“ Brand: Marks & Spencer / Texture: Cream / Type: Body Cream „
I bought La Maison de Senteurs Fleur d'Orangier body cream on the recommendation of a friend, who loved it. She knew that I was looking for an orange scented product, so pointed me in the direction of Marks & Spencer, where I purchased this cream for £5.00 for an 180ml jar. According to the information on the pot, this body cream contains a hydrating blend of vitamin E and Shea butter, both ingredients that I am always pleased to see in a body cream for their softening and protective qualities. The cream is fragranced with sweet orange and petitgrain essential oils. When I purchased this cream I had never heard of petitgrain but was much more impressed by the promise of a sweet orange scent. However, when I unscrewed the jar to have a sniff, I was hit by a crisp, citrusy fragrance that was more lemony than orangey, but it wasn't a straightforward kind of lemon scent. There was a lot more going on there. There seemed to be fruitiness plus something a little floral and grassy. It only took me a few seconds to realise what the smell reminded me of - Eau de Cologne. Immediately I was transported back to childhood when my gran would have a big bottle of Eau de Cologne on her dressing table, which she would sometimes dab onto my temples if I had a headache or felt hot and uncomfortable. It was a fresh, soapy fragrance, which I found comforting and pleasantly reviving, but because of the granny connotations, it did not strike me as being a particularly sexy scent and a touch old fashioned. I have since discovered that the mysterious petitgrain is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of the orange tree and is the classic ingredient of Eau de Cologne.
I was initially disappointed in this cream because the reference to Fleur d'Orangier had led me to expect a more obvious orange scent. However, I did like the freshness of the product so decided I would give it a go. I'm glad I did because I can honestly say that it has grown on me over the last few weeks. I like to apply this cream after a bath or shower and it seems to make my skin feel even cleaner. I've come to really love the scent, which is a little bit herbal and a little bit woody. Petitgrain essential oil is believed to have mildly sedative qualities, soothing the mind and aiding relaxation, but I find this cream has a revitalising effect on me and wakes me up on a morning, making me feel more alert.
The cream has a voluptuous, whipped texture although it is not so thick that it takes an age to rub into my skin, something that is important to me as I always seem to be in a rush. It spreads very easily and you don't need to use a huge amount at a time. Although it has an excellent softening effect, I am pleased to say that it does not leave my skin feeling greasy. This is important to me as greasy creams often make my skin feel unclean, even if I have just been in the bath. This cream just makes my skin feel as if it has been lightly hydrated and spritzed with a summery fragrance. Although the scent is quite strong when you sniff the jar, the scent is much milder on the skin and fades after about an hour. I've had a few comments along the lines of "you smell nice" when I've come down from the bathroom after using this. My husband is not one for over the top perfumes, but he likes this on me. Although I still find it difficult to shake off the idea that this is an old lady's scent, I am now trying to think more along the lines of "something a stylish, mature Frenchwoman might wear" and to think "classic fragrance" as opposed to "old fashioned." (It works for me!) That said, my teenage daughter also pinches this, so although I wouldn't for one minute think of this as a typical 'young' fragrance, it perhaps appeals to classy, sophisticated ladies of all ages.
Petitgrain essential oil is said to be a beneficial skincare ingredient for areas prone to pimples because of its antiseptic effects. I don't currently have any significant skin blemishes so can't really comment on that, but I have noticed that it doesn't make my legs sting even when applied after shaving. I have certainly not noticed any irritation to my skin after using this product.
The packaging is rather understated - just a clear jar with a silver screw top lid and a grey label on which the product's name is printed in italics, the idea being, I think, to make it look like the label has been handwritten and the product homemade. If you like vibrant, colourful packaging on your bathroom shelves, you would probably find this a bit drab looking, but a plus point of plain, minimalist packaging is it wouldn't clash with anything.
Usually I prefer warmer, sweeter fragrances to the scent of this body cream, but the blend of fruity, floral, woody and almost medicinal - bizarre as it sounds - somehow works and makes for a most refreshing scent that I really appreciate.The jumping rabbit symbol on the packet tells me that this product has not been tested on animals, which is an added bonus for me.
My verdict? I was pleasantly surprised.