This is just the perfect product, you guys. I am into literally everything about it: the smell, the price ($9.95 for the smallest bottle), the cause. The smell is a little tricky to describe. Have you ever had ponzu sauce? Ponzu, in addition to being the name of my future puggle, is citrus-flavored soy sauce. The Olive Branch’s fragrance is a similar concept: citrus-flavored olive oil! The Olive Branch combines fruity, aromatic olive oil with a bright, sweet orange scent (the Lush website says “mandarin”, but I’m not going to front like I can distinguish mandarin oranges from regular oranges). The texture is a little runny, with minimal lather, which is a plus for drier skin. This product does, however, contain sodium laureth sulfate, if SLS is a concern for you.
The best part about The Olive Branch is that its olive oil is produced by Sindyanna of Galilee, a women-led Palestinian non-profit. From Sindyanna’s website: “We strive to strengthen the economy of the Arab-Palestinian population in general and to enhance the empowerment of Arab women in particular. Our organization is a unique Arab-Jewish cooperation which shows that a solution to the Middle East conflict begins with creating real economic opportunities.” It is honestly such a pleasure to be able to support an organization that is contributing to both the Palestinian and Jewish populations of Israel in such a positive way. And I couldn’t help but smile when I read Sindyanna’s comments on The Olive Branch: “It is our duty to show the bright side of our region – use olive oil, not weapons!”
FUN is basically fragrant play-doh that can be molded into Totoros. This is pretty much my dream product, guys. I bought two varieties, the Pink (vanilla and tonka bean) and the Yellow (vanilla). The Pink definitely doesn’t smell like tonka beans, but it does smell wonderful- sweet and vaguely fruity, just like pink cotton candy. Childhood nostalgia achieved! The Yellow smelled much more strongly of play-doh, and was less strongly fragranced in general.
Lush claims that FUN can be used as a soap, shampoo, bubble bath, and “malleable toy”. It succeeds on three of those counts. It’s a perfectly decent soap and didn’t strip my skin’s moisture. A thumb-sized chunk produces a tub full of bubbles, which is particularly awesome considering how expensive Lush’s other bubble-producing products can be. It can indeed be molded (please see my masterpiece below). DO NOT USE THIS AS A SHAMPOO. Maybe, if you’ve never colored your hair in your life, FUN would be an acceptable shampoo, but it was by far the most drying thing I’ve ever used on my hair.
Oh, a word of warning: don’t leave this on the side of your bathtub. The wrapper is biodegradable, and when your cat inevitably pushes it into the bath, it will instantly melt. And then you will resent her fluffy little face even more than you already did because she also bit through your computer charger DURING FINALS WEEK and OH MY GOD HOW CAN SOMETHING SO CUTE BE SO EVIL.
I know what you’re thinking, y’all. “A massage bar on a perfume blog? How low will you stoop, Scents of Self?” (The answer is pretty freaking low, y’all. Pretty freaking low.) But hear me out, non-believers. Lush massage bars are pretty much bulky solid perfumes that cannot be taken outside of the house. Okay, I’m not exactly talking them up here, but my point is that they are very highly fragranced in addition to being impressively moisturizing.
Now, I’m not much for “friends with benefits”. I’m a serial monogamist all the way, because if I find someone willing to deal with my various oddities, I DON’T LET THEM GET AWAY. However, I am fully willing to commit to this Friends with Benefits massage bar. Friends with Benefits smells like the most gloriously bitter dark chocolate. I have some baking chocolate on hand, and I swear to you that Friends with Benefits is only slightly sweeter. I actually mistook its scent for coffee upon first sniff. I have no intention of using Friends with Benefits for actual massage purposes- why would I waste it on someone else?- but I do recommend it very highly. Please note that I cannot be held responsible for anyone who tries to nom their own arm off under the influence of Friends with Benefits.
I know that here at Scents of Self, we sometimes give Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez (the authors of Perfume: The Guide) a bit of a hard time. It’s all in good fun, of course, but I have to say that they make it fairly easy for me by always being wrong. Take their review of Superworld Unknown, which would have you believe that this fragrance is a “classical oriental descended from Emeraude.” Really? Huh. Because I could have sworn that it smelled like gummy bears. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is a solidly three-star fragrance. But it is most certainly not classical or oriental, unless I’ve been eating the wrong kinds of gummy bears.
So what is Superworld Unknown, besides the most ridiculously named perfume since Mariah Carey’s Lollipop Bling? It’s a sweet gourmand fragrance with an absolutely beautiful orange blossom note. This is probably the most I’ve ever liked orange blossom in a perfume, which means that true orange blossom lovers should stay far away from it. I almost never like orange blossom fragrances because I usually find them entirely too syrupy. Unfortunately, this lovely orange blossom does not combine particularly well with the strong lime note that follows. There’s some nice sandalwood in the drydown. It smells a little like being in the bath bomb section of a Lush store (the bath bombs give off a lot of powder).
Like many of Lush’s Gorilla Perfume line, Superworld Unknown is sometimes pretty and sometimes merely odd. Despite the otherworldly name, I don’t find Superworld Unknown to be as evocative or transportive as some of Lush’s other fragrances. To be honest, I mostly wrote this review just so that none of you poor perfumistas would buy Superworld Unknown under the mistaken belief that it was the Second Coming of Emeraude. Oh, Luca and Tania, you crazy kids.
My mother does not wear perfume. She and my father are (allegedly) allergic to it. When I excitedly showed her my new bottle of L’Artisan Safran Troublant last month, her only comment was “It’s not terrible.” (You don’t even want to know what she said about L’Heure Bleue.) My mother has only really connected with my love of fragrances on one occasion: when I asked her to try a discontinued perfume, Guerlain Meteorites. Upon smelling Meteorites, she gasped and said that it smelled just like a violet-scented doll that she had as a child. She even compared it to Proust’s beloved madeleines.
Tuca Tuca will be practically Proustian for anyone with happy memories of violet-flavored confections like Parma Violets or Choward’s Violet Mints. This gorgeous perfume is as instantly cheerful as its name. Violet fragrances are tricky. They tend to be unbalanced, skewing either too sweet, too powdery, or too green. Tuca Tuca skillfully avoids each of these potential pitfalls. Tuca Tuca is one of the very few perfectly candied violet perfumes, and is no doubt the most easily accessible and inexpensive of the lot. At a criminally cheap $29 an ounce, I consider this a must-try for anyone seeking a sweet violet fragrance.
A word of caution: I like Tuca Tuca best in the solid perfume formulation. The liquid version is a little screechier.