If you sing in the shower, and you like violet scents, you're the perfect customer for Lush's new Don't Rain on My Parade Shower Gel. Its name is the title of a song from the classic musical Funny Girl, written by Bob Merrill (lyrics) and Jule Styne (music). Barbra Streisand sang "Don't Rain on My Parade" in the original Broadway production and movie version of Funny Girl, and numerous other artists have covered this song over the past half-century. It's a defiant hymn to self-confidence:
Don't tell me not to live, just sit and putter / Life's candy and the sun's a ball of butter / Don't bring around a cloud to rain on my parade / Don't tell me not to fly, I've simply got to / If someone takes a spill, it's me and not you / Who told you you're allowed to rain on my parade?
I do have a shower-humming habit and a love for the Great American Songbook, not to mention an especial fondness for violets, so I couldn't wait to sniff and try Don't Rain on My Parade. Lush's shower gels tend to be brightly colored, and this one is a deep teal shade. (Why not purple? Maybe they didn't want it to look too similar to their Daddy-O shampoo.) Its ingredients include real violet leaf infusion and vanilla absolute, plus extracts of cassie, sandalwood, vetiver and ylang ylang. Lush is touting "fresh-squeezed blueberry juice" as one of the most noteworthy ingredients here, but it's probably being used for its antioxidant benefits than its fragrance; this is definitely a violet product, with a touch of sweetness from the vanilla and plenty of earthiness from the sandalwood and vetiver.
The scent of Don't Rain on My Parade reminds me of Lush's discontinued Tuca Tuca perfume, a fragrance that I enjoyed sniffing from the bottle more than wearing on my skin; it was just a little too brash for me. (I still need to try Kerbside Violet, which Robin found to be milder than Tuca Tuca.) As a shower gel, however, this violet-ylang-vetiver blend is just the right balance of weird and wonderful. It's not a candied-violet scent or a Victorian bouquet, nor is it a typical morning "pick-me-up" scent (citrus or green notes, right?), but I find it reassuring (floral notes!) and, yes, confidence-inducing (thanks to the woods).
Don't Rain on My Parade leaves a lingering fragrance on skin, and it would pair nicely with perfumes like Balanciaga Paris, Sonoma Scent Studio Wood Violet or any woodsy violet of your choice. As you can tell, I'm already a fan, and I hope it will remain in the Lush product catalogue for a good long time.
Lush Don't Rain on My Parade Shower Gel is sold in 100 ml ($12.95) and 250 ml ($26.95) bottles through Lush stores and the Lush website.