* Prices may differ from that shown
Crabtree & Evelyn are a long established soap, bath and bodycare brand, which began as an American family run business in 1972, before becoming a successful international firm, trading in over ten countries. Their packaging and branding had always appeared quite old fashioned to me and I always thought it was aimed at an older market until I received some of their soap as a gift about fifteen years ago, and found them to be long lasting and of good quality.
As a member of the Amazon Vine programme* I had the opportunity to receive this for free, try it and review it. I selected this product from the list as I had fond memories of the brand that I had received as gifts in the past, even though I had not purchased anything for myself.
The bath and shower gel comes packaged in a good quality cream cardboard box with an Iris watercolour type design on the front. There is a lengthy ingredient list on the box, much of which I am unfamiliar with. It all states that the product is for adult use only. I don't know what would happen if a child used it, I have not seen that statement before....
Out of the box, the gel is in an opaque plastic bottle, with the same iris design as the box. The cap is a 'pop-up' one, with a small gap and I couldn't really get any scent from it other than a vaguely floral soapy scent. According to the packaging the fragrance comes from the root of the iris flower and is "blended with sandalwood, sensuous patchouli and a hint of fresh vetiver". To be honest I don't think I would have identified any of these scents unless I knew they were supposed to be there.
The first time I used this it was in the bath. There is no info on the packaging regarding directions or recommended quantity, but I feel I am of an age that can work this out for myself. I popped up the cap and squeezed a blob out into running water. Nothing much really came out, as the slot is quite tiny, so I repeated it two more times, and barely made a dent in the bottle contents. There were some bubbles but not a huge amount (to be fair, it doesn't bill itself as a bubble bath), they were pleasant while they lasted, but disappeared about 10-15 minutes in. The water after this was a grey-blue tone, but no residue was left in my tub. After drying off I was pleased how soft my skin felt, I deliberately didn't moisturise straight afterwards just to see, and apart from my heels (which are a dry skin law unto themselves), my skin didn't feel dry either.
I mostly use this as a shower gel though, you can only get a small amount through the tiny gap in the lid, but I find this is usually all I need. My skin usually feels reasonably soft afterwards and isn't dry or irritated, although I still prefer to use a moisturiser. The fragrance is mild, and doesn't linger on my skin, which is disappointing for such a luxury brand and I expected a more defined fragrance for the price. However, if you are going to be wearing your own perfume over the top, you won't need much scent on your skin, as it would clash. The only really downside is the price which is £14, more than I would normally spend on an everyday product like shower gel. However , quantity wise it seems to last well, even if the fragrance doesn't, and it is something I would be happy to receive as a gift, even if I wouldn't buy for myself.
*Amazon Vine programme is an invite only programme for some of the top Amazon reviewers. As a member I get to chose items from a selection each month, to try (read, watch etc) and review on the site.
This is an adapted version of the review posted on Amazon. It may also be found on other review sites.
Crabtree & Evelyn is a popular brand in my household. While other smelly gifts are likely to go unused and may even be re-gifted, C&E is always in use. Priced at £14 for 250ml the Iris Bath and Shower Gel a premium product but smells absolutely divine.
The scent of Iris is orris prepared from the iris root blended with sandalwood, patchouli and vetiver. It's a very fresh floral scent but more natural than artificial. It is quite a feminine scent aimed at women (sorry guys!) and although my impression of C&E may be more for the older generation, I love it (I'm in my 20s) and would be very happy to give it as a gift to my younger sister, mum or grandmother.
The bath and shower gel has two uses. It can be poured into a running bath or applied directly to the skin. I prefer to apply it to my skin as although it will make the bath water smell lovely, the scent just doesn't linger long on the skin. It will foam slightly as the bath is running but this quickly disappears. Although the gel is easy to massage over my skin I can only really get a 'luxurious lather' if I'm quite liberal with it. I'd have hoped at the premium price a little may have gone a long way but that's not really the case with this. After use my skin holds the scent for a good while and it does feel incredibly clean and smooth but unfortunately it also feels in need of hydration. It's just such a shame to have used it, having the lovely scent on my skin then having to cover it up with a moisturiser. C&E do have an Iris Body Lotion but this too has the premium price tag so can end up being rather pricey just to keep that scent.
The packaging reflects the quality of the product. There's the outer cardboard box with the watercolour iris flower and description of the scent and how to use it. It does actually state FOR ADULT USE ONLY although I suspect this is more a suggestion of the premium quality rather than any safety issue. The bottle itself is thick with much of the same information from the box. There's a press lid which I'm really not keen on as although it limits the flow of gel it's not easy to squeeze the thick bottle so you have to wait for it running into the lid. If you want to use it by pouring it into the bath you really need to unscrew the lid or you'd be there for ages. Even as it runs out I prefer to unscrew the lid.
With a PAO of 36 months as much as I'd love to use this daily, I have tried to keep it more for special occasions or times when I want that extra luxury but it's really not lasting long. Going by my usage I'm only going to get around 20 uses out of the 250ml bottle.
It does make a great gift as it's easy to tell this is a good quality product and would be appreciated by lots of women. I also like the fact it does have the dual use of being used either in the bath or shower. I can live with the fact the bottle design isn't ideal as it's still usable. The price and need of a moisturiser are bigger problems but I'd still have to give it 4/5 as it does clean my skin very well and the quality of it warrants the higher price tag.
Free of parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol and mineral oil