We’ve all seen the huge queues outside Crabtree & Evelyn (they’re practically becoming a HK tourist sight in themselves!), and we’ve all probably wondered ‘Why?!’. After all, with its demure image and housewife’s favourite status, Crabtree & Evelyn hardly seems the kind of brand to inspire such insanity!
Not daring to venture into a store over Christmas, I instead asked if Crabtree & Evelyn could send me some products to see what all the fuss was about. They very kindly obliged with a few items from their newest Pomegranate Argan & Grapeseed Collection… and I was almost instantly won over! A Deep Cleaning Hand Wash ($245) doesn’t sound like much – posh name for soap, right?! – but oh my, was this something.
First up, it looks absolutely amazing, like crushed rubies in a bottle. Trust me, I’d have thought I was the last person to be saying that a hand wash looked amazing, but almost every single person who has visited the bathroom since it appeared has commented on it!
Secondly, it smells amazing. If I’d have known pomegranates smelt so good, I’d have been decking out the house in them by now. It’s sensually fresh and fruity (it’s blended with zesty citrus, clementine blossom and fig leaf to make it even more enticing) but without being overpowering.
Thirdly, it works WONDERS. I still can’t believe I’m talking about a hand wash here. It includes sunflower wax granules, meaning it has some exfoliating qualities too, so your hands are left wonderfully clean, beautiful-smelling and super-soft too. Everyone in my household has become strangely obsessed with going to the bathroom since the hand wash made its debut… my boyfriend even commented he was now spending so long delightedly washing his hands, that his fingers were going wrinkly under the tap! If that’s not a sign of a good hand wash (definitely not just the posh name for soap!), then I don’t know what is!
Next up was a bottle of Pomegranate Argan & Grapeseed Hand Recovery ($275). This is more like an exfoliating scrub for your hands and contains fine pumice and two sizes of salt crystals to buff away all your rough skin. It has the same gorgeous scent and leaves your hands feeling noticeably MUCH softer and smoother. Just remember, this stuff needs to be rinsed away afterwards as you’ll be left with a slippery residue of sand-like grains otherwise. Also, despite how addictive getting super-soft polished hands is, this is quite a heavy-duty scrub so I wouldn’t recommend using it more than once or twice a week.
Ideally, you should top off your now creamily smooth mitts with a hand cream… and of course, Crabtree & Evelyn has dozens! In fact, I’d say hand creams are pretty much their signature product – we can’t be the only family who always seems to receive a box of them come Christmas (the result of all those queues I guess!). I was sent one of their newer fragrances, India Hicks Island Living Hand Therapy ($135 for 50g); I personally find some of Crabtree’s more intense floral scents a little overpoweringly sweet but Island Living is gorgeous. It’s inspired by the exotic island where designer Hicks has a home and it shows.
A soft blend of spider lily, tropical fruits, night-blooming jasmine and green palms amongst other things, my nose isn’t skilled enough to pick out all those notes, but I know I like it! It’s a very subtle mellow scent but with a hint of tropical balminess to it – and more importantly, thanks to the liberal dose of shea butter in the ingredients, it leaves your hands feeling silky soft and supple.
The cream itself is pretty thick but absorbs easily; however, I found that compared to other hand creams I’ve tried, the moisturising effect fades quicker and may not be strong enough for really dry, flaky, cracking skin – although Hand Therapy proves much more effective when used with the rest of Crabtree’s hand treatments.
However, the thing that I love most about all these Crabtree & Evelyn lotions and potions is that they bring a touch of indulgence to the everyday. The scrummy scents, the beautiful packaging and the luxurious feel of the products means that every time I wash my hands or slick some hand cream on in the MTR, it feels like a little treat!
Plus, my whole household is now addicted to that Hand Wash. I’m really not sure we… or our hands… can go without. So I’m a total convert to the Crabtree cause – you see in line soon!
Crabtree & Evelyn, Basement 2, Time Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2576 6682; Shop 138, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, 2523 8668
Find all other Crabtree & Evelyn locations in Hong Kong here