Vetiver and Black Tea sounds pretty exciting, and if you've seen some of my instagram posts (like this photo of my perfume stash), you'll know I'm something of a fragrance-nerd - I love being able to sniff a fragrance and try to discern the various notes in it, so of course this piqued my interest. (And yes, those black things in the background of the photos are tea leaves!)
Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea: This year's addition to Kiehl's Aromatic Blends range
As you might expect, the Vetiver and Black Tea scent is present in all three products, but all three products have a slightly different take on the same scent, perhaps due to the nature of the product. You can tell they are in the same scent range, but each is slightly different. Like I did with last year's Patchouli and Rose Aromatic Blends review, I'll start by looking at the Body Cleanser and Body Lotion, and then looking at the fragrance! And yes, we will start off, as you might expect, with some ingredients analysis!
Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea Aromatic Blends Body Cleanser and Body Lotion
Formulation-wise, if you're wondering how similar the Vetiver and Black Tea is to last year's Patchouli and Rose, I'll be frank - they are pretty darn similar, and to me, it looks like the difference is in mostly the scent, as Kiehl's includes ingredients like Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil and Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment, the namesake Vetiver and Black Tea respectively. This isn't a bad thing at all to me, because I liked the formulation of last year's Patchouli and Rose range, so for me, this is just more of a good thing, just updated with a new scent! Yay to the continuation of good formulas!
Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea Aromatic Blends Body Cleanser Ingredients: Gentle surfactants and moisturizing ingredients
The Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea Body Cleanser is a body wash that's formulated to be gentle and moisturizing. The surfactants are pretty gentle, with the main ones being Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate (both of which are also surfactants used in baby shampoos), and Decyl glucoside. While it might seem strange to use a few surfactants, it's likely that they were mixed to get the right skin feel and foaming effect. The product is also pretty moisturizing, with humectants like Glycerin, and emollients like PPG-5 Ceteth-20 and Caprylic/Capric Glycerides. There are also some emollients from plant oils, including Vetiver, Sweet Almond, Sesamine Seed, Apricot Kernel, and Olive Fruit oils. The Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment also makes an appearance, as well. And yes, just like last year's Patchouli and Rose, this is a pretty good product that delivers on multiple counts: it cleans gently, foams nicely, without drying the skin out. Since the mix of surfactants is fairly mid, it might also be usable for people with sensitive skin.
Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea Aromatic Blends Body Cleanser: Cleans gently, foams well, and smells great
And sure enough, that's exactly what using the Vetiver and Black Tea Body Cleanser felt like. I loved the scent - it's mild, and smelled mostly vaguely of a mix of citrus, vetiver, and black tea, but when rinsed off doesn't linger on the skin. After I stepped out of the shower, the scent is barely on my skin. That said, in the bath it smells heavenly, with the scent filling my bathroom!
The next product, the Vetiver and Black Tea Skin-Softening Body Lotion, is also quite similar in formulation to last year's Patchouli and Rose version. Again, I have no complaints - a good formula with different scents is definitely something I dig, since it gives you the same old formula I know and love, but just with a different scent to keep it interesting.
Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea Aromatic Blends Body Lotion Ingredients: A good combination of humectants, emollients, that don't feel thick
Formulation-wise, this has humectants, such as Glycerin, as well as emollients, like Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane and PEG-100 Stearate. There are also emollients that are derived from plant oils and butters, with the main one being Butyrospermum Parkii/Shea Butter, but there are also other oils, which are the same ones we also saw in the Body Cleaner - Vetiver, Sweet Almond, Sesamine Seed, Apricot Kernel, and Olive Fruit Oils. Of course, there is also Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment too. And I was happy to see that just like last year's Body Lotion, this year's Vetiver and Black Tea version also includes Allantoin, which helps as a skin conditioning agent, and helps a lot with mild skin irritation.
There is also Propylene Glycol and Alcohol Denat - Propylene Glycol is a slip agent that doubles up as a humectant, and Alcohol Denat is of course, alcohol. I know some people are wary of using Alcohol in their skincare products, but my view is that if it is in small amounts, then I wouldn't worry, because Alcohol does have its uses: it's useful to thin out an otherwise thick and heavy mixture (in this case, the oils and emollients could make the formula feel heavy by itself), and it can often function as a penetration enhancer for other ingredients. (I've articulated my view on alcohol in skincare in a bit more detail in this post here - maybe I should do a separate post just on alcohol in skincare, one of these days.) Of course, a high percentage of alcohol can be drying to skin, and I definitely wouldn't recommend anyone apply alcohol straight up to their skin! At fifth on the ingredients list, this might be of concern to some, depending on how dry or sensitive your skin is, but for me, I felt like it wouldn't be an issue, in part also because last year's Patchouli and Rose moisturized my skin just fine, with a similar formula.
Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea Aromatic Blends Body Lotion: Feels lightweight but hydrating on the skin
And as you might expect, the Vetiver and Black Tea Body Lotion is a light-textured lotion, and was easy to spread without being too watery, or too thick. It felt moisturizing on the skin (so in my case, the amount of alcohol wasn't too much for me), and I liked that it didn't feel sticky or oily on my skin. The Vetiver and Black Tea scent is alos great - it's mild, with not much citrus as compared to the Body Cleanser. I got mostly Black Tea with a milky hint to it, and some Vetiver. There's also a slight sweetness to the scent that makes it just a slight bit feminine. It's a very pretty scent, and I think I could probably put this in my office cubicle for use, as the scent isn't likely to bother anyone, and isn't too strong.
And now, for the fragrance! The Vetiver and Black Tea EdT is a gorgeous one. I've noticed Kiehl's seems to be pretty good at doing scents that are different from the mainstream (no sugary-sweet, obviously-artificial tween scents), but are not so niche that they become unwearable or only pleasant to hardcore perfume fanatics (like some of the niche brands do). In that sense, Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea strikes quite a nice balance - it's not what everyone is wearing, but neither is it something noone except you can appreciate.
Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea Aromatic Blends Eau de Toilette: A scent that is equal parts sophistication and calm with a touch of sweetness
The first whiff is one of citrus, but after awhile, I get the vetiver coming through, and the drydown for me is a mix of vetiver and black tea that comes across as being somewhat, vaguely amber-y. The drydown is actually my favourite of the scent, and on me, it doesn't take too long to evolve to the base notes - like most natural fragrances, within a half-hour the scent has fully evolved and the base notes are all wafting up from my skin. Perhaps my only gripe is that the scent doesn't last that long and the sillage is very narrow (again to be expected from a more natural fragrance), and about an hour after spritzing this on, I have to hold up my wrist to my nose to smell the scent. It's good for those who want a scent that sticks close to the body (useful for office warriors like myself), and for those who would like a scent that's sophisticated, without being too girly. I did wonder to myself whether this could be a unisex scent, but I have a feeling that the sweetness in the scent, despite it being light, might make it hard to convince a guy that this is wearable, since most guys I know of stay far, far away from any vaguely sweet scent.
And the ingredients, for anyone interested. These are pretty much the typcial fragrance ingredients, so I won't go too much into them. The inclusion of some plant-based scent oils, mostly citrus, is probably no surprise given how the fragrance smells. there is Limonene, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil/Vetiveria Zizanoides Oil, Linalool, Citronellol, Citral, and so on.
Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea Aromatic Blends Eau de Toilette Ingredients: Citrus oils provide scent too
So in all, what's my verdict on the Vetiver and Black Tea range? Like last year's Patchouli and Rose, I pretty much liked everything. The formulation of the Body Cleanser is great, with gentle surfactants, and the Body Lotion is light and hydrating. If you liked last year's Patchouli and Rose body care products, you'll probably also love this year's, due to the similarity in formula. The Vetiver and Black Tea EdT is also a scent I love, because it's not sweet or cloying or too ultra-girly in a tween kind of way, but it's a slightly more grown-up scent that's still extremely wearable. It's a sophisticated scent that doesn't scream "girly" or "sexy" like so many other mainstream scent out there, but is instead more calm and has a hint of femininity. I love both the formulation of the body care products, as well as the scent of the perfume, so I think this is worth checking out.
|Recommended?||Formulation||Packaging||Ease of Use||Effectiveness||Scent|
|Yes, good formulation and scent||8/10||8/10||9/10||8/10||8/10|
|The Bottom Line: Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea is a great collection, with a gentle body wash that doesn't dry out skin, a Body Lotion that helps to hydrate skin while still feeling lightweight, and a scent is wearable without being too mainstream.|