The Bath & Body Works Golden Ratio


Bath & Body Works is the ubiquitous center of my beauty routine. Shower gel, body spray and body cream is the holy trinity of my morning and evening ritual. At any given time in the past 20-25 years, I’d have between 3 and 15 different scents going through a rotation, with 90% of those coming from Bath & Body Works. Why?

Sadly, it boils down to quantity over quality. Sure, Bath & Body Works provides good quality product, but its quality would only be mediocre if we were paying full price for it. Has anyone reading this ever paid full price for a product from Bath & Body Works? I may have bought one bottle of lotion as a gift at full price within the last decade. Like many retailers, Bath & Body Works is built upon a model in which the sale price (usually ‘Buy 3, Get 3 Free’) is the putative price. Once a quarter, the store has a big blow-out sale to clear inventory, which is how we hoarders get hooked, often on discontinued scents, the heartbreak of which I’ll discuss in a later post.

After decades of filling my vanity table, drawers and cabinets with as many Bath & Body Works products as I can fit, I’ve discovered the Golden Ratio. 1 Body Spray = 2 Lotions or Body Creams = 4 Shower Gels. It’s that simple. If you are as OCD as I am and want your body products to run out at about the same time, it’s 1 – 2 – 4. The tricky part is price. If you’re trying a new scent, it doesn’t make sense to buy all 6 products in the same scent. (I almost bought 6 Forever Red products until I had the foresight to spray myself first – I had a headache before I could get the bottles in my bag.) I like to buy a spray, body cream and shower gel in a new scent and “stockpile” proven scents for the other 3 products. This can sometimes be annoying when you find a discontinued scent that you like – Paris in Bloom for example. The scent is no longer available and I’m almost out of shower gel…but I have plenty of body spray.

The Golden Ratio also works for Victoria’s Secret products, but I don’t buy those as often. The scents are over-ripe and the product quality is lower.

Future posts will cover some of my favorite scents…leave YOUR favorite scents in the comments!

4 Comments to The Bath & Body Works Golden Ratio

  1. Amy says:

    My old favorite was Peach Nectar. Now I am hooked on carried
    Away. I became a bbw addict about 4 years ago when coworkers gave me a gift basket with various scents like sweet Pea which was my fave for a while. I also love into the wild which was discontinued. And pink chiffon. I live in fear carried away will. Be no longer. So I have been hoarding it.

  2. Erin says:

    I recently tried the lip gloss. Got the menthol supreme 2X and it tastes minty. It is the best lip product I have ever had. But I can’t get behind the $7.50 price tag. Will have to look for the sales. I am most at peace when I have B&BW soaps at every faucet in my house.

  3. Lara says:

    I only get their lip gloss on serious sale…$7.50 is laughable.

    I agree – I too am only content with B&BW Antibacterial Soap…but I’ve started giving my kids generic – they go through a bottle every 2 weeks or so…

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