* Prices may differ from that shown
I can't claim to have been too impressed with the first Grace Cole product I tried (Watermelon & Pink Grapefruit shower gel) but I had bought another Grace Cole product in the same order and felt obliged to try it.
This 'Pineapple and Passion Fruit body scrub' is another product from the company's Fruit Works range. It comes in a 238ml tube and at full price it costs £4.00, however, I bought mine for £0.99 from the Fragrance Direct website which frequently sells Grace Cole products at reduced prices. I've never seen Grace Cole products on the high street, but a list of stockists on the company's website includes Debenhams, New Look, Superdrug and, most surprisingly, Harrods.
The scrub comes in a clear plastic squeezable tube with a flip cap which is easy to use with wet hands. Although I find the image of the fruit on the front of the packaging quite dated, I do like the fact that this tube is transparent so you can see the brightly coloured gel inside and the colour looks appropriate for the scent. I do find that the company puts too much information on its packaging along with lots of little symbols so it looks quite cluttered.
As well as pineapple and passion fruit, this product also contains mango and peach, as depicted on the packaging illustration. I don't think so many fruits are needed in one single product and as no attempt has been made to explain why these fruits were used in this combination, I can't even be persuaded that they each have a special part to play. I thought this product would have a really fresh and lively scent - but that was when I just thought it was pineapple and passion fruit. Actually the scent is quite delicate and more sweet than zingy and, while it's not unpleasant, it's not what I was hoping for.
The scrubbing grains can be seen in the gel and are a decent size for a body scrub; however there aren't enough of them and this make the product little more than a shower gel with the occasional bead or two. As the gel is poor at producing lather, I wouldn't even recommend this product to be used just as a shower gel. No scent is detectable on the skin after use and it doesn't make me feel either pampered or refreshed.
Having had two disappointing experiences with Grace Cole products I wanted to know a bit more about the company. It's been around a few years and is a family company based in Cheshire; two years ago they began to produce their products in the United Kingdom. This was partly in response the recession which created a desire among customers to buy goods made in Britain, and partly because of poor service standards and delays from manufacturers in China. This aspect of the company is admirable. However, on another page there are references to 'luxury formulations' and 'the ability to make everyone feel special when using our products'. On the basis of the two products I've tried so far from Grace Cole I don't feel that 'luxury' is an appropriate way to describe this brand.
I am beginning to understand why so many Grace Cole products end up being sold off cheaply on cosmetic websites. They promise a lot but deliver so little and are overpriced. Perhaps the high cost is a result of being manufactured in the UK, I can't be sure, but the quality does not justify the expense. There are plenty of brands available that are much cheaper and infinitely more cheerful.