Sometimes I wonder just how much I would cope if I lived too far away to visit Lush's Oxford Street flagship store on a regular basis. Even the forty minutes it takes to get to the store from my house can sometimes leave me feeling anxious, especially if I know there's an exclusive product waiting for me on the other side.
When the Valentine's Day range leaked on Instagram, I was obviously most interested in the brand new releases - Lover Lamp, Roses All The Way and Love Spell. On discovering that the latter was only going to be sold in Oxford Street, I was relieved to know that I would easily be able to grab a few for myself.
To begin with, I was really impressed with the design. Although simple, the shade of baby pink combined with the little raised hearts on the surface, gave it a rather lovely feel about it. It just looks like the sort of product you can buy a loved one, partner or not, and it's definitely in keeping with the theme of the season.
Surprisingly, I don't believe that the ingredients list reflects what this massage bar smells like at all. You can definitely make out a faint but rather beautiful rose aroma, which is both sweet and slightly cloudy - thanks to the inclusion of the carnation absolute which I think gives it an almost 'hazy' aroma. However, it is the neroli and lemon myrtle oil that makes the biggest impression for me.
An initial sniff reveals a really gentle citrus aroma - one that does throwback a little to Baked Alaska Soap. Don't get me wrong, this bar is not anywhere near as zesty as the seasonal soap, but it does have that crisp lemon aspect that stands out as soon as you get a whiff of the fragrance.
What I think will be a 'make or break' for Lush fans when it comes to Love Spell, is that the scent is quite a dampened one. While something like From Dusk 'Til Dawn will slither up your nose as soon as you come into contact with it, this one is a lot more reserved, and I can see some people being rather disappointed with how gentle the smell is both before and after application.
As with all of Lush's massage bars, you can use it as an actual massage bar and get somebody to give you the indulgence of a lifetime. Or, as I tend to do, you can massage it across your skin and give your body a really deep moisturising session.
Applying it straight onto the skin will stimulate the various butters and oils, and the heat of your body will help to melt the bar down, making it easy to glide over the skin. You can choose to use the flat side or the uneven surface - the latter allowing you to put a little extra pressure on any areas that may be sore or tender from exercise.
What is good about this bar is that it's not one that will melt on immediate impact with your skin, so you can hold it in your hands and not worry that you'll lose half of it while using the bar. Furthermore, this stubbornness from Love Spell means that you can reuse this many times - easily getting a good 5-6 full body sessions from one bar.
Once applied, the oils and butters begin to get absorbed into the skin, and I was surprised to find that this takes quite a long time. In fact, I applied this after a bath and found that I could still feel remnants of it some five hours later. This is a product that you need to allow time for the skin to indulge in, because once it has been given an opportunity to work its magic, your skin is left beautiful - both silky-soft and vibrant. It instantly improved the condition of my skin and gave it a toned but supple texture that was rather wonderful.
The scent does remain on the skin for as long as it takes the butters to melt, and perhaps the fact that it's a subtle fragrance works to its advantage because of this. You could easily spritz some perfume on yourself after using this, and you won't have to worry about it overpowering any other smells. However, as I said above, this is not a product you should use if you want a quick application before heading out the door.
Overall, this massage bar is a great new addition to the Lush family. It's not my favourite by any means, but its gentle aroma and just how effective it is in giving your skin a new lease of life, is enough to convince me that its one I will use quite regularly until it's discontinued. I am very excited to make this my winter companion for the upcoming winter months - to not only banish that parched skin feeling I get when the weather drops, but to give me a gentle lift after a long, hard day at work. Thank you Lush.
Quantitative Ingredients: Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter, Fair Trade Shea Butter, Perfume, Organic Jojoba Oil, Rose Hip Syrup, Fair Trade Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Carnation Absolute, Neroli Oil, Organic Lemon Myrtle Oil, Fresh Rose Petals, Benzyl Salicylate, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Citral, Farnesol, Limonene, Linalool, Amyl Cinnamon, Benzyl Benzoate, Coumarin, Eugenol, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Fandango Lustre (Potassium Aluminium Silicate, Titanium Dioxide, Colour 15850:1, Colour 45410:1)
2016 Price: £5.95 each.
Year Of Original Release: 2016.