Under the radar (body products): Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Souffle Body Creme

Laura Mercier has always impressed me as a great brand: pretty, dependable, quality products, with nothing in its line too odd or weird. Just good, solid, wearable stuff, with fragrances and body items that lean to the gourmand. Not to mention some really nice limited edition scents, too, such as Nuits Enchantees, Minuit Enchante, Ambre Passion, Ambre Passion Elixir, and others.

Having said that, I usually walk right by the counter without stopping. Why? A) I don’t buy and wear nearly as much makeup as I used to, so no real need to look. And B), although the body products are lovely, I know the drill: creme brulee, pistachio, Laura Mercieralmond coconut, fig, oldie but goodie tarte au citron, etc. They are indeed yummy, but I tend to wear fairly neutral scented body products so they don’t interfere with my fragrance. And with my severely limited budget, I’d rather save my money for perfume. Still, if someone were to gift me with a body souffle, scrub or shower gel, there’s no doubt I would be a happy camper.

Laura Mercier unexpectedly popped back on my radar early this holiday season when a Bloomingdale’s SA saw me cast a second glance toward a gift set display as I was sailing through the store. She drew me in and then pointed out something altogether new to me: the Ambre Vanille Souffle Body Creme. Hmmm … maybe this is worth checking out, I thought.

Well, 10 minutes later, let me tell you, I was enjoying a pleasant surprise. This could go under a number of my amber scents, I said to myself, happily sniffing my hand as I left the store. The souffle had a warming, cozy scent, with a rich, creamy texture and made my skin feel very moist and supple. Now that makes for quite a nice combo — a product that’s a comfort scent and is comforting to skin.

Fair warning to those of you who really dislike sweet, though, as — in keeping with much of the Laura Mercier line — this does lean a bit to the dessert side of the fence. But I think the amber helps keep the vanilla in check. I figured pairing it with a stronger scent might be interesting, and tried it with a dab of SL’s Ambre Sultan on one arm and Armani Prive Ambre Orient on the other. It blended smoothly with both, as it’s a softly diffused scent that’s not going to take center stage. But as always, YMMV. If this sounds like something for you, you might try wearing your favorite amber fragrance(s) to the store, stop by the LM counter to apply a dab of this and see what happens.

I have a travel-size tube of it that I’ll be wearing for as long as it lasts. And it does last — I applied a dime size portion to my hands early one evening and could still get a very soft waft of it late the next morning. When my tube’s gone, well, we’ll just have to see …

A 12-ounce jar is $55; available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s.

What about you? Is there a body line or body product that you enjoy but tend to forget about or overlook?

  • unseencenser says:

    Amouage body cream! (Didn’t I get this idea here?) Got it in Memoir and cannot express enough my massive love for it.

    • Ann says:

      Oooh, yes! I have heard many folks express their undying love for that — wonderful stuff!!

  • Suzanne says:

    Ann, your review of the Ambre Vanille Souffle Body Creme is spot on. It’s creamy perfection … so moisturizing, so yummy on it’s own that I haven’t layered it with perfume.

    (Since I don’t have access to Laura Mercier products where I live, I’m really grateful to have gotten a generous sample from a sweet and beautiful perfume pal! T’was a really good Christmas for me this year!!!) 🙂

    • Ann says:

      Hi, sweet Suzanne! Right back at you! I’m glad you like the LM cream, too. I just might have to start cleaning out the car, scrounging the sofa cushions, etc., to scrabble together enough change to get more of this stuff. And if I do, I’ll happily share!

  • Lisa D says:

    I use lotion religiously (I live in the desert), but I tend to go for the unscented or lightly scented kind, so that it doesn’t interfere with whatever perfume I’m wearing. I also don’t really like to have my hands be scented, because, well, I’m always eating a snack or drinking tea or coffee, and a strong scent on my hands tends to interfere with my eating/drinking enjoyment. WIth that said, though, I could see that it might be nice to wear only a lotion, if its fragrance was really fantastic.

    On a related note (perfume, food or drink – what else is there?) Ann, thanks a bunch for the tea samples!

    • Ann says:

      Hey, Lisa! Good point on the hands … definitely not very appetizing to have competing scents. So glad you got the tea samples. With nearly everyone around me getting sick, I’m drinking it like there’s no tomorrow.

  • Sherri Miller says:

    Yay, Ann, so you like the Ambre Vanille, too! It was a new discovery for me, and I liked it so well I bought several sets of the four body cream samplers (I like them all except the fig; if anyone reading this likes the fig, lmk and I will be more than happy to send them to a new home) when Nordstrom cleared them out after Christmas. The Ambre Vanille is by far my favorite. It gets along with so many perfumes, even Guerlains (I thought the two vanillas might be just awful together). The Kiehl’s vanilla cedar is not bad with Guerlains either. It’s not super thick or nearly as highly scented or as sweet as the LM, but it works with Guerlains, too. With the cedar note, it is a good unisex lotion.

    I go through a huge amount of moisturizers–my standby body products are Lady Primrose (I am not affililiated though I really ought to have stock in the company, the amount of product I go through!) Tryst and I also like Pacifica creams and Johnson’s Baby Lotion (with rose perfumes, especially).

    • Ann says:

      Hi, sweet Sherri! Yes, another AV fan — I love it! And that LM fig sounds very nice; would very much like to try it. Must sample the Kiehl’s lotion next time I’m in the store. And I do remember that you are the Lady Primrose Queen! (Although I’m wondering where on earth you find it? I haven’t seen it in my Neiman’s in years and years.) Thanks for all your good recs …

      • tammy says:

        I’m not affiliated, either, but I buy a LOT of their fancy candles and I love their dusting powders, especially Celadon. I need to try Tryst!

        I get mine on Amazon.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    What I keep looking for is a really good face cream. This time of year, my skin is like sandpaper and a lot of it is on my face. Ever since I have been a perfume nut, the less scent that is in my lotion the happier I am. Don’t need my moisterizer to be interfering with my perfume.

    Skyn Iceland works great for the summer but doesn’t cut it in the winter.

    • Ann says:

      I think Mercier and Bobbi Brown have some good heavier-duty face creams that several of my friends like, but I’ve not tried them. Maybe take an afternoon and just scout around the cosmetic counters and sample a few things to see if any work?

  • Dina C. says:

    This post is timely for me, because I’ve been online hunting for a lotion or cream that has a mild iris or green scent that could go under all my many iris and/or green scents. I’m not really looking for high end like the Amouage goodies that Musette has written about before (as amazing as those sound!). I’m looking for something more on the L’occitane or Yves Rocher level, but they don’t seem to have what I’m looking for. The only iris lotion I seem to find so far is the Prada Infusion d’Iris one.

    As for Laura Mercier, I love her beauty products. The bulk of my makeup is between this line and Bobbi Brown’s. I’ve been wearing LM foundations, eyeshadows, concealer, blush, etc. for many years. I haven’t sampled her body & bath goods because they fall into the gourmand range of scents, and that’s not my thing. I might like neroli though. I’ll have to give it a careful look next time… 🙂

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Dina! That lotion you want sounds lovely — if you ever find it, do let us know. I really like LM’s makeup as well, but alas, wear so little anymore that I just use what I have.

    • Tai says:

      Hi Dina. The LM fig body cream might fit the bill, although as Ann points out it’s more gourmand than crisp. I used to layer it with the Amber Passion scent (quite cozy) but I can see it gong on nicely with warmer green scents. Good luck!

    • tammy says:

      Dina, I have never tried it, but Crabtree & Evelyn have an iris lotion. I love their rose scents, so the iris might be worth giving a try.

  • Nice recommendation! I’ve been dying to try her Neroli perfume.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, thanks for stopping by! Yes, I’ve heard good things about the Neroli, so will need to give it a go as well. I see many more LM counter visits in my future, ha!