Since I am a cheerful and regular imbiber of wine, due entirely of course to a respect for the antioxidant benefits of a component of grape called resveratrol. People who regularly drink moderate amounts of red wine tend to have 20-30% percent fewer instances of coronary heart disease. Well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. Along with my flexible definition of moderate.
So when Re:Vive Organic Beauty came my way with a cleanser called Vino Red Grape Extract Cleanser ($26.50), my first reaction was “I’ll drink to that”. This creamy cleanser has an aloe base, coconut oil, chamomile and green tea. Re:Vive is a Wisconsin-based spa with a line of “farm-to-face” skincare products.
My first impression of the cleanser certainly seemed to be vat-to-face with a hearty whiff of fermented grape. It reminded me, not unpleasantly, of my best and oldest friend. Not don’t get the wrong idea; eau de vin is not her choice of perfume. For about a decade she had a very honorable shot of creating a vineyard — a challenging business made almost insurmountable by the south of England’s climate (global warning doubters can rejoice). Anyway, an autumnal scent of slightly fermented fruit always hung about the place.
After a couple of days, I no longer felt nostalgic for the rolling meadows of Kent. As I performed my morning cleansing ritual with Re:Vive, fermented grape was beginning to seem like a euphemism for cheap plonk. A few days later, I was struck sharply by another memory. Let’s call it the morning-after-the-night-before. You know that sour smell of the last dregs of wine in the bottom of that one-too-many glass that was left on the kitchen counter overnight.
I have a fairly high tolerance for scent in skincare products and will usually continue to test a product and give it the benefit of the doubt. The problem in this case was that my cleanser reminded me with every use of a hangover. This was not, by definition, cleansing. It wasn’t even a guilty pleasure. I would wash my face and feel vaguely grubby and guilty without the pleasure part. Heck, without even deserving it. By the time I’d started to think of it as my “hangover cleanser” I had to admit that this wasn’t for me.