Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lotion and Lotion Vegetales..What are they?

Often you may come across perfume bottles simply marked 'lotion" or "locion" (when sold in Spanish speaking countries) and wondered what exactly is this so-called "lotion", it doesn't look like any lotion I have ever seen before. When we think of lotions, one immediately thinks of a thick, opaque milky fluid to be rubbed over the body, these formulas contain emollient ingredients to soften and replenish dry, flaky skin.

Some people on various perfume forums guessed that lotions were simply a sort of fortified cologne or toilet water. These lotions, also known by their full name of lotion vegetales, are simply vegetable oils impregnated by perfume oils, and usually fortified with glycerine or potassium carbonate. Many of these are non-alcoholic perfumes for usage in "dry" countries. These lotions are to be rubbed liberally onto the skin after bath, as lavish body rubs or applied to the face after shaving, these were said to be more lubricating than plain old eau de cologne or eau de toilettes. Some men also applied the lotion vegetale to their beards or mustaches.

Sometimes, these watery, alcohol based lotions were also used to condition, groom and perfume the hair and were applied in beauty salons by hairdressers. Today, if you walk into any drug store, the only lotion vegetale you may come across is the Lilac Vegetale by Ed Pinaud, which has been manufactured for over a century. A bit old fashioned, yes, but terribly tasteful.

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