"Elegant chic meets Arabic exotica…" is how the Economist describes Les Bains du Marais, the Parisian day spa featuring a large Hammam, or Turkish bath. Blue Gabor founded her own company, Beauty As Ritual, to distribute their fragrance and body care products in the United States. I tested a few of the fragrances in Takashimaya last year and was intrigued, so I asked Blue to tell us a little about the line and how she discovered it.Blue, can you tell us a little about your own fragrance history?
I think my first interest in fragrances was while studying herbal medicine- we would go on these long walks to search for all sorts of rare and endangered plants- and almost always the first thing to identify the plants was to "bruise" the leaf or flowers to release the essential oils- this fine tuned my nose to detect certain similarities and differences in fresh plants- and sparked my interest in perfumery.
How did you come to discover the Bains du Marais line?
I was in Paris and came across the line- I fell in love with the gorgeous packaging at first, then- the simplicity and beauty of the products themselves. I was intrigued by the Moroccan influences in the fragrances, but also the very Parisian elegance. The line itself is very traditional- yet very fresh at the same time. I liked the subtlety and the "diffuse" quality of the Eau de Soin. There is something special about the line and I created my company just to bring these products to the States!
I believe the 4 scents are called "Eau de Soin" and are alcohol free. Can you tell us more about the formulation, and how these are meant to be used?
The fragrances do not contain alcohol, as an Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum does. Instead, the fragrance is "bound" and stabilized by Orchid Oil, which contains mucilage- a skin softening, silky substance that actually gives a nice sheen to the skin. It preserves the integrity of the fragrance but also adds a shimmering hydration to the skin. You can feel how the fragrance is different when you apply it to your wrists and rub them together. It's slippery and hydrating. I find that one of the best ways to use the Eau de Soin is fresh from the shower or bath, generously on pulse points, knees, ankles and chest. You can even use this on the tips of dry hair to freshen and seal in moisture.
Which of the fragrances is your personal favorite?
I think my favorite fragrance is the Fleur d'Oranger- it's so light and it reminds me of honey. But I have to say, I really love all 4! I even layer and blend the fragrances, and wear different ones according to my mood. The Musc Blanc, though, seems to be everyone's favorite- I personally have never liked Musc- but this one is different. It's like baby powder and cotton- and the Huile de Soin in Musc Blanc is absolutely fantastic. Your skin is so soft after using it- it's like a baby's! The Jasmin is the cleanest, freshest Jasmin I've ever smelled- and it just puts me in a good mood. And, finally, the Rose Confiture- it's made of real rose petals (not synthetic)- and it's fresh and young and juicy- I like to sleep while wearing the Rose Confiture.
And can you tell me some of the perfumes you enjoy from other lines?
I love Diptyque's L'Ombre dans L'Eau and #2 by Comme des Garcons.
In addition to the Eau de Soin formulation which Blue describes above, the fragrances are also available in a Huile de Soin, a bath and body oil made with argan and jojoba oils. You can read more about the products on the beautyasritual website, or for buying information, see the listing for Les Bains du Marais under Perfume Houses.
Tomorrow: my reviews of the Eau de Soin fragrances