Feel-good buys the experts adore

Do you ever reach for a calming bath oil or reviving lotion to soothe away stresses or lift flagging spirits? From 11-16th June 2018, the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) will be launching Aromatherapy Awareness Week – an annual campaign that aims ‘to raise awareness of the benefits of aromatherapy’.

As fragrance fanatics, we’re always surrounding ourselves with beautifully scented things, but wondered what aromatherapy-inspired products some of our favourite fragrance experts and bloggers liked to use…

Liz Earle, Founder, Liz Earle Wellbeing: ‘My long-term favourite is Aromatherapy Associates Revive Bath Oil, a delicious blend of neroli, sandalwood and patchouli. I was given my first bottle by their founder, Geraldine Howard, who I used to see for aromatherapy treatments when I was pregnant with Lily (now aged 27!) and who encouraged me to write my very first book, Vital Oils. She sadly died a couple of years ago, but I’m reminded of happier, less complicated times and her talented, gentle care every time I smell it. My newest fave is Ren’s & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray, an up-date on the classic lavender-only sleeping spritzes as it combines traditional lavender with hops to relax and frankincense to still the mind. It’s a fabulous sleep-inducing combination and I have become quite addicted.’
Aromatherapy Associates Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil £48 for 50ml

James Craven, Fragrance Archivist at Les Senteurs: ‘What else but OLVERUM bath oil? Of German origin and a best-seller for over 80 years, OLVERUM has always been a firm favourite of mine. It has the most amazing holistic healing magic: a little dash and I sleep like an angel and awake restored. Relaxing at night, a reviving tonic in the morning, OLVERUM is kind to the skin and helps to clear and stimulate a stuffy head or sluggish brain. A little gift to oneself.’

Olverum Bath Oil £29 for 125ml
olverum.com

Thomas Dunkley, a.k.a. The Candy Perfume Boy: ‘I adore a shower – honestly, I could spend hours under warm water and hot steam, so it makes complete sense that my favouite aromatherapy product is the Neal’s Yard English Lavender Bath & Shower Gel. The soothing scent of lavender mixed with shower steam is the most soothing, calming thing after a stressful day. Just what one needs!’

Neal’s Yard English Lavender Bath & Shower Gel £11 for 200ml
nealsyardremedies.com

Jo Fairley, Co-Founder of The Perfume Society: ‘For me it has to be Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil. I genuinely feel like I’ve been coshed over the head – in the nicest possible way! – when I use this. My head goes ker-thump when it hits the pillow, and I know I’m guaranteed a great night’s sleep. What’s more, it honestly scents the entire house with wafts of sandalwood, camomile and vetiver, so while it’s quite pricey, I think it’s actually good value.’

Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil £49 for 55ml
aromatherapyassociates.com

Dariush Alavi, a.k.a. Persolaise: ‘Although aromatherapy isn’t a prominent blip on my scented radar, I confess there is one product that is never out of my eyeline: the Altitude Oil from De Mamiel. Originally designed to counteract the stultifying effects of air travel, it’s one of the most effective – and exuberant – cloud-banishers I’ve ever encountered. Lavender, pine, peppermint, eucalyptus, patchouli and a whole load of other wonder-oils come together to lift your spirits, widen your eyes and give you the tranquillity to face the day with a smile. Magic!’

De Mamiel Altitude Oil £28 for 10ml oil
demamiel.com

Samantha Scriven, a.k.a. I Scent You a Day: ‘I definitely find the right scent can calm me down and it almost always goes back to the smells of Mother Nature. I currently carry round a little roll on fragrance from Our Modern Lives by Sarah McCartney. It’s called Yellow Sunrise Hope and I roll it on my pulse points to give me a moment of head space. It evokes an al fresco breakfast with fresh orange juice, sunshine and bunch of daffodils. It is the absolute polar opposite of the usual noisy, chaotic breakfast times in my house. It helps me escape for a few minutes, and those minutes are precious.’

Our Modern Lives Yellow Sunrise Hope £30 for 10ml roll-on
4160tuesdays.com

Marcus Jaye, a.k.a. The Chic Geek: ‘Can I say Aveda’s Shampure? That smell is just pure calm and puts me in that spa/zen state, even if only for those two minutes it takes to wash my hair.’

Aveda Shampure £14.50 for 250ml
aveda.co.uk

Maria Angelidou, a.k.a. Greek Goddess London: ‘I joined the “aromatherapy inspired” products bandwagon quite late, but I realised that I was using them anyway to scent my home and help me relax. I was using Jurlique‘s Calming Blend Aromatherapy Mist with lavender and grapefruit for quite some time on myself plus my bedding, but lately I got a diffuser; the Sterline Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser. It’s quite compact but diffuses the oils I choose beautifully and the changing colours relax me (and my husband who demands we switch it on every evening) a lot…’

Jurlique Calming Blend Aromatherapy Mist £15 for 50ml jurlique.co.uk

Sterline Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser £11.50 amazon.co.uk

Stephan Matthews: ‘I’ve always loved the opening hit of rosemary in Clarins Eau Dynamisante and then the mouthwatering orange and Amalfi lemon that immediately follows. It is “summertime” to me, which is why there’s a bottle at the front door, a bottle at the back door, a bottle in the summerhouse and a bottle in my travel bag! Some would call it an addiction but I find that it invigorates and uplifts me, which is one of the best aromatherapy traditions.

Clarins Eau Dynamistante £50 for 200ml spray
clarins.co.uk

For those of you interested in learning more about the aromatic powers of fragrant ingredients, do have a browse of our extensive Ingredients index!

Meanwhile, you may be interested to learn that we were recently completely enamoured by the newly launched anatomē [see our Instagram post about our afternoon with them] – founded by Brendan Murdock working with perfumer Anastasia Brozler for a fascinating new wellness approach, using Anastasia’s phenomenal and potent essential oil blends alongside nutritional supplements.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Valeur Absolue get passionate with crystal powered perfumes

There is no doubt that fragrance has the power to utterly alter the way we feel – it can lift our spirits, transport us to a specific time and place so rapidly we’re left reeling with sensorial shock or swathe us in comfort just when we need it most. But what about taking that further and using ingredients in perfumes to target particular feelings and to provoke our enjoyment beyond merely “smelling nice”?
Valeur Absolue take inspiration from aromacology, mineral therapy and the roots of 17th century fine perfumery: each scent created to fragrantly enhance a mood – the key ethos being to uplift, relax and revitalise. Of course fragrance-lovers instinctively understand perfume’s feel-good factor: But Valeur Absolue’s founder – Geneva-based Benedicte Foucart – wanted to take that one stage further. Imagine fragrances infused with ingredients known to soothe, to nurture, or to inspire passion. Imagine gemstones, not only creating something beautiful to look at – but, according to Foucart, helping to shift energies… With many people now subscribing to the idea that semi-precious stones can harness “healing” powers, it’s certainly a fascinating path to follow within the world of luxury perfume.

Having worked as International Vice President at Elizabeth Arden (where many fragrances were launched, during her tenure), and then perfume house Firmenich as head of global marketing, Foucart came to the brand with ample consumer experience. Indeed, Valeur Absolue was actually inspired by a consumer study of 10,000 women in the USA and Europe, which revealed ‘the growing dissatisfaction among women concerning the current offerings in the fragrance market,’ observes Benedicte, explaining, ‘Our products are “more” than perfumes; above all, perfumes that smell absolutely delicious, but they are also real wellbeing elixirs which offer real benefits to women.’
“Areumat perpetua” features in all the blends – a natural extract of immortelle flower, linked to the release in the body of feel-good beta endorphins. The ultimate vision Benedicte had for Valeur Absolue was ‘to bring fine fragrance and wellbeing back together,’ returning to the tradition of the 17th Century roots of fine perfumery, and the time when perfume had a  health- or mood-enhancing powers.

Rouge Passion marks the seventh fragrance in their line, and takes the story further with regard to creating a scent that takes a more intensely sensual direction. Champacca is the stand-out ingredient for us, here (collars woven with champacca were traditionally worn by Indian women as a seductive ploy, so Benedicte informs us!) with a deliciously addictive quality that keeps your nose clamped to your wrist long after spraying. A softly powdered tonka bean was chosen to round off the base – a highly sophisticated yet totally on-trend gourmand touch that we dare you to try and resist…
Valeur Absolue Rouge Passion £59 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at House of Fraser
Can crystals “heal” or enhance? Well whatever you believe, there’s no doubt the gem-filled bottles are beautiful objects in and of themselves, and the soft rattle you get with each spritz is terribly satisfying and soothing to play with. More than this – and most importantly – the fragrances smell great. These are not “spa” products, it was vital for Benedicte to give women contemporary, sophisticated scents they actually wanted to wear. The new branding – which we love – reflects this, and the whole ethos of the brand: wellbeing through elegant simplicity, for people who don’t want to compromise.
Interested in finding out more of these crystal-powered, mood-enhancing scents? Read our page dedicated to the brand to match the perfume to your personality, and check out their website for an in-depth guide to each fragrance….
Written by Suzy Nightingale