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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lemons Sour, Lemons Sweet

Living in California, I find myself surrounded by citrus fruits for most of the year. My backyard has not one, but two lemon trees that seem to bear fruit year-round. As kids, we used to use the extra lemons as missiles against each other--I probably couldn't throw a curveball, but my lemon-aim is mighty sharp.

Jeanne and I recently embarked on a mission to find refreshing, sharp citrus scents in perfumerie. I'd been interested in L'Artisan's scents, their presentation was lush at Saks but nothing smelled right on me. When I came home, I looked around my bathroom for the products I loved to narrow down a scent I could master for myself. Lemons and oranges jumped out at me, and seem particularly appropriate for this Spring. Refreshing, zesty, simple, and clean. If you're looking forward to warm weather and sunny days, I have a list of products I can recommend!

-From the much-maligned but still awesome Vermont Country Store, LemonUp Shampoo wakes me up during every morning shower. Frankly, I'm upset that my bottle of LemonUp didn't come with the fabulous plastic lemon top, WHAT'S UP WITH THAT GUYS. Unlike similar clear, simply cleansing shampoos (I'm looking at you, Neutrogena), LemonUp doesn't dry out my hair so it turns into straw. If my hair were long enough, I would grab handfuls and sniff them when I felt sleepy throughout the day.

-Fresh released a new fragrance in 2007, Hesperides, that's one of those products I always walk by, test out, enjoy but never buy. Why? I've been disappointed by Fresh's citrus fragrance efforts before, namely their Lemon Sugar. The Sugar series is nice, but Lemon Sugar smells like CLEANING SOLUTION. Seriously, one of the bathrooms at my work smells exactly like Lemon Sugar, and that is not a good thing. Hesperides, by contrast, is delightful. Sweet, not overpowering, and a complex combination of light+airy with fruity+fresh. (Obvs.)

-I picked up Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser on sale a few weeks ago while in search of a foaming face-wash (I need to stock up on DHC face-wash because it's freaking great). This all-natural orange oil wash doesn't foam whatsoever, doesn't feel oily, and doesn't leave your face dried-out. A perk? I have gotten at least a tablespoon in my mouth through overactive/half-asleep face-washing, and it's edible! Tastes a bit like orange rind and olive oil, not all unpleasant. I also found it easy on the eyeballs, through trial and error.

-Ever since I saw Korres products in my local (super-fancy) Whole Foods beauty section, I have been saving up my pennies to replace all of my bath products with theirs. As you can imagine, I love products that actually smell like natural things, NOT the lab-produced chemical approximation of scents. Surprise! If I wanted to smell like blue raspberry Kool-Aid, I would bathe in it nightly, but I want to smell like real fruit, from nature! Greek apothecary Korres has full lines of nifty, naturally-fragranced bath and beauty products, including basil lemon body milk and shower gel. YUM. I often come out of the shower smelling like a delicious gourmet mojito, fresh and clean! (Their watermelon tinted moisturizer with SPF30 may warrant a wee visit to Sephora. Also, if you are a man or a lady with a man in your life who needs scent-ervention, check out the lime styling gel.)

-Pure has all-natural, organic lemonade shower gel that I would probably drink out of the bottle in a drunken stupor. Not that I drink, really, ever. What is this post becoming, a cocktail-oriented showerfest? WEIRD, Karen.

-Caldrea's household cleansing arsenal includes a ginger pomelo line, ranging from hand lotions to stainless-steel cleaner. What more could you want? Pomelo is one of my favorite fruits, I look forward to winter farmers' markets the whole rest of the year, just so I can fill my bags with those massive lemon-grapefruit hybrids. Hint for eating pomelos: cut the fruit into quarters laterally, then slice off as much of the pith and rind as possible. Peel off the membranes and eat the wedges of pulp! Oh, god, I want one!

-My mother first introduced me to Juice Beauty products by leaving a bottle of their lemongrass SPF moisturizer in my car for about a year. It separated eventually, but smelled lovely--like Thai food. Just reading the description of Juice Beauty's lemon apple peel mask makes me feel thirsty: apple, lemon, and grape juices with raw sugar cane? YES PLEASE.

-Quite hypocritically, I rarely purchase new beauty products on a whim. The last thing I truly waffled on was between Bigelow Chemists' mint face-wash and their rose cold cream. Alas, the cold cream won, as I still have a tube of Queen Helene's mint julep mask in my cupboard, and one hundred years of beautiful complexions can't be wrong, right? Thus, I feel attracted to Bigelow's yuzu rouge eau de parfum. Yuzu rouge, you say? Aren't yuzu yellow/green? You are correct, and their peels are delicious when candied or used to garnish Japanese clear soups. This yuzu-rouge sounds like the perfect blend of citrus and floral to me.

What do you think, are any of these worth my hard-earned dollars? I could always just take a couple of lemons from my backyard and squeeze them into the bathtub for their purportedly skin-lightening qualities. Time for some post-work chamomile tea with a squeeze of lemon juice, with thoughts of warm summer days ahead!


Jeanne said...

Psst! Lady! You can buy a sample of Yuzu Rouge from LuckyScent.com -- that's where I got mine. (Or, you know, you could try mine next time you visit me.)

Jeanne said...

Also, we were at Barney's, not Saks, as I love the Barney's fragrance section with the Frederic Malle fragrance tubes.

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