. February 13, 2011 at 8:15am Reply

  • Victoria: I honesty have not noticed it, at least not with the shop I tend to visit (the one on 6th Avenue.) It is quite well-ventilated, despite the fact that it is small. At any rate, I usually just buy online. February 13, 2011 at 8:18am Reply

  • Violaine: Very interesting message, Mlle Victoria. I did not realize Body Shop whas a new l’Oréal acquisition & i trust your knowledge as to the quality of their products.
    ” With few exceptions, I find that lower priced body care products are likely to perform as well, if not better, than their luxury counterparts. This is due to the fact that while the scents may differ, the product bases remain similar.”
    I really really have to transform my snobbish conditionning to the fact that lower end products must be cheap. Perfumes, beauty products & even clothes. *phew* Trully life is not always a bed of roses ^_^ February 13, 2011 at 8:37am Reply

  • Victoria: I believe that L’Oréal acquired them around 2006. I do not particularly care for the “greenwashing” that TBS engages in (making their products seem more organic, natural and sustainable than they really are,) but for the price, it is a good line.
    I also had to transform my own attitudes that “expensive always means better” in many areas, but it is a good transformation for the bank account. 🙂 February 13, 2011 at 9:04am Reply

  • Stacey: You’ve convinced me I need to try these! I’m a professed shower gel addict to the extent that I have at least 15-20 extras on hand in case I tire of one of the four that I keep in the shower. Olive sounds simple and a bit comforting for those morning that you just need to get in and get out. Moringa sounds like a pretty and pretty complex floral that is right up my alley, especially with prominent orange blossom/jasmine feel to it.

    So thanks for the recommendations! Next time I’m around a Body Shop, I’ll be sure to stop in and check these out. February 13, 2011 at 1:16pm Reply

  • Olfactoria: I like many Body Shop products, the Olive showergel especially ihas such a great scent. What I hate though is that TBS in Europe is not as affordable at all, that same showergel is at least 18€ here, a discrepancy I find not even funny anymore!
    Also what you said about “greenwashing” (perfect word!) resonates with me, TBS products are no more organic or pure or natural than any others not marketed as such.
    That said I still enjoy their products, I buy them in the US though! 😉 February 13, 2011 at 3:06pm Reply

  • Victoria: Stacey, wow, at this rate you can work as a professional evaluator for bath & body products! 🙂 Very impressive! Do you have any particular favorites?

    Moringa is surprisingly nuanced for a shower gel, and although I would not call it particularly complex, it has a nice floralcy, which hints at both jasmine and orange blossom. Very pleasant, sophisticated fragrance. Do let me know if it makes a cut for you. February 13, 2011 at 4:56pm Reply

  • Victoria: That is not much a bargain, I agree! When I lived in London, I also found that many brands (Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier) were not just a little bit more expensive, but at time almost 30-50% higher in price.
    To be honest, greenwashing is something I really dislike, especially when the consumer is encouraged to pay more on the basis of such unsubstantiated claims. At least, in this case, the US price is still reasonable. February 13, 2011 at 4:59pm Reply

  • Yelena: There is something wonderful about the first burst of fragrance that one experiences in the morning. Like you, I have been experimenting with different soaps and body washes that are both affordably priced and creatively scented. I have come to love a Black Pepper body wash from Duross and Langel in Philadelphia. I needot revisit the Body Shop to try the Olive. Your description is intriguing. February 13, 2011 at 5:27pm Reply

  • Victoria: Lena, thanks to you, I am a complete Duross and Langel convert, based on their Coriander soap and orange scented shampoo. I need to try this body wash now, because woody, spicy notes are really among my favorites. One of the reasons I got hooked on Olive is that burst of peppery/cardamom spice. February 13, 2011 at 5:31pm Reply

  • Elisa: I also have some of the Body Shop’s body butters around. I especially love the almost oily ones for very dry skin (shea, almond, olive, brazil nut), which feel great right out of the shower and smell good but not so strong that you can’t also wear perfume.

    I had a tub of the moringa body butter but found it too sweet and heady (it was very gardenia-esque) and eventually gave it to a friend. The shower gel version sounds much fresher.

    I really like their aloe products for the face, too — unscented and very gentle. February 13, 2011 at 6:28pm Reply

  • Victoria: I am with you on the body butter, although I admit, I smelled it only out of the jar. It seemed too heavy on milky-coconut notes to me.

    Also, I smelled their Neroli Jasmin perfume and was pleasantly impressed at how rich and lush it was. February 13, 2011 at 8:55pm Reply

  • Stacey: Some of my favorites are Lush Flying Fox (can’t get enough of the honey with indolic jasmine), L’Erbolario Assenzio (for a masculine, herbaceous change of pace), B&BW Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, and Yves Rocher Asian Palm Oil, and this one is probably done in the same vein as Body Shop’s Olive, (sadly discontinued in America but I’ve stocked 2 bottles from MUA). I also love to just grab them at random from the varied assortment at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s sometimes. But right now, I’m capped out until I’ve gone through a few more! February 14, 2011 at 10:34am Reply

  • Victoria: I have all of these on my list to try, thank you very much. Although day to day, I generally use light scents, I am always interested in bright, rich fragrances in my shower products. Do let me know if you find anything else interesting! February 14, 2011 at 11:08am Reply

  • Stacey: Crazy good luck of the week is finding Moringa at TJ Maxx for $4 during my lunch hour yesterday! It smells wonderful in the bottle, and I was so excited to find it! So for those interested, start checking your local TJ’s and Marshall’s, as I’ve seen a good amount of TBS there (sans Olive though). I also picked up a Rusk shower gel called Calm. This is the same scent as their shampoo that I’ve used, and while the shampoo wasn’t right for my hair, I kept going back to it because I love the smell. Well, now I can just use it on my body. For those interested, it is a guarana and ginger scent that is sweet (but not too sweet), light, and tropical. Sounds like it might be right up your shower gel alley, Victoria. 🙂 February 16, 2011 at 10:20am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you so much, Stacey! Another great recommendation to try out. Calm does sound perfect for me. 🙂 February 16, 2011 at 10:24am Reply

  • software colegiosmoringa: This is an interesting project! I am currently doing volunteer research in nort eastern Tanzania, would it be possible to get in touch with someone involved in this project to exchange some information about the use of moringa? I hope to hear from you! April 23, 2011 at 6:46am Reply

  • Moringa: Bathing is a essential part of our living. I always try to get fresh bath. I will also try this bath. April 29, 2011 at 11:52pm Reply

  • Moringa: Moringa is the one product which I known to be useful in daily life and people use it for their business. I tried to grow moringa plant in my garden but the weather condition was not suitable so it didn’t. There are various things I like about its totally natural healing things which made it unique in its own terms. November 11, 2011 at 11:44pm Reply

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