nanaya: Sarah Haskins as Rosie The Riveter, from Mother Jones (Default)
[personal profile] nanaya
Lush's jellies are a product with quite a few devoted fans and a lot of mystified onlookers. The concept of making a body wash out of a carageenen seaweed gel base is one I've never come across anywhere else, and I'm still not entirely sure how well it works. It's fun, and it lends itself to physics AND physical comedy, since temperature differences affect its behaviour, which Lush know perfectly well as they always advise freezing the stuff. Other than for preservation, who does that?? It can be a pain, though, as bits of jelly are hard to control, which is why many people recommend using it with a shower puff to avoid losing it, though that does of course negate the special qualities of the jellies. Since the action of the jellies is fairly similar overall, I'm mostly going to concentrate on scent here, although other relevant points will be mentioned. I'm also going to proceed on the assumption that jellies are intrinsically enjoyable rather than hateful, even if I have my reservations at times!

Here are a few reviews of shower jellies past & present. If you have reviews of any of these, or any other products, please contribute them.

Calacas – mm, I really loved this year's Day Of The Dead specials as they were all about the lime, and I love lime, me. Calacas fits in very nicely with Calavera bath bombs & Lady Catrina soap, sharing a lot of similarly zingy, citrus notes with them. As a jelly, it washes well and feels good on the skin, while as a novelty, its appealing little skull face is remarkably cheery. This is something else I'd encourage people to get while they still can; I don't think this year's Hallowe'en specials sold quite as well as predicted, so I'm guessing they may well not come back. Green & orange varieties are still available online today; yellow appears to have sold out but there may be a few in shops still. 7.5/10

Champagne Snowshowers - Oh dear lost love. Not only was this one of the best jellies ever made, I think it might also be among my favourite Lush products of all time. A slightly softer jelly than usual, CS is a beautiful creamy white with a soft, slightly moisturising later. It smells heavenly; elderflower, citrus and a hint of booze. It's light, fruitily reassuring and rather spring-like in its feel. I made my last pot stretch for almost 3 years, and I wish like crazy they'd bring it back. My very favourite jelly. 9.5/10

Gold, Frankincense & Beer – ridiculously wonderful. My impression of what the scent would be like from its descriptions was way off-base; this is yet another Lush product which smells slightly fruity and wholly delicious. The stout doesn't smell at all like hops and is more reminiscent of a Christmas pudding, with a delightful top note of zesty citrus. I'm very excited this was brought back, even if only for an extremely short time, and would recommend people to buy it immediately while they still can. There's a reason they brought this particular favourite back for 2010's Retro Xmas range - it's still available today, get it while you can. I do note that it's a especially rigid jelly, though, and seems slightly tougher than the others, unless there's been something odd about my batches. Deliciously sybaritic when used with a Li'l Lush Pud bath ballistic. 9/10.

Iced Wine - oh no no no, this isn't right at all. I was expecting tropical fruit and, while I can make that out, it's almost completely overpowered by an unpleasant chemical smell which makes the experience very disappointing. In fairness, some of the 'chemical' smell might possibly come from the inclusion of under-ripe guava, which can have a plasticky air at times. It's not beyond redemption, but I honestly can't recommend 'Iced Wine' as it's really not very nice. A Christmas 2010 product which has now gone, I can't really see them bringing this one back, although some people liked it - customer reviews seemed overall unfavourable, mind. Here are some reviews for comparison. 3.5/10

Joy Of Jelly – a soft floral jelly with a gentle jasmine fragrance and rose undertones, this isn't as punchy as most of the other jellies but that's quite a good thing as it fills an obvious gap. Not everyone wants something full-on, and this is a good choice for something more soothing. It's 2-tone swirled purples with a tougher darker purple jelly and a softer lilac one, which makes it slightly less consistent than the other more firm and cohesive jellies, but it doesn't seem to suffer for that. 6/10

[personal profile] mrs_leroy_brown's reviews of Iced Wine & Joy of Jelly: "I used both Iced Wine jelly and Joy of Jelly, respectively, as they both came in the same box. I used them at room temperature with a shower puff - the soft, creamy bubbles left my skin baby smooth and were really fun. Scent wise, I didn't find the Iced Wine as chemically as [personal profile] nanaya, however I do think in this case the emotibomb [Sex In The Shower] won out. Joy of Jelly was the perfect match for my bomb - with ylang ylang, jasmine and musky, sandalwood-y scents, it's like a much cheaper Dune perfume. Iced Wine 3/10, Joy of Jelly 10/10."

Karma – yes, Karma once came in shower jelly form. I don't know what more I can add to that, the niceness of the jelly depends almost entirely on how much one likes Karma as a scent. Fortunately for me, I do, but I know not everyone's convinced. It hasn't been around for a while, though, so it's eBay only as far as I can see. ?/10; if you like Karma, it's for you. If you can find it.

Strawberry Santa – this is, indeed, a strawberry-scented jelly which, in larger tubs, is shaped like Santa (mine was small, so it was just the jelly). Nice idea, and I generally like the novelty jellies. This one is a rather less obtrusive than some, and has only a gentle strawberry whiff with a hint of coconut. Not one of Lush's best scents but not bad either, this was mostly reminiscent of strawberry sweets rather than the actual fruit, but that's often the way with cosmetics. A gentle wash and not unenjoyable, by any means, but certainly not a striking product. Cute in a number of ways, but it wasn't one of the products brought back this Christmas, so eBay is probably the way to go. Some reviews from other sites, useful comparisons. 6/10

Sweetie Pie – it certainly does smell of sweets, Blackcurrant Fruit Pastilles to be precise. It's a little bit more of an adult scent than that makes it sound, though, as you can make out the dark cherry and the coconut under the cassis, it's just that blackcurrant is pungent enough that it tends to swamp. I enjoy this a lot, although it doesn't seem to lather quite as readily as the other jellies. Nice, but could perhaps do with a tiny touch less sweetness, perhaps being undercut with a note of sour cherry to make it that little bit more sophisticated. Still, it seems pretty popular, so I guess if it ain't broke...7/10

Whoosh – designed for morning showers, this is a sharp, zingy jelly with strong grapefruit overtones, although it's not an aggressively sour scent, more like grapefruit sweets. It's still sweet enough not to feel overpoweringly citrussy (compare to something like Antiphilitron shampoo for strong citrus moments). Probably on a level with something like Lemony Flutter cuticle butter. It's quite an easily lathered jelly and it feels pleasant to use. Not a product of genius, but perfectly good for what it is. 6/10


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