L’Art du Soin by Diptyque
In the early 1960s, three friends opened an interiors store in Paris' then-shabby Left Bank. Fast-forward 63 years and the trio's brand Diptyque is now famed for creating the most luxuriously botanical fragrant candles. Revered by those who appreciate the distilling of scent as an art form, Diptyque is applying its conscientious approach to the world of facial skincare. Returning to the waste-not-want-not principles of traditional herbology, the beneficial by-products of the distilling process used to make Diptyque’s candles and fragrances are now being used to create this range. ‘The Ritual’ comprises five products: infused facial water, cleansing balm, exfoliating clay, moisturising lotion and, our favourite, a radiance-boosting white clay powder, that, upon contact with water, morphs into a delicate, creamy and foamy lather, perfect for instilling minerals and vitamins deep into the skin.
L’Art du Soin, £38-£44; www.diptyqueparis.co.uk
Writer: Elizabeth Hutton
Thief Spa, Oslo, Norway
On the islet of Tjuvholmen, right where Oslo merges with the sea, The Thief hotel has opened a 800 sq m spa, designed by Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. Although the spa takes design cues from Nordic elements such as slate, granite and the region's uniquely lit skies (the small lights above the 12-metre pool are reminiscent of a starry evening), the programme looks beyond Scandinavia and snatches up the very best spa rituals from around the globe. A Turkish hamam, Moroccan rhassoul, a Finnish sauna and German aufguss can be found alongside the pool and treatment rooms – with many of the spaces offering views of the Oslofjord. Spa and beauty treatments feature products from Carita, Babor, Priori, Voya as well as Norwegian cosmetics brand Ilia. The hotel’s interior designer Anemone Wille Våge and art curator Sune Nordgren have also been enlisted to deck out the spa, which includes designs and original art by Tom Sandberg and Marit Følstad.
Salma Kersvenn Marius Jantzens Plass 3, Oslo, Norway; Tel: 47.24.00 40 50; www.thiefspa.com
Writer: Micha van Dinther; Photography: Studio Dreyer Hensley
Thief Spa, Oslo, Norway
CB I Hate Perfume
In the ten years that Christopher Brosius’ groundbreaking label, CB I Hate Perfume, has been in existence, his unique take on the olfactory world has known few rivals. This month not only sees the anarchistic perfumer move his flagship scent gallery and retail boutique out to the industrial, warehouse-lined streets of Bushwick in Brooklyn, but also celebrates the launch of 'The Box' – a made-to-order collection of every CB fragrance released to date. Numbered and signed by Brosius, each box is bound in black Brillianta book cloth and brimming with specially designed 15ml bottles of the label’s 40 evocative creations. The offerings range from the snow-inspired ‘Walking in Air’, to the green tomato-tinged ‘Memory of Kindness’, ‘At the Beach 1966’ (which brilliantly makes the most of the scent of Coppertone sunscreen), and the elegant ‘Cedarwood Tea', just to name a few. Collectors also have the option to own Brosius’ 'Rare Flowers' series, which bottles some of the world's rarest florals, like jasmine sambac, narcissus and champaca, in their purest form. The box also comes with a bound booklet that recounts the philosophy of CB I Hate Perfume, a portfolio describing each of the fragrances and a packet of testing blotters to complete the experience. A must for any perfume fanactic, if we ever saw one.
‘The Box’, $6,500 or $10,500, with the Rare Flowers series; www.cbihateperfume.com
Writer: Pei-Ru Keh
The Box by CB I Hate Perfume
Scents of Scandinavia by Skandinavisk
With the most northern parts of Scandinavia receiving as little as four hours of daylight in winter, it is no wonder that its inhabitants burn more candles than anywhere else on earth. Leave it to two English gentlemen Shaun Russell and Gerry Kingham to capitalise on that longing for light and cosiness by creating the brand Skandinavisk. For spring, the duo have managed to capture the peninsula at its very best – with the five gently aromatic candles in the 'Scents of Scandinavia' collection are appropriately named Ö (isle), Ro (tranquillity), Sommar (summer), København (Copenhagen) and Fjord. Using both natural and mineral wax, an 100 per cent cotton wick and perfume produced in Grasse, each candle is hand-poured into a painted glass votive and will burn for 45 hours.
Scents of Scandinavia, ₤30 each; www.skandinavisk.com
Writer: Micha van Dinther; Photography: Pia Winther
Detoxifying and Acid Alkalizing Teas by Susanne Kaufmann
Health-conscious aesthetes will no doubt embrace the newest teas from Austrian natural beauty brand Susanne Kaufmann. Developed by dermatologist and pharmacist Josef Waldner, the teas are entirely organic, and made from ingredients collected in Bregrenz Forest near the brand’s flagship retreat Hotel Post Bezau. A detoxifying tea consists of mate infused with curative herbs such as birch leaf and bee balm, and flavoured with a refreshing touch of apple and peppermint. The daintier acid alkalizing tea is an exquisite mix of raspberry leaves, horsetail, dandelion and marigold petals – all of which are rich in base minerals that help eliminate acidic toxins. We are particularly fond of the simple white packaging, which reflects the brand’s minimalist philosphy.
15 sachets for €15; www.susannekaufmann.com
Writer: TF Chan
Bogota Berlin by Frau Tonis Parfum
Stephanie Hanssen, the founder of Frau Tonis Parfum, believes in fragrances that tell a story. Her boutique perfumery in Berlin is best known for its hand-blended concoctions that effortlessly evoke everything from a summer stroll along the city's leafy Unter den Linden boulevard to the seductive charm of the Roaring Twenties. The newly introduced 'Bogota Berlin' fragrance is a fitting follow-up to these successes. It’s an homage to Hotel Bogota, an iconic institution where master photographer Helmut Newton once learned his way around the camera. Like the artists and creatives that rendezvoused in the now-defunct hotel, Bogota Berlin is a fascinating medley of accords that ostensibly don’t typically go together – think violet, cedarwood, Indian white pepper, figs and bergamot from Grasse. The alluring mixture is fresh and exudes an eccentric elegance. In a fitting nod to the thrills of adulthood, the fragrance is numbered 18 among Frau Tonis' collection. The bold lettering on the otherwise unassuming flacon serves well to highlight this.
'Bogota Berlin' perfume, €58 for 50ml; www.frau-tonis-parfum.com
Writer: TF Chan
MaPharmacie, Paris, France
With a pharmacy on every Parisian corner, the French institution was due an upgrade. To wit, pharmacist and business school graduate Michael Zazoun enlisted designer José Lévy to create an experimental, innovative and chic apothecary back in 2010. Their venture, MaPharmacie, is now expanding with a new opening in Paris' République, brought to life with help of architects Nathaniel Sibony and Jean François Isse. The success of their medicinal emporium lies in its novel but practical disposition. With a grid of white neon lights hanging from the ceiling, ‘invisible’ shelves made from mirrors and a living wall that evokes the Amazon rainforest separating the shop floor from the stockroom, Levy has created a space that is both functional and illusory - a space where ‘nothing is broken but everything is changed’.
44 rue Faubourg du Temple, 75011 Paris, France; www.joselevy.fr
Writer: Elizabeth Hutton; Photography: Matthieu Salvaing
MaPharmacie, Paris, France
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