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Every year, Lush creates lots of lovely new products for the festive season and 2010 was no exception. One of the products they invented then was the Iced Wine shower jelly. Inspired by Scandinavian iced wine, it was described as a fruity, tropical, frosty shower jelly to evoke the Christmas spirit.
A shower jelly is like a semi-solid shower gel, with the texture (as the name suggests) of jelly. It can be frozen or kept in the fridge, and taken out to provide a refreshing shower. I feel that this product would lend itself to being frozen or chilled, considering the name, but since I live in a four-storey house I decided just to use it at room temperature - I didn't fancy running down to the kitchen in the basement to get the jelly out of the fridge, then running back up to the bathroom on the top floor, every time I wanted to have a shower!
I often find that Lush's Christmas products are priced more cheaply than their standard ranges and Iced Wine was no exception, costing £2.95 for a 100g tub. The clear plastic tub can be exchanged along with the black tubs for a fresh face mask - you need five tubs for a mask. The clear tub showcases the product inside: Iced Wine is a kind of burnt orange in colour.
So what's inside Iced Wine? Well, it contains iced wine from Canada - this is produced from grapes that are frozen while still on the vine to preserve their flavour and scent. It also contains grapefruit, bergamot and buchu oils, as well as a fresh grapefruit infusion and seaweed infusion. As you can imagine, this produces a lovely, citrusy scent with a bit of a kick. It does have the aroma of wine, but it's not strong enough to be overpowering.
It's possible to use the entire solid shower jelly to wash with, but I prefer to break off a piece and rub it onto a shower puff to get up a lather. Only a small amount of the jelly is needed at any one time, so it is lasting absolutely ages. A really good lather is produced, but I don't know what the lather would be like without a shower puff or sponge of some kind.
I feel very clean after washing with this shower jelly, and it doesn't irritate my skin at all. It rinses off well and there is no residue left on my skin. After drying, I can detect a faint scent on my skin which is very pleasant, though this is unfortunately overpowered by the moisturiser which I use afterwards. I am currently using The Body Shop's Satsuma Body Butter, which goes well with Iced Wine as both have a citrusy scent. The shower jelly is not at all drying, so someone with normal or oily skin would probably be able to use it alone, but I have dry skin so prefer to moisturise after each shower.
Overall, I think Iced Wine is a great addition to Lush's Christmas range. It smells lovely, lasts ages and is reasonably priced. Though it isn't back as part of the in-store festive range this year, there's a chance it could be brought back as part of Christmas Retro online, so keep an eye out!
Jelly in the bath?
I've had a few of these jellies in Lush in the past few months after getting a sample of one and falling in love with them. I previously thought that they were gimmicky and would melt in the bath water and all that I would be left with was gloop. Like all Lush products they are not cheap and for 100g you will pay about £2.99 for this one or you can get a bigger piece of 240g and pay about £5.99. My love for these began with a sample of 'The Joy of Jelly' which I really loved it so I then moved to the lime cocktail, citrus refreshing 'Whoosh'. This particular jelly is one that comes and goes; I think it tends to make its appearance around Christmas.
'Iced Wine' is a glorious reddish tangerine colour and smells strongly of mandarin oranges which I was surprised about. I thought it might be a bit more like mulled wine and 'Glog' but I suppose that if I really thought , mulled wine is warm not iced so that was not likely at all. I have actually tried Ice Wine in Canada, it is made in Ontario and the grapes are harvested at night when the temperature is below -10 I seem to remember which makes the sugar more concentrated. Ice wine is VERY sweet and more of a liqueur than a wine and pretty expensive too. I can't remember it smelling of anything except fruity sweetness.
I was very excited about trying this new jelly which I bought from Ebay in a huge lot of goodies which came all packed up with bubble wrap and the smell hit me as I unwrapped my goodies. My pot is only the smaller one 100g and the pot is clear so you can see the bright orange colour through the pot. I am not good at waiting to try new Lush stuff so this new pot went straight to the bathroom to wait for my next bath. I used it in my bath the next morning. I am now becoming a bit of an expert and so after initially braking a piece off the jelly lump and using that to wipe all over my body creating lather that smelled lusciously refreshing. I had thought the lump would sort of dissolve quickly as I lathered myself with it but it didn't. It is really like a very floppy bar of soap. I sometimes break a piece off and sometimes use the entire squiggly lump as soap and lather it all over my body; whichever way I then leave it for a few moments so that the scent soaks into my skin before rinsing it off.
It does feel sort of strange and floppy which takes some getting used to but it is much nicer that when I first use a Lush soap as they are often quite hard at the edges and take some using to make them nice and rounded so I can rub them on my body comfortably. This feels so soft and gentle but you have to be careful to hold your hand cupped around it as it does try to slip out as you use it.
My little tip is to use a small piece and then rub this either on a sponge or flannel or if you have some use it with exfoliating mitts as this way you are less likely to drop the squidgy mass in the bath or shower. If you drop a little piece it is REALLY hard to pick up again as I just keeps slipping out between your fingers so you have to trap it in the sponge or the like. Pinch some of the jelly from the pot and rub it in your hands/sponge/flannel/mitt to lather it up and scrub it on and this means there is no mess left in the bath or shower by bits breaking off and escaping and no tricky slippery jelly to hold on to.
The smell is strongly orange, more mandarin and tangerine than pure orange. It reminds me a bit of tropical fruit juice. The main jelly colour is a deep strong bright reddish orange which is very pretty but not especially feminine. It smells like a sweet fruity, frozen margarita. This is possibly a scent that could be used by either male or females as it is quite a sweet orange smell maybe a bit sweeter than most men would choose.
I feel that this is a great anytime scent but I would be more inclined to use this in the summer when it is warmer as I find the refreshing and quite light mandarin orange smell goes better in the warm weather rather than when it is cold, then I want cinnamon and spice, mulled wine and chocolate sort of scents which I think are cosy and warming. Strange then that it is released at Christmas only as in my opinion it really isn't a very Christmas sort of smell apart from the tangerine in your stocking of course.
Like a lot of Lush's products I just love it but this scent doesn't linger on my skin after I get out as it really is quite mild which I find a bit disappointing.
Lush advertise this jelly in their usual fun way:
What's in this jelly then?
The good things are :
Fresh Organic Lemon Juice, Fresh Grapefruit Juice and fresh Organic Lime Juice - all good and sound like I should be drinking this not washing with it.
Grapefruit Oil- an anti depressant and an uplifting mood stimulant. It is also helpful in combating Cellulite and improves the lymphatic system.
Iced wine - seriously this must add to their costs as ice wine is expensive about £25 per normal wine bottle.
Buchu oil - Buchu is a low, white or pink-flowered shrubs native to South Africa. It has a characteristic blackcurrant smell and the essential oils are generally used because of their antiseptic and diuretic properties.
Bergamot - citrus smelling and adds refreshing zinginess and the benefits are it helps balance the nervous system, relieves anxiety and stress, helps get restful sleep, it is antiviral, helps with psoriasis, eczema and can also be used as an insect repellent.
The jelly is made from carrageenan extract which is a natural and nutritious seaweed gel full of vitamins and minerals and so this is meant to condition skin and also soften hair. I have to say my skin did feel wonderfully pampered after using this so tap marks for that Lush.
Not so good:
We still have the methylparabens and propylparabens which are not so great and are questionable ingredients that help give lather.
Interestingly they have also added Benzyl Benzoate which is a parasiticidal preparation used for Scabies which is a little odd but must do something in here. It is also used to cure 'Sweet itch 'in horses. In this product I think they add it to fix the scents and smells but I'm not sure if it is really needed!
There are also colours and other bits and pieces but I won't go on about those and if you are really concerned about this sort of thing I am sure that you are more than capable of investigating the contents yourself.
Is it just a strange sort of soap then?
Well no, as with many Lush products this has multiple uses. Obviously you can use it as it is in its wobbly form as a soft and gentle soap with a refreshingly enlivening scent.
Secondly you can use it as a shampoo and the seaweed gel is supposed to help make your hair soft and of course the smell will stay in your hair for ages. I did try it and found it was hard to keep hold of the gloopy mass but it did feel nice and lathered up well. Obviously the smell is a bit diluted depending on the conditioner you use after it, what a shame they don't make a conditioner with the same scent. My hair was not noticeably soft but my hair is quite course so really never actually feels soft so maybe I am not a good head of hair to test this on.
Thirdly you can put this in the fridge and use it as a cool soap or shampoo when it is really hot outside. You can also take it one stage further and put it in the freezer so then you have a hard very cold soap or shampoo which would be nice in a hot climate but so far I haven't been tempted. I think you would have to freeze it in a rounded container so that it had rounded edges otherwise it could be a bit sharp when using it on your body.
The idea behind freezing is that you can lather your body up with a cold soap and rinse off with hot water a bit like a Turkish bath or sauna experience, hot then cold then hot. I'm not a fan of this hot cold experience and when I use a sauna I never jump back into the pool or have a cold shower as it is not my idea of a pampering at all!
So will you buy this again?
Well I certainly was impressed with this and would recommend it and despite the fact that I have my drawers crammed with Lush soaps and also handmade soap made by a friend of mine in Australia I still went out and bought this one so you can see I love the jellies as I am pretty impressed with this one. I was not sure what to expect and really had thought they were one of Lush's gimmicky and rather silly products but this one is perfectly pampering and smells truly fruity in my view. Luckily I have now tried about four or five of these jellies and they are all quite different in scent but feel just lovely to use.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.