RRP: £16 for 200ml
--What does the promo say?--
"Yuan zhi root with vanilla, rose, and ylang ylang. Perfect for those with busy lifestyles, this moisturising body lotion is our yang to the yin. Soothe. Immerse. Unwind."
Mine is one of the mini travel bottles you can buy on the site, which has a screw top in the same colour as the pump action mechanism that you get on the full-size one. The silver effect is glamorous and doesn't detract from the rest of the bottle, which is transparent, allowing you to see the off-purple cream within. It's plastic, which means it's light and practical, and the purple writing on the front is minimalistic and fits in well with the colour scheme of the product, while still obviously belonging to Molton Brown.
"Apply to the skin in circular massaging movements after showering/bathing, or whenever your skin feels like it needs some TLC. For best results, use after Relaxing Yuan Zhi Bath & Shower Gel." No problems here. The lotion sinks in easily, so this takes mere moments.
As mentioned, a light, faintly purple cream which leaves no residue on the skin.
Yuan zhi is also known as senega root, and in truth it doesn't smell of much. The vanilla and rose included are also not especially prominent, with the ylang ylang perhaps the most detectable (even if only faintly). What's left is a very clean, slightly fragranced, cotton-like smell which proves pleasant and non-intrusive.
--Texture and consistency--
Smooth, unctuous and luxurious, this is a joy to use and soaks into skin easily without a hint of greasiness or stickiness.
The feeling of being moisturised lasts all day, although it's difficult to tell how long the scent lasts due to the further additions of perfume and sunscreen.
--Effects on the skin--
Senega root is traditionally used for a variety of ailments, including bites, coughs, colds, breathing difficulties, rheumatism and gout. Technically, then, in high enough quantities it should reduce inflammation and calm skin, and it did seem to reduce skin tightness, particularly after time in the sun, so is a great asset for summer. However, I think the moisturising qualities mostly come from the essential oils the product contains (vanilla, rose, ylang ylang, and meadowflower), which are extremely effective.
--Value for money--
At £18 per 200ml this isn't cheap and is on a par with brands such as Thierry Mugler, Vera Wang, Bulgari and Gatineau (perhaps indicating that you'd expect it to be more strongly perfumed!). However, this means it's an affordable luxury that everyone can enjoy. A little goes a long way, so one bottle will last longer than you'd expect too. You can also try to buy at outlet stores, such as the one located at Bicester Shopping Village, or in duty free shops, to save money, and don't forget to check the Molton Brown website for sales regularly.
Relaxing Yuan Zhi Bath and Shower, £18
Relaxing Yuan Zhi Forte Candela, £55
Relaxing Yuan Zhi Medio Candela, £36
Relaxing Yuan Zhi Piccolo Candela with Metal Arc, £30
Echo Yuan Zhi Bath and Body Gift Set, £72
Relaxing Yuan Zhi Ambiente, £22
Radiant Lili-pili Hair Wash, currently £9 in the sale