When I was younger, I looked forward to no other grooming ritual more than the ones involving White Rain and their floral scents. I want to say one was hibiscus and the other orchid, but that sounds pretty high-class for a brand that won our loyalty because each product cost ninety-nine scents.
The Eau de Toilette is priced at $45
One set of shampoos and conditioners had pink flowers, and the other purple, that I can recall for sure. Before you start to wonder where this could possibly go, and what place does a redneck reminiscence, let me assure you, the charm lay in the florals. They had power, and still do. I didn’t know much about how to do my makeup, dress, or style my hair, but I always smelled really good – at least by my standards then. I could shampoo away almost any bad mood with a cloud of gardenia or whatever the White Rain scent in the early ’90s was. My tastes in shampoo and scent have since broadened and elevated, but White Rain was still the first thing that popped into my mind when I took a whiff, and then another of Crabtree & Evelyn’s new collaboration with India Hicks, the Floral Fragrance Collection.
Obviously, this collection and its olfactory pleasures leave White Rain far behind in quality, complexity, and subtly, but when I opened the seal on first the Lily shower gel and then the Lavender body cream, I new once again that I was going to go through my day smelling really, really good.
The Hat Box is a great value for $50
Hicks drew upon the scents of English and European gardens to create four fragrances and their accompanying products. Her father’s gardens in the Cotswolds were some of the strongest influences, both during her childhood and adulthood. The Lily, Lavender, Rosewater, and Iris each sell as eau de toilette, bath and shower gel, triple milled soap, body cream, body lotion, reed diffuser, drawer lining papers, scented candle, and home fragrance spray.
I found myself testing two scents. The Lily fragrance seems demure and sweet at first, but it’s tempered with greens and moss, as well as hyacinth and ylang-ylang. It needs a girly dress to go with it, and perhaps a field of impeccable greens for the lucky wearer of the scent and the dress to run through.
The Lavender immediately perked up my nose with a decidedly citrus kick to it. Sure enough, when I looked into it, the lavender mixes well with violet leaf, jasmine, tonka bean, musk, and (I called it) lemon. Since lavender so often gets used in relaxing or even ‘sleep-promoting’ scents, the musk and lemon differentiate this brand’s version from all others. The luxe texture and skin-quenching properties of the cream make the fragrance doubly worth it. The Rosewater Reed Diffuser fills our room with its delicate yet powerful scent. There’s something highly romantic about this gem, and the Rosa Centifolia ingredient stands out.
The packaging doesn’t drop the ball either. Each set features a different watercolor rendering of its main flower. The body creams in their glass pots especially take body care to a form of visual art. I can only say to the mysterious movers and shakers behind this trend of skin and body care packaged in beautiful display pieces: Keep it coming.
For our recommendations on romantic fragrances, click here.
Tell us about your floral fragrance journey. Are you addicted to fragrant body creams? What are they?
– Katharine McKenzie
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