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I can't imagine ever having enough money to buy this just as a hand cream despite its name. For me, hand creams are essential and practical and used by the fistful. They sit in a tub in my kitchen and the most I ask of them is that they moisturise well for a reasonable cost. Quercus Hand and Body Cream is about as far from that as you can possibly get. For a start, it was formulated by experts at the long-standing perfume house of Penhaligon's so it's as much a fragrance as a toiletry item. Secondly, because of the quality of the product, it is anything but a reasonable cost (by my standards at least). And the scent. How to describe something that is so invigorating yet so delicate at the same time? There is a hint of citrus - lime and lemon - but also a warmer woody overtone. It always reminds me of those slightly spicy floral scents such as jasmine and lily of the valley. The manufacturer's description also mentions basil and cardamom but that makes it sound like a new wave curry, which might or might not appeal to you. Personally, I use it as a luxury body cream so that I can enjoy its subtle scent throughout the day. No need for perfume if you've used it first thing in the morning, particularly if you've also used Quercus Bath and Shower gel (which I've reviewed separately) and any of the other products in the Quercus range. You can get shampoo, soap, deodorant and cologne but you might feel that's too much of a good thing (and certainly painful on the purse). So, in addition to the smell, why might you buy this product? It certainly feels like a quality moisturising cream. It contains shea butter, cocoa seed butter, sweet almond oil and aloe vera. The texture is lovely and it rubs in quickly and completely with no greasiness. It very effectively keeps difficult areas, such as the skin at the top of my arms, very soft and hydrated. It comes in a very ordinary looking tube - this is an understated product in spite of (or perhaps because of) its price. If you're wondering why a moisturising cream should be so expensive, then you might not know that Penhaligon's have been making perfumes since 1870. The business was originally set up by a Cornish barber when he moved to London. They now hold two Royal Warrants and claim that some of the ingredients used in their products are twice the price of gold. So, how much is it going to cost you? The 150ml tube is £27 and there's no disguising that's a whole lot of money. However, I treat it like a perfume that has the added benefit of moisturising, rather than thinking of it simply as a body cream. I love the scent because I find it empowering and I like the quality that means the scent stays on my skin all day. The other drawback is availability. Penhaligon's have several outlets in London and a couple of others in places such as Cambridge but your only other option is to buy from their website. Postage is £5.50 for standard delivery. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. I love this fragrance and I love the quality. I can't afford it all the time but it's always on my wish list at Christmas and birthday just in case someone is feeling generous.
Penhaligon's Quercus Hand & Body Cream 150ml / Containing aloe vera / shea butter / cocoa seed butter and sweet almond oil / our hand & body creams deeply moisturise the skin and envelop you in a cloud of your favourite fragrance /