If you're sticking to a New Year's diet but you can't kick your chocolate craving, I might have a solution for you. Scented soaps, shampoos, lotions and bath products have been available for ages but recently, companies have been purveying products that smell so good they could be dessert.
Aromas such as lavender and vanilla are known to have calming, soothing effects and cinnamon and chocolate extracts are packed with protective antioxidants and decadent scents for relaxation. Even flavors like coconut and citrus can rejuvenate; they'll transport you from dreary winter weather to summer sunshine without leaving your bathroom.
For a sweet-scented shower, here are a few of the bakery-scented bath and body products in my current beauty arsenal.
HOT! Chocolate Organic Cocoa + Cinnamon Bath Soak: With Valentine's Day around the corner, it's the perfect time of year to relax in a tub of silky Organic Fair Trade cocoa butter that soothes skin while cocoa powder and cinnamon rejuvenates your senses with a decadent scent. Available online: WoodSprite Organic Body, 14 oz., $28.
ME Bath! Bath Ice Cream: After a long day, ice cream and a bubble bath might sound heavenly, but did you ever think about putting the ice cream into your bubble bath? With a scoop (or two!) of Bath Ice Cream in your tub, you can enjoy aromatic essential oils and minerals as if you were relaxing in a spa. Try a fun "flavor" like Coconut Cove (pictured) or Birthday Cake for a festive splash in your bath. Available online: MeBath.com, $8.50 each.
Shea Terra Organics Shea Body Butter: There is nothing better than shea butter for cracked or dry winter skin and Shea Terra makes one with 40% certified organic shea butter. It's light and non-greasy and the Bourbon Vanilla scent is warm and inviting. The shea butter, like most Shea Terra products, are 99% natural and Paraben Free, with no artificial fragrances. Available online: Shea Terra, 8 oz., $18.
Do it Yourself Blueberry Brown Sugar Scrub: If you want to add something tasty to your beauty routine but your favorite products are running on empty, you can create your own face and body scrub right from your fridge. Combine 2 cups brown sugar, 2 teaspoons pureed blueberries and 3 tablespoons lemon juice in a medium bowl. Apply to skin using circular movements during a warm shower and rinse to enjoy smooth, natural skin without spending a dime. (recipe: The Cliff House Resort & Spa).
Philosophy Butterscotch Bliss Shower Gel: Not everyone is as crazy about chocolate as I am. If butterscotch is your scene, this all-in-one shower gel, shampoo & bubble bath cleanses and conditions to leave hair and skin soft and smooth. The subtle scent will linger in your bathroom - and if you share quarters with the man in your life, we bet he won't even complain about the aroma. Available online: Philosophy, 17 oz., $16.
Several of the products mentioned in this piece were provided to me as complimentary samples. All opinions reflected here are 100% truthful and accurate.