Thursday, May 15, 2008

A little whine

What with the ridiculous amount of R&D that goes into skin care products, you'd think they'd get it right most of the time. Not so! I bought a new product last week - Befine exfoliating cleanser (with brown sugar, sweet almond and oats). All of their products say "Food Skin Care" under the word Befine. The tube of product even has a photograph of an almond on it.

So, being a lifelong fan of Kiehl's Milk, Almond and honey scrub, the Befine product sounded good. Imagine my surprise as I brought the first nicely thick cleanser to my face: it smells like mint! Mint? It was an olfactory shock!

Seriously, if you put all those food items on your tube and a picture of an almond, you'd at the very least expect to smell some almond. Smelling mint caused a feeling of disorientation. It just wasn't right. It was like biting into a nut only to taste spearmint.

I don't care if this product "works" or not. Befine: you have lovely new displays and a nice website, but I fear you are doomed to fail for creating sensory incongruity. How could they have gotten it so wrong?

As for Kiehl's, I love their scrub, but consistently forget that one can now order their products on-line. I used to shop at their original store when it looked like a pharmacy. After I moved to Maine, I would either have visitors pick me up some of this cleanser or get it myself when I was down in New York City. Somehow, I can't bring myself to obtain it any other way. Maybe it's pure nostalgia. I do not like the new Kiehl's, with its pretension (and busy store). I miss being the only customer in the shop, to tell you the truth. Ah well. Nothing stays the same. . .

Art note: Van Gogh's "Blossoming Almond Tree"

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