Despite trying this one out first, Mermaid FUN Bar was actually the new addition I was least excited about. While it was beautiful to behold on display, the description and the scent that followed this was less than pleasing on my senses. After using it in the shower for a week following my purchase, my initial impressions didn't alter all that much.
Fitting in with the sea-inspired theme that Lush seems to have gone with for their latest round of FUN, this blue, pink and yellow striped limited edition has been compared to the popular Big Blue Bath Bomb. While the ingredients would suggest this, I don't see much of a resemblance at all.
Containing lime oil and seaweed absolute, this FUN bar has a very two-dimensional fragrance. To me, it gives off a scent reminiscent of the sweet but slightly bitter aroma you'd get when peeling back an under-ripe, soured lime. Aside from this, I couldn't really detect much else and this didn't improve when I tried it out in the shower.
Much like every other of the FUN bars that have come out, Mermaid is really easy to use and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be broken into pieces and crumbled under the running tap - producing a bubble bath much like a bubble bar would do. It can also be lathered into the hair as a replacement for shampoo, although I've never tried this so I cannot vouch whether or not it actually works in this way.
However, I like to use my FUN as an alternative to shower gel and this is how I chose to use this particular bar. To use, you simply massage a small grape-sized piece between your palms, allowing a little water to get involved, and the FUN bar produces a foam that you can then use to clean yourself with.
Unfortunately, when I tried to break off a small piece and lather it under the water, I found that it was rather dry and fiddly and I didn't get a great deal of foam to clean myself with. Furthermore, once I did manage to amass enough lather to massage over my body, I found that the product was quite drying on the skin and I had to use a shower gel afterwards to rectify this situation.
Despite my initial interest, I was a little disappointed that the smell was rather weak in comparison to the other FUN bars that I had tried before. Once I had exited the shower and towelled myself down, I could not smell the aroma on me at all, which was disappointing.
As with all of Lush's FUN bars, this one is ideal for children (or children disguised as adults) who want to instil a little more excitement into their bathing sessions. For those who aren't satisfied with a hot, bubbly bath, FUN allows you to model and craft shapes and figurines out of the product before it is used in the bathroom. This is particularly great for parents who find it difficult to entice their children into the bath - now they can extend their playing whilst getting clean at the same time.
For this reason, I can see this bar being popular for children who want a colourful FUN bar to play with, and one that has a gentle, fruity scent to boot. Unfortunately, this one didn't do much for me at all and I would not be tempted to use this again. While I would always choose a shower gel over a FUN Bar, there have been some releases in the past such as Yog Nog and Lord Of Misrule, that have convinced me it is possible for these affordable bars to be very effective. This is not the case with Mermaid.
UPDATE: A few weeks after Lush originally brought this out in the Oxford Street Store, they removed it from the shelves as they claimed it was too drying on the skin - a problem that I had flagged up in my original review above.
They have since rereleased it in the same size and shape as the other FUN bars, and while it is still not my favourite of the bunch, it's definitely much softer on the skin and easier to lather up in the shower. The scent does seem to be a little stronger as well, and while it is still fairly boring to my senses, it's definitely an improvement on the original release.
Quantitative Ingredients: Cornflour (Zea Mays), Talc, Glycerine, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), Lime Oil (Citrus aurantifolia), Seaweed Absolute (Fucus vesiculosus), Violet Leaf Absolute (Viola odorata), Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide, Yellow And Red Lustre, Linalool, Limonene, Perfume, Colour 17200, Colour 42090.
2015 Price: £5 for 200g.
Year Of Original Release: 2015.