I’ve come to think of Space NK as a “post-Sephora” shopping experience. At first, Sephora was exciting: the aisles and aisles of fragrance and beauty products, often accompanied by a pulsing dance-music soundtrack, induced a feverish high of trying and buying. After a while, however, too much choice can feel exhausting, particularly when so many products start to seem alike. Nowadays, Sephora gives me the feeling of a crowded party, while a visit to Space NK is more like brunch with one or two friends. It’s selective and it’s simplified, and I can trust its suggestions.
In keeping with its streamlined, user-friendly style, Space NK offers its own line of fragranced products, which are sold both as individual items and as sets. I sniffed a few scents before making my choice. Compelling, a sprightly, fruity rose, reminded me of Hermès’s Rose Ikebana, and I know that Seduction is a particular favorite of Annie over at Blogdorf Goodman, but Soulful was the blend that attracted me the most. According to the Space NK literature, this “comforting” scent was “created following a visit to the hot springs in Gora Kadan—a traditional Japanese inn around the foot hills of Mount Fuji, where enveloped in the warm spring water you can simply lie back and listen to the breeze gently rustling the leaves in the trees”.
My “Bathtime Minis” set of Soulful products includes travel-size bottles of bath oil, body wash, and body balm (50 ml each) housed in a sturdy little box with a mod-calico design. In their bottles, the Soulful products smell predominantly of cedar, so I planned to wear them in conjunction with a cedary perfume such as Miller et Bertaux Parfum Trouvé No. 1 or Shiseido Feminité du Bois. When I applied them, however, their scent bloomed into a woodsy floral blend, with the cedar and sandalwood balanced by soft lily of the valley and dusky rose notes. It’s a seasonless, versatile fragrance that would work well with many other blends of smooth wood and gentle florals. It harmonizes beautifully with my beloved Les Parfums de Rosine Poussière de Rose, for example, as well as with my most recent perfume purchase, Bond no. 9’s Union Square.
The quality of Space NK’s products is high: the body wash lathers easily without drying out the skin, and the body balm is a milky lotion whose fragrance lasts for hours after it’s applied. The bath oil can also multi-task as body oil. All three “mini” bottles are good for many uses, and I’ll be tempted to return to Space NK for full sizes once I’ve finished them. I’ll also make sure to try the Soulful Eau de Toilette; layering all the products with their matching fragrance would, of course, be the simplest thing of all.
The “Soulful” Bathtime Minis set sells for $32. For purchasing information, see spacenk.