Tuesday, October 12, 2010

If Sass Smells Like Plastic, Sassy Strawberry Mint 3-In-1 Works. Otherwise...

The Good: Initial scent, Versatility, Success at cleaning all over
The Bad: Foul enduring scent, PRICE!
The Basics: A nasty scent condemns what could have been a great three-in-one to the lowest corners of health and beauty hell.

I am a huge fan of mint. I absolutely love all things mint and I am a bit of a fan of strawberry scented and flavored things as well. So, when Bath and Body Works had a chance to wow me with combining the two scents: strawberry and peppermint, I was very much there and ready to try the product. Unfortunately for me, I went to the store, tried to smell it there and then returned home to discover it was something very different from what I anticipated.

The product is Sassy Strawberry Mint 3-in-1, part of the Temptations line at Bath and Body Works. It is part of their three in one line that I have had mixed experiences with. This little experiment in olfactory stimulation rather rapidly turned unpleasant, though.

Sassy Strawberry Mint is poorly named for the named scent only lasts a brief moment. Then, there is the main scent. The initial scent is the pretty generic strawberry scent that we have all become conditioned to accept as the scent of a strawberry, followed by a slight hint of menthol from peppermint. This primary scent lasts about three seconds, enough to open the user up to the scent and idea of strawberries, then it sucker punches the user with the main scent. Unless "sassy" smells like burning plastic, this product is not living up to the expectations I had.

The second scent that comes out of the bottle is a throat-closing, acrid scent. Plastic and heat is all my mind registers it as. It's like my olfactory nerves register the strawberry, the hint of mint and then it's burning plastic bottles for the next two minutes. The scent is not pleasant and the only decent thing about this is that this main scent does not linger on the skin the way the prior 3-in-1s did.

I have long suspected there is little chemical difference between shampoo, body wash and bubble bath and this 3-in-1 product seems to confirm that. It is a body wash, a shampoo and a bubble bath all in one. Bath and Body Works charges $12 for a 16 oz. bottle of the product, at least when I bought it. Rather cleverly, the clearance section still had Strawberry Mint at $12, they just wanted people to know it's on the way out. And frankly, it's easy to see why by the scent! But more than that, as someone who lives on a very tight budget, it should be noted that this is the first Bath and Body Works product I have ever thrown out before using it in its entirety. That level of foul deserves to be noted.

As a shampoo, Strawberry Mint was fine to use, after the secondary scent dissipated. Despite the bulky shape of the bottle (I used it for over a week now and the only reason I didn't dropped it was that I got used to how to hold it from my prior product experience), the cap is a simple hinge spout that makes getting the product out very easy and getting the bottle closed equally easy. Not having to screw the cap on or off means it's easy to simply open and close with one hand while depositing a quantity into the other hand before putting it in your hair.

I have rather long hair and I found I had to use a whole palmful of the Strawberry Mint in order to get it to lather through all of my hair. Because there is only sixteen ounces in the bottle, the speed at which I went through the product at the first two days alarmed me some. I discovered that I could get away with using a little less than a palmful of the Strawberry Mint and diluting it a little in my palm before applying it to my hair and it stretched a little farther (hey, why not get the most out of it!?). If I hadn't tossed it, I'm sure I could have gotten two months of shampoo out of this bottle.

As a shampoo, Sassy Strawberry Mint cleaned my hair wonderfully with no residue. I have dry hair and the product did not dry it out more, nor leave a greasy residue. The result was very clean hair that smelled pretty neutral after I washed all of the three-in-one out! As well, the product did not dry out my scalp. The product is mild on the eyes, which I discovered when I got some of the lather in my eye. Fortunately, Sassy Strawberry Mint's scent dissipates.

As a body wash, Sassy Strawberry Mint is wonderful - as a cleanser, the scent is still rank - and possibly the best value from this product. I use a very discreet dollop of this 3-in-one when I am using it as a body wash. I'm rather tall and my "discreet dollop" is about the diameter of the hole in a compact disc. Applied to a washcloth, lufa or latex pouf, it lathered up quickly with such a small quantity. I've been using my lufa mitt and that lathers up with less than a quarter-sized dollop quite well and stretches for a full washing.

As a body wash, it worked very well, not drying out my skin at all. It appears to have gotten me clean and I noticed no adverse effects. After a week of using it as a body wash, I'm satisfied that it is getting me clean, not reacting to my skin (I do not have sensitive skin), and not causing any problems. I have cuts on my hands from work almost constantly and this was mild enough that it did not bother my wounds.

As a bubble bath, it was wonderful, as far as lathering and bubbling up. Unfortunately, it also scented the entire bathroom and upstairs of my house with a plastic smell. I can't remember the last time I let a whole tub of bathwater go down the drain, but I could not bring myself to soak in this! The suds that the 3-in-1 created as a bath were wonderful and ample, despite my using only one capful of the product in my bath (the directions recommend two to three). Fortunately, they all washed down the drain fine (I was worried it might gain a consciousness and come back up the drain, but it did not. Fortunately.).

Sassy Strawberry Mint is a mixed bag. It works at cleaning. However, the price is stifling and the scent is so terribly unpleasant that I cannot in good conscience recommend it. Bath And Body Works gets a lot of its products right, but this one is just not one of them. It's easy to see why this one might get discontinued. The novelty of it wears off quickly (unlike Cinnamon Bun Heaven, which I'm still looking for a year later!) and the main scent is just cripplingly bad.

Go for virtually anything else in the store before you try Sassy Strawberry Mint 3-in-1!


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© 2010, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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