How Does W’s Momo Compare to Bliss?

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We reported in December (read more here) that Marriott’s W hotels were moving away from loved Bliss products and introducing Momo that you can buy from Walmart and Amazon.

Marriott PR released a press release about this change this Wednesday. We would like to know what our readers think of this? Do they prefer Momo over Bliss?

Here are some photos of the packaging:

Here’s a review of Momo that a friend of mine wrote:

With little fanfare, W Hotels have switched from Bliss branded toiletries to MOMO and Skin Regimen by Davines. While this may not be generating headlines in loyalty circles, we predict it will garner more attention as the rollout continues. Over the years, we have heard over and over again that Bliss was beloved by W guests.

What is MOMO or Skin Regimen by Davines

Davines is an Italian brand found in midscale hair salons and spas, and is known for using sustainable practices. It is well distributed and can be found in many parts of the world, including the USA. MOMO is one of the many lines from Davines. In the USA, it can be purchased at Walmart. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Davines-Momo-Moisturizing-Shampoo-for-Dry-Dehydrated-Hair-33-8-Oz/48811187

Skin Regimen is a newer line from the skincare division of Davines. Their claim is beauty meets sustainability. https://skinregimen.com

Retail vs W versions of MOMO by Davines 

W’s version of the product appears to be licensed by Davines to LaBottega, one of the largest suppliers of hotel toiletries. The product we received and tested was made in China, however LaBottega has other factories around the world. Retail versions are made in Italy. Both the retail and Marriott versions are Paraben and Sulfate Free. Ingredients from the Marriott version very widely from the retail version – this being a clear example of what you get in a hotel is NOT the same as found in a retail store.

We hope a chemist can help us explain the difference in formulations, however reps from other brands have told us that hotel versions are made for harder and varying water acidity and longer shelf life.

The Davines retail products purchased in stores have Zero impact packaging, which does not seem to be the case with the W version. Nor does it seem to be recyclable. (All of this may be moot as Marriott has pledged to go zero waste with hotel toiletries being in large presumably pump style containers.)

The W version of the product is available at whotelsthestore.com

So, what is it like?

We put all products to test over a few days. And are is our first impression:

MOMO Shower gel: very good viscosity with a very slight green melon fruity scent. We found the packaging easier to squeeze than Bliss.

Shampoo: complementing the shower gel with a bit of a green apple scent. Great viscosity; it was easy to work up a lather. The Bliss ’Supershine’ shampoo had a more distinct lemon + sage scent and many of us found the product harder to pour, but once that product combined with water it was fabulous. Not sure if the easier to pour MOMO is worth the lesser scent and lighter end result? John’s note: We know scents are very personal and opinions may vary.

Conditioner: generally unremarkable. Not offensive, but not sure if it even works.

Skin Regimen Face wash: this is a white cream with very little foam, we detected a slight citrus scent. This is a stark contrast from Bliss and the ‘Fabulous Foaming Face Wash’ Gel that many of our readers hoarded. The Skin Regimen did clean the face, but it seemed in a more clinical and functional way.

Skin Regimen Body Cream: It’s an ok scent, but far from the Bliss ‘Body Butter’ taken and placed in purses and backpacks worldwide. Credit for the new product having olive oil and shea butter, so it’s effective and free of harmful chemicals.

Skin Regimen Bar soap: another huge difference from Bliss; not only in the smaller size of the bar, but the square shape and missing nubs on one side for cleaning/massage that Bliss bars had. The scent and texture was generally unremarkable but not offensive. It did the job without leaving a lingering scent or film.

Branding Confusion

Bliss had excitement and was one line. Neither Davines or it’s MOMO and Skin Regimen lines seem to have much buzz or even awareness outside of hair salons. This is complicated by a lot going on here brand wise: there are 3 different websites listed on the small bottles of MOMO. One is Slow Food Presidio – we’re not clear if Marriott even has involvement in this noble cause, but it seems undercut by the Marriott version being made in China.

More Questions for Marriott

With Marriott’s PR team being tight lipped, we have lots of questions: in suites, W was famous for giving you larger bottles of the Bliss products (something to take home and brag about), will they do the same with MOMO? W used to have very handy “Tidy Towels” that were Bliss made moist towelettes that were perfect for a purse and backpack, will we see a Davines version? Please!

Conclusion

Change is inevitable and Bliss had a great run, almost synonymous with W in many minds. Starwood would have innovated; Marriott took a safe choice. This is not an edgy or trendy brand nor packaging that complements the W brand. We hope it’s not an indication of further erosion of the uniqueness of the W brand.

Bottom line: This is a “miss” by Marriott. We wouldn’t take these home.

Here’s the press release from Marriott:

Heads are about to turn. W Hotels Worldwide today unveils its new unisex amenity line with Italy-based, luxury sustainable beauty brands, Davines and /skin regimen/ of the Davines Group. Together, W and the Davines Group – brands with cult followings – will be shaking up self-care routines from Chicago to Chengdu with sustainable skin and hair care products available at all W locations in 2020.

Unbound by traditional definitions of beauty, both W and the Davines Group are champions of self-expression and individuality, encouraging people to act consciously, and feel fabulous wherever they go. From sink to spa, the new line-up of in-room hair and skin care (which replaces the brand’s long-time amenity partner, bliss) will now include Davines and /skin regimen/ best-sellers as well as exclusive new formulas, available only to W guests:

Davines MOMO Shampoo

Davines MOMO Conditioner

Davines MOMO Shower Gel (W Exclusive)

/skin regimen/ Body Cream (W Exclusive)

/skin regimen/ Cleansing Cream

/skin regimen/ Vegetable Soap (W Exclusive)

“W takes a bold approach to self-care and this new brand collaboration is no exception,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels. “In choosing a new amenity line, we road tested many brands and formulations and not only love the way the Davines Group products look, smell and feel, but the values they stand for as a company. We are very excited to bring these products to all of our guest rooms across the globe.”

From a shampoo and blowout at W’s AWAY Spa to an in-room shower after a long FUEL workout, W guests will now have access to an elevated line of luxury beauty products with a highly sustainable edge. From natural ingredients like yellow melon extract found in their signature “MOMO” products, to their world class research lab in Parma, Italy, Davines Group artfully blends science and nature, harnessing the power of both to offer products that are as effective as they are refreshing.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with one of the most dynamic, contemporary hotel brands in the world,” says Jorge Blanco, Creative Director, Davines North America. “We found a kindred spirit in W as we both have made a name for ourselves by doing things differently, and this amenity project is no different. We look forward to seeing how our self-care collaboration will inspire people from around the world to seek a deeper extension of the in-room amenity experience we are now proudly offering with W.”

In addition to being the in-room and in-suite brand of choice at W hotels globally, /skin regimen/ and Davines products will also be used at all W Away Spas starting in 2020 alongside sister brand, [ comfort zone ]. Davines is a certified B Corporation and CO2 neutral company that supports reforestation to offset its carbon emissions. In addition, all products are sulphate- and paraben-free. As part of Marriott International’s initiative to reduce its hotels’ environmental impact worldwide, W plans to offer the new amenities in waste-reducing, full-size bottles by the end of 2020.

Conclusion

I had Bliss at the W Abu Dhabi in mi-December and this Momo at the W Mexico City just before the New Year.

My impression was that Momo is as unremarkable as other generic “branded” toiletries at most hotels which are licensed and then made in China by one of the hospitality sector suppliers such as Sysco. You would not take any of these with you like what I sometimes did with Bliss.

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