Molton Brown Renew Ambrusca Cleansing Shower Oil

When the nights grow longer and the palm trees are dressed as Christmas ones in the malls and the people of LA seem to be even happier than they normally are, I know it’s time to partake in one of my favourite holiday traditions: the long shower.

Bath times are a rarity when you’re a corporate rung by day, beauty blogger by night and Mum to a 90 lb. German Shepherd in between. To soothe the frayed nerves in a bath may be the ultimate luxury, but since time does not permit, the steady trickle of a smoldering hot rain shower drowning all five senses into a hazy relaxed oblivion more often than not suffices. But, last night something was different. The slow-paced pillowy suds didn't come from just any old shower gel (or a French one at that). Confounding my expectations of all things oils, a crop of body care wares ought to be admired – the shower oil.

It’s the first time I’ve come across this type of product. Sure, shave oils are en vogue for men (and their beards) and women (waaay down there), but oil-based body care as the new face of soap? Colour me happy!

I say body care, because Molton Brown’s Renew Ambrusca Cleansing Shower Oil ($34) isn’t some sort of commodity in a bottle whipped up to remove the day’s grime. Tsk, tsk if you dare qualify it as such, dear reader.

Coddling the skin is an androgynous olfactive experience, which brings Fractionated Coconut, Castor, Grapeseed and Argan oils to soften up skin while you scrub-a-dub dub. The ‘aha’ moment comes when you actually watch the oil pour into your hands as expected but unexpectedly froth up as you mix with water. It’s an elegant emulsified formulation that gently cleanses without stripping, leaving skin soft and supple.

It’s almost a romantic fantasy bottled up with care. The surprisingly luscious Ambrusca Grape-Leaf from the Ard├Ęche region of France brings heaps of antioxidants to newly shaved or scruffed skin, leaving a tinge of silkened sweetness atop skin. What I love about Molton Brown is how the products tend to avoid any ‘plasticky’ or ‘synthetic’ finishes in their scents. Ambrusca doesn’t differ from this long-established high quality. The Shower Oil has an interesting play of floral and woody notes; as the oil begins to unfold under the fretful rush of your shower, sniff out a crisp woody blend with a sweetish fruity top shrouded within delicate floral heart. The wickedly sexy unisex scent eschews the commonplace fetish for musk, and rather presents a graceful slip of zingy sense-stimulating notes that warm up to skin. Light enough to use for a shave, scented enough to leave you feeling refreshed, Ambrusca is makes you feel like all’s right in your day. Tip: did you know using an oil eliminates razor burn and extends the life of a razor? But, because this does rinse off, you'll need a body oil afterwards...and what better one than Molton's Cedrus blend.

Shower oils – the new way to wash.

Price: $$
Scent Classification: Woody
Viscosity: Slightly viscous