* Prices may differ from that shown
For me, this is the ultimate in luxury showering. The scent is gorgeous, distinctive without being overpowering and very long lasting.
And it cleans pretty well too.
It's expensive, very expensive, but it's the best start to the day I can imagine (OK perhaps I've led a sheltered life).
I first tried Penhaligon's Quercus Bath and Shower gel when I spent a weekend at the Langham Hotel in London. Not that this is a regular occurrence - the break came courtesy of a competition won by my OH. The luxury suite had a massive bathroom and the Quercus Bath and Shower gel was provided along with other Penhaligon's products. I will forever associate the Quercus smell with the luxury of the hotel but it's more than that. Even without those associations, the scent is fabulous - a bit sweet, a bit spicy and very attractive.
So why all this talk of fragrance and perfume when I'm reviewing a shower gel?
It's because Penhaligon's is a fragrance house stretching back more than 130 years and the shower gel is part of the perfume range. Based in London, they still make all their fragrances and toiletries in the UK.
Even though it's a traditional and long-lived company, Penhaligon's is forward looking. According to the website, they are currently looking at ways of removing all animal by-products from their toiletries and fragrances, which will make them even more desirable.
Moreover, they are still designing new fragrances. Quercus is one of the newer lines, first released in 1996, so it's quite a modern smell. I'm no perfumier so my description won't be particularly expert but I'd say it's quite a masculine scent with citrusy notes. That makes it sound cold but it isn't - there's a woody element which makes it very warm. The floral notes are warm and spicy as well - I can pick out jasmine and lily of the valley.
Quercus Bath and Shower gel comes in a clear, rather plain bottle. This is a product that doesn't have to shout about itself. The gel itself is also clear.
Thankfully, you don't need very much to work up a good lather. It's totally invigorating and I find that the smell gives me a real boost in the morning. And because of the quality of the product, I still get delicate whiffs of it several hours after showering.
So what's the bottom line? The bad news is the cost. The standard price is £25 for 300ml which, for most of us, makes it a special Christmas present type of treat.
On the plus side, the bottle lasts for a couple of months even if you're using it every day (I promised myself I would only use it occasionally to make it last but it's such a good way to get going in the morning I can never resist).
To complete the pampering, there are other Quercus products, such as shampoo and body cream. I have reviewed the Hand and Body Cream separately.
Because everyone's choice of perfume is different, if you wanted to try Quercus before investing in a full-size bottles, it's possible to get travel sets which contain sample sized versions of shower gel, body cream, shampoo and soap.
Unless you live close to London, you're unlikely to find Penhaligon's products in your local store. It is possible to buy from their website but the range there seems to be slightly more restricted than in their accredited stockists.