* Prices may differ from that shown
At Christmas time, I received a lovely Christmas Stocking with some yummy treats inside it, some of which were edible, although others were in the way of some gorgeous toiletries from the well-known "Sanctuary Spa" range of toiletries and cosmetics.
One item that I received was a neatly-sized little 125ml bottle of "Sensuous Bath Crème", which is a product from the "Sanctuary Spa Mande Lular" range. I believe that the product is readily available in a larger-sized bottle which is 500ml. This is available from larger branches of Boots (or at www.boots.com), or you could check out www.thesanctuary.co.uk where many of the Sanctuary Spa products can be purchased directly. The normal price for the 500ml bottle of Bath Crème is £9.45. (Info correct as @ January 2012).
The packaging for the product is fairly average, I must admit. The bottle is made of clear plastic, so I can see the peach-coloured bath crème product through it. There is a white-coloured plastic lid on top of the bottle which screws off, and there is a fairly attractive label going round the bottle's centre. I certainly wouldn't say there is anything too innovative about the packaging, and it has a distinctly 'average' image, in my opinion.
This opinion begins and ends with the packaging however, as the other aspects of the product are far from being even remotely average. Firstly, the appearance of the bath crème is quite luxurious, being a thick cream-like lotion that has a sort of 'pearlescent' quality to its apricot-coloured liquid. The liquid pours easily from the plastic bottle, and is not at all runny in its quality, being far denser than similar products I have used before.
As soon as I add a little of the liquid to the hot bathwater, there is a small flurry of luxurious bubbles created, and this foamy lather is multiplied if the product is swirled under a running tap (which is the suggested method on the reverse of the product's packaging). The other striking quality about this product - and perhaps the most important one for many consumers - is the smell, and this makes it's first appearance as soon as the product is allowed to escape from the plastic bottle.
Being quite fruity in its initial fragrance - and probably due to the addition of coconut milk in the product's ingredients - the smell first reminds me of something fairly 'generic' like a well-known brand of shower gel product. This initial fragrance soon subsides slightly however, giving way to the delicate spiced aroma that lies underneath the more mainstream, slightly 'childish' main tone. The slightly veiled spiced fragrance is one that I find feels very 'warming' to use and it almost feels like the product is one aimed at providing the user with a calming or soothing effect. I find too that this fragrance is perfectly suited to the winter months, thanks to it's warm, spicy scent and it's feeling of sheer luxury.
When it comes to bath or shower products, I am not usually particularly bothered about whether the scent is evident on my skin after I have used them. Nor am I usually bothered about whether this fragrance lasts for a decent amount of time, but in the case of the Sanctuary Spa Mande Lular Bath Crème, I found myself sniffing my arms and hands after I had bathed in the liquid, to see if I could find it's beautiful aroma on my skin, such was its enjoyable scent. I was delighted to be able to detect it immediately and I thought that the fragrance lasted for several hours which was a bonus for me.
I can see from the reverse of the packaging that there is a statement explaining in more detail the ingredients used in the product: "Our Sensuous Far Eastern cocktail of nourishing honey, soothing aloe vera, moisturising coconut milk and exotic spices has been carefully created to pamper and comfort your skin." I have to admit that the description is spot-on in my view.
I have noticed no ill-effects from using the product on my sensitive skin, nor have I noticed any aggravation to the sensitive patches of eczema I have, that can flare up from time to time. Quite the opposite is true, and I feel that the Mande Lular Bath Crème is a very gentle product to use - and one with an almost 'nourishing' quality to it - so my easily-aggravated skin has not suffered in the slightest. In actual fact I feel that my thirsty skin has been 'quenched' somewhat, as the familiar 'tight' feeling I so regularly experience when it comes to using new bath and shower products is nowhere to be seen, and I'd go so far as to say my skin feels slightly moisturised after bathing in the liquid.
I would wholeheartedly agree with the manufacturers' statement on the reverse of the bottle: "We have developed The Sanctuary Spa Mande Lular products to beautify and nourish your skin and help you re-create this luxurious and sensuous Indonesian body treatment at home."
There are not many bath products out there that I feel are justified in having an almost-ten-pounds price tag, but I really feel I might have found a genuine candidate in the Mande Lular Bath Crème.