In the Search for the Perfect Scented Shower Gel

Have you ever worn a perfume that was so good that you just want to bathe in it? Fortunately, for those of us who answered Yes, there ARE bath & body products to satisfy that desire. My obsession with scented shower gels began during my pre-perfumista days with the now sadly discontinued L’Occitane Thé Vert Green Tea. While I wisely bought a back-up of the eau de toilette, I used the last of the shower gel 2 years ago.

In this post, I have summarized my experience using shower gels of some of my favorite perfumes. These are all easily accessible although most are in the spendy category ($25++). I am not affiliated with any of these companies and my recommendations are based on my experience.

Shower Gels

Starting from the worst…and ending with the best shower gel:

Perfume

How’s the Shower Gel?

Verdict

Prada Candy o  Sticky laundry musk chemical mess. Failed
Philosophy Fresh Cream o  Gel had good consistency.

o  Fragrance was too light and reminded me of dishwater with leftover milk.

Failed
Hermes Voyage d’ Hermes o  Reminded me of the perfume.

o  Product was too watery and not the right consistency for a shower gel.

o  Ended up being the most expensive per mL.

Failed
Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay o  Product is labeled as body and hand wash.

o  Great as a hand wash but meh for showers.

Failed
Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine o  Smelled just like the cologne!

o  Gel was very thick and required patience to get product out. A squeeze tube may be a better container.

Will buy again
Chanel No. 19 EDP o  Reminded me of a mix between the EDP and Poudre.

o  Feels luxurious with packaging to match.

Will buy again
Le Labo Iris 39 o  Smelled like a saltier version of the perfume.

o  Fragranced the body lightly and the bathroom nicely.

Will buy again
Lush Rose Jam o  Smelled like rose jam and filled the bathroom with a heady rose scent!

o  Actually better than the perfume.

Will buy again
Frederic Malle Carnal Flower o  Smelled true to the BWF aesthetic and felt super-luxurious.

o  I kept huffing the empty sample container, need I say more?

Will buy again

Carnal Flower Shower Gel

Many of these also have matching body lotion but since I don’t use scented body lotions, I don’t have an opinion as to their quality. I understand that a similar scented body lotion effect can be achieved by adding a drop or two of perfume mixed in with unscented body lotion.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I will report on making my own small batch shower gels, as soon as I find a source for fragrance-free shower gel. Given a choice, I would like to see the following in shower gel format: Atelier Cologne Sous le toit de Paris, Frederic Malle Iris Poudre, Le Labo Vanille 44 and Puredistance Opardu.

How about you? What scented shower gel do you enjoy using? What’s on your scented bath & body products wish list?

***

From Undina:

I know that you all take part in the conversation because of the conversation. But a draw from hajusuuri is already a tradition. So everybody who answers her question(s) will be entered to win:  4 ml shower gel (choose between Carnal Flower, Iris 39 or Rose Jam) + 4 ml of unscented Diana Vreeland body cream + Perfume Sample Travel Kit (compact box, 2 atomizers, 2 dab vials and labels). No DNEMs, please! If you win and do not want the prize, hajusuuri will let you nominate another winner (she’s that kind).

This giveaway is open to everyone worldwide. The giveaway is open until 11:59PM PST on December 12, 2015. The winner will be chosen via random.org.  Please note that neither Undina nor hajusuuri is responsible for replacing the samples and decants if they were to get lost or damaged.

Images: hajusuuri

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53 thoughts on “In the Search for the Perfect Scented Shower Gel

  1. Lovely post, hajusuuri. I LOVE scented bath and shower products.

    Orange Sanguine must be fab and I really fancy the Chanel No.19 shower gel – a mix between the EDP and Poudre sounds good.

    On my Christmas wishlist is Beautiful by Lush but I think maybe I’d love Rose Jam more. I will definitely purchase next time round.

    Thanks for the draw, Undina!

    • Thank you, Tara!

      The Atelier Cologne shower gels are really fabulous! I am such a nut for Atelier Cologne that I have 18 of the 25 fragrances in 30mL size or larger. I also have the Cedrat Enivrant Shower Gel and I’ve used several of the soaps as well. I have to check out the Lush Beautiful — I’ll take a yellowish gel over a turquoise blue one (I’m looking at you Don’t Rain on My Parade) any day.

  2. I love Rose Jam shower gel. It’s fabulous. I use it ad bubble bath. Haven’t tried the others and probably won’t as I don’t tend towards shower gels, especially scented ones. RJ the exception. Excellent post. ❤️

  3. I loved this post! What a fun chart too.That Chanel No°19 is tempting me even though I’m not a big scented shower gel fan. That being said, the Eau de Merveilles shower gel smells like the fragrance and leaves you perfumed almost to the same degree.

    • Thanks my dear! I got the chart idea from Undina’s post on perfume subscriptions. The No. 19 gel is very nice and the only place I was able to find it was at Saks (and you know how I don’t like to spend money there except for my beloved Iris Ganache…but I digress). Regarding the Eau de Merveilles shower gel, I may have to check it out since I love the fragrance. I just hope the consistency of the gel is better than what I experienced with Voyage.

  4. Hello Undina and Hajusuuri,
    I’ve never used an actual shower gel that would be paired with a perfume. Sure my shower gels are scented but these are just some regular gels bought from Avon or a nearby drugstore.
    I’m hoping to have Rose Anonyme or Silver Iris shower gel. And I totally should try Prada Amber Pour Homme shower gel

    • I like the convenience of shower gels, especially the ones that work well as a shampoo. My gateway to double-duty shower gels not paired with perfumes was a Molton Brown sporty shower gel marketed to men – heh, I thought it would be more effective after working out at the gym.

      I bet the Rose Anonyme is nice! As to Silver Iris, I would totally buy it when it’s available. I’ve used the soap and wow! And the Prada Amber Pour Homme – perhaps there’s a gift set available at the stores with Christmas just around the corner.

  5. Fun and informative post! I have never tried Rose Jam shower gel but from your description it appeals enormously. I have used the OJ Taif shower gel – over many years, hehe – and it was lovely.

    There are no bath products on my wish list currently because as with soap and perfume, I am now in a SABLE situation (Stash Above and Beyond Life Expectancy). Most of us probably are, I shouldn’t wonder. Either that or I don’t wash as much as I could. The Carnal Flower one sounds amazing, though.

  6. Great post, hajusuuri.
    I love scented bath products, I enjoy both soaps and shower gels.
    I also tried Orange Sanguine shower gel, that was gorgeous! Wonderful in summer. I loved using Silver Iris soap (sadly it’s gone now…) so I’d definitely buy the shower gel version if they start selling it. For an existing one, I’d love to try Un Jardin sur le Nil gel. :)
    By the way, years ago, I used Amarige gel by Givenchy but I don’t think I would buy it again. It was too strong and too sickly.

    • Thank you, thinkingmagpie! I’ve used the Silver Iris soap as well and it was very nice. The other soaps I’ve tried were Oolang Infini and Blanche Immortal, both wonderful. My Santal Carmin soap is still wrapped but it will see the light of day soon!

      I wish Hermes would come out with a coffret of all the shower gels as I like many of the Hermes perfumes.

  7. I love this post and appreciate your thoughts about each of these offerings. I got all excited when I saw the image of Chanel no. 19 , my long time soul scent, which I have never tried in the shower gel, though have owned and enjoyed the body lotion. I also adore the body oil version of Iris 39 and have owned and loved Rose Jam by Lush. I am certain that Carnal Flower would be a sensual delight! Thanks for your inspirational post and sweet giveaway!

    • Thanks, Rene! No.19 shot up to my Top 10 perfumes this year, with the EDP. Quality ingredients make a very big difference and I’ve heard so many good things about the Chanel bath & body products. I also just heard last week that there is now a No. 19 bath soap which is available on the website; I have to stop by the boutique to see if I can snag one.

      The quality of the Carnal Flower shower gel was so good I bought an Eau de Magnolia version this past Friday when Frederic Malle was at Barneys. OK, I wanted to get his autograph on something and the box had prime signature space.

      Do you use the Iris 39 body oil along with an unscented lotion?

      • Hi, I find that applying the Iris 39 body oil directly out of the shower on damp skin eliminates the need for body lotion – but I am all for layering , so why not? My vey favorite combination with Iris 39 oil is to then apply Iris Ganache edp – amazingly indulgent and a must experience for any Iris lovers , imo. The earthy Iris root nature of 39 in the oil version serves as a beautiful under layer for a variety of scents.

        You have now made me eager for the no.19 products. Years ago I tried the no. 5 body cream and much preferred the texture to the lotion for sheer luxury. Thanks for a great subject.

        • Wow! Iris 39 body oil and Iris Ganache EDP! I may try this layering combo in perfume this week! I am doing a week of perfumes with Iris in the name and I have more perfumes that qualify than there are days in a week!

  8. I love this post – I just bought Philosophy’s Fresh Cream but haven’t opened it yet. It smelled good when I smelled the tester. Hopefully, I’ll like it after I’ve used it a few times. I usually use either Philosophy or Bath & Body Works shower gels. I’ve been generally happy with the consistency of the gels and the scents. Currently, I have B&BW Oahu Coconut Sunset, and Philosphy’s Snow Angel and Candy Cane in my shower (which is why I haven’t opened Fresh Cream yet). Have B&BW Summer Rain & Linen in the shower at my fiance’s house. Haven’t really gotten into buying shower gels of the perfumes I own. I may have to rethink that though and add Chanel No. 19 shower gel to my Christmas wish list.

    • Thanks, Juli! I got a sample of the Philosophy Fresh Cream perfume and loved it. When Sephora had its VIB 20% off event, I bought the shower gel thinking that perhaps I can use the shower gel to satisfy my craving in lieu of buying the perfume. There was no tester and the bottles have a foil seal so I was not able to smell it before purchasing. I’m wondering if I just got a bad batch?

      From B&BW, I’ve used Twisted Peppermint, Vanilla Bean and Orange Ginger — all nice although I finally got sick of smelling like Peppermint.

      No.19 is excellent and so far the only place that carries it is Saks.

      • Good to know that Saks is the only place that carries No.19. I haven’t looked for it yet. I’ll have to head to Stanford shopping center to visit Saks (and a few other stores that are not at the mall by my house).

  9. I have a soft spot for BBW Orange Ginger body wash. It’s yummy. I like Guerlain Terracotta
    body lotion on my arms and legs but can’t tolerate it on my hands. I must wash my hands after using it. Perhaps it reacts oddly with the scent of my hand soap? Hmmm, must test this theory . . .

    Thank you for the run down on all of these products. So many good ones! I’m happy to see No 19 passed your test as I’ve been looking at the lotion or shower gel in No 5. I’ve been dithering and now I’m closer to a decision.

    • Tiffanie!!! I’ve used and loved B&BW Orange Ginger! Guerlain Terracotta perfume smells too jasminey on me and I can tolerate a small amount of jasmine so any perfume or bath product that has a lot of it would be a no-no for me.

      Chanel seems to use quality ingredients in its bath & body products so I would say go for it!

  10. I’ve always had a bit of a bath product obsession and am seriously coveting both Carnal Flower and Lipstick Rose sh/gels, and No19 and Coco (and the Coco body butter!) and Patch 24. That would be amazing :)
    Some of my favourites: Acqua de Parma make fabulous body products! I use the Iris Nobile shower cream and dry oil and the scent lasts all day. I also love the Colonia Oud gel.
    Marni gel and lotion- beautiful lemony rose.
    Bvlgari Jasmin Noir- i do really like the perfume but the shower gel is nicer as it doesnt have the plasticy note the perfume does initially.
    Shalimar Light- i never found the perfume but got this at a discounter. Yum. Lemony Shalimar. Havent tried other Guerlain bath products but this is creamy and indulgent.

    • Hi Perthgirl! We share bath product obsession! The Frederic Malle shower gels are of good quality so if you like the fragrance(s), I would go for the shower gel too. The Le Labos have a similar very smooth gel feel as the FMs and I am enjoying my Iris 39. I must now investigate Acqua di Parma — I don’t own a single one (perfume or shower gel) — see, you’ve now created lemmings!

  11. Ahhh I love Rose Jam :) I have been looking forward to getting more all year! I have also heard good things about the bath and shower products from Le Couvent des Minimes, though I have not tried them yet. I also like scented soaps, such as the Verbena soap from L’Occitane that I received as a gift once. Somehow my perfume hobby became a gateway into liking more expensive versions of many other scented things!

    • Hi Nemo!!! I am currently using the Le Couvent des Minimes Eau de Missions soap and… it’s not as true to the perfume as I had anticipated. There was no shower gel or I would have bought it (for science, you understand). I enjoy the L’Occitane bath products except for the Shea Butter ones because they have a very strong smell.

  12. Ha love that your interest tends to shower gels as well. I do lust after many I admit but I’m a little boring and use Le Petit Marseillais gels (from the supermarket). The Carnal Flower one sounds particularly gorgeous though. I have quite a few nice soaps though that for some reason I never use and they stay all wrapped up in their paper or box.

    • Of course I had to look up Le Petit Marseillais and got excited when I saw that it was available via Amazon…until I saw that shipping was almost twice the cost of the product! I’ll be in Toulon for a day as part of my cruise in July 2016 so I’ll have to see if I can pop into a supermarket to check out the selection!

      I have so many soaps that they do tend to stay wrapped in paper, plastic or box, waiting for their turn to be used!

  13. Great post Hajusuuri; I truly had no idea that it was possible to do failure shower gels at those sort of prices. I do like scented shower gels, but I’m a bit weary that the very characteristic ones might need the right mood, like the perfume itself, which might mean a huge collection of shower gels (too). As it is, most of my shower gels were presents, which is great because even with a perfume I might not love, a shower gel can be absolutely fine.
    The No 19 shower gel does sound very good though…
    No perfumed body lotion for me either.
    Do let us hear more of your good scented advice :-)

    • Thank you, Asali. Even though the shower gels are spendy, they tend to get used and emptied whereas the perfumes multiply and never seem to dwindle. The one I was most disappointed in taking into consideration the price was the Hermes one. In a way, it was probably good because that cured me of wanting to try 10 other Hermes shower gels!

      The No.19 shower gel is very well done.

  14. That Carnal flower shower gel sounds lovely. I can imagine it being glorious – I have the perfume!
    I love using soaps in the shower rather than shower gels but have been searching for shower gels to love. (And I think I might have found a favorite.)

  15. It’s my first post on Undina’s blog, but am familiar with the generous and tireless hajusuuri! I too am a bit of a bath product fanatic–the No 19 is lovely, and the next iconic one I want to try is Shalimar (not to mention Carnal Flower). Never tried anything from Lush. My mid-price go-to is L’Occitane’s Almond Shower Oil, and my cheap thrills are Jason Tea Tree, Shikai Coconut, and
    Alba Botanica’s Midnight Tuberose. Just finished Korres Jasmine, which was fine but not memorable. Thanks to you both!

    • Caroline! Welcome to the blog! Shalimar is such a classic I never thought to look for a shower gel! The L’Occitane that I would purchase sight unseen is Eau des Baux — it took me over a year to take the plunge on the perfume (that is an unusually long time for me) and by then, the shower gel had been discontinued!

  16. I am a big fan of the L’Occitaine shower oil for everyday use, but also have a few scented shower gels. One is a flanker of the 4711 eau de cologne and really nice and affordable. I didn’t know Atelier Cologne had shower gels, have only seen the soaps. The Orange Sanguine shower gel would be perfect for me. I also got a sample of Sisley Eau de Campagne shower gel one time, and it is fabulous, but I cannot find it in my city.

  17. Oh some of these sound lovely. I have an annoying allergy to coconut, which has now spread to skin sensitivity–and almost every liquid soap product on the planet has some form of coconut or coconut derivative in it. All those coco-something ingredients that produce foam and slip. Argh. I miss Rose Jam. And the dinky little molton brown bottles which were so good for travel and gym. It’s sneaking into hard soaps too, replacing other oils, too… damn it.

      • It’s only been the last couple of years it’s affected my skin, but in that time I have not found a single shower gel or bubblebath that is without any–it’s boring old bath salts and hard soap these days. There are still many good and lovely soaps without–but I’ve learned the expensive and skin-peelingly-itchy way to check the ingredients carefully even on something I buy regularly–it’s remarkable how often things are swapped over. I should probably start down the DIY route with the salts…

      • oh joy! I found out today that Lush has a new Rose Jam product–a bubble bar. With NO COCONUT. None. Not a trace. (OK, SLS is sometimes coconut-derived but I still seem ok with those). I bought the last two they had in stock and will stalk them for some more. (though it might be a touch heavy on the princess-pink glitter. But I have a high tolerance for being sparkly, so, delicious rosy jammy bath treats for me ahead. Huzzah!

  18. Oh, I’m so glad to hear your take–you know I hadn’t thought of it, but it’s true that the Blackberry & Bay wash is not really thick enough to stand up to the shower. I use it that way anyway, but it probably should just be marketed as a hand wash. Meanwhile they’ve just debuted a Blackberry & Bay “shower oil” which does make a thicker lather–but unfortunately the lather has quite a sharp, sour smell that’s quite different from the perfume. Disappointing. Post-shower, it did leave my skin lightly perfumed with the correct scent, but for JM prices, one doesn’t really want any part of the experience to smell bad! (In fairness, I do really love my Blackberry & Bay body cream, so much that I’ve switched over to it from the perfume.)

    Beyond that, I’ve got some Rose 31 shower products which I love, but admittedly, using them to get *clean* is a bit paradoxical! And then I really loved the jasmine in the Godiva shampoo bar from Lush, but the product itself was not great–dried out my hair terribly, so I started using it as a soap bar instead, but then it turned rancid well before I could finish it. Alas. Will really look forward to hearing how your new shower gels go, can imagine I have several perfumes I’d like to use that way!

    • C.H.!!! Thanks for stopping by!

      Rose 31 becomes cooped up sweaty socks on me – yikes! I used Iris 39 this week and it was really lovely. I’m curious about the Blackberry & Bay Shower Oil – did it leave your shower floor kind of slippery?

      • Oh, thank you for alerting me!! So glad to get your detailed account on these!

        And laughing about Rose 31 as sweaty socks–luckily for me, I get something a bit more appealing than that, but for sure, “clean” is not a word I would use to describe it, so I’m a little surprised they’ve been such a big hit as the bath products. In Fairmonts worldwide, if I’ve understood correctly!

        For the Blackberry & Bay shower oil. As advertised, the oil foamed up completely to a nice thick lather that then rinsed away easily, so no slick floor that I noticed… but, do note, the “shower oil” is different from the B&B “bath oil” (why?!)–I haven’t tried the latter, but it isn’t advertised as creating a lather, so it might well make a tub slippery. And in truth I can’t totally swear to this question for the shower oil–the scent was really so off that I only tried it a couple of times before I took it back, thinking surely I had a bad batch. The excellent JM rep was candid with me that no, she has one of the B&B shower oils at home and that’s just what it smells like. Eep! So I was happy to exchange it for a hand wash, though I did prefer the shower oil’s texture…

  19. Hi Hajusuuri! I first smelled Rose Jam shower gel this season and I am smitten. I see that even when the perfume was available it was not quite as good. I find Calligraphy Rose similar but it doesn’t have the lightness of Rose Jam. Some say Tauer’s Rose Flash is a near dupe – but I haven’t smelled that. I’m now considering Lush’s White Musk Smokey Rose – which I didn’t like that much before – because it does have some of that simple lightness of the jam. Do you have any better suggestions?

    And I love it that Lush is only beaten by a Malle! (Wondering how many I would need to buy to last until next year’s release…)

  20. Hi Merlin! Rose Jam shower gel is fantastic and easily addictive. I’ve tried Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner and while it smells like a lighter version of Rose Jam, it left a waxy residue on skin – blech. If you have smelled Andy Tauer’s PHI Une Rose de Kandahar, you would have smelled a more sophisticated less sweet Rose Jam

    • Hajsuuri, I don’t actually like Ro’s Argan nearly as much. I think the almond oil in it changes the scent quite a bit! While more sophisticated sounds good I actually really like the lightness and simplicity of Rose Jam (I mean its strong, but still has a light/brightness to it). I haven’t tried PHI though, and I’m sure I need to…

  21. Pingback: Scented Shower Gels Draw Winner | Undina's Looking Glass

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