I have to confess that I'm not really sure how to categorize this review. Once again, Lush — creator of powdered toothpaste and solid bath gel — has gotten very creative with its product formulations. Right now I'm mystified and charmed by its new "wash cards." I happened across these clever little inventions when I was browsing the Lush website and noting the addition of several new perfumes. I was pondering my next opportunity to get to a Lush store to try them, and wondering whether my local Lush would even carry the full line, and then I noticed the wash cards and ordered a few.
So what are they? Each wash card is a flat rectangle, measuring about one inch by three inches, made from a mix of apple pulp and cellulose fibers. Each card is infused with a detergent ingredient (sodium lauryl sulfate) and fragrance, so that it serves as a "perfume tester to go" (according to Lush) as well as a very skinny soap. The card can be sniffed dry — they're very well-fragranced — and when it's wet, it releases a scented lather too. I'm guessing that wash cards help to side-step the challenges of stocking and shipping sample vials of liquid perfume (fragile and flammable!), while also staying consistent with Lush's image as a colorful soapmaker.
I've been trying four different wash cards in rotation over the past week, and it's been a fun way to sample four new scents while keeping my hands nice and clean at this germy time of year. What Would Love Do? is a green card, and mine has a few apple seed shards visible in the card's surface, which is kind of neat. This fragrance is a cozy blend of lavender and tonka bean, sweet and soothing. If you like Lush's Twilight shower gel or Sleepy lotion, you'll like (or love, hah) What Would Love Do?.
I'm Home (a light brown card) turns out to be another comfy fragrance. It smells like a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream with caramel and chocolate sauce drizzled on top, and although I'm not as much of a gourmand fan as I used to be, it made my mouth water. If you've enjoyed Lush's Honey I Washed the Kids soap or It's Raining Men shower gel in the past, you'll probably have the same response to I'm Home. And, also in the food-inspired category, there's Cardamom Coffee (a dark brown card), an earthier scent that really does evoke Turkish coffee with cardamom and just a little bit of sugar.
Lastly, I was looking forward to trying Amelie Mae, since it sounds like the little sister to Imogen Rose, an old favorite of mine. This is a rosy-pink card, and it emits a happy, girlish blend of rose, sugared red berries and ylang ylang. It actually reminds me more of Snow Fairy crossed with Rose Jam than Imogen Rose, which is just fine. Now I really want to try the actual Amelie Mae perfume.
These cards are good introductions to the new Lush fragrances, but I do still feel like I need to try the perfumes to find out how they'll unfold and endure on my skin. If you're wondering how long they last, I can tell you that I've tested some of them for five hand-washes and they're still going strong. The card doesn't disintegrate; instead, it gradually loses its lather and scent, at which point you can dispose of it. I've also realized that an unused wash card would do an excellent job of scenting a dresser drawer, desk drawer or closet shelf.
If you've already been lucky enough to try the new Lush perfumes in person, let us know what you thought in the comments! And if you're looking for a way to sample them without making a trip to a Lush store, consider adding a wash card to your next order of bath bombs and skincare. I only wish I'd tried these earlier so that I could have recommended them as holiday stocking-stuffers!
Lush Wash Cards in What Would Love Do?, I'm Home, Cardamom Coffee, Amelie Mae and other scents are available for $1.95 each. They are available through Lush stores and the Lush website.