Gimme Some Sugar! Kings & Queens “Queen Elizabeth Sugar” Shower Gel and Body Butter
Kings & Queens is giving a whole new definition to the phrase “sugar coating it” with its new Queen Elizabeth Sugar shower gel and body butter, The latest installment in the company’s scent anthology was inspired by Queen Elizabeth I’s fondness for sugar. As early as the Middle Ages, sugar was believed to have medicinal properties, but during the Elizabethan age, Queen Elizabeth (and in turn all the members of the royal court) came to use sugar in large quantities to bake everything from cakes and baked goods to marmalades and other confections. Since sugar was pretty much restricted to the nobility (and oddly enough, at the time, the wealthy elite viewed root vegetables and fruits as “peasant” foods), it was consumed excessively by those in higher social rungs — which, of course, led to massive tooth decay and blackened teeth for many of these sugarholics. And here’s the crazy twist: since access to so much sugar was restricted to the upper classes, blackened teeth became a token of one’s social standing and thus a desired physical trait. Yes, it’s backwards but, then again, so is the whole grills movement that took hold of hip-hop a few years ago. But back to Elizabeth I — according to some historians, she had several blackened teeth and, in fact, they speculate that she closed her mouth resolutely in many of her latter-day posters since so many teeth were rotten. Clearly, then, the Virgin Queen was getting busy with some sugar!
So how well does Kings & Queens capture the sophistication of royalty with its sugar-inspired scent? Quite nicely, I must say. Though the scent is simply dubbed “sugar,” it’s way more nuanced than that, with watery notes and a few floral notes that make the sugary scent lighter and breezier. I expected a nauseatingly sweet scent (like a thick caramel or cotton candy smell), but it’s more like the scent of fresh marzipan or a hot batch of sugar cookies, mixed with dewy lotus notes. The scent is quite unique, and it manages to capture the desired effect without delving into nauseatingly saccharine territory.
The shower gel’s scent is a bit stronger than that of the body butter, but it doesn’t linger on the skin for too long (which is actually a plus for me). The shower gel seems to be aimed at creating a certain sensory experience while bathing, then, as opposed to leaving a long-lasting scent on the skin. The body butter, meanwhile, is extremely rich (it really is a body butter and not a lotion, folks), and ti takes a bit of massaging to work it into the skin but, once it’s been absorbed, it softens and smooths skin without leaving any greasy or oily sheen. And again here, the scent is light enough that you can still apply your favorite perfume without having the scents combat one another.
Both the shower gel and body butter are free of parabens and mineral oils and feature a moisturizing, antioxidant-rich blend of pomegranate extract, Malachite extracts, and Egyptian blue lotus. Plus, the body butter includes moisturizing shea butter, coconut oil, safflower seed oil, and sweet almond oil for skin so soft it’s worthy of a royal court.
All in all, though I still prefer the Aztec King Vanilla Pear and the Nefertiti Honey scents above all the rest I’ve tried, this is a nice option for those of you who want a bit of a sugar high during bath time.
Kings & Queens Queen Elizabeth Shower Gel, $8.99, and Kings & Queens Queen Elizabeth Sugar Body Butter, $14.99. Available at Target stores nationwide.