Generally speaking BBW does use just about the lowest quality ingredients (with some non-petro-chemical oils sprinkled in their for labeling purposes) - parabens, lanolin, petro chemicals( such as petroleum and mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate, synthetic perfumes etc...
They have an interesting marketing strategy of having sales nearly 80% of the time, buy 3 get 2 free is the usual 'sale' and twice a year they have buy 3 get 3 free. Monthly promotions of giving away product with purchase, usually quite genrous.
I stay away from all their lotions because of the low quality base ingrediants and their known ability to cause either allergy or worse. I'm not going to make specific accusations, I'd suggest you research them yoruself.
However, I absolutely can't resist the foaming bacterial handwash!!! The foaming action is soooo convenient, it's already lathered-up when it comes out!! There are some really fabulous scents, the kind that makes you want to cup your hands around your nose after you wash them.
My favorites are the 'Coconut Lime Verbena', 'Fresh Lavender', 'White Citrus' and 'Fresh Market Apple'. I stock up at their best sales event and use coupons. Heck I've got about 17 bottles right now, 3 open and the rest on stock and should last me until the next buy 3 get 3 free.
My rationale is, that since it is a soap, most of the product is washed off.
So the 2 stars is for having the foaming anti-bacterial handsoap.
*I really loved the 'White Citrus' and 'Fresh Market Apple' so I got the the anti-bacterial lotion as well. I put on the apple before I started writing because I love the smell of it... but now my eyes are watery and I've a tiny headache from it. I'll be returning these in exchange for more foaming handsoap :/
I'm old enough to remember when fragrances were not birthed by the hundreds each year, and there were no stores devoted to aggressively deodorizing (or is it odorizing?) American women with lotions and sprays and candles and gels in various pedestrian "fragrance" combinations of fruit, candy, and laundry soap. You can probably tell already that I hate BBW. I really do. They have cheapened the indulgent, intimate luxury of fragrance in ways I find unforgivable. Everything they sell smells like something piped through the vents at a Mall of America restroom. Plasticky, vague, nondescript, sweet-ish here and flower-ish there, just yawn yawn yawn stop already.
Oh BBW how I used to love you so! Unfortunately, the love has faded. What the ****** is up with all these old musky scents??? Seriously, why in the world would anyone want to smell like the secretions from the gland of a male musk deer? And do they know where that gland is located? Gross. BBW used to have all kinds of clean, refreshing, fruity, floral etc scents WITHOUT added musk. I just can't handling making myself and the people I care about sick with that nastiness. Come on BBW! Get with it already!
For all of us fragrance enthusiasts, B&BW is a fantabulous company! It's great to have their newest inventions to try! Keeps life interesting! :-) With all the sales they have, their prices are modest. Won't break the bank. And everyone needs several fragrances to choose from! So, a buy 3 get 3 free sale rocks!
I like BBW, but only for certain products. I also LOVE that they sell many travel-sized items. However, it can get expensive. True, they always have sales but many of them require you to buy in bulk (as of now they have a "Buy 3 get 3 Free" sale and I'm wondering why I need 6 bottles of lotion or mist or... anything, really).
Overall, I still think it's a great store, friendly staff (at least where I live), aesthetically pleasing and great variety.
It's hard to write reveiw on just one scent - so I'll write about the whole store. Bath and Body Works is great - their stores are well lit, clean, cheery, organized, nicely staffed, not obnoxiously scented, blah, blah, blah. But what really matters is the product, right?
The thing I love about Bath and Body Works is that their products smell amazing and LAST. Other body splashes wear off on my pale, dry skin almost instantly, but Bath and Body Works' splashes hold their scent for extended periods of time. They also come in a bazillion well-named scents - their Sunshine-esque line actually smells like SUNSHINE, for example, which defies logic, but they pull it off perfectly.
However, their stuff is EXPENSIVE. $12 for a body splash is, to me, a little on the ridiculous side, even if it has excellent lasting power. That, however, is where their sales and coupons come in. Typically, Bath and Body Works does a Buy 2, Get 1 and Guy 3, Get 2 promotion (in the U.S.), which is excellent. You can also always find coupons for them online, or get them handed to you in the store. They also have great semi-annual sales, like their Hello Yellow themed one, which I just attended. In this case, they had Buy 3, Get 3 going, and also a $10 off $30+ coupon handed to you when you entered, getting me six things, all priced around $10-$12, for just $26.
So basically, Bath and Body Works is a joy to shop in, has a ton of excellent, long-lasting scents, and is pricey but full of sales and promotions. If you like smelling good, you'll love it there.
Overall a nice store with a lot of variety to choose from. Prices aren't too bad IF you want numerous products or are purchasing something on clearance. I would never buy a single item at retail. I have had many dreadful experiences at "Buy 5, Get 2 Free" type of events (the item count is usually higher in Canada than the US), where I could find 4 things I wanted, or maybe 5, but its often difficult for me because I don't go in wanting a million products. I wish they did buy one get one half off, or something similar.
Also, I'm very upset with their e-mails and I wish I never agreed to join their mailing list. They e-mail on average 2 times a day. I once was away from my e-mail for an extended weekend and returned to almost 20 e-mails from them. I don't know how many people shop for these types of products on a daily basis, but I surely don't. As a result, I'm not too inclined to shop there, as their emails annoy me quite a bit! They should have once in a while coupons, or ones that are valid for certain periods but I don't need to be updated on the daily candle sale. And btw, $20 for a candle is not a sale. And anyways, how can they expect us to shop there so often when their sales require you to buy 50 things at once? If we shopped half as often as they sent e-mails we would have more of their products in our homes than they have in the store.
I primarily shop when they have their semi-annual sales, so I can buy their classic and discontinued scents and get good deals at up to 75% off. I can't wear regular parfum because of allergies but I am ok with B&BW body mists and splashes. My current favorite body scents are Sheer Freesia (which doesn't last very long), Coconut Lime Verbena for the summer and Warm Vanilla Sugar for the winter. Some other body scents that are nice are Pearberry and Lemongrass and Sage.
I have also found that I have purchased a few that I liked initially, then I got sick of very quickly like the True Blue Spa Shea Cashmere Fragrance Mist and Body Lotion, smells too much like buttercream frosting. I also really liked the Cotton Blossom a lot at first, but now I find it too strong smelling.
I also enjoy the wallflowers in vanilla bean noel and warm vanilla sugar for the winter. For candles I enjoy the Eucalyptus Spearmint aromatherapy and I also like the Sparkling Mojito room spray but find it doesn't last very long.
From what I understand they have a great return policy, so if you don't like it, they will take it back, no questions asked.
word to the wise: watch for hidden fees when ordering b&bw online. 4 items of equal size and weight, shipping $5.99. 3 items, shipping is $9.99 - why? a $4 "surcharge". the explanation? it "cost the company more in time and handling". kid you not. is it on the order when you place it? no. is the fee seperate and in addition to the total (i.e. item total + shipping + "additional surcharge")? no. IF you notice that your shipping goes up though your order went down, you can come the "customer service" page to find the "extra time and handling surcharge" for one less bottle of lotion or bodywash etc. do they have the right to do that.... hm. is it good business, good customer service, ETHICAL.... absolutely not. particularly when you can purchase the same items in store with no shipping nor handling nor "surcharge", even if the sales associate spends a great deal of time assisting you.
bottom line for me is this: love many of their products. would i EVER do business with them ONLINE again, no. something to be aware of.
(jessie? "floor supervisor"? work on that professionalism, hon.)
PROS: A wide variety of mostly "natural" scents, ranging from berries to florals to musks. Their candles are highly scented. They have frequent sales. Love their lotions, body sprays, and even plug-in air fresheners. Their "Lay it on thick" shower cream is very moisturizing and scented a divine pineapple-cream scent.
CONS: Without the sales, they are kind of pricey.