I always promised myself that I would never branch out into Japanese Lush Kitchen territory - mainly because I might as well declare myself bankrupt with the amount I would end up spending on Lush as a whole. Alongside the extortionate amount I am already throwing at the company each and every single week, investing even more would just be ridiculous for both my bank balance and in terms of the amount of cosmetics I would end up owning.
However, once I discovered how easy it was to order from them, coupled with the fact that they were offering more exclusive products than the UK version at the time, I couldn't help but make that giant leap into international waters and buy from them for the first time.
Hanami Scrub is an exclusive Japanese product - an item brought out as part of their White Day celebrations which takes place every year on March 14th. In Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China, Valentine's Day is traditionally a day where women and girls give their husbands/brothers/fathers etc. a gift to express their love and appreciation. Exactly one month on, these men reciprocate and buy the special ladies in their life a gift to show their love in return.
This item is one of two limited editions that the company released to coincide with these celebrations - a scrub packed full of lavender, rose, ylang ylang and sweet orange oil to cleanse and soften your skin - leaving it feeling toned and smelling delicious for the warmer months to come.
Sharing it's scent with the very popular Noriko Soap, this subtle floral offering has a certain savoury quality about it. In the packet, I could smell the rose and the lavender very distinctively. However, neither ingredient was too strong or overpowering in the mix - instead coming across as a very mild, gentle flowery smells.
Decorated throughout the scrub was pieces of the Sato Zakura flower - a cherry tree blossom that plays homage to Japan's cultures and traditions. Widely celebrated in Japanese literature, poetry, and art, the plant carries layered meanings. For example, because they bloom briefly, the blossoms are often seen as a metaphor for the ephemeral beauty of living. At the same time, the joyful tradition of Hanami - meaning 'flower viewing' (the reason for the name in the first place) is an old and ongoing tradition that is celebrated throughout the whole country. So it seems only fitting that the scrub was released during the month of March and I feel an absolute pleasure in being able to try one out for myself.
What separates this from most of Lush's other scrubs, is that this one is made up mostly of salt as opposed to sugar. I only had to remove Hanami from the packet to notice that this small ingredient change completely alters the consistency of the product. Whereas most of the sugar scrubs can be quite crumbly and disintegrate very quickly under the running water, this one is much sturdy and I found that it barely shrunk when I used it in the shower.
Furthermore, I could put quite a bit of pressure on the item when it was exfoliating my skin in the shower - without having to worry that the scrub would break and dissolve in record speed. I rather enjoyed the rigorous scrub I was able to get from this product, and because it barely changed size, I predict that I could probably use a good 8-10 times rather than the 2-3 uses I get from all other Lush scrubs.
Afterwards, my body felt really softened and hydrated, and the sweet, gentle floral aroma lingered around for a good hour or so on my skin. The product also dried really quickly by itself - instead of disintegrating into a sugary mess like Lush's other scrubs do if they've come into contact with any water.
While I have enough of these scrubs to see me through the Spring and Summer months, I do hope that Lush bring these back - preferably in the UK Kitchen but I would be willing to buy from the Japanese Kitchen again now that I know how good they are. If you can get your hands on one of these, I would highly recommend that you do so - you won't regret it.
Quantitative Ingredients: Cane rare Steno Aerodactyl fat, Sea salt, Sucrose Bicarbonate, Shea butter, Laureth sulfate, Sato Zakura flower, Tartaric acid, Coconut oil, Lauryl Betaine, Lavender Oil, Sweet orange oil, Damask rose extract, Ylang Ylang Absolute, Vinegar.
2015 Price: £3.95 each.
Year Of Original Release: 2015 (Lush Japan only).