scented bath: 4 posts

Mysore Sandal Soap : Bath & Body Review

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Does luxury need to come with a big price tag? If you take a stroll around any department store, you might come away with that conclusion. But if your shopping strategy is more of the Poirot sleuthing variety, then you can turn up some affordable gems. My local India shop doesn’t fall under any definition of upscale. It’s a tiny, overcrowded space that smells pungently of cumin, wilting coriander greens and fried snacks. But it is here that I discovered my favorite soap of all, Mysore Sandal Soap. And it cost me 1.95 euros.

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Mysore Sandal soap is produced by Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited, a company owned by the Government of Karnataka, a southern Indian state famous for its sandalwood. Mysore sandalwood groves were plentiful at the turn of the century, but while Europe was engulfed in the First World War, the precious wood couldn’t be exported. In 1916, the Maharaja of Mysore established a company to use up the excess sandalwood, and Mysore Sandal soap still remains the company’s trademark. It bears a proprietary Geographical Indication seal and contains natural sandalwood oil.

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Roger & Gallet Oeillet Mignardise Soap

If I had a vintage vanity table with a large mirror, I would decorate it with perfume bottles, makeup brushes and neat rows of lipstick and nail polish. I would fill the candy dishes with face powder pearls and top them with colorful Caron powder puffs. And I would be sure to keep at least one package of Roger & Gallet Oeillet Mignardise soap in the drawer for that distinctive whiff of carnation scented retro glamour. Then nothing would stop me from feeling like a Hollywood starlet, the lack of other qualifications notwithstanding.

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A girl can dream, right? While I have no space or practical use for a vanity table–my makeup application is usually a distinctly unglamorous, rushed affair conducted in the bathroom, the carnation part of my fantasy is something I insist on keeping. Oeillet Mignardise is a simple way of having it, and I usually stuff these soap bars in my linen closet and lingerie drawer, in addition to using them in the shower. If I had to use a single type of soap for the foreseeable future, Oeillet Mignardise would be it.

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Hermes Le Bain : New Bath and Skincare Line

The house of Hermès is presenting its new bath & body line this month, Le Bain. A collection of shower gels, shampoos, lotions, and soaps is based on the existing fragrances developed by the in-house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena and is richly scented.

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Collection Colognes

Shower gels for body and hair are available in Eau de Gentiane Blanche, Eau de Narcisse Bleu, Eau d’Orange Verte, and Eau de Mandarine Ambrée (200ml, 32€).

Liquid soap in Eau de Gentiane Blanche, Eau de Narcisse Bleu, Eau d’Orange Verte, and Eau de Mandarine Ambrée (300ml, 44€).

Moisturizing balm for face and body (200ml, 59€).
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Sultry Fragrances for a Scented Bath : My Financial Times Magazine Column

My March topic for the Financial Times Magazine is about pampering. In Sultry Fragrances for a Scented Bath, I share some of my favorite scents. This winter, I’ve been indulging in baths perfumed with Estée Lauder Youth Dew and Roger & Gallet Cologne. When I don’t have time for a proper relaxing bath, I spritz a bit of cologne into the shower to enjoy a fresh burst of citrus. It gives me a stronger jolt than a cup of coffee!

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I treat myself to perfumed baths whenever I feel tired or simply in need of some pampering. It’s an indispensable indulgence and one of the most satisfying scented pleasures. To feel as if I’m floating on rose petals, I turn to Red Roses Bath Oil by Jo Malone (£52 for 200ml). It leaves skin soft and redolent of lemony tea roses. L’Artisan Parfumeur’s La Chasse aux Papillons Dry Body Oil (£40 for 100ml) is perfumed with the sweetness of tuberose and linden blossom, and while it can be used instead of moisturising cream, in the bath it feels especially luscious. Please read the rest by clicking here.

What do you use whenever you crave some pampering?

Photography via FT.

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