Every winter Lush releases a small collection of limited edition products for Valentine's Day. These items tend towards the pink and sparkly and sweet, but sometimes one of them catches my interest and makes me wish it were a year-round item. Two years ago, I felt that way about The Kiss lip gloss (really a whipped balm, and now back as a re-release!); last year, I was enthusiastic about the Tender is the Night massage bar. This year, my pick is Prince Charming Shower Gel.
Prince Charming's ingredients include pomegranate juice, grapefruit oil, sandalwood oil and geranium oil, as well as natural "decoctions" of marshmallow (the plant, not the dessert item) and vanilla pod. Sniffed directly from the bottle, it's a tart, juicy blend of pomegranate and citrus. Used in a steamy shower, Prince Charming smells deeper and more complex. The fruit notes are perfectly balanced by the creamy vanilla, and although I can't identify the sandalwood as a separate note, there's definitely a warm and woodsy undercurrent that makes the overall fragrance more sophisticated than I expected.
I have friends and acquaintances who don't shop at Lush because they think the products are all too bright, too sweet-smelling and too juvenile for their tastes. That's a shame, because I could recommend plenty of other Lush products (skincare, hand creams, certain soaps) that they might enjoy. Prince Charming is definitely bubble-gum pink (see below), but it smells nothing like, for example, the bright pink and cloyingly sugary Snow Fairy Shower Gel. (For reference: I love Lush's shower gels Rose Jam, Grass and the dear departed Happy for SAD. Lush shower gels that are just too sweet or strong for me include Flying Fox and It's Raining Men.)
In addition to having a very appealing scent, Prince Charming is gentle on winter skin, thanks to its soothing marshmallow root and moisturizing almond oil. I've also been using it as a hand wash at the sink, and I may try it as a shampoo one morning. I'd like this product even more if Lush had tinted it a deeper shade of red and named it something like Forbidden Fruit or Persephone, but then it probably wouldn't sell as well, right? In any case, don't let the packaging put you off; Prince Charming may be more your type than you think.
Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel sells in 100g ($9.95), 250g ($19.95) and 500g ($29.95) bottles. For purchasing information, see the listing for Lush under Perfume Houses.
Note: top image shows detail of illustration of Sleeping Beauty by Walter Crane via Wikimedia Commons.