Saturday, March 29, 2008

Almonds in the bath.

I believe in keeping two sets of bath products -- one consisting of your typical drugstore brands like Pantene, Johnson & Johnson, Olay, and another set purchased at boutiques that promise to transport you to Provence or Somerset with a single whiff of their body milk. The latter is bound to be significantly pricier, but a rough day at the office is better washed away with soap delicately fragranced with moonflowers fertilized with the laughter of babies and harvested by silver-winged fairies than say, an antibacterial invigorating body wash. Fairy labour is expensive, but you get what you pay for, you know what I'm saying?

No fairies were harmed in the making of these bath products.

My premium bath product of choice these days is L'Occitane's renowned almond shower oil. Don't let the words "shower oil" put you off -- the oil lathers beautifully when water is added, whether or not you use a shower puff. It also moisturizes better than a foaming body wash and prevents tight, itchy post-shower skin. I've been able to get away without using a body lotion after using the almond shower oil, though of course I wouldn't recommend this if you live in a harsh, dry climate. I also purchased a cheap ginger almond oatmeal exfoliant bar from Trader Joe's to supplement the shower oil; at US$22 for a 250ml bottle, the shower oil would ruin me financially if I used it everyday. I like my ginger almond oatmeal exfoliant bar, but its exfoliating properties are laughable. Only a sprinkling of oatmeal went into the bar and fifty odd pieces of oatmeal in a hefty slab does not a satisfying scrub make.

And yes, I am fond of the faintly floral, milky sweet scent of almonds. I love almond flavoured foods like marzipan, nougat, baklava and almond milk tea, but NOT the almond cookies that get passed around during Chinese New Year like an unwanted nephew. They taste nothing like almonds and everything like sawdust, which is what every other Chinese New Year cookie tastes like. I swear the cookie-baking aunties use the same recipe but attempt to fool us by shaping the dough differently. Cookie-baking aunties, I am ON TO YOU.

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