There was a little confusion on my part when the Flying Saucers Bubble Bar was released in the Kitchen last year - a miscommunication that meant that I didn't end up purchasing any before they had sold out. Described as being 'honey-scented' and with a supposed honeycomb decoration on top, I assumed that they wouldn't be vegan, and opted to forgo trying them out for myself.
However, after carrying out a little research, it seemed like the actual bubble bar didn't possess anything non-vegan, and only the sticky finish on top was questionable. While I knew there was a chance that the ingredients list might have been printed on the label incorrectly, I figured I might as well give the product a go - removing the honey finish before doing so.
Sharing its scent with the shower gel of the same name, Flying Saucers is a rather boring looking bubble bar - a design you wouldn't automatically associate with the rather interesting title that accompanies it. While it seems like an odd choice, the name of this bar is not inspired by the alien-induced fantasies that you'd imagine it would be about - instead playing homage to the combination of ingredients used to create a feeling of tranquility for the user when in use.
The inclusion of ylang ylang, palmarosa and vetivert oils are supposed to have a calming effect on the senses - helping the mind to relax and the muscles to unwind. Ultimately, this miracle bubble bar is there for you when you 'feel like throwing crockery and smashing it into bits', hence the name 'Flying Saucers'.
Ylang Ylang is a popular ingredient and features in many of Lush's products - offering a sweet but quite robust floral aroma that makes up the base of the fragrance here. Palmarosa is next - another sweet but this time rather herbaceous offering that smells very similar to rose oil. This ingredient is great for moisturising and replenishing the skin during use, making it a key component of this bubble bar. Finally, vetivert may be one of the last ingredients on the list, but it's just as soothing as the ylang ylang - adding a sharp green and slightly bitter earthy smell that makes up the most powerful component of the fragrance by far.
Out of the packet, Flying Saucers emits a strange smell - one that took me quite a while to be able to put into words. An initial whiff reminded me of the sasperella sweets I used to eat as a child - a dry, sweet and very aromatic liquorice smell with a bitter green and earthy undertone. It's not a scent you'd want to wear around all day, but I can see why this would be calming and relaxing in the bath.
Once the product has been crumbled and intertwined with the hot water, the earthy undertones grow stronger, and you can make out the sweet, bitter green aroma a lot more. While nothing stood out for me as being strongly 'honeyed', there was a sort of cloying sticky, sweetness that I can imagine many associating with the ingredient.
As you can see from my video, it's very easy to crumble this bubble bar and it doesn't take long for bubbles to form across the tub. As I was feeling greedy that particular day, I used the whole bubble bar, and was a little disappointed to find that the amount of bubbles it heeds is not on par with the amount I'd expect from other bubble bars of the same size.
Furthermore, the water didn't change colour at all, and although the various oils softened the water very quickly, I was disappointed to be climbing into a tub devoid of any colour whatsoever. Although, in its favour, the scent remained present throughout my whole experience, I found that the fragrance of other ingredients thwarted this when they were being used alongside, which was disappointing.
Having said that, I did feel very relaxed during and after the bath, so whether or not the smell was strong enough for me to detect it at every stage, I can vouch that the bubble bar does do its job well in this sense. I have also read that this product is good at helping to soothe away aches and pains for those suffering from PMT, and while I haven't experienced this myself, I can really see this working well, given how therapeutic it felt in the water.
Unfortunately, I certainly won't be rushing out to purchase anymore of these in the near future. While the smell wasn't at all terrible, it is not one I found particularly amazing, and certainly not a favourite of mine. While the oils did soothe me and leave me feeling very relaxed afterwards, I know there are handfuls of other bubble bars that work equally, if not better than this one.
Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream Of Tartar (Tartaric Acid), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga Odorata), Palmarossa Oil (Cymbopogan Martini), Vetivert Oil (Vetiveria Zizanoides), Cypress Oil (Cupressus Sempervirens), Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax tonkinensis pierre), Benzyl Salicylate, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Farnesol, Limonene, Linalool, Perfume.
Vegan?: Seemingly so, although the topping may or may not be honey.
2014 Price: £3.95 each.
2016 Price: £3.95 each.
Year Of Original Release: ?