When I first began this blog, I found it almost impossible to review every product I was using - mostly because I'm always in the habit of using a large array of cosmetics at any one time. For this reason, when large seasonal releases came along, I was never able to use and review every new item before the next set of products made an appearance.
When the Christmas 2012 releases first graced the website, I was very quick to order multiple amounts of every vegan product on offer. However, some two years on, I'm still digging out items and realising (with regret) that I would have stocked up on particular titles had I known how much I would fall in love with them. Such is the case with this massage bar.
Sporting one of the strangest, yet equally the most interesting designs I have seen, Once A Year is a beautiful skin-coloured oval shape with a pearly-white moustache protruding from the surface. On closer inspection, you will also notice that the bar is decorated with tiny specks of golden glitter, which gives the bar a slight shimmer in the right light.
What is great about this bar is that it's packed with some incredible ingredients that promise to do your skin a world of good. There's the usual shea and cocoa butter - two key ingredients that work with the natural oils of your skin to nourish, smoothen and repair over-tired and weathered skin. However, the key ingredient here is definitely the hazelnut oil - a feature that you don't see very often within Lush products. This wonderful oil not only moisturises your skin, but it also forms a protective layer across your skin so it stays soft, supple and radiant for a lot longer than the average massage bar can offer.
Lush claim that the inclusion of brandy, sweet orange oil, almond oil and cinnamon leaf oil, give this bar a 'distinctive Christmas scent'. However, although I can detect all of these ingredients individually, together they create an aroma that reminds me very much of Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum - an uplifting, fruity concoction with the very faintest note of cinnamon.
It's definitely very different from anything else I've smelt from Lush, and it's really one you have to experience to understand why I have compared the scent to a chewing gum. What I would say is that for those of you who dislike products that contain alcoholic scents, this is still a product you might enjoy. I drink perhaps once a year, and I have always claimed that I hate the smell of most alcoholic drinks, spirits especially. However, this is a very pleasant smell doesn't have any of the pungency that alcohol gives to most products.
To use the bar, simply rub it between your hands to warm it and let the oils melt. This particular bar melts very easily and massages into the skin with no problems. It does leave your skin a little greasy for a good 10-15 minutes after application, but I recognised that this was just the hazelnut oil getting to work, so I would prepare myself before using the massage bar, giving the oils time to absorb into the skin before putting any clothing on over the top.
I really wasn't expecting to like Once A Year as much as I did, and I now consider it one of my favourite massage bars to date. I love the fact that it has a very strong smell - in fact, when I left this in my walk-in-wardrobe, it was all I could smell in there for weeks afterwards. This smell transfers onto your skin and lingers on your body for the most part of the day. I happen to think that fragrance would work really well as a body lotion and I would happily buy a few tubs if they became available.
The ease at which it melts makes it a really good intensive moisturiser, something you could use once a week to add a bit of radiance to dry and lifeless skin. Unfortunately, despite the fact that it's name suggests a yearly appearance, this massage bar has only been released once since I began to buying regularly from Lush. I'm currently having to use my last bar very scrupulously until Lush choose to bring it back. Hopefully, I won't be waiting too long.
Quantitative Ingredients: Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Perfume, Hazelnut Oil (Corylus avellana), Iridescent Glitter (Polyethylene terephthalate & Acrylates copolymer), Brandy, Sweet Orange Oil (Citrus sinensis), Almond Essential Oil (Prunus dulcis), Cinnamon Leaf Oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Benzyl Salycilate, *Cinnamyl Alcohol, Cinnamal, Citral, *Coumarin, Eugenol, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Cinnamate, Farnesol, Limonene, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Colour 14700.
Year Of Original Release: 2012.