“ Brand: Marks and Spencer / Type: Bath Melt/Foam / Subcategory: Shower Gel / Suitable for: Body „
Couldn't disagree more I'm afraid. This shower gel smells appalling - like an industrial cleaning product. L'Occitaine has nothing to worry about. It also brought me out in a dreadful rash within a minute or two of usingit. Don't touch the stuff.
Having loved the bottle of Lemon Verbena shower gel from L'Occitane that my mum bought me for Christmas but not having the pocket to buy it full time I was pleased to see in Marks and Spencer's that they were producing their version of the same combination. I thought I would give it a try to see how well it compared. Given this is £2 for a 250ml tube compared to L'Occitane £13 for the same size I knew which I would be able to afford more often. The first difference between the two that should be noted is that the Marks and Spencer's version does not contain organic essential oils in its ingredients and is perhaps more chemical in some of its make up compared to L'Occitane more natural ingredients.
What is it?
The packaging is a simple and fairly elegant pale yellow tube with a simple black flower head and lemon slice design on the front. The tube doesn't have a hanging hook meaning you do need either a shower shelf or similar to balance it for ease of use. This isn't a problem for me as our shower is over our bath and has a shelf next to it but it may not be easy for others to use this. The lid is a flip top lid that seems to be fairly robust and has never broken in the time I have used it. The gel name refers to sparkling but I think this must be in reference to the scent rather the gel itself as I have not noticed in either the gel itself or when lathered any sparkling elements. The gel is supposed to be an invigorating scent to help wake you up in the morning and the inclusion of lemon is testimony to that alongside the verbena that is also a lemon fragrance that is said to energise and stimulates the senses to banish tiredness and stress.
The fragrance is very zingy and as you open the tube the lemon notes just burst out at you. It is a very fresh lemon scent that is very similar to the lemon of lemon meringue pie and very zesty. It is very similar in a lot of ways to the L'Occitane version however the grapefruit notes that were present in the more expensive version are not present here in this Marks and Spencer version. However both have a very wake up element to them and fresh natural scent.
The colour of the gel is a very pale translucent yellow this as with the dearer L'Occitane version doesn't translate to the bubbles that the gel produces which are a nice soft foamy white. The foam is nice and gentle on my skin and doesn't cause any problems for my more sensitive pregnancy skin. The gel washes off nice and easily but does leave my skin feeling nice and soft and the inclusion of some moistures seems to come through and my skin once dry can feel lovely and silky. The scent that is left on my skin is predominately of lemons with a gentle note of flower blossom which I think comes from the verbena. The fresh scent is very reminiscent of summer and this certainly helps me feel more uplifted on dark dismal days. The other thing that the scent does is linger on and I still get the odd catch of the fragrance in the morning but by lunchtime this has gone. It doesn't linger as long as the L'Occitane version which out lasts it by several hours.
A little of the gel does go a long way and a globule that is the size of a 50pence piece on a sponge or flannel is generally enough to wash my upper body with a similar amount being needed for the lower body. This compares very similarly to the L'Occitane version.
This is a great shower gel it has a great scent that wakes me up in the morning and produces lovely soft foam that leaves my skin lovely and silky. The scent lingers till about lunchtime which is a reasonable length of time I think fro the price. Compared to the dear version by L'Occitane it does perform well and is only let down by the scent not lasting as long and the more chemical composition. However at £11 cheaper per tube it is certainly more in my budget range at present and one I would be happy to use again especially on mornings when I need a zingy shower to wake up.