In the calm after the holiday storm of shopping, socializing, travel, and various overindulgences, a few of us might be looking for simple means of relaxation. This is an ideal time to try the “Relax” products from Clarins, which happens to produce some very fine aromatherapy products alongside its skincare and makeup lines.
The “Relax” Bath & Shower Concentrate, which I’ve been using as a shower gel, is a low-lathering liquid fragranced with essential oils of geranium, basil and petitgrain. The accompanying Body Balm is a creamy lotion, just thick enough to feel indulgent but light enough to be easily absorbed into the skin; its aromatherapeutic essences are the same as those of the Bath & Shower Concentrate, with an additional note of chamomile.
The “Relax” scent is designed to enhance a sense of tranquility, and I could swear that I do sleep better after using these two products in conjunction with a bedtime shower. The natural essences in both the body wash and the lotion have been selected to clear the mind and soothe the emotions. Geranium and basil are valued in aromatherapy for their balancing and uplifting properties, while chamomile is a common treatment for stress. Petitgrain, a less familiar oil, is derived from the leaf of the orange tree, and its citrusy-woody aroma relieves fatigue and tension. The combination of these essential oils is a leafy harmony with hints of anise (thanks to the basil). It’s a refreshing alternative to the purportedly relaxing, but overly sweet, blend of lavender and vanilla that is used in many mainstream aromatherapy lines. (Yes, Bath and Body Works, I’m looking at you!)
In fact, these products initially startled me with their similarity to the “Relaxation” body lotion from Crabtree & Evelyn’s now-discontinued Aromathology line. I’m still hoarding my last, nearly empty bottle of that lotion, and its label lists lavender oil, chamomile oil and tangerine oil (as well as a mysterious “crithmum maritimum” extract) among its ingredients. I’m wondering whether secret amounts of geranium, basil, or petitgrain were also present in that formula. In any case, I’m happy to have found something that gives me a similar sense of calm. I’d like to begin the new year in a more relaxed frame of mind than I ended the old one.
Feel free to share ideas about your own favorite calming body products in the comments!