Product Type: Molton Brown hair care products
Newest Review: ... wear my hair up as if left loose I end up looking like I've been dragged through the proverbial hedge - obviously there's nothing I can d... more
You can't go Willy-nilly with Lili Pili
Molton Brown Radiant Lili-Pili Hair Conditioner
Member Name: koshkha
Molton Brown Radiant Lili-Pili Hair Conditioner
Advantages: Fascinating scent
Disadvantages: Crazily expensive and not noticeably better than standard run of the mill conditioner
A couple of months ago I had a bit of a blow-out in the Molton Brown outlet shop in Cheshire Oaks Outlet Centre in Ellesmere Port. My husband has long been inclined to spoil me with things from Molton Brown and had bought me a couple of their shower gels for Christmas. Since he has to guess and since I don't always tell him if he gets it wrong, he wanted me to take him into the store and tell him which things I really liked so he'd have a better idea next time. We managed to visit on a day when the store manager was clearly feeling generous and we picked up a lot of great bargains. One of our best buys was two sets of miniatures - 24 bottles in each set - for £10 each. This brought each of the 'hotel bathroom' sized bottles to less than 50 pence. Each set contained half a dozen each of a shower gel, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner. Hence when I got home I had a dozen 30ml bottles of Radiant Lili Pili shampoo and a dozen bottles of the same conditioner to play with.
I always use conditioner and have done so for many years. I have long hair and it's in (according to my hairdresser) outstanding condition. I can't claim this is due to spending a fortune on products as I don't do that at all but I do use a lot of conditioner and - more importantly - I never use a hair dryer, tongs or straighteners. The secret to good hair is (in my opinion) to treat it kindly. I tend to use whatever conditioner my husband sticks in the bathroom cupboard and I'm not the slightest big loyal to any brand. However, knowing that Molton Brown started life as a hairdressing salon, I was optimistic that their hair products ought to be very good.
I decided not to keep my little bottles 'for best' but to start using them straight away. I travel every week so I'm always happy to have a good supply of small bottles as they help me in my quest to stick to hand luggage as much as possible. However the downside is that 30 ml of conditioner is a bit on the mean side for me. The greater annoyance is trying to get the damned stuff out of the bottle.
Firstly I should say that I love the Radiant Lili Pili shampoo and a small 30 ml bottle will last me 3-4 shampoos. It's great stuff. I'm not so crazy though about the conditioner. It's a very thick white, slightly pearlescent 'goop' and whilst it has the same delicious and enigmatic scent as the shampoo, I find that it's just too thick for my needs. Keeping in mind that my chief need is to get it out of the bottle whilst standing in a shower or lying in the bath, I find it rather frustrating to be thwacking it against my hand with a rising sense of annoyance. I do find that once I've got the first blob out, if I add some water to the bottle and give it a good shake, it comes out more easily and gives better coverage on my hair. 30ml on its own is struggling to get through all my hair, but watered down it does the job.
Now back to one of the most important things about Molton Brown products and that's the smell. I do find that what distinguishes Molton Brown from cheaper brands is the quality of the fragrances that they use and their excellent staying power. When I use the Lili Pili shampoo and conditioner, I do get a light residue of the fragrance. Not so much that it would interfere with my perfume, but definitely something that lingers lightly. The first time I used it my main thought was "What the heck is that supposed to be?" and I had to go off and google 'lili pili' to find out. I could identify it as broadly fruity with a strange note that catches me at the back of the throat. Lili Pili or Syzygium luehmannii to give it its botanical name, is a fruit that's native to Australia, growing mostly on the eastern coast between Sydney and Cairns. It's apparently good in jam and sweets or even eaten straight off the tree. Allegedly the Lili Pili conditioner also contains green lime, mandarin and ginger and I can convince myself I'm picking up the lime but the ginger doesn't come through for me. My bottles have Japanese writing on the back which means you'll be spared the ingredient list but it also suggests to me that this product was probably made for the Far Eastern market. Searching online I can't find any UK stores still selling this and I suspect that it may only be available in the Far East or may in fact have just been withdrawn. If that's the case, it wouldn't surprise me too much - it's just not a fragrance that's sufficiently familiar for the average European user to feel entirely comfortable with it.
As a conditioner, the Radiant Lili Pili it's no more spectacular than my £1 a bottle specials from Alberto or L'Oreal. In fact I tend to feel it's not as good as I have to use less than normal and my hair really likes LOTS of conditioner. If I paid full price for a big bottle of this - I can't find it listed on Amazon or on the Molton Brown site as I suspect it's been delisted but their other conditioners cost £18 for 300 ml - I would feel I had to be very mean with it too. It's supposedly designed for 'regular use' which makes me think it's for regular use by people with more money than sense. The magic ingredients are supposed to include the lili pili extracts and rice peptides. I have no idea about the science but all I can say is it's a rather ordinary but very pleasant smelling conditioner.
Summary: Not one of Molton Brown's best products