In early February of last year, I stopped at a Lush boutique to try out the limited edition products for Valentine's Day 2013. I was intrigued by an item called Tender is the Night, but I decided not to purchase or review it because it would be gone in a week or so; what was the point? Just two weeks ago, I noticed that Lush had re-released this product. When a sales associate cheerfully informed me that it was now part of the year-round collection, I pounced. I needed a little late-winter pick-me-up, anyway!
The new-and-improved Tender is the Night massage bar is oval-shaped with a pink floral ornament, rather than heart-shaped as it was last year, and supposedly it has an improved formula with a new "aerated" texture. My memory might be playing tricks on me, but I think its fragrance has also been adjusted. I remember last year's version smelling strongly of jasmine, like Lush's hot-pink Lust bar soap. According to the current description on the Lush website, the original name for Tender is the Night's scent blend was "Vanilla Orchid." That would make sense, because this fragrance is a balance of gourmand and floral notes. The vanilla is reminiscent of real vanilla beans, the ylang ylang is rubbery-sweet, and the jasmine is creamy (and not particularly indolic).
If you like your jasmine perfumes and body products to smell somewhat heady and animalic, you might not care much for Tender is the Night. If, on the other hand, you think you'd like something that smells like vanilla custard with a few white flower petals sprinkled on top, you should give this item a sniff. As usual, Lush combines natural and synthetic fragrance ingredients, so the scent is vivid and long-lasting. I use this massage bar like a solid lotion, just applying it directly to arms and legs with a few firm strokes, then rubbing the residue into the skin. The base for this product is primarily murumuru butter and shea butter, and it actually sinks in pretty easily. The fragrance lingers for an hour or two, or longer if I apply generously.
One last point: you can probably guess that this product's name is part of its appeal for me. Lush says the name is "inspired by Blur’s song 'Tender' and 1920’s author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel of the same name." That may well be, but I'd also like to point out that Fitzgerald borrowed the phrase from the English Romantic poet John Keats. Have you read Keats's "Ode to a Nightingale" lately? If not, you should! I'm going to re-read it right now, after scenting myself again with this dreamy jasmine-vanilla-ylang treat.
Lush Tender is the Night Massage Bar sells for $11.95. For purchasing information, see the listing for Lush under perfume houses.