Rituals Foaming Shower Gel Sensation ~ scented body product review

Rituals Foaming Shower Gel Sensation

Rituals is a Dutch bath-and-body company founded in 2000, but since it only began selling its products in the United States about six months ago — first at Barneys, then in a Rituals storefront in New York's SoHo neighborhood — I didn't have the chance to try them until this winter. The Rituals product line is extensive, so I started with one of its best-selling products: Foaming Shower Gel Sensation, a new twist on an everyday shower item, available in six scents.

Whereas most shower-friendly body cleansers are thick liquids sold in bottles with flip-tops or pump dispensers, Rituals' shower gel is packaged in a metal canister like a shaving product. It acts like a shaving product, too, turning from a stream of translucent gel into a fluffy, foamy lather when it hits a damp washcloth or a mesh puff. (I prefer the latter for all my shower needs.) I'm not sure what the benefit of this foaming technology is; maybe it's just a gimmick? As a body product, this gel-foam is effective and seems gentle on the skin, but I wouldn't be recommending it if I didn't enjoy the fragrances, too.

Zensation is a very popular scent in the Rituals product catalogue; it's inspired by the Japanese cherry blossom, and we all know that cherry blossom body products tend to be hits. This seems like a nice enough take on the theme, with a fruity cherry note and a powdery-milky rice note. Although I must say that I'm just not a fan of cherry blossom products in general, I prefer this interpretation to the one sold by Bath & Body Works. (As Victoria recently mentioned in an article for the Financial Times, cherry blossom fragrances are never quite true to the real thing.)

Yogi Flow, however, is right up my olfactive alley. This blend contains sweet almond oil for its moisturizing effect and rosa damascena oil for its scent (as well as synthetic fragrance ingredients); the result is a bright, raspberry-tinged rose that fills the steamy air in the shower and lingers on the skin. It's not as rich and complex as the scent of Lush's Rose Jam, but since Rose Jam was only a limited edition, I'm happy to find something that I like enough to use as a substitute. I'm even tempted to return to the Rituals shop to pick up some matching body oil and lotion.

Hammam Delight was a last-second choice; it seems to be part of the Rituals "masculine" collection (darker packaging with blue accents, right?), so I initially wavered. I'm glad I ended up grabbing it, because its rosemary and eucalyptus scent is intensely aromatic and has turned out to be an excellent sinus-clearer for my seasonal pollen allergies. I also like having a more herbal shower product around for the warmer weather, whenever it comes.

I have to confess that when I first glanced over the Rituals line, I thought it was a bunch of Molton Brown knock-offs; now, having tried a few products and looked more closely at the boutique and the website, I can say that Rituals does have some interesting products to try and that I definitely prefer its fragrance blends to Molton Brown's signature scents, most of which have never quite agreed with me. Not to mention that the Rituals price point is lower...and now that I can easily try and buy more products from this company, I'll most likely be back for more.

Rituals Foaming Shower Gel Sensation in Zensation, Yogi Flow and Hammam Delight, as well as three other scents, is available in 200 ml ($15) or a $6 "mini" 50 ml ($6) sizes at the Rituals website.

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  1. scentfromabove says:

    I love a good shower gel. The Yogi Flow sounds amazing! Out of the three you discussed, that would be the one I would want. I love the Molton Brown shower gels. I usually get them on sale at Neimans, but to find something that is just as good for a cheaper price, that’s a win-win situation!

    • Jessica says:

      I can’t figure out why so few Molton Brown scents have worked for me. I actually really, really dislike quite a few of their fragrance blends. Maybe it’s a certain musk or citrus they’re using…?

  2. CM says:

    I think I got one of these in the gift bag for a Barneys Beauty Event but haven’t used it yet as I’ve been using up other gels. I’m moving this up on my list!

    • Jessica says:

      I usually have a few shower gels in rotation, too… and I’ve missed the past Barneys gift bag (or two?), but some really good items do show up in those bags!

  3. Furriner says:

    I got these at Barneys at the bag events in the fall and spring. While I find the cherry blossom scent a bit feminine for me, I’m very happy with the shower gel…. I really want to try some of the other versions. I also got “Fortune Oil” in my Barneys bag, which is Sweet Orange and Cedar Wood shower oil, which seems nice, though I’m not sure why to do with it! It foams, too!

    • Jessica says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever purchased a shower oil, just because I’m not sure exactly what to do with them, either! I notice that Rituals also has a “shower paste.” So many options, lol!

  4. hajusuuri says:

    I also got one of these from the Barneys gift event in October 2013 but have not used it and now I have to based on your review. I breezed by the Rituals store downtown the last time I had a mini sniffa with Daisy – I will be sure to visit it properly the next time I’m in that area.

    • Jessica says:

      Oh, fun — I love doing little sniffing-days with my friend N. The sales associate in Rituals was really pleasant and not hard-sell, which I appreciated — and then I ended up buying a few things anyway, after I had time to see and smell on my own!

  5. perfumey says:

    I got a full size in a Barneys beauty bag a while back & gave it to my sister-in-law . She used it on her kids & they enjoyed it . I bought 4 more & had them shipped to her . I’m glad they found something to like in the beauty bag :)

    • Jessica says:

      So funny! Lucky kids. And, fortunately, this line is the most affordable thing in the Barneys beauty department — good thing they didn’t all decide to like some Cle de Peau skincare, right? ;)

      • perfumey says:

        Yes thank goodness !

  6. Jonette says:

    I used their bath products and teas for years and have often given their lovely gift sets to friends. Their shops here in Holland are inviting and encourage you to test everything. Now they even occupy sections of department stores here, but I really used to love to shop in their first little boutique in Amsterdam.

    • Jessica says:

      Oh, that’s so nice — you’ve watched them grow! The gift sets do look like good presents, and now I’m curious about teas.

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