So much of our life is dictated by scents and smells. A distinctive aroma can take you back to a moment in time, and bring memories flooding back of where you were, what you were doing and who you were with. A fragrance or cologne, for example, can define a whole era of your life – Viktor & Rolf’s Spicebomb and Carolina Herera’s 212 VIP totally take me back to my teenage years (yes, I know that’s only three years ago…) So I do like to switch things up now and again to kind of reflect where I am in my life.
Another thing I like to change is my bodycare products, and I’ll often choose them based around the seasons – because, let’s face it, no one wants to be using a cinnamon scented body scrub in the 40 degree heat of summer. And although I don’t go to the “seasonal gift set” extremes, I do typically like to use richer, sweeter smelling products in the winter, and lighter, fruitier scents in the summer months.
I’ve limited this post to bodycare because I try to avoid scented skincare products for my face as much as I can. Obviously, some products have a natural smell that’s unavoidable, but I just think any kind of added fragrance isn’t going to be great for your skin, and for the face especially, which has to endure so much as it is, I think it’s best to just steer clear. Elsewhere, however, I am guilty of buying the best smelling product, and here are some of my favourites of the summer so far.
Baylis & Harding X The Fuzzy Duck
I make no secret of the fact I LOVE Baylis & Harding. Their products are the perfect example of the fact you don’t have to spend fortunes on overpriced, ‘designer’ skincare when there are products just as good and readily available on the market. When it comes shower products, they’re a must, and their Black Pepper & Ginseng range is one of my all time favourites.
But I wanted to talk about the brand’s latest release: a line of hand soaps in collaboration with boutique inn The Fuzzy Duck. I actually stumbled upon this range accidentally, and when I was asked if I wanted to try it, I almost said “no”, simply because I wasn’t entirely convinced by the flavours:
- Espresso Martini
- Gin & Tonic
- Ginger & Lime
Fine in my glass, but on my skin – I wasn’t sure…
But, and take a moment to appreciate this, I was wrong. The scents are spot on, to the point where even the gin and tonic – which I kind of expected to be a bit of a nothing, is just so accurate. The Espresso and Cosmo scents are sweet but not overpowering, while the Gin and Ginger options are perfect if you prefer a more refreshing fragrance. Either way, these are without a doubt one of my favourite summer buys – and at £3 (!!), they’re an absolute steal.
UXB Juniper & Acai Berry
UXB is one of my favourite niche skincare brands. Their handmade products are completely natural, and feel so good on the skin – I really hope they get picked up and make it more mainstream. Their collection focusses on cleansing products that are kind and don’t strip the skin and disturb it’s natural balance. Instead, they use natural oils, herbal extracts and vitamins, and work on the idea that these are better absorbed when the skin is more porous during cleansing.
The range comes in four variations, depending on your particular needs. There are options for dry skin, mature skin and oily skin. But my favourite of the four is the Juniper & Acai Berry range – formulated for sun damaged and polluted skin. I’m always banging on about anti pollution, and have found so many ways lately to add products rich in antioxidants and anti pollution properties into my skincare routine, just to help counteract the effects of living in the city.
This range does exactly that. I’m obsessed with their cream cleanser and shaving cream – they’re part of my daily ritual – and the antioxidant soap is just divine. But the shower cream is my absolute favourite, because its just so rich and luxurious! What I also love is the natural fragrance of the set – it’s so sweet and energetic, and a scent you want to use first thing in the morning to wake you up and get ready for the day. If you’re looking for a new brand to try, I’d say you’re pretty much guaranteed to love this one.
Emulsion Shower Gel
This is a new one for me, and one that I’m still getting my head around – mostly because I’m terrible at making decisions and would rather have someone make them for me. However, the more I think about it, and the more I test it, the more taken I am by the totally innovative idea Emulsion Cosmetics have come up with.
The brand’s collection covers facial skincare and bodycare, and is split into three product categories; bases, blends and fragrances. First, pick an unfragranced base – I love the shower gel – then choose a blend of essential oils based on your skincare needs, and top off the formula with a fragrance to add your desired top notes to the finished product. The idea, I thought, was a little unnecessary, but as soon as I started mixing I couldn’t stop myself, and now I love the idea of being able to tailor a line of products to suit not only the benefits you want to see, but also to your desired scent.
I’ve been switching between two scents – I love the tobacco and cedar, which is more typical of the kind of fragrances I tend to go for, but I recently discovered the coffee and coconut blend, and it’s such a gorgeous blend for summer. The smell reminds me of waking up on holiday and sipping coffee on the terrace in the sun. What’s not to love?
Phil Smith Be Gorgeous Coco Licious
Ok, this is strictly more haircare than bodycare, but I wanted to add it into this roundup because I love love LOVE the collection from Phil Smith – even though I can’t use most of it because I have no hair! But the packaging is gorgeous and so vibrant, I think it just looks great on a dressing table, and feels like something you could leave on the shelf if you walked past it in the store. And the products themselves are fab too!
But my favourite summer pick from the line up is without a doubt the Coco Licious Coconut Oil shampoo and conditioner duo. The formula is for normal to dry hair, and is incredibly nourishing. Hair feel undeniably soft after use, and just looks lifted and rejuvenated. The scent is also amazing. I’m not a massive fan of coconut in grooming products, and often find dedicated coconut products smell too sweet and almost synthetic. But this is light and refreshing – I just love it!
Another favourite of mine is the Total Treat Ultimate Repair shampoo and conditioner duo, enriched with Moroccan Argan Oil. In terms of scent, it’s no packing such a heavy aroma, but the quality of these products is so high compared with their low price point, that I just think they’re perfect for summer (and all year round, if I’m honest).