Shade Of Earl Grey follows Lush's usual massage bar format - presented in a cream-coloured oval block and standing about 1.5cm tall. This particular bar has a rather lovely carving on the surface, which I'm guessing plays homage to the very tea it's trying to emanate.
With its tagline being 'it's no punishment to receive a massage with this bar', this product is obviously a play on words, referencing the popular 50 Shades of Grey novels. While I see no other connection with the trilogy and up-coming film, Lush are obviously keen to put their stamp on the current trend. Let's hope this bar has more longevity than the books anyhow - it certainly has more promise.
This massage bar is described as possessing a 'sweet, sophisticated earl grey and citrus scent' - a combination that sounds wonderful, even to a non-tea drinker such as myself. Alongside the usual cocoa butter and shea butter base, which serves as a rich, highly moisturising and rather nourishing inclusion to the bar, Shades also has a range of different oils that work wonders on the skin and leave it smelling gorgeous.
There's both Persian lime oil and lemon oil - two ingredients known for helping repair the skin and bring out the natural vibrancy in your pores. Lemon oil in particular helps to cleanse the skin without stripping it of the natural oils that keep it supple and soft. I am unsure how Persian lime oil differs from other lime oils, but I'll leave Lush to be the judge of that.
Bergamot Oil is both uplifting and sweet, making it a perfect companion to the citrus oils. Together, these ingredients give this massage bar a wonderful fresh and fruity aroma. If you like zesty cosmetics, this will be right up your alley. While I was expecting Shades of Earl Grey to pertain a stronger tea fragrance, I was surprised to find that this element sits very low in the over aroma and only seem to reveal itself once it's on the skin.
First and foremost is the citrus smell - which has a very gentle soapy feel about it. I don't wish to put anyone off when I say that, as I would be hesitant if someone described a body lotion as smelling of soap. However, there is a gentle soapiness to it that is rather comforting and beautiful - I think it adds to the product, if anything.
On the skin, you can detect a very subtle scent which is slightly tea-like, but it's not so strong that those who dislike tea would find it unpleasant. What I loved about this massage bar, is that once the oils have been absorbed into the skin and the fragrance has had time to mature, you get a wonderful sherbet lemon aroma come through. This then melts away and leaves a slightly grassy aroma which stays with you for a good many hours.
The massage bar is rather easy to use and I would warn you not to hold onto it for too long as you'll end up with melted oil in your palms. A quick swipe of this across my skin and I was able to massage the rest into my skin with my hands. It would be very easy to apply too much of this, so I would recommend that you're careful not to let the bar too much.
I will admit that it does feel rather rich and greasy on the skin when you first apply it. However, once you've left it to absorb for 5-10 minutes, your skin is left feeling super soft and glossy.
Shades of Earl Grey is definitely up there with my favourite massage bars, From Dusk 'Til Dawn and Each Peach. It offers a really relaxing experience that users will want to experience time and time again. While I wasn't expecting that much from this bar, it's definitely surpassed my expectations and will be a regular purchase in my house.
Quantitative Ingredients: Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter, Fair Trade Shea Butter, Bergamot Oil, Perfume, Persian Lime Oil, Lemon Oil, Hydroxycitronellal, Citral, Geraniol, Eugenol, Limonene, Linalool.