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.