Watkins is a company best known to me for their baking products, so imagine my surprise when I ran across their gourmand bath and body line while browsing the drugstore aisles one day. I figured that it was well worth testing however, since who better to create such products than the makers of my favorite vanilla extract, and sure enough, the line did not disappoint.
I adored the Vanilla Dry Oil Spray ($11.99 for 4 oz), a great moisturizer with a rich, deep bourbon-y vanilla scent, very similar to the addictive Kiehl's Vanilla Essence Oil. I was slightly less impressed with the Vanilla Hand & Body Lotion ($6.99 for 11 oz), which was a bit boring and on the thin side, but which I still thought it was a pleasant, functional, all-purpose vanilla lotion, great for layering and extremely well priced.
My favorite of the bunch though was the Lemon Crème Body Butter, which is simply an amazing product. It has a marvelous lemon-vanilla fragrance, reminiscent of lemon meringue pie or lemon bars dusted generously with confectioners' sugar. Not only that, it is hands down the most emollient lotion I have ever encountered. Made from a blend of shea butter, cocoa butter, and apricot, macadamia nut, coconut, avocado and jojoba oils, it is a super thick, frosting-like cream, that while perhaps too rich for everyday application, truly quenches one's skin and leaves it incredibly soft and supple all day.
I have long been a fan of lemon-vanilla lotions, and have tested many over the years, my previous favorites being Jaqua Girl's Lemon Meringue Body Butter and Santa Maria Novella's Crema Per Le Mani. Watkins surpasses both, not only in terms of fragrance and moisturizing power, but also in terms of affordability. Whereas the SMN is a pricy $45 for 3.3 oz and the Jaqua a slightly less prohibitive $20 for 6 oz., the Watkins is a mere $6.99 for 4.4 oz, simply an amazing bargain.
A limited selection of Watkins body products is available at Wal-Mart stores, and the full range, including an entire line of vanilla offerings and products in various scents from mango to chai tea, is available on the Watkins site.