After a decade-long, self-imposed Bath and Body Works hiatus my interest in the company has come back with a vengeance.
Truthfully, I’ve never been much of a fragrance fanatic. I like subtle scents or no scents at all. That goes for lotions and even makeup products.
In high school I owned a few B&BW body lotions in Sun Ripened Raspberry, Country Apple and Plumeria but I have to admit I bought them because my friends were into the brand and bought them, not because I loved how they smelled. Ah, the things we do to fit in. Honestly, I thought the scents were too strong and lingered too long on my skin. Of the three, I remember liking Plumeria the most even though I usually detest florals and even though it was probably the strongest scent of the three I owned. I think I preferred it because everyone at school wore Sun Ripened Raspberry, Cucumber Melon or Country Apple so Plumeria was something different from the same old same old. However, I could only wear the tiniest, pea-sized drop of Plumeria body lotion or else I’d feel sick to my stomach.
In college I shared a dorm room and I owned one B&BW wallflower in Sweet Pea and one Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel in Pearberry. In fact I still have both the Anti-Bac (still smells good) and the plug-in. I’m pretty sure the wallflower pluggable I own was discontinued long ago. I think I remember something about them being fire hazards and they were recalled, or I could be imagining things. I know that the ones in B&BW look different now though.
After high school and college my nose was worn out and I avoided B&BW like the plague. It’s like Wendy’s fast food restaurant for me. During my Junior and Senior years in college I lived in Collegetown across the street from a Wendy’s. Whenever I was too busy to cook, which was very often due to my class and work study schedule, I’d order from Wendy’s because it was quick, cheap, and on my way home. To this day I can’t even look at a Wendy’s restaurant without feeling sick. I’m all Wendy-ed out for the rest of my life.
I thought I was all B&BW-ed out too but I was wrong.
Last week I made one of my rare trips to the mall. I live less than 10 minutes away from a large mall but I hate crowds and pushy salespeople. I decided to go on a weekday in the morning and I was surprised to find that the mall was really empty and dead. I was able to browse at my leisure and nobody bothered me. Quite a difference from what I remember. I guess with the economy the way it is people just aren’t shopping like they used to in the past. But for the first time I found shopping enjoyable.
I don’t know why but I decided to go into B&BW for the heck of it and of course in the decade since I last went in all of the scents had changed. The decor was familiar but everything else was new to me. I knew from past experience to stay away from the body lotions and body creams because I always found the scents of these to be very heavy, clingy, and too long-wearing.
I like light fragrances that don’t last forever — my sensitive nose can only handle so much — so the body mists were my best bet since they’re softer and fade away gradually. Consequently, I doubt I’ll ever be a fan of perfume, eau de parfum, and eau de toilette. I prefer less concentrated, weaker fragrances so body splashes/mists suit me best.
I spent a good while playing with all of the fragrance mist testers at B&BW and I found a few scents cringe-worthy but there were a few I really liked.
I’m a foodie and love to cook, bake and eat so I’m naturally drawn to food type scents. I think if I loved to garden I’d love floral scents too but as it stands I have the very opposite of a green thumb. Whenever my mom asks me to watch her plants I always end up killing everything, even the cacti. And rather than bouquets of flowers, I’d much rather have an edible arrangement sent to me. I simply have no appreciation for flowers.
Anyway, I love the smell of coconuts and citrus so those were the scents I targeted first at B&BW. The store had a bunch of fragrance mists in $4 bins because I guess they’re getting rid of the old bottles for bottles with a new design. On my first B&BW run I purchased White Citrus and Coconut Lime Breeze.
On my second B&BW run a few days later I debated with myself over Twilight Woods, Into the Wild and Forever Sunshine and ended up getting Twilight Woods and Forever Sunshine. I regretted not getting Into the Wild the rest of the day and then, coincidentally, emilynoel83 posted a YouTube video of her fragrance collection the next day and Into the Wild was one of her picks. It was a sign! The very next day I scooped up one of the last bottles of Into the Wild.
After that I spent the next couple of days researching B&BW and read lots of reviews. One of the most raved about scents was Country Chic so I decided to buy a bottle. Also, on that very same day I wandered into the Target store in the mall and saw that Bodycology had a Coconut Lime scent, too, so I decided to try theirs out.
All in all I’m satisfied with my purchases. Coconut Lime Breeze was a no-brainer for me although I wish it had a little more coconut and less lime but Twilight Woods was a pleasant surprise. It smells much nicer on the skin than it does in the bottle. I’m glad I listened to the positive reviews and gave it a squirt; it’s a nice, warm, sweet scent on me that isn’t heavy or cloying at all.
White Citrus is a little more astringent than I’d like so I’m a little on the fence about it.
Into the Wild is a different type of scent for me. I think it may be the patchouli in it but somehow this fragrance mist ends up smelling subtly like the bitter pith of a grapefruit rind on my skin which is an interesting change from the usual bright, sweet, juicy smell of citrus fruits. Contrary to reports I’ve seen of Into the Wild being very floral, it starts and ends very citrus-y on me. I suppose it has to do with how scents react to one’s body chemistry. There’s also an underlying soapy fragrance and slight sharpness to Into the Wild that along with the bitter grapefruit reminds me a lot of grapefruit scented shampoo but leaning a little more unisex/masculine.
I’m not quite sure yet if I like Forever Sunshine. I love the initial burst of citrus but it goes away far too quickly for my liking and all I get is a sharp floral and a heavy, sweet smokiness which I think is the praline note. I’ve seen reviews in which people have said that Forever Sunshine is a lighter, more citrus version of Twilight Woods but I’ve got to disagree. I find Forever Sunshine a lot heavier, sharper, floral and sweet compared to Twilight Woods. On me Twilight Woods is a mellower, softer, creamy vanilla.
The one I’m seriously thinking about returning is Country Chic. This is probably the strongest, most concentrated fragrance mist out of the six B&BW fragrance mists I bought and, like Forever Sunshine, I love the initial burst of citrus but it quickly turns floral on me, even more so compared to Forever Sunshine. I think that’s the one thing I don’t like about the new B&BW scents: they don’t smell in the dry down the way they do right at the start. You have to wait 30+ minutes to see how the scent will develop on the skin. The old B&BW fragrances were very straightforward in comparison.
I’m still a total newb when it comes to fragrances. I’m pretty much like a newborn baby. But I’ve started to get a better idea of what scents notes I like and dislike in fragrances.
I dislike/have a low tolerance for:
I like/can tolerate:
- coconut. I like fresh, milky coconut scents. I’m not a big fan of baked coconut dessert scents; they smell a bit too sweet to me. I know this will sound strange to some but, ideally, I’d like to smell like a piña colada.
I’m already planning on getting Warm Vanilla Sugar next and perhaps Pink Chiffon if it passes another sniff test. Unfortunately, the store’s out of the $4 version of Warm Vanilla Sugar so I’ll have to get the $14 bottle version. Eek. Luckily I have a B&BW gift card and a coupon ready.
I originally planned on getting all of the tropical scents since they sounded like they were right up my alley but Rio Rumberry is a little too fruity and Aruba Coconut didn’t smell so great on me. It had a heavy, burned sugar smell on my skin that was a little sickening. My favorite of the trio is actually Bali Mango but I’m not sure I like it enough to buy it in full size, and the mini only comes in a shimmer mist form (no, thank you) so I think I’ll wait for the Semi Annual Sale to get it.
I’m also thinking about trying some fragrances from Bodycology and Calgon next. Calgon Red Velvet sounds yummy but the patchouli in the scent description scares me. Calgon’s Coconut Sorbet scent also sounds like something I’d like but I don’t think I’ve seen it in stores around here. And I want to check out Bodycology’s Brown Sugar Vanilla and see how it compares to B&BW’s Warm Vanilla Sugar.
There are also some Laura Mercier body products that I’d love to try eventually. The Creme de Pistache and Almond Coconut scents sound divine.
What are your favorite B&BW, Calgon and Bodycology scents and do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know below 😀
Note: In the second photo (above), the bottle on the very left is a Victoria’s Secret VS Attractions Fragrance Mist in Dream Girl. It’s described as a peony and mandarin flower scent and strangely for a floral I really like it. Dream Girl is a soft, warm, slightly sweet scent and not overpoweringly, sinus piercingly, floral. It was my first fragrance mist in a long, long time and the reason I even considered giving B&BW a second chance since I read somewhere that VS and B&BW fall under the same umbrella company.