Bath & Body Works NEW Lavender Vanilla Scent

Here is another story of something hard to get rid of:

I mentioned recently how much I like the Bath & Body Works lavender-vanilla scent, and that I had placed a largish order. It arrived—and the scent is different. It’s hard to describe a scent to say what’s different/wrong, but it IS different/wrong. The sweet part of the smell is now more like honey than vanilla, and the lavender isn’t as sharp or as noticeable. I tried to talk myself into thinking it WASN’T different, just FRESHER, but no: it’s different. I used it anyway for awhile, thinking it would grow on me, but no: I don’t like it.

Here are the things that make it hard to get rid of:

1. I JUST bought it a few months ago!

2. And I was so happy about it when I ordered it, and happy again when I stashed my treasures away, and happy again every time I saw them waiting there!

3. And I bought so much: four body washes and two lotions, plus two each of travel-size body wash and lotion!

4. And it’s EXPENSIVE. I bought it as a SPECIAL THING to USE SLOWLY.

5. It can’t be all THAT different.

But…I didn’t want it. I am halfway through the first body wash, and each time I use it the smell makes me feel a little sick. This is silly. What, I’m going to use it all, feeling sick the whole time, because it was expensive and I’m sad it didn’t work out? No. And I’m not going to return it, not after several months, and I don’t want to try to sell it on eBay.

The key was finding the right place to donate it. Goodwill didn’t seem right. Freecycle would have been okay, but not quite right. The local food/necessities pantry seemed right: they give out free food and toiletries to families who need them, and my daydream is that some of those families include members who LOVE Bath and Body Works stuff and will like this scent and will get that TREAT feeling out of it. It was hard to bag it up, but there was relief in putting it into the collection bin.

17 thoughts on “Bath & Body Works NEW Lavender Vanilla Scent

  1. Suzanne

    Oh yes! You landed on the perfect way to donate it. Excellent!

    Also: BOO to you, Bath & Body Works, for changing the scent! That kind of thing makes me feel so… mournful, I guess is the appropriate yet oddly melodramatic term I am looking for. And I feel like BBW should KNOW BETTER. After all, they keep trotting out old scents from when I was in high school; it can’t be to attract NEW people to Cucumber Melon and Plumeria, can it? It must be directed at ME and my fellow former high school classmates, who use a whiff of Sun Ripened Raspberry to relive those carefree high school summers through scent memory. So WHY would they CHANGE A MUCH LOVED SCENT?

    Mournful and ranty, I guess.

  2. Alexicographer

    Well. Frustrating. But! Good that hopefully these items will reach people who need them and will enjoy them. Thank you for figuring out how to make that happen.

  3. Alyson

    This time I’m not going to try and talk you out of this at all. I think it’s the perfect solution. Good job.

  4. Shawna

    Good for you for finding a good place to donate it all! When scented products come into my house that I don’t like or my daughter can’t use because she has sensitive skin, I think about how I should donate it to a women’s shelter or homeless shelter… then I picture the time it will take to find out where and how to donate it, go there, and then present them with what at that point seems like a pitifully inadequate donation of one bottle of body wash. So it just sits in my bathroom cupboard taking up space until I can find a guest or friend to foist it off on, and that can take YEARS!

    1. Chris

      What if you started a box in the garage for such items (and clothing, etc) and then donated it when you had a good amount of items? Might make it feel more worth it. :)

  5. el-e-e

    Similar: I recently bought a candle from Pier One, thought I loved it in the store, but I’ve gotten it home and changed my mind. Every time I’m in the room with it, I’m wondering, “WHAT is that smell and where is it coming from?” Today I finally realized: it smells exactly like a body spray I used to use, solely after the gym, when I was going to the gym regularly on my lunch break. So it reminds me of trying to cover up sweaty/smelly. (And that I no longer go to the gym.) I need to get rid of that candle.

  6. Judith

    I don’t understand why they do that. And using the exact same name, what’s the deal with that? At least give some warning and put a “new and improved” [Ed. note: ha!] label on it, so people know what they’re getting into, or better yet, give it a different name when it’s now a different scent!

    It happened to me with a Body Shop scent, specifically, their White Musk body lotion. For some reason, it just worked super well with my skin and smelled absolutely amazing. I never even got a body wash or shampoo because with their prices, it’s a luxury item for me, and body lotion got me the longest enjoyment scent-wise.

    Like you, I ration those things out, but invariably, they do eventually get empty. And at some point, I bought a new bottle, and also got that something’s-not-right feeling when I used it for the first time. They changed something about the scent that now makes it slightly sharper with some rough (don’t know how else to describe it) undertones. I was so disappointed. Not only had I wasted precious money on it, something that was meant as a TREAT when I needed and/or deserved one but had now let me down, but my drawn-out replacement schedule also meant I was way too late to find some bottle with the original recipe.

    I got one last bottle from my aunt who happened to have one stashed away in a cupboard, but after that, I knew that was it. So I rationed it even more, but it’s long gone now, and the bottles with the old name but wrong content mock me any time I happen to see their products.

    1. Shawna

      Body Shop also changed my favourite vitamin E lip balm, and the staff didn’t even know it. It’s always had an spf of 15, but they changed the component that gives it the spf – the original was tasteless, and it now has that bitter sunblock taste so I can’t wear it anymore.

  7. Matti

    That is so frustrating and disappointing. I’m sorry they changed your favorite scent! But, I do think you found the perfect place to donate them to, and much like the dishes you just donated, I’m picturing somebody getting the REALLY NICE stuff and just being delighted.

  8. Ernie

    Well done, sorry it didn’t work out for you. I’m fussy about scented stuff. If I’m near someone on a poll an or church and they’re wearing a strong scent that I don’t like, I feel sick wouldn’t tolerate it well in my house. Dislike the trickery bed bath used here!

  9. liz

    Good choice of place to donate. If you’ve got a women’s shelter nearby, that’s another good place to give luxury self-care items that you won’t use.

  10. Gina

    Women’s shelters generally need toiletries. Those women and kids often leave in the middle of the night with only what they are wearing. They would probably really appreciate the donation.

  11. ernie

    sorry, my comment was supposed to say ‘on a plane’ or in a church, not in a poll, or whatever. Ironically, I was on a plane – trying to get my comment posted before I had to put phone on airplane mode.

  12. Jessemy

    Oh man, I really loved that lotion too! The slightly medicinal lavender was what I liked about it. Sigh. Oh well, I still get my lavender fix from my husband’s Barbasol (leg shaving).

  13. Sarah!

    Great idea of what to do with the bottles! Another idea could be to pair them up with a pretty ribbon/tissue paper for gifts. Just because it’s not your favorite scent anymore doesn’t mean a random family member/daughter’s pre-teen friend having a birthday party won’t enjoy it! :)

  14. Bethany West

    Hey! I love that you did this. When I was in high school, I spent my senior year living on my own. For Valentine’s day one year, someone collected toiletries instead of doing gifts and donated them to the school district for unaccompanied children. I got some soap, lotion, and other things. It wasn’t much, but it made a world of difference to me to know that some stranger cared, that the school district cared, that the program coordinator cared. It was so meaningful.
    So thank you. I appreciate that you helped someone. It’s wonderful.

  15. misguidedmommy

    It’s too late now, but I believe they will actually take back all of the items if you have a receipt and exchange them for a scent you like more. In fact, I’ve heard they take it back even without the receipt.

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