Unwrapping the lovely parcel containing the Apple & Bears gift collection I was due to review, I felt really excited. I am a great fan of bathing and moisturising products due to my stressful job and having a very dry and sensitive skin, so this item sounded like a Godsend to me!
I was quite overwhelmed by how luxuriously the packaging presented the contents and my first impression was one of a luxury brand and that this item would make a marvellous gift. Although the main logo for this collection is a neutral colour the body cream contained within has a pink monogram, which probably leans this set more towards the female market, although only the body cream is particularly identified for women.
I researched a little more about the box, as my Japanese friends always tell me that it is rude not to pay close attention to presentation of a gift, and this is equally important as the contents as the giver has taken care to choose and present this to you.
The gift box for the Apple & Bears Collection has a fine pedigree supporting British craftsmen, having been hand made by a British company with a long history of making bespoke gift boxes since 1816. I suddenly feel transported back to an age of elegantly dressed ladies from Jane Austenesque scenarios in beautiful Georgian homes opening their gifts made by this same company and I feel delighted. Apple & Bears comments particularly on this aspect of their ethos of sourcing British made packaging to house their British brand items and I have to say that the quality really shows here.
The bottles themselves are opaque, squeezable but slightly stiff, white plastic, the body silk has a pump dispenser and the body wash has a cap with a dispensing insert which snaps open and closed easily to dispense the gel. My first thought was that I was pleased to have a pump and dispenser on the items as the plastic of the containers is fairly robust although not completely rigid. The thoughtfulness of this inclusion was very much appreciated. The monogram gives the product itself a classy look and, on closer inspection, I could see that this bore reflected mermaids, fish and a spiral which could be interpreted as a shell form.
Swatching the products on my hand for the first time I noticed that the body wash has a mid coloured transparent look and has a very stiff, jelly-like texture. It has a light fragrance which is not overwhelming. Rinsing the product, I noticed that it produces a light lather, but not lots of foam. This is pleasing as it suggests that Apple & Bears do not overload their products with foaming agents.
The body silk is white in colour and has a mid texture, and is delivered cleanly by the pump. On my hands the product is readily absorbed and has a deeper, headier fragrance than the body wash which leaves me in raptures. I am a keen fan of exotic fragrances which deliver me from stress, and this one seems to work a treat! The fragrance seems to leave a lingering scent on the surface of the skin and the product leaves the skin feeling hydrated and plumped.
Maker’s scent information
Near the start of the trial, the makers of this product gave the reviewers additional information about the contents of the fragrances of each of the range. I was informed that:
‘The Pomegranate fragrance is Jasmin with a combination of different scents’
The idea that the main content of my product’s fragrance was jasmine only increased my excitement about this product review, as this is one of my all time favourites, being a real fan of deeply sensual and oriental fragrances. I really adore the fragrance of my product but I found it really hard to put my finger exactly on what the content might be. It reminds me a little of one of my very favourite products and I wonder it one of the ‘combination of different scents’ might well include tiaré blossom, which is often used with monoi oil. Certainly, to me, the fragrance is slightly reminiscent of this and is not purely the fragrance of jasmine.
Each time I reach for the bottle of body silk I just can’t resist cupping my hands whilst holding the pumped product and inhaling deeply before smoothing the cream over my skin. My instinct to treat my brain as well as my body has continued with each application and has become part of the ritual of application of this product. I have found this helps to relax and relieve stresses of daily life during those precious moments of pampering.
The body wash has lasted well; a little goes a very long way. The product lathers well, so that you feel it is doing its job, but does not produce clouds of foam. My skin does not feel dry after use which is a great bonus! I still feel that the texture is very stiff when dispensed, so I thought that a good way to keep my bottle would be on its cap to keep the product at the top. However, I have noticed that the bottle has still become slightly damaged over time from the need to squeeze it. The plastic is flexible, but robust and a little unreceptive to my constant battering and now bears some scars across its middle. If I were to have another I might replace the cap with a pump, similar to that on the body silk as this bottle still looks as chic as the day I opened the box and is a pleasure to look at on my window sill each morning and evening.
Using the body silk on the body after bathing, I have noticed that this product needs a little massaging to help it to be absorbed on damp skin. I use about two pumps for half a leg and, although the instructions recommend circular motion of application, I have found that an upward, brushing motion of application with the palms of both hands helps the product to be absorbed more quickly. Using less product initially also reduces the need for a great deal of time of application. It requires a little massage as white traces are left on the skin without this, however the massaging process is a small hardship and helps circulation within the skin tissue and the delicious fragrance left on the surface of the skin deserves further inhalation! The product leaves a moisturised and ‘locked in’ sensation of hydration from bathing, which lasts throughout the day. I have skin which is prone to eczema and psoriasis, but I have experienced no difficulties using the body silk on my skin although I have avoided one little patch just to be on the safe side.
I was very pleased to see that this brand supports a charity, in this case: Breast Cancer Care. The fact that some proceeds will go to support those experiencing cancer will encourage patronage by families who have been touched by cancer as well as others who just wish to give to good causes.
Details given regarding the ingredients state that it has ‘anti-aging and healing properties’. It certainly helps with the retention of moisture after bathing and I have noticed that my skin feels hydrated and youthful after application of both products. The body silk requires some massage to encourage absorption, but this is counter balanced by the amazing fragrance which makes the whole process worthwhile.
The body wash seems to have a texture which is stiffer than others I am used to and the bottle has become damaged during the product review period from dispensing the contents. The box used for the collection the collection is of superlative quality and I feel that this offers a truly luxurious first impression to the recipient.
The pricing of the product is quite high, but this collection would make a wonderful gift, especially in the knowledge that part of the money given will support charity and any recipient of this particular ensemble would not help but be thrilled to receive this item.