It is thanks to Lush that I am so heavily into vanilla-scented bath and shower products. Before I discovered the company, I was bored of the synthetic vanilla smells that encompass the majority of high street brands. So you can imagine how I reacted when sniffing Vanillary for the first time - I was hooked.
Fast forward a year and it is then that I have my first experience with Gentle Lentil Shampoo - a product that completely changed my opinion on solid haircare and one which has cemented itself as one of my all-time favourite Lush products. So when I heard about Vanilla In The Mist Soap, I thought I was about to stumble on another pot of gold. Unfortunately, my first experience with this soap was less than pleasing. However, when Lush brought this back out, I was the first in line to buy another chunk, just to see if a fresh one was any better. Needless to say, it blew my previous experience out of the window.
Vanilla In The Mist is in fact a vanilla and coffee scented soap, and although I dislike drinking the popular beverage, I do normally enjoy the inclusion of coffee in other products. This particular soap contains real vanilla pods which have been dried and crushed to coax out as strong an aroma as possible. This was very evident the second this beauty arrived in the post - when even my post man commented on the marvellous smell that was emanating from the box.
Described as a 'quadruple espresso and a top quality Italian ice cream', I was expecting an exquisitely sweet and highly sensual soap, not far off the warm, rich aroma of Honey I Washed The Kids. What I found however, was a soap far richer and more rounder than I could have imagined. This soap smells like freshly made toffee - a delicious, buttery fragrance that makes for pure indulgence in the shower. For me, it's far stronger and more sickly-sweet than Vanillary - I can't imagine it working as a perfume as it would be very heavy and perhaps too cloying on the senses. However, in soap form, it's bliss.
While you cannot detect a strong coffee aroma, there is some of it's presence behind both the vanilla aroma and the roasted cocoa extract. The same can be said for the coconut oil, which adds a subtle layer of scent whilst not being so obvious. In the shower, the scent did intensify a little and the coffee aroma came through more clearly, although not so strong as to put non-coffee fans off of trying it.
The rich shade of saffron that this soap is presented in makes me envisage the wonderful Caramac Bar I used to eat as a child, and the experience I had in the shower echoed this sentiment. It's a beautiful golden colour, etched with the black specks of the vanilla pod that you find throughout the soap. When I first saw this, I thought the fragrance of VITM would be as equally exquisite - I was right.
On the positive side, this soap lathers up really well and a 100g bar does tend to last you as long as most of Lush's other soaps (4-5 weeks, depending on how often you use it). I would suggest that you use this out of the flow of the water as it's quite a soft soap and I can see it shrinking rather quickly if it's exposed to too much moisture. It does make you feel really clean after use and leaves it's wonderful aroma on your skin for a while after use. The little pieces of vanilla pod do act as an interesting albeit scarce exfoliator for your skin, while the bar itself leaves a creamy trail of sunflower-yellow lather on the skin.
The only downside I found with this was that the soap dried my skin out a little bit and I had to apply shower gel on top to moisturise at times. However, I'm beginning to wonder whether this latter problem is down to my skin type as a lot of soaps seem to cause a similar reaction for me, so I wouldn't be put off with this factor.
Vanilla in the Mist does a great job at cleaning your skin and leaving it feeling soft and well-pampered. It's such a comforting smell and would be perfect for those colder months - when you want something highly decadent to indulge in to warm up those cold body parts. This is one I would buy again - if only to spend hours sniffing it and wishing it was edible!
Quantitative Ingredients: Fair Trade Vanilla Pod Infusion, Propylene Glycol, Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Water (Aqua), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Gardenia Extract, Perfume, Bergamot Oil, Fair Trade Vanilla Absolute, Cocoa Roasted Extract, Glycerine, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool, Titanium Dioxide.
2016 Price: £4.50 for 100g