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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Camille Beckman: one of the longtime loves of my life

I have an incredibly sappy story to share with you today, my lovelies. If you'd like to skip it and go straight to the review, by all means scroll right on past the first part of this post. But just know that I'm kind of pouring my heart out to you in this post and opening myself up to some mockery (I wouldn't blame you!) but I still feel compelled to share it.

When I was a teenage (many, many years ago), my parents used to take me to a popular Jewish deli here in San Diego called D.Z. Akins. It was one of my favorite places to go, and not just for the delicious matzo ball soup, knishes or rugalah. You see, D.Z. Akins had a gift shop in the lobby that you had to walk past before you entered the dining area (they still do, actually). And in this gift shop they had so many beautiful things that would catch my eye but, even back then, my love of beauty products trumped all. Every time we went to D.Z. Akins, I remember making a B-line straight to these beautiful little pots of hand cream with cute little satin roses glued to the tops of the lids. I remember begging my dad to buy me one every time we went there and, of course, he did.

Camille Beckman Glycerin Hand Therapy in Violette
circa late 1980's


I've held on to this little pot of hand cream all these years because of two reasons. 1) It reminds me of my dad and how he would, and still does, try to give me anything I want in life, no matter how large or small. And 2) it's my earliest memory of "coveting" a beauty product. I used it so sparingly because I never, ever wanted to run out. Yes, it was that special.

Fast forward to the end of 2011 and one day I receive an email in my in-box from...Camille Beckman. Well, not THE Camille Beckman, but from a person who works for the company. When she asked me if I would possibly like to receive some products for review, I don't think I have to explain to you how quickly my fingers typed that response. In fact, she probably thought I was a freak because I'm sure I came across as a little TOO enthusiastic. 

The thing is, I somehow lost touch with good ol' Camille as I grew up. It's not that I stopped loving the iconic Glycerin Hand Therapy,  but I think that these products became more difficult to find in my area, so I just moved on to trying new things (as I'm prone to do, even when I absolute love one particular brand, because that wandering eye of mine cannot be tamed!). 

So today, I'd like to share with you what I received from Camille Beckman, and tell you how these new products live up to my memories of yester-year.

First up, I received three products from the new Midnight Monarch collection:

Camille Beckman Midnight Monarch Collection
Glycerin Hand Therapy (retail: $10.50, 4 oz)
Silky Body Cream ($10.50, 8 oz)
Body Butter (retail: $14.50, 5.25 oz)

Let me first describe the scent of Midnight Butterfly.


Top Notes: Jasmine Tea & Bergamot
Heart Notes: Orange Orchid Nectar & Damask Rose
Base Notes: Midnight Patchouli & Vanilla Amber

To my nose, this fragrance is very reminiscent of Thierry Mugler Angel, only not as sharp, and a bit softer and more feminine. If you like Angel, I'm 99.9% sure you'll enjoy Midnight Butterfly.

Let's start with the Glycerin Hand Therapy, since that's no doubt the product that Camille Beckman is best known for:


Instead of a satin rose, you get a paper butterfly on the top of the lid! How adorable is that?



This product is EXACTLY as I remember it. In fact, I'm happy to see that all these years later, Camille Beckman products are still made in Eagle, Idaho and I'm willing to bet that the formula of the Glycerin Hand Therapy has not changed either. It literally feels exactly as I remember it.


 This is a thick, rich and decadent hand cream:


But the thing I love about it is that it envelops your skin makes it feel like your hands are coated in satin. If you've ever used Avon Silicone Glove hand cream, it feels like that, but better. It's richer, but at the same time it seems to absorb quicker, and you don't have a greasy residue after you work it in. Your hands literally just feel like silk. And it lasts too. For me, it even lasts through a couple of hand washings.



The Silky Body Cream is lighter than the Glycerin Hand Therapy, making it a nice choice for arms and legs. I find it to be rich, but not too rich. 




The Body Butter has a pudding-like consistency. The second ingredient is Shea Butter, so it's not as "glycerin-y" as the Glycerin Hand Therapy but a little more creamy on the skin. I like this for dry patches on my body like elbows and knees.


In addition to the trio of Midnight Butterfly products, I also received some smaller packages of Glycerin Hand Therapy in the following fragrances:


Here's a quick rundown of the fragrances pictured above:


"Be swept away by the warmth of Tuscan Honey. Indulge yourself with the scent of sweet honey comb perfumed with the sensuous resins of Sienna’s raw earth."

I was so surprised by the complexity of this fragrance. The honey note is not a sugary-sweet honey, but more of a raw honey mixed with deep, rich resins. You've just got to try this one yourself to really understand. Unlike anything I've ever smelled before.


"Peace begins with the scent of a simple olive branch, and so does our new Peaceful Olive....Enjoy gardening like never before with Camille Beckman."

Probably the most unisex of all the fragrances I received, this one's clean with an earthy olive note. 


"Sunlight, shimmering water, and crisp mountain air create the elements of Jade Dragonfly, a clean fresh fragrance of the New Generation Spa Line."

If you like clean, soapy fragrances, I think you will enjoy this one quite a bit because it really has a delightful soapy note to it. Nice for an office environment (I can't see it offending anyone).


"French Vanilla will remind you of cookies and cakes straight from Gramma’s Kitchen. Because of the rich Vanilla we use, our products often take on a caramel hue. French Vanilla is our second best selling Fragrance."

Two words: Vanilla Frosting. One more word: Yum.


"Lime Leaves, a refreshing clean fragrance with a twist of Lime."

I can't quite put my finger on this one. I can detect the crisp lime, but there's something else going on--a botanical note that I don't quite recognize. It's a citrus fragrance but it also smells like green leaves. Clean but a tiny bit antiseptic in nature. 


"Camille our namesake and top selling fragrance is a delicate and light cashmere floral. This clean fresh scent is pleasing for most everyone."

Camille reminds me of my grandma, and that's a wonderful thing. It takes me back to one of her face creams and brings back a flood of beautiful memories. This would be a nice gift for seniors, or for yourself if you enjoy nostalgic scents. (PS: And how could I not love this, given that it comes in the signature pot with the little satin rose on the lid??).

I hope this post helped introduced you to one of the longtime loves of my life (when it comes to beauty products). If you were already a fan of Camille Beckman, I hope I was able to give you some helpful info as to the new scents that are now available. I truly love the Glycerin Hand Therapy just as much as I loved it the first time I used it all those years ago, and I hope that if you try it for yourself, you'll love it just as much.


A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on NouveauCheap.blogspot.com are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.

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59 comments

  1. :-) I'm almost positive my grandma has/had a few jars of this around. I remember when I was younger smelling the camille one, and playing with the flower on it. Seeing that brought a smile to my face. I might have to try out some of their stuff now. Thanks for sharing that story with us G. I know some people don't care for that but I love to hear other peoples' stories.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing that sweet memory. And you're absolutely right: I know that a lot of people don't care for personal stories (especially long ones like this), but I just couldn't say ” these products mean a lot to me” and leave it at that. Something inside of me really needed to share that story, and it means the world to me that you took the time to read it. Thank you so very much. xoxo

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  2. Awww...Camille holds a soft spot in my heart, too! When I got married, the hotel we honeymooned at had Camille Beckman bubble bath in the rooms, little satin flower and all. I brought the bottle home, and it's decorated my bathroom for nearly 14 years!

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    1. Oh my gosh, you still have it?? I am so glad i'm not alone! Thank you so very much for sharing such a beautiful memory. *hugs*

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  3. I loved reading about your memories with this hand cream, G. I could feel your excitement about the new products, and that is great that the hand cream is the same as you remember. I searched their website and found a few stores semi-nearby that carry Camille Beckman...I can't wait to pay them a visit. Thanks for such a rich, heart-warming post! xo Jen

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    1. Thank you SO much for that, sweetie. I can't tell you how much your comment meant to me, and I hope that if you pick up these products in your area, that you love them as much as I do. xoxo

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  4. I think my grandma has or had some of these too! I know she had some hand cream with a satin rosette on the lid.

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    1. Oh wow!! You should give it a try! :) xo

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  5. I used to do the same exact thing with this hand lotion as well! Only it was a really nice gift shop that my mom and I always went to. I would always go straight back to the display, and apply the pink (Camille-scent, now I know!) lotion! I never bought it, but always, always went straight to the tester! I LOVED the scent and how it felt on my hands, so unique and beautiful!! (I am 26, so this was mid to late 90's and early 2000's) I saw your post and felt just as sentimental! I love, love this stuff- will have to get it! I hope they never change the original packaging- it just would not be the same!!
    (*ps. I meant to comment on the "lurker" post.. yes I am a lurker- hello!! Lindsey from Nashville, TN :) It was Camille that compelled my introduction! haha!

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing that you used to do this too! What a wonderful memory. :) and it's so nice to ”meet” you, Lindsey! xo

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  6. I like reading about other people's memories and stories, so I enjoyed this post :D I've actually never heard of this brand before. Maybe the next time I need some hand cream I'll see if I can find some Camille Beckman :)

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    1. Thank you, sweetie. :) your screen name is so fitting (and awesome)! I hope you love these products as much as I do. xo

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  7. I loved your story!! I'm one of those kinds of people that have strong memories tied to things like this, so I know how it is!

    Anyways, I have a couple of these hand creme's and I LOVE them! I love the way they feel. There is this little gift store that my mom use to take me to since I was a kid, carries this brand, and now I think I'm going to stop in there to see if they have any of these scents!

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    1. I'm so grateful that you can appreciate my story. Thanks so much for taking the time to say that. It means the world to me. And I hope you love this brand if you end up trying it! :)

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  8. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memory; it's funny how sharing something personal can really inspire people to want to connect :) I can't use scented products but your personalized write up made me want to buy it!

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    1. Thank you SO much for saying that, honey! *hugs*

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  9. I loved this post, and I love you even more now! I admire stories with background, shows a true beauty enthusiast ;)
    I've never heard of this brand before, but I will keep my eyes peeled for them so I can someday try them out. (or cave and buy them online, lol)

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    1. Aaaaw, and I love YOU even more for saying that! xo And please do let me know what you think if you try it, ok? *hugs*

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  10. It's amazing how the smallest things hold a dear place in our heart, trigger memories from years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to see how inexpensive these are, will have to give them a try.

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    1. Absolutely. I could not agree with you more! xoxo

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  11. Wow, walk down nostalgia lane! We used to carry this at the Hallmark I worked at as a teenager. We kept a jar of it by the register to soothe our paper-ravaged hands. I loooooved the vanilla, even though I'm not typically a fan of vanilla, and I can till smell it to this day!

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    1. Yes!! I remember seeing these at Hallmark too! And thanks for sharing your memory...i'm so glad you enjoyed it too. xoxo

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  12. I remember I was shopping with my dad in the early 90's (I wasn't even 10 yet) for an anniversary gift and card for my mom. (Thank you mary for reminding me that I found this at Hallmark). I found the same hand cream, only with a yellow rose on top. I liked it for the rose and the vanilla scent. I could keep it on my nightstand to use before bed, just like my mom does with her hand cream. My dad bought it for me I think because he was feeling romantic since he was looking for a 10th anniversary gift. Thank you so much for sharing your story! No mocking from me!

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    1. Thank you so very much for sharing your memory. It made me tear up hearing that YOUR dad bought this for you too! Wow. :) *hugs*

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  13. Your enthusiasm for products is infectious. That was a wonderful story (and believe it or not, made me rethink some parenting ideas I had). I have never heard of this product but I would love to try the hand cream and I am definitely getting the Camille scent! My daughter needs to play with that rose...

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    1. Wow, thank you so much for such an incredibly sweet comment. I hope that if you buy this for your daughter, she enjoys it just as much as I have. I really mean that. xo

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  14. What a great story! I had no idea these products are still around. These hand cremes totally remind me of my grandma. I always felt so special when she let me use it!

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    1. I think it's beautiful that it made you feel special to use this. Thanks so very much for sharing that wonderful memory. *hugs*

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  15. The packaging for Midnight Butterfly is so pretty.
    What a cute story!

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  16. As soon as I read this post I went hunting in my drawers for my tiny tub of "camille." But I couldn't find it!! My mom had a little set of the Camille scent, and I took it with me when I went away to college. The scent was of home and smelling that tiny tub of cream helped when I felt homesick. :) I think I may have to find this product once again just for the memories. I have been reading your blog for a few months now. Thanks for the writing about Camille. I love beauty products and my little collection is slowly growing. My name is Anne and I live in sunny San Diego!

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    1. Hey, i'm in SD too! :)

      Thank you SO much for sharing that memory...it seriously made me tear up because it took me back to when I went away to college and how I used to cling to the things that reminded me of home.

      Thanks again, and thanks for reading my blog! xo

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  17. OMG!!! I totally loved Camille Beckman hand creams when I was younger and just starting out! I would buy the tiny little pots for my purse and covet them because that was all I could afford!!! The products in your post made me think that Camille grew up! Meaning more sophisticated scents!! I do remember how great these made my hands feel! I would buy them in a Hallmark store...I should go back and see if they are carrying these new products. Tuscan Honey sounds amazing!!! This was a great post to read! Love it!

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    1. Yay!! Sooo happy to hear that you coveted these little pots too! :) I'd love to know what you think if you try any of the new ones, sweetie. *hugs*

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  18. aww i remember my mom had these when i was little!

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    1. Yay! so glad you remember these, honey! xo

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  19. Thanks for sharing all that! I love the story attached to this brand. I have never heard of this brand, so I'm on the hunt for them now! Thanks!

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    1. You are so welcome! I would love to know what you think if you try them!! :)

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  20. Loved reading your story G! I have also become a fan of their glycerin hand therapy creams after trying them out recently and my fav is the namesake camille.

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    1. Yay!! Soooo glad you love them too, sweetie! xo

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  21. I have a similar story to yours about this hand cream. I remember always having it in our bathroom and I never knew what brand it was, just that it had ribbon flowers on the lids. My mom used to buy it in a store in Grossmont Center that's not there anymore, and I remember seeing all the pots on the wall and smelling all of them. I still love the smell of Camille Beckman products and they bring back so many memories! My favorite scent is Gardenia Breeze (the one with the shell on top!) I have the glycerin hand therapy and reading this post reminds me that I need to use it more often!

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    1. Oh my gosh, I think I know what store you're referring to!! Was it down near the end of the mall where Target is?? :)

      I'm so happy to hear you still have one and enjoy it. Thanks SO much for sharing that. :) xo

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    2. I think it might have been! I don't really remember but I'm pretty sure it was on a corner.

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  22. What a nice story!! I worked at a gift store in college that sold Camille Beckman. Like you, I had forgotten about them, but their glycerine hand cream was the best hand cream that I've ever used. I'm definitely going to have to keep my out for them again. Thanks for the reminder of how much I love this product!

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    1. Wow! I'm so happy to hear that I was able to remind you of this brand! I'm willing to bet that if you try it again, it will be exactly as you remember it! :)

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  23. I was absolutely intrigued by this post & review of the products! You did a great job as always of pulling me into your world & wrapping me up in all of the goodness of a product. I know have to find me some Camille Beckman so that I may experience some of this wonderful nostalgia & also make memories for my daughters! :))

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    1. Aaaaw, what an incredibly sweet thing to say!! Thank you for that, honey. *cries*

      And what a sweet mom you are, to want to make a little beauty-related memory for your daughters. I hope they hold these close to their hearts in the same way that I have. xoxo

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  24. GGGGGGGGGGGGGG OMG I'm so happy you did this review! I too have a long love affair with Camille Beckman. It is my absolute favorite hand therapy lotion of all time! About 12 years ago I worked as a medical receptionist and I wore scrubs. When I bought a new scrub top it had to have at least one pocket in the lower front of it. Why? To hold my precious Camille Beckman pot with the satin rose of course lol! I carried it with me wherever I went! Patients and coworkers always commented on how good it smelled. I don't see it as often as I would like anymore and I forget to buy it. Now I am on a mission to purchase some. I'm going to the website to see where I can pick some up and smell new scents!

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    1. OMG, I looooove the story about your scrubs and the pocket!! I can totally imagine it in my mind. :) I'm so glad I was able to help you remember this brand. :) xo

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  25. I have never heard of Camille Beckman products until now but I really enjoyed the story in your post today! thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Thank you so much for the very sweet comment! *hugs*

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  26. So, I know I'm way late to this post, but I hopped by your blog earlier tonight and started reading through all the Vintage Vault posts, and came across this one. And I'm a hand cream junkie; I'm always trying new ones, I have four or five on my desk at the moment, three or four at work, you get the picture. So immediately after reading your post, I hopped onto Amazon, found the glycerine hand therapy i jade dragonfly (I love clean scents) and ordered it :) We'll see if I like it!

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  27. Boy do you bring back memories. I used to have a little pot of creme/lotion too with the tiny satin rosebud glued on top. I do remember I loved that little pot because it was sooo pretty and I felt so grown with that sitting proudly on display on my dresser up even though I was a teenager, it felt like real grown up LADY makeup and not Bonne Bell.

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  28. My product of choice is Lime Leaves, the tangy scent when applied, leaves me feeling so very fresh. I have used this product for several years now and I too use it sparingly, especially the Hand & Body Gel. Sadly the 32 oz bottle I bought 3 years ago is running low but replacing it isn't easy. Most purveyors of C Beckman products don't carry it and the shipping cost of $15.95 added to the $29.95 purchase price makes this a costly purchase. But I love the product and may have to "bite the bullet".
    Roz in AZ

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  29. They factory for these products is right in the town I live in! Honestly, My mom and I make a trip over there about twice a year to re-stock on our favorites. If you go at certain times of the week, you can watch them make it! After having sampled every scent in the store, I think glycerin rosewater and passion pear are my favorites.

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  30. The factory for this company is right in the town I live in! My mom and I try to make a trip over there at least twice a year to re-stock on our favorites. If you come at certain times of the week, you can watch them make the products too! After having sampled every scent they have in the gift shop, I have decided my favorites are glycerin rosewater and passion pear.

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  31. Wow! That's nice, G- isn't it cool when you find something from years ago that you'd forgotten about that brings back memories?

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