One Thousand Scents

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Years ago I was heavily involved in a Usenet group called, which there's no point in checking out because it's been entirely destroyed by trolls (and resurrected as a Yahoo mailing list). Despite its name, a lot of the postings were about fragrance. One of the holy grails of was a really good chocolate-scented soap, and everyone was thrilled by a liquid soap made by St. Ives which smelled like chocolate--better, like a pan of brownies. It was never sold in Canada, but I did a swap with someone in which they sent me three huge bottles of the stuff, and I was in heaven, for a while. And then the St. Ives idiots discontinued it. What were they thinking? With a little advertising they could have sold a metric shitload of it. Sometimes I think I imagined something so wonderful, but other people remember it, too (scroll down).

St. Ives also made a vanilla-scented liquid soap which was lovely and which was a terrific base for scenting--just spray in a bunch of something and presto, you've got Todd Oldham shower gel or whatever. That one's still available: I don't know if it still smells the same, what with companies' endless lust to reformulate their products and all: I haven't tried it in years, for some reason, probably because 1) I'm not sure if it's sold in these here parts, 2) I have enough shower gels to last me a year or two, and 3) I started making my own soap. Has the scent changed? I dunno.

But here's what I do know: L'Oreal recently released three children's shampoos in their L'Oreal Kids line to promote this past summer's animated movie Over the Hedge, and two of them smell very much, perhaps exactly, like St. Ives chocolate and vanilla body washes used to smell. The products are called Burst Of Vanilla Smoothie Shampoo and Burst Of Cocoa Smoothie Shampoo. (Yes, you can use them as a shower gel: shower gel and shampoo are basically the same thing.) They are delicious. No lasting power, of course, but while you're lathering up, they're terrific fun. The cocoa scent is perhaps a little harsh, but what works well is to mix the two fifty-fifty. Yum!

Now that the movie's gone from the theatres, I'm thinking they're discontinued, so get out there and buy some. You'll want to remove the labels, as I did, because they're adorned with pictures of leering cartoon animals (a raccoon and a turtle). You'll probably even want to put them into nicer bottles, though I didn't bother; without the labels they're acceptably utilitarian. I got mine at Shoppers Drug Mart, but I've read that they're also available (or were available) at Wal-Mart and Costco. Go! Now! Before it's too late!


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