The longwool Romney, or Kent Sheep, has roamed the Romney marsh since the 1300s. The dual purpose breed, officially recognised in England since 1800, is bred both for its wool and meat. The lush, cream wool is known for its versatile fleece that works well as knitwear, yarn and cloth.
The Romney Marsh Wools company has gone one step further utilising the wool and has created a range of toiletries in which they use lanolin, the natural occurring fat in the wool. Lanolin is a soothing and rich ingredient, which helps keep the skin hydrated, and we had the opportunity to try a selection of travel products which include this; bath & body gel, hand wash, hand & body lotion, shampoo and soap.
The first thing I noticed when looking at the packaging was that it proudly displayed an address in Kent. It is always a bonus, I find, to use a product that has been crafted not too far from where you live, rather than one which has traveled for thousands of miles to arrive into your home. Not only is it better for the environment, but using local businesses is also a great way to support the economy.
Next I had a look at the other side of the label which disappointingly included a variety of parabens on a few of the products. Parabens are chemicals used to prevent growth of micrcobes in toiletries, which on paper sounds like a good thing, however in recent years studies have uncovered possible health concerns related to the chemical. A lot of high street products still include parabens, but for a brand that claims to use only the highest quality of ingredients it's somewhat contradictory.
Opening the little bottles one at a time, the fragrances reminded me of the toiletries my grandmother used to have, way back in the day. I don't mean that it smelled old-fashioned or musty even, on contrary, but rather there was a sense of nostalgia associated with the scent. It was quite a natural one, without being overpowering floral or fruity.
I used the products with varying degrees of success. Where the shampoo felt just adequate as while it cleaned my hair it also left it feeling quite rough and stripped of its natural oils, both the bar of soap and hand & body lotion felt rich and hydrating, leaving my hands feeling much softer and nicer than before use. The bath & body gel and hand wash, finally, lathered well and did the job they set out to do.
In all, while this wouldn't be a range of products I'd necessarily seek out based on the ingredients printed on the label, I love that they're produced down the road from me in Kent and they are partly created with something as natural as the fat in sheep's wool.