The Body Shop’s latest Fuji Green Tea range, on sale in New Zealand from Monday, April 20, is one of the best the company has offered, and we’re not exaggerating. For starters, the full, fruity smells that we’ve become accustomed to with its earlier special editions is gone, replaced by a pure, healthy, subtler green tea scent. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the fruity and even chocolatey approaches of the Body Shop, but it’s great to see they have more secrets up their sleeves that they are gradually showing off to the public. Secondly, the methods the Body Shop has taken with the Fuji Green Tea range are very different: it has taken a uniquely eastern approach, combining tradition and authenticity with the Body Shop’s socially responsible aims.
Green tea has antioxidant qualities, and we’re used to drinking it for its health benefits, but the Body Shop takes this idea further. Going into Japanese tradition, it found that women even bathed in it, and it’s believed to tighten pores help skin retain moisture, and have anti-ageing qualities.
Sourcing authentic green tea from Mt Fuji, the Body Shop has developed an entire range featuring just what its customers expect: body scrub (250 ml, NZ$44·95); body butter (200 ml, NZ$36·95); body lotion (250 ml, NZ$24·95); body wash (250 ml, NZ$16·50); eau de cologne (100 ml, NZ$39·95); and exfoliating soap (100 g, NZ$19). However, the pièce de résistance has to be the bath tea, 300 g of goodness for detoxing and cleansing for NZ$64, allowing you soak those stresses away in Japanese fashion.
With a metal container evoking a traditional tea tin, the bath tea comes with an infuser. Pour in the mixture of crystals and tea leaves, and let the water run over it. The water turns a nice green hue, and it smells great. A soak is indeed calming and soothing, leaving skin feeling healthy. You know the ritual—as fun as it is going through it—has a practical side, too.
We sampled the body scrub as well, which is particularly effective, and only requires small quantities to work its magic.
That feeling continues afterwards with the body butter for 24-hour hydration—the Body Shop suggests that the body lotion would be ideal for lighter hydration, and the Body Sorbet (200 ml, NZ$26) is a fresh alternative.
The bath tea may be the pièce de résistance, but the surprises don’t stop: the eau de cologne is the icing on the proverbial cake. It’s actually a light, fruity floral, although you can detect the green tea mixed in among the top notes; the floral heart is very memorable and fresh. The Body Shop says it’s bergamot, lemon and mandarin that we detect there, and camellia, jasmine and violet in the middle. It’s actually a very elegant scent, something you would expect wearing a far more expensive label, and, like the rest of the Green Tea line, it’s a bargain. It’s not often a $40 scent smells like something that’s commonly twice or thrice the price.
As a range, it’s one of the most complete and satisfying the Body Shop has offered.
The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea range will be available online and at New Zealand retail outlets from next week.