Monday, December 15, 2008

Comfort on Call by Clinique: A Perfumista's Dream Cream

You have to hand it to Clinique. Not only does the brand make terrific products, they seem to have a knack for evoking all of the right emotions when it comes to a simple name. Comfort on Call conjures up images of physicians in white coats and cure-alls that are available any time, day or night (a close second to Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar when it comes to "ethos capture" in a product name). So what’s in this name? Comfort on Call is a moisturizing cream that is designed to treat skin that’s on the reactive side. For some this is a constant condition, but for others it is a niggling annoyance that comes on as soon as winter begins. You know the feeling; dry here, oily there, dry patches out of nowhere that seem to be magnified after you've applied foundation.

The texture of Comfort on Call is thick yet smooth. It isn't laden with impenetrable moisturizers that closely resemble spackling paste or diaper rash cream, (my biggest issue with Crème de la Mer as I only like the “Crème” when it is applied over The Concentrate, which supports its application by emulsifying the product and boosting its effects, an extra $350 on top of the $130 for the “Crème”). Comfort on Call feels like cross between a cream and a balm on the fingertips and is nearly impossible to over-dispense. In addition it is unscented, which makes it appealing to men as well as women. In my household it’s become a “his and her” beauty cream. My husband uses it overnight and claims it not only smoothes skin, it also makes shaving in the morning a little more pleasant. I share Comfort on Call because it is the least I can do for a man that never says no when I hold a perfume blotter under his nose (the perils of being married to a flavor and fragrance writer).

Every beauty cream touts a unique combination of key ingredients and Comfort on Call is no different. Enviro-Soothe™ Complex contains a trio of anti-irritants that includes; Mangosteen, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, and the mother of all newcomers to the beauty scene—Jabara fruit extract. If you try and google information on Jabara fruit there is little to be found, unless you count the product reviews that quote the Clinique press release verbatim. This makes me a little suspicious of a fruit that resembles Yuzu, only grows in Kitayama Japan, is nicknamed “the magic fruit”, and is purported to alleviate hay fever symptoms. As a perfumista there is a part of me that can’t help thinking, “If I can’t smell it, how do I know it's working?” Well, I got over it. Comfort on Call moisturizes skin, is great alone or under makeup and doesn’t go to war with my perfume, which is a great thing.


Comfort on Call retails for $37.50 for a 1.7 oz./ 50 ml jar and is available in department stores and online from

Jabara fruit is touted on this small Japanese site. There is no Wiki for the fruit—yet.

There is a great book called Hope in a Jar by Kathy Peiss. It was published in 1999 and is a worthwhile read if you are curious about the business of beauty.