Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Bath and Body Works Phenomena

Sorry...ok- so it's been a while. My first job, being a University Professor and famous artist -ahem-that's me on the right sporting the new lighter hair and my printmaking wardrobe (all black)- has kept me, well, busy. Shocking? It's mid terms and I am about to head out on the road for many different pursuits, little sistah's wedding, recruiting for Grad students and new majors at Wash U in the STL, and panel chair/presenter at an art educator's conference in Mobile, AL. I am sooooo tired that I can't sleep. So, as promised, my Bath and Body Works experience.

None of these are tried and true.

The first is the scent that brought me to it. I was washing my hands in Allison's apartment back in 2004. The smell from her hand wash was so phenomenal that I brought my friend Heather into the bathroom to wash her hands so she could smell it. It was the talk of the evening, including the borscht, depleting bottles of wine, and the fact that the 5 bff's of Mrs. Fowler's art class hadn't gathered together in some time ( at that date I think it had been since 2000).

The scent was from the then New Aromatherapy line-Jasmine Vanilla.

Fast forward to 2008.
Visiting family in Vicksburg and low and behold there is a new Bath and Body Works outlet. Now, I've been a firm supporter of The Body Shop and the causes of Dame Antia Roddick since I was a young beauty product slut. When I found a Body Shop approximately 7 blocks from my studio at the Glasgow School of Art I was in heaven. Hell, I even worked for The Body Shop for a time. So, naturally, my purchasing items from Bath and Body Works was not even going to happen (they were The Body Shop's main competitor) and I was convinced (and may be still) that they had so much alcohol in their body sprays that the cost of using Body Shop products was worth it because the BS (Body Shop shortened) used a higher ratio of essential/perfume oils than B&BW. It was all cheaper than my true love-Chanel, so I really had no complaint.

The smell changed it all for me. When I stepped foot into that store and saw that they had the Jasmine Vanilla in a hair conditioner I bought 2 and went back to St. Louis and used it sparingly. I hid it when I had visitors. I would sometimes put it in my hair when it was dry just so I could smell it.

Fast Forward 2009.
Now that I frequent Vicksburg more often, I bought the body wash. I bought the lotion (in pump form and 2 travel bottles). I bought the body spray (on-line along with hand sanitizer for the swine flu epidemic that has hit my students at Ole Miss and some lip plumping lip gloss with glitter in it...ummm it was only $3). I wanted to layer the scent. So far, the lotion is the only smell that sticks. I will continue to use the other Jasmine Vanilla until it runs out. If BS hadn't discontinued Eau De Zitron I wouldn't be in such a mess. The glitter in the lip plump is too much of a throwback to my days of wearing plastic trousers, halter tops, buffalo trainers, and paying student prices for entrance to dance clubs. The plump feels like you made out with a porcupine or decided to wear wasabi paste because you were out of lip balm. OUCH!

While I was loading the bag down with sensual aromatherapy trial and error, I also grabbed some Patricia Wexler crap. See, Janie, my momma, started using it because Oprah, ahem, yes, Oprah, said it was the best stuff to get rid of wrinkles. Why my mother, who already looked 10 years younger than everyone else her age by sticking with Noxzema and Maybelline Eye Make-Up remover, all of a sudden had to follow the Oprah train, I will never know. On top of that I shake my fist at her for giving me some of the Wexler stuff that she didn't use, and by Golly! Oprah was right (naturally)!

So, that is reason #1. Reason #2-I have mid 30's freakish pimple incidents that I seriously have a complex about. Wexler had some face wash and acne potion and it was 50%off. Done.

Face Wash Reality:
I've been using it for 2 weeks now. I found after day 3 that I can only use it every other day. I got chapped lips. It also smells like the breath of this frat boy in college who wanted to make out with me during Spring Party weekend at the Delta Tau Delta (Delt) House. We had been playing "golf" and we were at the 5th hole (the Delt House) where we were to imbibe Gin drinks. I passed (for those that know -this is no shocker) and took a huge hit to my score card. He, however, made up for it and the smell of his breath was so revolting, I passed on his "sexy" offer, too. The smell of this face wash brought back very un-fond memories of that moment. As I put it on my face I feel my throat begin to swell and I begin to imagine everyone that smelled it on me would think I just left the bar. So, I've been using it in the shower and I rinse very quickly before my admixture of memory and imagination get the better of me.

The Acne Night repair gel, however, is pretty good. The smell is not repulsive and I've used it on other areas than my face and the frontne/backne is going away successfully.

I got some of the 30 SPF moisturizer and it feels good, smells like the acne repair stuff. So far, so good. No stinging like others with SPF. Thumbs up for that.

Wrinkles? None, yet.

1 comment:

Will Cooley Fan Club said...

I recently discovered the Jasmine/Vanilla scent from B&BW and I concur with your assessment completely: the fragrance is gorgeous.

Strange to admit, initially I could not connect the name of the product with my reaction to the scent. I "smelled"--that is interpreted-- sandlewood and cedar, not jasmine and vanilla. I don't think I would have bought the product if didn't not experience this sensory disconnect. I love the smell of jasmine, but I associate vanilla with confectionery. In this product, the vanilla is very subtle and very much on balance with the jasmine.