I am what could be termed a perfume serial monogamist: when I open one, I wear it without alternating with any other until is all used up, and then and only then I’ll start a new one, which is never the same one, and rarely it is one I’ve used in the past.
Nevertheless, this summer I broke with that long habit forced by circumstance: in late spring I started using “IN2U for her” by Calvin Klein, and not long after that I decided to switch to “Verveine” by L’Occitane.
CK IN2U For Her
I got this months ago for my birthday, and when I opened my gift I thought “yay, I have my perfume for this summer”, thinking that it would be along the lines of the CK “Summer” range, which I often wear in this season.
But it didn’t turn out that way exactly: to me, CK IN2U for her is more suitable for balmy days in late spring and early autumn, and possibly for moderately warm summer days, in those places in the world that (I’m told) have such things like moderate summers. For the fiery weather of my place in the world, where 38º C/100º F days are all too common for weeks, I feel this fragrance is just too warm (strange, considering it’s a primarily citrus scent), and even suffocating.
Weather circumstances aside, I like this eau de toilette: it opens with citrus notes and a masculine, woodsy element, which for me is one of the best things about it… after a little while, the grapefruit in it becomes more apparent, and the citrus aroma becomes sweeter, but not to the point of being cloying, something for which I have a low tolerance. (I detest nearly all predominantly sweet perfumes, and in the summer they become my bane… to the point that if somebody wearing a too-sweet perfume gets close to me, sometimes it even makes me want to attack them with a wet sponge.)
It works well with my skin, doesn’t have much projection (apparently, you can only smell it if you’re standing right next to me, which is what I prefer – points for that), and doesn’t last very long, which is fine by me in a fragrance for spring-summer – unlike fragrances for cooler weather, in which case lasting power is a must for me.
On the whole, I find IN2U For Her by Calvin Klein a “cheerful”, upbeat scent without too much complexity or depth of character. I think this is a springtime fragrance for young girls, though I wouldn’t take this too seriously either: I know a number of dull, tired, stuffy old ladies of twentysomething, and jaunty, easygoing young ladies of 55+ years of age. The impression I have is that if you belong to the latter group, or think you could belong to it at some point, this scent might be a nice, not too serious option for mild weather.
My rating: 3.75 points: although it’s quite yummy and I like it a lot, on the whole this scent isn’t terribly remarkable or memorable, and I don’t think I’ll go back to it again in the future.
Eau de toilette “Verveine” by L’Occitane
I don’t find the scent of verbena particularly attractive most of the time, and usually colognes and perfumes that feature this scent prominently don’t excite me much: if I hadn’t received a tiny travel size set of this eau de toilette + exfoliating shower gel with a gift, I never would have tried this, and I usually like L’Occitane’s perfumes.
So I had these lying around a bit forgotten for a while, until the onset of deadly heat that exterminated my desire for using anything fragrant… I actually don’t really mind hot weather, I even like it up to a point, but you know things are seriously infernal when I don’t want to spritz myself. I then remembered this Verveine eau de toilette from L’Occitane, and decided it was time to give CK’s IN2U a rest and use this instead, and what a good pick it was: it was perfect for the days of intense heat.
This scent is so cool and fresh and easy to wear, very lemon-citrusy and “green”; it smells crisp and clean, and I even find it puts me in a good mood. Besides, this tiny bottle has lasted an unexpectedly long time: this small 10ml / 0.33oz bottle has lasted me for weeks of on-and-off use, and there’s still a little left.
However, since nothing’s ever perfect, the problem I find in this fragrance is its lasting power, or the lack thereof… a little while after applying it can hardly be felt, so it’s almost like wearing a mist. In truth, I don’t mind this all that much, because as I said before, I don’t really expect my summer fragrances to hang around for very long. Nevertheless, for the price of the full-sized eau de toilette, I do think it could be better in this respect.
Even so, after using this sample size, I think I would go for the full size on another occasion, and even try other products in this line; so to the Verveine de L’Occitane eau de toilette I would give 4 points (would even go to 4.5, except for the lasting power of the fragrance); I think it’s an ideal fragrance for hideously hot and humid days.
Verveine Exfoliating Fresh Shower Gel
This is another product that I never would have bought for myself, and after trying I became sure of that. I don’t remember ever having bought an exfoliating shower gel of any brand, and of those I’ve tried because I got them as samples or gifts, I never found one I really liked. This exfoliating shower gel is no different.
This shower gel has very tiny and fine exfoliant particles, and I’ve no idea what they are exactly, since it doesn’t say a word about it on the packaging, and I couldn’t find this product in L’Occitane’s website (could be that it’s discontinued and with good reason)… I’m suspecting these could be plastic microbeads, something I’m rather wary of lately, and in that case that would be quite puzzling, to say the least, given L’Occitane’s emphasis on the firm’s environmental and social concern, use of organic ingredients and so on…
See analysis in CosDNA.
I’m going to assume that if these beads were something else the brand would make a point of mentioning it, same as they mention all the pure and worthy things they put into their products, along the lines of: “the exfoliating particles in this gel are made by hand from the first nail clippings of baby fairies, collected at the first kiss of dawn by a cooperative in the fields of Provence”, or what have you… (and if that was so, the overall price point of this line would make a little more sense, too).
In any case, as a body exfoliant I find this rather pointless. The description on the back of the packaging says that the idea is “to gently scrub and cleanse”, but this doesn’t feel like it’s doing any scrubbing or anything at all, nor does it leave skin feeling soft, smooth and silky like my favorite exfoliant: sugar from my pantry.
I suppose someone with very delicate skin, who can’t tolerate any mechanical scrubs that are even remotely abrasive, would find these fine, sparse microparticles a better option, though I question this too because this gel includes several ingredients that aren’t great for sensitive skin; as for me, what works and leaves my skin the way I like it is a good sugar scrub; sugar me, or leave me alone.
Queen Celia, the First of Her Name – via GIPHY
As a shower gel alone I’d think it would improve considerably, because it’s refreshing, smells just as good as the eau de toilette and doesn’t feel drying on my skin… IMO, they could have skipped the exfoliating element.
In fact, I stopped using it, and now I don’t really know what to do with the unfinished tube of shower gel, another thing I dislike, because I try to use up everything I have. I also didn’t really know how to rate this product at first, since I used it so little, but frankly, I don’t think this would go beyond 2 points. I mean, I don’t think this is a terrible product, but also not a very good one either… the shower gel saves it from being terrible, but the exfoliating element is crap.
1 point: No! Never again, not even if you gave it to me, or even paid me to wear it.
2 points: I didn’t finish the container and it’s very unlikely I’d buy this again. It might work for you, but it does nothing for me.
3 points: Meh. I’ll use up my jar/tube, but I don’t think I’d buy again. It might work for you, but it doesn’t do much for me.
4 points: I like it. It’s nice and does its job. I might buy this again, if I find nothing I like better.
5 points: I love it! It does its job very well, I find it a pleasure to use, and it’s earned its place in my beauty routine.