August 3, 2012
Recently it was announced that Los Angeles-based perfume emporium Scent Bar was launching a new collection of bath and body products in partnership with Target stores. Of course, the forums exploded with chatter almost immediately – mostly wondering what Scent Bar, which specializes in niche perfume offerings, was thinking by introducing a collection aimed at the mainstream audience. People were snarky from the get-go, sneering at lists of notes that seemed, well, common, and better suited to the fruity concoctions popular at other chain body product retailers. I decided to adopt a wait-and-see attitude, because I know that snobbery can come back to bite you in the butt, and I’m glad I did. I received a nice array of the products to test, and I am happy to say they are really good. The products come in body mist, body lotion, body wash, and shea-intense body butter.
Cabana is, as the name would imply, a beach scent. With notes of coconut, vanilla, and papaya, it fits the bill for something light and tropical for summer. I received the body butter of this fragrance. The butter itself is an odd texture – rather than the stiff, creamy butter I normally encounter, it is almost gelatinous, like custard. It smooths on really well, though, absorbs quickly, and made my skin feel great. The scent is remarkably persistent for being pretty lightweight, and I could still smell it in the morning after a bedtime slathering.
I have been using the shower gel of Blush regularly since receiving it. The notes are sugared peony, cassis, and pink Champagne. I was afraid I would be washing myself with a sickly-sweet confection, but was pleasantly surprised to encounter a sweet but subtle scent that was perfectly engaging in the shower, with nice lather. It was a delight to wash with, but left minimal scent on my skin, so it didn’t interfere with my perfume choices. I am looking forward to trying Blush in the different products, because I think it would be a fun go-to scent when you just want something simple and fresh, but not toothache-inducing.
Sunswept was a nice surprise. When I applied the lotion I was given, I encountered a tart, almost bitter burst of citrus. Sicilian orange, sheer lemon and bergamot are the listed notes, and it although it could have been an orange creamsicle, as so many orange-centric fragrances in the commercial market can be, it is refreshingly adult. There is no sugar present in this scent, and it is bracing and bright. I think this would be great in the body wash version, too, and really wake you up in the morning.
The scent in the line that has the most depth is Forbidden, with ruby pomegranate, blackberry and amber. I confess to being a fan of berries in perfume, especially juicy ripe blackberry. The tartness of the pomegranate with the luscious berry is great, but what brings it all home is the amber. I sprayed my body mist version with abandon, and the scent enveloped me with purple fruit, made cozy by the sweet amber. It was chilly when I tried it, and it was really nice and lasted well. If I try this in another product, it will be the shea-intense body butter, because it would be wonderful at bedtime.
All in all, I think that this is a remarkable value line of body products. The scents are fun without being juvenile, there are fragrances and products that could appeal to either sex, and the body care is effective, with good cleansing and/or emollient properties. At the price, which starts at $8.99, it’s worth picking up a few to try out. I feel like it is a smart move by Scent Bar, because through these products and the Scent Bar branding, more people could be introduced to the world of niche perfumery, and that can’t possibly be a bad thing.
Products are available now in-store and online at Target stores. Thank you to Scent Bar for generously providing our sample products to try. We have a reader’s choice of a body spray in one of these fragrances – let us know which one appeals to you the most. Draw closes August 8, 2012.
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilt perfume.
-Tama Blough, Senior Editor