When it comes to beauty, everyone has an ingredient that they tend to favour and mine has always been rose. I love the smell and everything it evokes – luxury, tradition, both exoticism (Turkish Delight, Rose Otto) and familiarity – what could be more quintessentially English than a country garden filled with soft, pink, blowsy roses?
It’s also gratifying to know that the old wives tales that have put the rose at the centre of beauty treatments for centuries are grounded in science, but frankly I’d probably use the stuff whether it ‘worked’ or not, simply because it makes me feel good – and isn’t that part of the fun of beauty products? So here are my all-time favourite rose-based beauty products, old and new.
An English summer day in a bottle - Paul Smith Rose eau de parfum
Paul Smith Rose eau de parfum, £36 (50ml)I’ve never smelt a fragrance that so perfectly captures the intoxicating scent of an English country garden in high summer better than Paul Smith’s Rose eau de parfum. It manages to smell ever so slightly old fashioned, but in a charming, rather than grannyish way. I love its elegant pale pink glass bottle and the sweet rose-covered cotton bag it comes in. And what makes Rose even more romantic is the bloom at the heart of the fragrance is named after Paul Smith – it was cultivated and given as a gift by his wife on his birthday! Aww… Paul’s rose is blended with Turkish rose oil and green tea to make a scent that’s fresh and somehow nostalgic. I love it. paulsmith.co.uk
Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliating Gel, £25I’m always droning on about how amazing this stuff is. Just squeeze a small blob onto your fingertips when you’re in the shower gently massage it all over your face. You barely feel the exfoliant (tiny jojoba beads) but it’s amazingly good at getting skin feeling soft and smooth and smelling incredible, thanks to the Moroccan Rose Absolute. I love it and always repurchase every few months. cultbeauty.co.uk
Because Elemis and MV Organics have opted for plain silver/grey packaging, here is a photo I took of a rose in the park to jazz things up
MV Organics Rose Skin Plus Booster, £60Ok, this one isn’t cheap, but MV Organics is one of the oldest and most trusted Aussie organic skincare brands around and a little goes a long way with all their products, so I think it’s worth it. The Rose Skin Plus Booster is good for calming down sunburn, rosacea and general redness and you really do just need a couple of drops as the Rosehip and Jojoba blend of essential oils are top quality. If you spritz a hydrating mist first and put on the oil while your skin is still damp it’ll go even further. cultbeauty.co.uk
Jurlique's new Rose Moisture collection - smell delicious, does nice things to your skin
Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus range As well as smelling lovely, rose is one of those antioxidant ingredients that have been found to have super free-radical-fighting properties (Kapow!Thwak! etc.) Jurlique has put rose essential oils at the heart of its new skin care range, which is supposed to prevent moisture loss and protect against environmental damage. The cleanser and a moisturiser are both lovely, but my favourite product from the range is the Rosewater Balancing Mist (£16.50) which sits on my desk and I liberally spritz myself with throughout the day. (I also sprayed a couple of the guys on our desk and apart from flinching a bit and whinging about ‘smelling like a girl’, they seemed cautiously impressed.) It’s incredibly refreshing, smells divine and is hopefully stopping my skin from shrivelling in the dry office air. jurlique.co.uk
So tell me - am I alone in my undying, irrational devotion to a single ingredient - do you have one that you always hunt out in beauty products? I want to know!