* Prices may differ from that shown
I wonder when it began that butter wasn't only smeared onto slices of bread but also onto parts of the human body. I also wonder how many children who've just learnt to read and deciphered words like 'butter', 'nuts' and 'vanilla' have put a finger into the gooey stuff and licked it. It seems to me that nowadays most cosmetic products could be sold on the fruit and vegetable farmers' markets. At least the ones coming from so-called alternative firms, be they anthropologically or ecologically minded. There must be something in the air of the region round the city of Stuttgart in the south west of Germany that breeds and furthers the production of such cosmetic ranges, the most famous being Dr. Hauschka from WALA and the products from WELEDA. The Italian sounding name ALDO VANDINI notwithstanding the cosmetic products sold under this name also come from this region. The name of the firm is Mann & Schröder which sounds very German indeed. They've produced cosmetic products for hair and skin for over 60 years. For some reason cosmetic products sell better in Germany when they have foreign names. High price products have French names, young and trendy ones have English names. Italian ones aren't common and I don't know what I, as a consumer, am to associate with them. Mann & Schröder don't have the same strict ethical and purist rules, however, as the other firms mentioned above. They merely claim vaguely to place high value on non-toxic quality and a responsible treatment of the environment. They don't say anything about animal testing. Do they or don't they? I don't know. I'm not a one to spend a fortune on cosmetic products. I've read too much about the tricks of advertising to believe that expensive necessarily equals good. I'm not saying that expensive products are bad, but that cheap products can be good, too. I've found the ALDO VANDINI Body Butter with Macadamia and Vanilla in my super market for 4.99 Euro (~4.25 GBP) for 250ml = 8.5. FL.OZ. When one tries out a new cosmetic product, there's always danger of making a mistake. You buy something, use it once, don't like it and then what? When you pay little, you don't feel bad if you don't use up the whole container, give it away to someone who likes it better or even throw it into the bin. I didn't have to do this, however, because I found out at once that I had made a good buy. I really like the product. It's rich and creamy and meant for what in cosmetics speech is 'mature' skin. In normal English this is 'old and dry'. I can't say that my skin is extraordinarily dry, but it's obviously of a dryness that responds well to the ingredients. Macadamia oil comes from a tree native to north eastern New South Wales and south eastern Queensland, Australia. It's named after botanist John Macadam who first described the plant. Other names are Queensland nut, bush nut, maroochi nut, queen of nuts and bauple nut. Enough terms here which make it clear that the cream can't be used by people with nut allergy. It's white and smells wonderful. I'd like to describe the smell but can't. I don't know what gyndl, jindilli or boombera - to mention three of the terms the indigenous Australians have given the Macadamia nut - smells like. I've never made it to Australia. The vanilla used for this cream comes from Tahiti. I know what vanilla smells like, but I don't know if vanilla from Tahiti has got a special smell. I've never made it to Tahiti, either. Anyway, I can't detect single smells, they all blend into one appealing smell. I use the cream after taking a bath or a shower. Although it's rich, it smears easily and is quickly absorbed by the skin. I can vouch for all that. Yet, if my skin has become soft and supple - like velvet even - as promised on the label of the container is open to discussion. And as to an anti-aging effect, well, better not believe in such promises. I've just been to a meeting with former class-mates I hadn't seen for 50 years. Compared to some of the wrinklies there I found myself looking not too bad. If that's due to certain cosmetic products or to my genes is a question to which there is no answer. The label on the container shows that it was tested by the independent German institute Ökotest (Öko = eco). It's got the rating 'Good'. British Amazon mention an RRP of 14.99 GBP. They sell it for 7.99 GBP. As mentioned above, you get it in a German supermarket for ~4.25 GBP. So this is another item on the ever growing list of recommended German products which are cheaper in their land of origin. The money you save by buying them here will be enough for a ticket of a low-cost airline from the UK to Germany.