Review: philosophy The Winter Escape Gift Set

By Voxy  

The Angel and the Devil: A Play in One Very Short Scene

The role of the Angel on Voxy’s Shoulder will be played tonight, as it is every night, by a Sophisticated Lady.

The role of the Devil on Voxy’s Other Shoulder will be played, as usual, by Little Voxy, a very vocal inner six-year-old who likes everything that sparkles, has rhinestones, is pink, and/or smells like cake (or anything in the same general family as cake, which includes pretty much everything that can be found in the baking aisle at the supermarket).

Little Voxy: Hey! Philosophy has a new winter gift set out! It has peppermint hot cocoa body wash in it! And MARSHMALLOW body cream and lip gloss!

Sophisticated Lady: You know that We do not like philosophy.

Little Voxy: But it’s on sale! A really big sale! And it’s marshmallow! That’s my favorite! I mean, besides cake, of course.

Sophisticated Lady: It does not matter. We have tried the products and We do not like them. Also, We have bath products coming out of Our ears.

Little Voxy: Oh. OK. Hey, look over there!

Sophisticated Lady: What? <turns elegantly coiffed head away briefly>

Little Voxy: <swiping credit card> Oh, uh, nothing. I just thought I saw something sensible and boring over there that you might like.

Sophisticated Lady: <sniffs disapprovingly>

Little Voxy: Never mind. Please, go back to what you were telling me about cashmere twinsets and pearl chokers. It was so very interesting. I will just hop on the computer here and take some notes in my web browser, so as not to miss anything. Don’t mind me.

~~ FIN ~~

So, that’s how I ended up with the philosophy Winter Escape gift set. You cannot turn your back on Little Voxy for one minute, apparently. And in her defense, it was a really good sale.

The Winter Escape gift set includes a 4-oz. container of Peppermint Hot Cocoa 3-in-1 (shampoo/shower gel/bubble bath), a tube of Melting Marshmallow Cream lip shine, and a 2-oz. container of Melting Marshmallow Cream body soufflé. I do love foody bath products, and as I think I’ve mentioned before, my primary complaint about philosophy’s bath products is that they are specifically engineered not to leave scent on your skin after they are rinsed off. This has always seemed to me to be a waste of a good fragrance. I don’t want to smell like cinnamon buns for three minutes in the shower; I want to smell like cinnamon buns all day.

And so what really made me buy this was that it had products in which the scent was designed to last: the lip shine and the body soufflé. And I have a terrible, terrible weakness for things that are marshmallow-scented (Little Voxy definitely rules the roost here). So this seemed like a win right out of the gate, yes?


The 3-in-1 body wash is just fine. It does, indeed, smell like peppermint hot cocoa. Yay. And, in accordance with the rest of their bath products, the second you rinse it off it becomes merely an olfactory memory.

The marshmallow body soufflé was a huge disappointment. First of all, it doesn’t really smell like marshmallows. If you waved it under my nose without telling me what it was and asked me to identify it, I would have said it smells like hot cocoa sweetened with powdered sugar. It is sweet, but it doesn’t have that particular marshmallow scent that I love. The skin-feel of the product is also disappointing. I expect something that’s called a soufflé to have a little more body to it — this is a lotion that when applied almost immediately becomes very wet, watery, and thin-feeling. During the absorption period my hands were extremely sticky, and a little bit of residue remained on my hands even after the product was long-dry. I didn’t find that it had any significant moisturizing value at all, even though the ingredient list has a lot of the right things in it. It just wasn’t for me.

The best-performing product out of the lot is the marshmallow lip shine, but even it doesn’t quite live up to expectations. This one does, at least, smell like marshmallows, and tastes reasonably like them, too. (You’re not supposed to eat it, of course, but you do end up tasting it when you talk or lick your lips or whatnot.) It is shiny, and has a little bit of iridescent sparkle in it that is unobtrusive and doesn’t make you look like you went bobbing for apples in a tub full of glitter. It’s not terribly long-lasting, and it’s a little thicker and heavier on my lips than I’d like, like marshmallow-flavored Vaseline.

I also have to mention the packaging, which is both cute and annoying. It’s cute because the interior of the box it comes in is like a room in a dollhouse version of a log cabin: there’s a little fireplace and a little window with little snowflakes falling outside, and it’s all very precious. It’s annoying because the damn thing is triangular and therefore you can’t stack anything on top of it. What I would really like to do is send it to my friend in Canada so she can use it as a stage for her Foucault and Jane Austen finger puppets.

So, all in all, a disappointment for me. I’ll use the products up, but next time I am tempted by one of these philosophy sets I’m going to have to distract Little Voxy with strawberry-frosted cupcakes with edible glitter so that we don’t have another one of these incidents.


philosophy The Winter Escape gift set: $19

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Well, if you liked the products, you would probably say Excellent, especially at the sale price. You do get a full-size tube of lip shine and the body soufflé container is generous enough in size that you would get some mileage out of it. I don’t think it deserves a Poor price/value rating just because I didn’t like the products, especially since I sort-of knew what I was getting into.

Purchase again? I won’t repurchase, but if you like philosophy products, it’s a good deal.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

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  1. avatar Inthelab
    Posted January 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I *LOVE* that Peppermint Hot Cocoa body wash!! I bought a big bottle of it in December. I love the way it smells when I shower, almost like a York peppermint patty. If you aren’t enamored of it, I’ll be glad to take it off your hands ;).

    The marshmallow fluff, er stuff, not so much.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted January 20, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      We need to set up a swap area!


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