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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Weekend Beauty - Bath & Body: Confessions of a Bathaholic

By Donna

Okay, I admit it – if I had the means, I would have closets and cabinets stuffed full of yummy things for bathing, showering and moisturizing. I have fantasies about jars of Frederic Malle Beurre Exquis in every scent they make, and obscure Japanese spa rituals involving herbal wraps, aroma therapeutic steam and hot tubs (oh, and Takeshi Kaneshiro). Alas, my budget is somewhat less than the GNP of a small dictatorship, so I have to find creative ways to indulge without breaking the bank.

I have really dry skin below the neck, and if I am not really careful in the winter I get as scaly as a reanimated Velociraptor, without the agility. I found out recently that I officially have eczema, and not just dry patches, so I have been extra conscious of what I need to do to stay smooth and hydrated.

Sometimes I want unscented products so they won’t clash with my perfume. My new discovery for moisturizing is CeraVe cream and lotion, recommended by my dermatologist. It has the same ceramide complex ingredients touted by expensive department store lines. For the first time in years my elbows don’t resemble industrial grade sandpaper, and my eczema patches were pretty much gone in a week. The other good news is that it comes in really big containers, is sold at major drugstore chains, and is reasonable priced. For shaving, I go for Trader Joe’s unscented cream shave, it’s really rich and soothing. But I really prefer the Honey Mango scent; it’s out of this world.

I seem to find exactly what I want in the way of bath products just to have them discontinued. I used to get the Le Couvent des Minimes line at Bath & Body Works, when they had the luscious Orange Blossom body cream and other lovely products in the group. Of course, that is no more, as is the Henri Bendel line of really great bath & shower gels. I am hoarding my last bottle of the Orange Blossom bath gel for summer use. Nowadays I haunt TJ Maxx for discounted items, and you would be surprised what you can get for next to nothing, and not just obscure no-name brands either. Recent finds include Jaqua Beauty Buttercream Frosting Shower Syrup and Ann Taylor body lotion in Orange Nectar & Honeysuckle – I may need some more of this in another “flavor,” it is really good stuff. Bath & Body works has not abandoned me altogether; I am a fan of the Warm Vanilla Sugar body lotion, and they still have True Blue Spa - my favorites are the monoi oil-infused Be More Pacific bath & shower cream and the silky-smooth Tahiti, Sweetie hand & body lotion. Speaking of tropical, you simply cannot beat The Body Shop’s Mango body butter. (Another confession – I am addicted to anything with mango, whether it’s edible or not.)

For upscale treats, some of my favorite fragrances are popular enough to have ancillary products too – I adore my Lady Caron body milk, which is highly perfumed enough to use alone; just a dab or two works as well as a spritz of the Eau de Parfum. You can get all kinds of Fracas-scented creams, lotions and bath items. And if I won the lottery, I would collect the awesome Annick Goutal bath products in a number of scents. I can’t imagine a more luxurious way to relax than in a Gardenia Passion bubble bath. On the other hand, I had better not buy that – I would never leave the house again.

Image credit: “Bubble Bath” pattern fabric swatch from

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Blogger Unknown said...

Funny and true post. And very true about the danger of neverleaving the house, but I manage to do that even after Ormonde Jayne-Woman bath oil, or Tolu. But, oh, at the moment my praises go to Lisa Simon's gentle scrub and her suchard dragee coloured body cream. Eau d'Hadrien soaps...Why are these products even more addictive than perfume? Do you have any objections or recommendations concerning Red Flower?

9:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! All these Bath & Body products are great, but Takeshi Kaneshiro simply rules.....*sigh*
I have a dry skin on my body too, that's why I use a brush and I read that Italian women (including Donatella Versace) use olive oil on their body - before the shower. Try it. I do it only sometimes, because of laziness.:-)

9:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Imagine Ubar as B&B products. Their Dia and Gold ones are amazing.

9:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Gail S said...

I'm really liking the BURN line of shower gels and lotions lately. Beautyhabit has them discounted somewhat from their originally ridiculous price (because they're being discontinued naturally!) I've acquired three of them recently and find that the lotion is the perfect mix of moisturizing but not greasy for me.

10:08 AM EDT  
Blogger ahsumaker said...

Gail, Which of the BURN scents have you tried and like? Can you describe? I have Hinoki Temple Incense and like it. The ones at BH on clearance I haven't been able to sniff.

If I were to indulge, it would be in POTL Luctor et Emergo body cream and the Frederic Malle, Annick Goutal or Delrae body butters...

10:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

EEM, I would collect every type of product in my favorite scents if I could. I am not familiar with Red Flower, however.

Lavinia, I see I am not the only TK fan out there! ;-)

Marina - they come in BATH PRODUCTS!? I have never seen them! I will be dreaming about Ubar body butter now.....(moans softly)

Gail, I have not tried BURN yet, probably because of the pricing.

Ahsu, yes, I am all about those body creams!

11:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Gail S said...

ahsu, I also have and love the Hinoki Temple Incense. The others are Shiso Tea Leaf (lotion), Cassis Nectar(soap) and Kaffir Lime Basil (lotion). Haven't gotten around to the lime one yet, but love the tea scent and find the cassis a bit too fruity.

12:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Jo Malone French Lime BLossom........I love it and for absolute luxury, all of the Shalimar bath products. L'Occitane has a brand new Honey and Lemon that I love alot too, it's really sweet and lovely. I too am absolutely ADDICTED to bath products...I loved the post!!

7:51 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

The Le Couvent des Minimes line has been d/ced?! Sob! I loved their honey bath gel. I'm a bath gel addict (am soap phobic and don't even like to enter a shower if a bar of soap is lurking there) and I *adore* honey scents. Am definitely taking notes and will have to try some of the products you've mentioned.

10:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Scott said...

For the men who read the site, a wonderful unisex bath oil which is particular crisp and clean aromatic fougere, with a wonderful dry tomato leaf topnote, is Eau de Campagne bath oil by Sisley, paris. Leaves your body silky soft after a bath, with a light fragrance that lingers for a little while.

1:01 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other bathaholics! I'm in the process of selling my house and spent the weekend trying to "de-clutter" my bathroom, which resembes a small department store. I love soap (Eau d'Hadrian, Victoria Secret's new natural line), body lotions of all types (I hear y'all about that winter dry skin), bath oils....So glad to know I'm not alone! And what a way to enjoy the start and end of each day....

2:23 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Gail S, that Cassis Nectar is calling my name... :-)

Beth, somehow I knew you would be a Bathaholic too! It's great addiction to have, IMHO!

Elle, there are some eBay stores that sell dc'd BB&W products, maybe you can find some there? There are also BB&W outlet stores at factory outlet malls around the country, none very near me but maybe near you? It's so annoying that they always make the really good stuff go away!

Scott, thank you! I love Eau de Campagne, thanks for mentioning that one. In really hot weather I do sometimes switch to cooler drier or more herbal scents instead of all the girly stuff.

Anonymous, there are many of us out there....

10:43 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out they have 200 scents to customize bath and body products. The body butter and bath fizzles are amazing.

11:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I agree with the above thoughts. BB&W products are amazing. They are good to use and dint harm your body.

Cynthia Kurtz
Bath Products

11:49 PM EST  
Anonymous cheap perfume said...

I use these products and All these Bath & Body products are great. I have no complain about this products.

3:42 AM EDT  

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