Most often, when I invest in any of Lush's older products, I like to carry out a little research to find out the history of the product alongside the general reaction to said item. With Witches' Ball, I found there was a clear division - it's a product that normally inspires quite strong reactions (both positive and negative), so I was a little unsure what to expect when the strange-looking clump turned up at my door.
Firstly, it's definitely a unique and strangely beautiful bubble bar. With it's dark violet shell speckled with sprigs of fresh parsley and decorated with a star anise on top, it's an acquired taste. What I love about it, is that it really does conjure up thoughts of medieval witchery and the supernatural. Much like Ceridwan's Cauldron, there's something weirdly alluring about the romanticism of old-fashioned witchcraft and the occult.
Secondly, I was very intrigued to see what this bubble bar smelt like before and during my bath. Witches' Ball boasts a whole array of different opposing and complementary ingredients; cloves, black currants and cranberries, rosemary, sage, peppermint, frankincense, myrrh, benzoin and of course, fresh parsley. On paper, it's very hard to imagine what this smells like.
To me, the dominating smell here is the herbs. On first sniff, I can pick out the sage, rosemary and peppermint; the currants and cranberries add a slight sweetness to the mix, which makes the bubble bar smell very odd indeed. In fact, it's one of those products that I feel you need to try for yourself to really appreciate it's fragrance. I didn't mind the smell at all, although it's not a scent I particularly loved either.
In the bath, this bubble bar is probably one of the weakest at creating bubbles. This is no doubt due to the amount of other objects that have been packed into this average-sized product. Once the bubble bar is dissolving, an array of cloves, star anise and currants are dispersed from the product, where they float down and sit at the bottom of the tub. While you're watching this happen, it all seems quite intriguing. However, once you get into the bath, you realise that these inanimate objects are actually rather annoying. There are so many of them that you can't help but sit on at least one, and it's nearly always the pointed, star-shaped anise, which can be a rather painful experience.
Annoyingly, when you attempt to remove these from the bath, you end up fighting a losing battle as these irritating clumps of food spin off in all directions and are nearly impossible to grapple with. My suggestion would be to either direct them into one area of the bath and just make sure you don't move for the duration of the experience. Or you could attempt to contain the currants and cloves by popping the bubble bar in a thin sock and tying it under the running tap. The only issue here is that you tend to lose a lot of the scent as this comes from all of the fresh herbs and spices, all of which will be trapped in the sock and not in your bath tub.
Finally, when fully dissolved, Witches' Ball turns the bath water a clear purple colour with a thin layer of bubbles on top. Unfortunately, these bubbles disappear rather quickly which almost makes it pointless calling it a bubble bar to begin with.
Overall, I wasn't that impressed with this bubble bar. On paper, Witches' Ball is an intriguing and unique product. I'd even say that the inclusion of fresh currants is a marvellous idea. However, Lush need to work on how they can incorporate these sweet, juicy fruits into a product without cluttering the entire bath tub with them. This product is definitely an example of 'style over substance'.
Although the smell was quite pleasant, and it was by no means the worst bath in the world, my skin didn't feel any softer than it did before I had jumped in the tub. Furthermore, the scent was almost completely lost by the time I had dried myself off. This is definitely not a bubble bar I will be buying again. Although, if Lush ever choose to release other products using this fragrance, I would definitely jump at the chance of trying them out.
Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Dried Cranberries, Dried Currants, Dried Star Anise, Perfume, Peppermint Oil, Rosemary Oil, Sage Oil, Myrrh Gum, Olibanum Gum, Benzoin Gum, Cloves, Dried Parsley, *Limonene, Colour 42090, Colour 45410.