30 June 2016

Ching Ling Soo Bath Bomb

It's been quite a while since I received a brand new bath bomb from Lush, and when I mean new, I'm referring to one that hasn't been seen for a good many years. Whether a blast from the past or a new release, there is something rather magical about being able to share your tub with a product for the very first time.

When the Lush Kitchen announced that they would be bringing out both Ching Ling Soo and The Sicilian Bath Bomb - both in close vicinity of each other, I was ecstatic. Here were two bath bombs that I could cross off my wishlist; two new experiences that I would be able to enjoy in the bath; and one opportunity to own a bath bomb that I never expected the company to release again.

Ching Ling Soo Bath Bomb is a strange choice for a remake - not only because I cannot recall ever hearing anybody even utter its name in the whole five years that I have been a member of the online community. Furthermore, I really cannot imagine it ever making it into anybody's top ten list either. That's not to say I am complaining in any way.

Described at the time as being the best magician in the world, Ching Ling Soo was a renowned illusionist - one that was known for his routine of catching a fired bullet between his teeth. Saturday March 23rd, 1918 was to be the last time he performed such a trick, as unbeknown to him, a build up of unburned gunpowder residue would cause the gun to fire and release one of the actual bullets encased, hitting him in the chest, where he died of his injuries the very next day.

While the story certainly doesn't have a happy ending, and perhaps makes you wonder why such a story would even inspire the creation of a bath bomb to begin with, Lush have taken the tragedy and attempted to put a happier spin on things. Inside each ballistic is a strip of paper with six numbers, and the idea is that these numbers should bring you luck - far more luck than the aforementioned magician that this product plays homage to!

Made from a combination of cardamom and tangerine oil, I was expecting this bath bomb to be quite spicy - similar to the likes of Jacko Bath Bomb, just without the mint element present. However, I was really surprised to find that the cardamom was barely recognisable at all in this bomb, and the overall scent was far more playful and fruitier than the description suggested.

From my experience, Ching Ling Soo is very similar in smell to the likes of May Day Bath Bomb, and gives me a fragrance that I could probably replicate if I took May Day, Bon Bomb and Star Dust Ballistic, and threw them all together. My initial sniff gave me a bright, fruity tangerine smell - one that reminded me of sherbet in the way that it had all of the fruitiness you'd expect from the tangerine, just without the sourness that you would expect from the actual fruit. Alongside this is a dry, powdery and sweet but not overly sickly vanillary note - one that confused me at first, until I carried out a little research into some of the ingredients present.

Upon further inspection, I discovered that it was the litsea cubeba that was dominating the smell. Described as being a sweeter, lemonier alternative to lemongrass, this mystery ingredient is definitely what gives this bath bomb its unique and rather wonderful scent. It's definitely a light, fruity smell, but the sweet, powdery element prevents this bomb from being at all zesty. 

As well as the beautiful fragrance, this odd-sounding component does wonders for your mental and physical wellbeing - acting as an antifungal and anti-inflammatory in the bath, which helps to banish colds, heal wounds and even help rid the body of minor infections.

Unfortunately, I found that this bath bomb was very boring to watch, and it wasn't that much better, colour-wise, once the ballistic had fully dissolved in the water. The ballistic left the water a gentle peach colour and also tarnished the sides of the bath with colour as well. However, a simple wipe down removed these marks and I wouldn't be worried about using the product again in the future.

While it was noticeably moisturising, and you could see a faint glimmer on the surface, where the oils were resting to nourish your skin, the rest of the experience was far from colourful and wasn't very entertaining at all.

On the other hand, I was impressed to discover that the scent did remain present throughout my forty-five minute bath, and the fragrance lingered briefly on my skin afterwards as well. While I wouldn't say it was the strongest bomb, there is definitely enough fragrance here to play with, and it does work wonderfully when cocktailed with one of the brighter, more colourful bubble bars. 

Overall, I love this scent and feel as if it would flourish in other formats. The bath bomb itself wasn't necessarily the best example of this fragrance in action, and it definitely wasn't the most interesting to observe in the water. However, it does its job well enough that I will continue to use and enjoy the handful of Ching Ling Soos that I now in my vicinity.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Gardenia Extract, Cardamon Oil, Tangerine Oil, Litsea Cubeba Absolute, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Perfume, Colour 14700.

Vegan?: Yes.

Year Of Original Release: ?


  1. Omg, they need this bathbomb in Australia :)
    I recently did a review on a few lush products myself. check it out and feel free to give me any pointers :)

  2. I was hoping for more cardamom, too. Onto my bath with the Sicilian!

  3. I can't disagree more with this review! We must have very different experiences! The cardamom was very noticeable in mine and the peachy water I found so relaxing and serene. Not everyone likes a psychedelic bath! It seems bath bombs get written off as boring despite being beautifully scented if fireworks don't come out of it's arse. It's a shame.