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I love the smell of freshly washed clothes when you open your washing machine and always use a fabric conditioner alongside my non-bio wash powder. I just find that the clothes feel and smell much nicer that way. However, whilst staying pretty faithful to my wash powder of choice (Fairy for those interested!), I have sampled an array of fabric conditioners in my time. I used to stick firmly to the supermarket own brands, where you can usually pick up deals such as two bottles for £3, but on occasion have been able to pick up more well known brands whilst on promotion. That is why I purchased a bottle of Lenor concentrated Fabric Conditioner recently, as it was at a promotional price of £2 a bottle in Tesco.
Lenor is quite a famous, long running brand from Procter & Gamble. They specialise in fabric conditioners and have four main ranges - Classic, Pure Care, Energised Infusions and Sensual Infusions. The Infusion ranges are the higher end (and more expensive!) products, with luxurious exotic scents and interesting names such as 'barefoot in the grass' and 'burst of sunshine'. These retail at around £3.05 for a bottle containing enough product for 34 washes, which works out at 9p per wash. The Classic and Pure Care ranges are more basic, with the pure care providing non-scented products for sensitive skin and classic having fragrances such as 'summer breeze' and 'spring awakening'. These usually retail at £3.39 for a bottle containing 42 washes, which is slightly better value at 8.1p a wash. So, at the promotional price I paid of £2 for 42 washes, 4.76p a wash, there was great value.
I initially purchased a bottle of Summer Breeze fabric conditioner from the classic range. As stated above, this is a concentrated conditioner containing enough for 42 washes, at 1.5litres. This is a lemon yellow in colour and a creamy consistency. The bottle is clear plastic (recyclable) with a blue screw lid. On the inside of this lid is a measuring cup so that you can pour in the liquid to measure out enough for each wash. This is a handy feature, however I usually just pour directly into my wash tray on the machine as I find using the cup can be messy when I replace the lid on the bottle as the liquid can drip slightly. The labelling on the bottle is simple, with a picture of a yellow flower to denote a summer's day. I have also bought a bottle of the Spring Awakening variety, which is pale blue in colour.
The fabric conditioner is applied to your washing machine tray alongside your usual washing powder, in a separate compartment specifically for fabric conditioners. You then wash as normal and the conditioner will be added to the wash, adding softness and fragrance to your clothes.
The scent is very noticeable as soon as the washing machine door is opened after a wash. Both the Summer Breeze and Spring Awakening varieties have soft, floral scents. If I had to choose, I would say that the Summer Breeze variety edged it as my favourite as the scent was slightly lighter but both really are fresh and clean smelling - which is what I want from a fabric conditioner. In winter months when I am forced to dry washing on airers indoors, this really scents my rooms too - so a handy second function!
For me, the best effect of this conditioner is that, when clothes are dry, they feel really soft on your skin and the scent is also really held. When I have used Lenor in a wash and am wearing the clothes, I really can smell the scent throughout the day. This is not something that I have experienced with the supermarket own brands that I have tried, and really does show that you get what you pay for with these things.
I don't think I quite got the 42 washes out of the bottle as advertised, I would say probably more like 37-39, but this is probably due to my 'guesstimation' application technique rather than any short-changing. I still feel that this is good value though for this amount of washes. My clothes feel soft and less scratchy and really cared for. As I have said, the real winner for me though is the lovely fragrance that seems to be 'slow released' from your clothes throughout the day. The fact that the fragrance is floral doesn't seem to bother hubby either, as even he has commented on how fresh his clothes feel. I particularly like the feeling that it leaves my bed sheets and towels fresher for longer.
I'm not sure that I can return to other brands after using Lenor, but it is still quite pricey if not on promotion - I guess I'll keep an eye out for offers and stock up when they come up, but if I run out in the mean time, I think, even at full price, I'm now a loyal Lenor customer