Knead in your skincare

17th
June

Massage using your knuckles. For fresh-looking radiant skin, this revs up your circulation and boosts lymphatic drainage, to help reduce puffiness.

Use Elemis pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (our true favourite) – work in tiny circles, making a fist using just your two “pointer” fingers (index and middle) for a smaller more targeted “knuckle”

 

Provocative and peculiar: the rise of ‘Marmite’ fragrances

12th
June

The rise of Marmite fragrances

Eau de fudge, turpentine, salt – and even semen. Yes, really… The latest fragrance trend is for provocative, peculiar perfumes. Alice du Parcq enters the world of the love-them-or-loathe-them scents…

Some people love this. Some people hate this. Do you want to smell it?’ To a perfume enthusiast, this is olfactory catnip. Of course I want to smell it. I’m with Kilian Hennessy, founder of the luxury By Kilian fragrance house and the dashing, wonderfully mad Christian Grey-meets-Gordon Gekko of the perfume world. He’s about to spray Smoke for the Soul, and I’m longing to inhale something exciting and different from the gallons of safe, samey scents out there. Not that they aren’t beautiful, but most of the recent launches feature an innocuous trinity of jasmine, rose and wood. On a road trip spent tuned to Magic FM, you need a blast of trance every now and then. Love-it-or-hate-it ‘Marmite’ fragrances have become a thing, with perfumers challenging themselves and their customers with eccentric masterpieces.

I breathe in the spritzed blotter and try to be objective, but it’s shockingly bitter, like sour grapefruit juice, then camphorous and medicinal from thyme and eucalyptus. It goes against every ‘top note’ rule of perfumery, where the opening whiff should be fresh, bright and pretty. This, quite literally, makes me wince. And then it comes: the unmistakable dusty, woozy, botanical puff of weed. It’s weird, but a few hours later I smell the saturated blotter in my handbag – gently herbal, sweet and warm like sunbaked hay and fresh tobacco leaves – and I’m hooked.

Sure, Smoke for the Soul isn’t exactly the scent you want your children to remember you by, but it’s a flash of crazy you might fancy wearing on a ‘bugger off world’ day, like a gold sequin cape in a wardrobe full of grey tents. ‘Banish the black, burn the blue and bury the beige,’ declares Michael Donovan, scent expert and owner of the Roullier White Perfumery. ‘Marmite fragrances are coming to the fore because we’re more confident when it comes to choosing a scent and we want one that communicates a part of our personality. They stretch your tastes, expand your olfactory horizons, take you places that you would not normally have chosen.’

Calvin Klein CK All fragrance

You wouldn’t usually consider Calvin Klein fragrances ‘challenging’, but CK All has something addictively jarring about it. It glows with a strange molecule called Parasidone, a high-definition derivative of jasmine, as if the original CK One took a dose of steroids and fell into a video game. Mind-messer extraordinaire BeauFort London has envisioned the scent of the Battle of Trafalgar with its Tonnerre. It punches you right between the eyes with gunpowder, blood and brandy – a metallic, smoky combo that smells like your winter coat the morning after Guy Fawkes night.

Meanwhile, in my own little experiment, I wave a wrist dabbed in JusBox’s Black Powder beneath a dozen friends’ noses. ‘That’s the actual smell of death,’ says one, horrified. ‘It’s like sweaty snogs in a moshpit,’ says another, male, friend, practically licking my arm. He’s not far off: it’s perfumer Julien Rasquinet’s grungy throwback to Kurt Cobain, all smudgy guyliner, cigarette ash and soft suede jackets. Peculiar smells like these spark imagination, debate, conversation; they generate a refreshing new audience who don’t care about commerciality. By nature they invite a strongly intuitive opinion without the enforced interpretation of a meticulously styled ad campaign. This is gut-instinct smelling – and people love it.

Roja Dove Great Britain Parfum

‘Subversive and boundary-pushing: that’s what the modern fragrance shopper is looking for,’ says perfumer Roja Dove, whose own creation Great Britain has divided his customers for its colossal, borderline-indecent leathery aroma. ‘We live in a time when the public wants scents of quality, creativity and individuality, not the next celebrity scent. Why bother smelling like everyone else?’

This unconventional approach is the focus of Somerset House’s new exhibition Perfume: A Sensory Journey through Contemporary Scent. Opening later this month, it celebrates 10 pioneering fragrances as art installations, and invites you to submerge yourself in the deconstructed thoughts of the perfumers. Many have a polarising appeal, but none more so than Sécretions Magnifiques by Etat Libre D’Orange. The most provocative scent in the exhibition, it is the bottled acme of sexual pleasure with musky notes of semen, sweat and milk. Even the display will unsettle visitors as they rummage through a bedroom scene strewn with sheets and clothing impregnated with the carnal scent.

Although these fragrances are more of an indie manifestation, they represent an irony long known in traditional perfumery: that renegade ingredients balance a perfume into something quite beautiful. Civet paste, for instance, has been used for centuries and ‘comes from a scenting gland located between the anus and genitals of the Ethiopian civet cat’, explains Dove. ‘Today it is produced synthetically and when handled well the level of sensuality it conveys is unprecedented.’ Patchouli, one of the most popular notes in perfumery, ‘smells of wet earth and decomposing wood on its own,’ says Roja, ‘yet used in a composition it gives a great feeling of naturalness, depth and warmth’. Similar twists feature in some stunning new launches this season.

While not quite as divisive, both Hermès’ Eau des Merveilles Bleue and Tom Ford’s Oud Minérale (out in July) have a salty, oceanic note that brings a cleansing luminosity to their earthy, woody structures. In the collaborative perfume Queen Street, by shoemaker Grenson and British perfumery Haeckels, the soft, grassy notes (inspired by the countryside surrounding Grenson’s Northampton factory) clash perfectly with antagonistic notes of leather, cork and glue (shoemakers’ staples). There are so many spices slapping your senses in Penhaligon’s Paithani but a well-judged note called Sulfural brings a creamy, milky accord to smooth them all down.

And those with a sweet tooth should try Ramon Monegal’s Flamenco, which includes a molecule called Veltol Plus that smells like candyfloss and fudge. ‘I know it sounds terrible on paper,’ says Donovan. ‘But the spun-sugar note works wonderfully with roses.’ Often delicious, sometimes repellant, but always thrilling, defiant perfumes bring electricity to the aisles and beauty to the ugly. But don’t take my word for it, scent out your own ‘Marmite’ fragrance.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/beauty/hair-nails/provocative-peculiar-rise-marmite-fragrances/

 

Happy Global Wellness Day!

10th
June

Today is Global Wellness Day – aimed at encouraging kindness, gratitude, mindfulness and happiness. It’s set to be celebrated in more than 100 countries.

Have a Happy Day ! xxx

 

Super Resurfacing

6th
June

Adding to its popular resurfacing range, Elemis’s Dynamic Resurfacing Day Cream with SPF 30 is designed for daily use and features a patented Tri-Enzyme technology with an innovative micronized sunscreen.

The moisturising formula works to stimulate the skin’s natural cell renewal cycle while protecting it from harmful effects of UV rays.

Now available at Renaissance

Need a skincare boost?

5th
June

Collagen is crucial to the bounce and beauty of our skin, responsible for our skin’s strength and resilience as well as its smooth, plump appearance.

And if you bear in mind that by the age of 20 our own supply is already in decline, only imagine by 50 we’ve lost over half of our collagen reserves!

If you’re wisely seeking a little extra UV anti-ageing protection in your favourite face cream, you have to choose the NEW Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30, brimming with collagen-boosting chlorella, and padina pavonica seaweed that feature in the original bestselling super face cream, to do everything you’d want and more.

Night time tips….

3rd
June

Use an eye cream on your lips as a mask to hydrate at night.  It’s a hydration booster, so leave overnight to intensify the effect.

Or use an all in one like Elemis Pro-Definition Eye & Lip Contour Cream.

What People Are Saying

Well relaxed after my lovely massage. Thanks x

— Helen Illingworth Brown

Just had a fantastic experience at Renaissance. Dermalogica face mapping and facial with expert advice from Megan, Emily Wall  loved her teenager facial aswell. Well done guys xx

— Lorraine Wall

Had an amazing elemis frangipani body wrap on saturday. The products smell gorgeous and it was a lovely to have a bit of time out, to lie back and relax. Would highly recommend this experience and would definitely book in again. Thank you

— Angela Shurie-MacKenzie