nanaya: "A photograph of Charlie Brooker in a scruffy tux, wearing a military cap" (cap)
[personal profile] nanaya posting in [community profile] lushies
I'm starting off the bath products with the shortest list, basically! Bath melts are oil-heavy, slow-release treats aimed at long, indolent baths. Not really the thing for a 'busy' bath, especially if you plan on washing your hair, but great for pampering. They tend towards the sweeter end of the scent ranges, and they typically create a small amount of froth, but they aren't really 'soapy'.


Aqua Mirabilis – before it became a body butter, AM was an very indulgent bath melt, and you can still get it in that form from Retro. You can tell it's Old Lush, because it's covered in marigold petals, which create a happy yellow layer on the top of your bath while the cocoa butter very slowly melts into the increasingly-milky hot water. This is intended to be used like the big bar; you grab the floating chunk and use its ground almond shells to give your skin a firm but not unpleasant scouring, while the oils moisturise you afterwards. IME, a lot of those oils tend to congregate around the petals, so at the end of the bath, scoop up a handful and rub yourself down with those if you want a bit extra. This leaves my skin incredibly soft, much more so than the body butter, but of course, it's comparatively expensive because you only get the one use out of it. If you had a very quick bath, you could probably save half the bar to use later, but you wouldn't get the petals next time round. For a massive luxury overdose, try using this in the same bath as a Butterball; the light scents, mostly cocoa butter, combine beautifully and dry skin will love you for it. But remember, it's a treat. Original AM isn't redundant but it's good to have the choice. 7.5/10.

Ceridwen's Cauldron – this is one of the classic Lush products, it's been around for quite a while and it's always popular. I hadn't used one for some time, so I thought I'd refresh my memory by trying it again, and it was better than I remembered. Now, CC doesn't smell of much; it's basically a half-moon block of oats and cocoa butter, although it does have little bits of orange, sandalwood and rose as well. The fragrance it has is therefore very light (mostly a slight hint of chocolately-orange, fairly faint), which makes it an excellent choice for people who can't tolerate strong scents. It takes quite a while to dissolve and leaves a beautiful milky bath which has a small layer of white froth. The creamy water feels quite lovely on the skin. Once CC has mostly or entirely melted, grab the little bag and treat it like a King Of Skin; rub it all over your body and you'll be left beautifully moisturised. You can use the oats to scrub, if you like, but you don't have to; the cocoa/oat milk you squeeze out of the muslin is extremely soothing. CC is not what you choose for a quick bath, it's something to savour slowly. Possibly a little dull for those who want an exciting bath product, CC is about the end result, not the flair, and that result is generally happy skin and relaxed bather. A very kind choice if your skin is temperamental. 8.5/10.

Creamy Candy melt – simple but effective bar-style melt, now discontinued in the UK for a long time, though I think it was more recently available in US/Canada. As its name indicates, it's another sweet melt, scented with the bubblegum/candyfloss-like Creamy Candy/Candy Fluff perfume, although the raspberry element of its fragrance is a little more powerful here, I feel. Like Creamy Candy bubble bar or Rockstar soap. This is the same scent in a reasonably deep-smelling, off-white, smallish bar. It seems slightly softer than the other melts and gives you a delightfully milky white bath which is only a little frothy at best. It lingers on the skin somewhat and is also quite good at leaving dry skin soft. Not one of Lush's “natural” scents at all, this is an unmistakably synthetic strawberry/raspberry concoction along the lines of products like Two-Timing Tart. Lushies seem to be sharply divided as to whether they enjoy such scents or not; I imagine most people with any interest would already have some idea of which camp they fall into. 6.5/10.

Dreamtime – a soothing and soporific melt within the same family as Dreamwash and Dream Cream, lavender with a bit of sandalwood and some other softly spicy fragrances. As a rule, I don't do lavender, because it makes me sneeze. I do have insomnia, though, so I decided it'd be worth a try. It should be noted that Dreamtime doesn't actually smell that strong, especially not once it's melted. It gives a fairly pale milky bath with a little bit of froth, which is great for skin that's feeling dry, sore or otherwise unhappy. It also spews out a few decorative petals, which are cheering. Like most other melts, your can also pick Dreamtime up and use it directly on your skin, which I tend to do on the little eczema patches around my calves; as you'd expect, it leaves a soothing layer of grease behind. It lasts longer than expected in the bath, though it's not as slow-burning as CC, since obviously it's far smaller. I also found I was feeling pretty, pretty, pretty sleepy after using it (although that might just be my crappy sleep patterns), and if I hadn't woken myself up again by having a long conversation about Lichtenstein, I'd probably have dropped off fairly rapidly. Definitely exceeded my expectations, this one, although I think I prefer In The Nude. Could be used with Schnuggle body butter bar for extra moisturising. 7/10.

Floating Island – actually a much sweeter product than one would expect from the description of its scent as lemon and sandalwood; it has those elements but also has quite a bit of vanilla too, which is the most enduring component of the scent IME. This is rather a shame, as Lush has plenty of really sweet-smelling bath products and not so many which are more savoury, and indeed more unisex. FI is a slow-release product which lasts a good long time, and is thus ideal for a long soak, not so much for a quick dip. Very slightly frothy but mostly milky, it feels pleasant to lie in but didn't do a lot for my skin considering the amount of cocoa butter in it. Congenial enough but not especially remarkable. Lush has plenty of sweet bath products already, so a properly lemony/citral melt would be nice (You've Been Mangoed is the closest), as would a strongly sandalwood one. I think I'd like Floating Island more if it weren't surrounded by other sweet melts on all sides, though there's no doubt that it is a good example of those. 5/10.

Happy Blooming – cherry-scented bath melt which comes in 3 sections. For me, the ideal bath utilises 2 sections, but my bath is larger than average. A smaller bath would do well with only a single wedge. A 3-piece bath is delightfully indulgent, but not overpoweringly oily either, though it's probably a bit pinker than needed and will definitely leave your bath water heavily shaded. The Happy Blooming is softening but not too greasy (although I still wouldn't recommend washing hair in the bath at the same time), it smells good - if perhaps more floral than fruity - and it's mildly relaxing without being soporific (a la Dreamtime). I find it a reliably likeable product, and a single section cocktails well with other bath things, from a ballistic to a shot of bubble bath. Happy Blooming can play well with others, from sweet & sugary scents like Rockstar to something more robust; Glogg, for example, is a great combination. Its texture is very similar to that of the limited-edition Star and is fairly unlike the older-style bars such as YBM or Aqua Mirabilis. 7/10

In The Nude – a recently returned Retro item, ITN is aimed at sore, delicate or irritated skins. It is a little like Dreamtime in that it has a fair bit of lavender in it, but it also has lots of almond oil and chamomile. These can all be made out, but it isn't the strongest scent around, which is sensible when considering that it's meant to soothe. It's also quite a bit like Fresh Farmacy and Full Of Grace in its combination rose/chamomile/lavender blend, but without the calamine or the tea tree (good news for people who hate it). To me, the fragrance it releases is cleansing without being too institutional and if it smells of any particular thing, it's rather like a baby's head! I don't know what it is which gives small babies their 'baby smell', but ITN does seem to hint at it. The bar itself is initially a dark pink but seems to turn to light brown after it's soaked a little while, and it froths a certain amount, but the froth soon dissipates. It creates a slightly creamy bath but isn't overpoweringly oily by any means, though it is still probably too heavy for washing hair unless you hair is particularly dry. I would class this (like FF, FOG & other such practical products as Grease Lightning) as being firmly in Lush's useful ranges rather than their enticing ones. It's not flashy and it doesn't smell like a perfume concession, but it does leave skin nicely soft. I can't quite attest to its eczema-relieving properties as mine has been in abeyance at the times I've used it, but I've heard some good things about it and it might be worth trying if yours is in trouble. Lush's enticing ranges are a draw, but it's the useful ones I buy again and again. And, for those a little less sensitive who want to enjoy more scent & visual treats, ITN combines beautifully with a Twilight ballistic. If you want even more skin care in your routine, try it with a Schnuggle bar. One of the good things about ITN's more reticent perfume and lack of brilliant colour is that it can be matched with other products very easily. I'm really pleased Lush brought this back and I recommend it for its kindness and versatility even if the scent isn't really your thing. OTOH, if you love FF or FOG, this melt is a dream come true. 8/10.

Karma – I think this may be the only melt which contains glitter, so it makes up for that by containing ALL THE GOLDEN GLITTER IN THE WORLD. Really. Two baths and a shower later, it's still not all gone; after the first bath it was a veritable shining path at the bottom of the tub. This melt is basically nothing but solid oils, glitter and scent, but if that's all you need, you'll be very satisfied. This dissolves quite slowly over some time and leaves a noticeable amount of fragrance on the skin, although on me that really doesn't last long. I suspect the glittery oily perfume pyramid is meant to be reminiscent of (ancient) Egyptian perfume 'cones' which were put on the head to melt slowly into the hair and the heavy wigs, and leave people smelling glorious. Or that might just be me. The ideal treat for someone who loves Karma and doesn't mind glitter; torture for glitter-haters. Therefore 6.5/10 for lack of broad appeal.

Mmm Melting Marshmallow Moment – ooh, a very indulgent sweet pink milky bath with just a little bit of foam. As a melt, this is very softening and leaves the skin feeling pretty damn good afterwards, as well as smelling of sugary pink sweets. Can't complain, unless of course you hate sweet scents. A good pairing with other sweet products, such as Rockstar or The Godmother soaps, but also combines well with sweeter florals, such as Joy Of Jelly. As an 'island' shape rather than a bar, it's fairly long-lasting. 6/10

Star – a solid slick of Snow Fairy. That's what this 2009 Xmas special is, a wonky star-shaped orange-pink bath melt of oils and sweet candy perfume. It dissolves with a pleasing heavy slowness and turns the water a strong, opaque pink too; it leaves skin soft, as all the melts do, but the scent perhaps doesn't last as long as one might expect, though it's pretty punchy when you're in it. Basically, this was another opportunity to treat Snow Fairy-lovers to a slightly different method of getting their hit. Snow Fairy's quite a divisive smell, so obviously the Star isn't much good to those who don't like it, although I personally felt it was perhaps a better presentation of it than the standard shower gel can be. Not bad at all, though considering the size of the Stars, it wasn't a cheap treat. Then again, none of the melts really are, that's why they're called 'Luxury'! Maybe Lush will resurrect this again in future, considering Snow Fairy's popularity. 5.5/10.

Something Wicked melt – I'm a fool, because I only tumbled to the delight of this product just at the time it was being phased out! I have [livejournal.com profile] weegoddess to thank for that, I must be honest. I'd assumed that the combination of jasmine & ginger would just be too odd, but it's actually a damn good blend. It has the sweetness of the floral element but is made boisterous by its savoury kick, making the overall scent enticing rather than soft. It's quite powerful and not for the faint-hearted. The pink & purple bar lasts a good long time in the water and is gently softening. Because I really like ginger, I love pairing this with some also-discontinued Gingerman soap, for a nice bite. Not the melt for sending you off to sleep, this is more bracing than it appears, and the fragrance is definitely not for everyone. SW has also been featured in forum special as both a body lotion and a perfume, but the bath melt is probably the best way to enjoy it. I really wish Lush would bring this back, but we may have to wait some time. 8/10.

You've Been Mangoed – one of the smaller 'bar' melts rather than the bigger pie-like 'islands', it's interesting that the lemon scent dominates the one of mango pulp, because the initial smell of the bar is very strongly citrus. I've used YBM several times over the years and I always enjoy it, but the name regularly disappoints me – I'd love an actually mango-scented product! If you treat the name as entirely fictional, however, and regard this as “the perky citrus bath melt”, you're likely to enjoy it more. Highly refreshing, this does not last quite as long as some of the other melts but is still pretty durable. Combine with a Sicilian ballistic, Sunny Citrus soap and Antiphilitron shampoo for a full-on lemon explosion. 6/10.


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