The Chelsea Flower Show has begun, and it’s stoking our creative fires no end this week. Plush and textured petals, vivid colour blocking, addictive fragrance… there’s so much to be taken from the garden. It’s not difficult to see how nature is one of the beauty industry’s biggest influencers!
With this in mind, feeling thoroughly inspired, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite floral beauties to create our very own flower show. This mix of cult favourites and hidden gems are our pick of the bunch (sorry, couldn’t resist)…
Paul Smith Rose Eau de Toilette
Paul Smith’s fragrances are rather autobiographical. That is, each one is very tied closely to the man himself: his passion for cycling is keenly reflected in his newest fragrance, Extreme Sport, for example, while the signature sun doodle that he uses to sign off his letters comprises the design of his upbeat summer scents, Sunshine for Women and Men. The story behind Paul Smith Rose is perhaps the most sentimental of all.
This sparkling, bubbly rendition of a rose fragrance has the Paul Smith Rose at its heart, a real-life cochineal pink blossom that was given to Paul by his wife as a birthday gift, and presented at the 2006 Chelsea Flower Show. The resulting Eau de Toilette is a careful reconstruction of the rose’s aroma, extracted using innovative technology. This is then blended with a shimmer of green tea, violet and magnolia to present a thoroughly modern take on the queen of the flower garden.
Crabtree & Evelyn Lily Hand Therapy Cream
When I think of Crabtree & Evelyn, I think floral fragrances. Then, of course, I think of their famously award-winning Hand Therapy hand creams. And when you bring the two together? You strike floral beauty gold.
The reason why I love the Crabtree & Evelyn Lily Hand Therapy Cream so much is because, even though fresh green florals aren’t normally my cup of tea, it’s a really sophisticated fragrance. This version of the oft-recreated Lily of the Valley blossom is wonderfully dewy, with a touch of sunny ylang-ylang and plenty of soft musk. I like to think of the Lily Hand Therapy as a sort of life hack for those who want to apply fragrance in the office without inciting complaints from those around them – massage a little bit of this delicately scented cream into your hands instead!
Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara in Violet
Of course, scent isn’t the only facet of the flower garden that product developers are fascinated by. The rich pigments found in the petals of these floral muses have influenced beauty products for generations, the effects of which are still seen today. The rich, deep purple hue of Guerlain Maxi Lash in Violet is a fine example.
This bestselling mascara curls, volumises, lengthens and sets lashes beautifully, with a high tech formulation made up of polymers, fibres and waxes. Though you may think that the choice of hue is a little unusual for heritage brand, it’s not lurid. Violet is more of a blackened purple, offering luxurious, flattering colour that illuminates the eyes. If you’re bored of black, step this way.
Klorane Camomile Shampoo
The cosmetic benefits of flowers are abundant, and that’s a fact that the French phyto-product brand Klorane knows only too well. Klorane specialises in hair care, utilising pure plant extracts and scientific precision to bring you the best that nature has to offer for the care of your hair.
The Klorane Camomile Shampoo is the quintessence of this philosophy. The shampoo, like the rest of the Camomile range, is created to restore the lustre of blond hair. It does this with Egyptian camomile, specifically the Matricaria recutita L. species of the camomile bloom, which is rich in the plant flavonoid apigenine. These golden pigments add shimmer to light hair, while the extremely gentle plant cleansers remove impurities without making fragile hair feel ‘straw-like’. It’s a must-have for both natural and dyed blondes, and at the moment we’re offering the huge 400ml size for the same price as the 200ml, which gives you 100% free.
Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion Eau de Toilette
Perfumer Annick Goutal had a true artist’s touch when it came to the faithful reconstruction of flowers, a trait that was passed down to her daughter Camille. This magic is most keenly felt in Le Chevrefeuille, an homage to the sticky-sweet honeysuckle, and Annick’s masterpiece: Ce Soir Ou Jamais, a rose fragrance 15 years in the making.
It is the Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion Eau de Toilette, however, that is my favourite. In Gardenia Passion, Annick imagined a specific scene: a Japanese garden after the rain, with touches of orange blossom and jasmine. The gardenia shrub is famous for its heavily scented flowers, and this inimitable scent is captured so beautifully here. Creamy yet fresh, delicate yet potent, it’s a flower of contrasts that is notoriously difficult to pin down, but Annick managed it to a breathtaking degree. Check out Un Matin au Orage for Camille’s take on the Japanese garden.
Tisserand Skin Perfume Jasmine Absolute
Flowers have been used traditionally in home remedies and aromatherapy for centuries, capturing the unique benefits of plants and using them to uplift, inspire, stimulate and calm the senses.
The Tisserand Skin Perfume Jasmine Absolute is a rich essential oil blend that can be applied directly to the skin, combining the aromatheraputic qualities of jasmine with the nourishing qualities of jojoba oil. Known for its uplifting character, jasmine is a very social flower – its deep and exotic scent smells beautiful with so many other aromas! Mix and match with other essential oils to create your own unique fragrance.
L’Occitane Verbena Candle
There’s nothing like bringing a little bit of the outdoors in. Introducing a fresh botanical aroma to a room can transport you to another place, working to lift the spirits and create a really calming environment. My favourite way to scent is through the medium of a candle, as it’s a gift that just keeps on giving, even when unlit.
The L’Occitane Verbena Candle is one of the best botanical candles out there. For starters, it has a universally pleasing fragrance that is suitable all year round. Fresh, bright and invigorating, the citrus-toned scent is fantastic anywhere in the home, but it’s especially good for getting rid of cooking aromas in the kitchen. Add to this a pretty heavy glass jar and great fragrance throw, and you’re looking at a classic.
Roger & Gallet Fleur d’Osmanthus Fragranced Beauty Oil Spray
And to round off our look at floral beauty, we’ll finish with a real multitasker. The Roger & Gallet Fleur d’Osmanthus Fragranced Beauty Oil Spray is based on the delicious aroma of the osmanthus, a beautiful yet elusive flower that grows high in the Guilin Chinese valley. The tiny flowers take years to blossom, though when they do, they release an amazing fragrance that is known for its de-dressing properties.
This oil is the perfect way to experience that scent, as you can use it everywhere! Smooth the apricot, sesame and sweet almond oil cocktail all over the body to smooth and soften: use a little on the face to moisturise, and through the hair to intensely nourish from mid-lengths to ends. It’s silicone free, dermatologically tested… and did I mention it smells amazing?