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Readers of my previous reviews are probably aware by now that I'm somewhat addicted to hand cream and have it scattered everywhere...next to each sink in the house, next to my bed, under the coffee table, in my handbag, in my desk drawer...literally, everywhere! I've never been brand loyal when it comes to hand cream so every one of those positions holds a different brand/variety of cream. The only exception to this is the Molton Brown Naran Ji Soothing Hand Lotion, which I have the pump version shown above in my downstairs loo (why do we always save the most expensive stuff for other people?!) and the smaller tube version in my handbag.
Now, I have to point out that I didn't purchase either of these, they were both presents from my mum who doesn't bat an eyelid at the costs of things, whereas there is no way on earth I'd pay Molton Brown prices for a hand cream when Nivea, Neutrogena and Avon all do lotions that work just as well for a fraction of the price. This lotion comes in at £16 for the 300ml pump bottle version and a ridiculous £13 for the 75ml tue version. How they can justify the difference in these prices when the only basic difference is that the tube also has spf 15 is beyond me...do they not know that you can suncream for much less than that?!!
Anyway, enough of my rant, on to the product. The bottle is your standard Molton Brown bottle, clear with a black pump dispenser on top and the usual branding on the front. With the bottle being clear you can immediately see how much of the product you have left and the decoration provided from the product comes mostly from the colour of the hand cream inside, in this case a very pale peachy orange colour. Nice enough! One way that Molton Brown can justify the costs of their items is the quality that they provide, and you can immediately tell the difference between the pump on their bottle and the ones on cheaper versions. It is nice and stable, is neither too hard to push down nor does it slam down straight away spraying the whole of the windowsill and sink with hand cream. It also dispenses a very good amount of cream, just enough to work into your hands sufficiently (although I tend to use two "pumps" as I like to rub it into my forearms and elbows too, but for just your hands, one pump is usually plenty), meaning you don't waste product and use just the right amount so it does last longer than other creams (another example of the quality).
(As an aside, and just because I happen to have both the tube and the bottle, the tube is a standard cream coloured tube which stands on it's flip-top lid, making it easy to squeeze an amount of cream into your hand and then put the lid back on securely without covering the tibe in cream at the same time. One bugbear of mine though is that the tube also came in a cardboard box which I hate and feel is totally unnecessary packaging and just an attempt to make a hand cream feel more luxurious and therefore more worth it's price tag).
Having a bit of a background in languages I was expecting this cream to smell orangey (naranja is Spanish for orange, so as soon as I saw Naran Ji, it immediately set me thinking orange!) and I wasn't disappointed. I've read other reviews of this where the writer hasn't liked the fragrance of it, but I have to disagree. Whilst the overriding fragrance is definitely citrussy it's more of a creamy citrus than a sharp citrus, and actually reminds me of the smell of the hot towels you're given on planes after dinner! As it's quite a soft fragrance I do find it generally quite nice, definitely not unpleasant, and often find myself sniffing at my arms for a while after I've applied it! According to the tube version I have "Neroli is distilled from the...white orange blossom. It has a lightly spicy, uplifting aroma and a refreshing sensation on the skin" and I would have to agree - although I struggle to define much spice in the scent.
The cream itself is nice and light, not too thick and creamy like some of the more intense hand lotions can be. As a result it is very easily absorbed into my skin and doesn't leave it feeling at all greasy or like there's residue on it, as can often be the case. Whilst I wouldn't say it leaves my skin feeling intensely moisturised it definitely does leave it feeling softer and refreshed, which, from such a light cream, I am more than happy with (especially as I have about a dozen other thicker, more intensive creams that I can use if I want more in that respect!). So it's probably not the hand cream for you if you suffer from dry, cracked skin on your hands, but if you're just looking for a little light relief this would be a great one to try (if you don't mind the cost!). It also has good lasting effects and even if I wash my hands a while after I've applied it I can still feel it on my skin.
Overall, then, I am more than happy with this hand lotion as a nice, light cream but don't rely on it to help the trouble areas on my hands (the skin around my nails and some of my knuckles), I use Neutrogena or Avon when I'm feeling in need of some serious repair. I especially like using this cream in the summer as the fragrance is very light, citrussy and definitely makes you think summery thoughts!
As I said, I would never pay the price for this lotion myself, especially the tube one (charging so much more for spf is a bit cheeky I think, especially as I would never dream of relying on a handcream for sun protection, whatever it claims on the bottle, I would always use a proper suncream on my pale, easily burnt skin) but that doesn't mean I don't think it's worth the money. The 300ml bottle has probably been in use for about 6 months now and isn't even a quarter of the way down. Granted, I don't use the same hand cream all the time, so I probably use this once every couple of days, but guests have full use of it too. So, judging by this it should last around 2 years, in which case the £16 price tag probably wouldn't bring tears to my eyes! But I'll still keep hoping that my mum stocks me up rather than buying it myself!