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Let your nose guide you at Bath & Body Works


    @Caption1:Kahala resident Karen Kau­hane browsed the new Bath & Body Works store during a soft opening Sunday at Ala Moana Center.


Hawaii fans of Bath & Body Works no longer have to place orders with family and friends traveling to the mainland.

The Ohio-based retailer of home and personal care products opened its first store in the islands yesterday, a 5,800-square-foot shop on the mall level in the Macy’s wing at Ala Moana Center.

The faithful are likely to feel like a kid let loose in a candy shop, with colorful hand soaps, shower gels, lotions and fragrances lining the shelves. Here’s what first-time consumers can expect:

The store is organized according to Bath & Body Works’ four different scent collections: fresh, sexy, romantic and cuddly. To determine which scent is best suited to your tastes, take the six-question Fragrance Personality Test to identify the ingredients you love — amber and woods, florals, citrus and fruits, or vanilla and musk, and other preferences.

If the wide selection of products seems overwhelming, ask a sales associate to point you in the right direction or help create a gift set.

New items include anti-bacterial hand soap in fruit scents: strawberry, blueberry, watermelon, apple and cherry. The new coconut line offers coconut mango, coconut passion fruit and coconut pineapple. Of course, the store also carries its most popular scents, such as Japa­nese Cherry Blossom and Sweet Pea, a personal favorite.

Paris Amour (a blend of sweet florals and musk), Country Chic (a blend of lemon, wildflowers and spring woods) and Into the Wild (a blend of flowers and spices) are among the newest signature lines.

The C.O. Bigelow Collection includes a lemon body cream made with a recipe that is more than 100 years old. Sales associate Tania Teruya sold me on the Rose Salve Extract moisturizer from the collection ($5.50).

"It can be used on anything that needs a fix," she said. "I absolutely love this product because it can be used on the elbows and knees and face and lips.And, it’s small enough to throw in your purse."

Other scents include apple and blueberry. A sample offered proof of its moisturizing qualities.

All of the products in the store have testers, and there are sinks set up to wash your hands and try different soaps. The best part is that everything comes with a satisfaction guarantee. "If you take home a product and don’t like it, come back and return it for something else. There’s no time limit. You can exchange it at any point," said general manager Jenn Thomas.

New trinkets are available, such as decorative soaps and candle sleeves that cost $5 each and make for an attractive display. Scentportables, which are clip-on fragrances, come in the shape of a peace sign, frog or turtle and at $6 each are perfect to hang in your car. Refills come in a variety of scents and are priced at $5.

A cupcake lip gloss holder that can be attached to a key chain is $3.50.

The adorable "wallflower" heaters are home fragrance diffusers that plug into standard room sockets and leave the room smelling of tropical spice, passionflower or lilac blossoms. The holder costs $8.50 (or four for $20, six for $24). The scents to place in the diffuser cost $6.50 each. Designs include a ladybug, bumblebee and flower.

The store is open from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. Call 946-8028.

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