As one of the most famous guests of the Ritz Paris – she liked it so much she stayed for 34 years – Gabrielle Chanel is immortalised there at Chanel’s only spa, Chanel au Ritz. Now, for the first time, the label has made the fragrant oils (£172 for 250ml) used in the spa’s body treatments available to buy.
The oils are 98 per cent natural in origin and work to tantalise the senses while treating the skin. L’Huile Rose is perhaps the most subtle and soothing, using May rose extracts lightly sharpened by green notes and sitting softly on the skin. L’Huile Jasmin offers a more fulsome, sensual approach, with extracts taken from jasmine flowers grown in Grasse. L’Huile Orient contains frankincense extract – which lays claim to stress-relieving properties – that mingles with florals, giving it great depth. Finally, L’Huile Vanille uses amber notes alongside Madagascan vanilla to create a smooth, creamy fragrance veil.
Skin responds best to oils when warm, so using them after a bath or shower is ideal. Dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting says: “If you leave skin slightly damp before applying oils with occlusive ingredients, they form a seal to reduce moisture evaporation, leaving skin smoother and more supple.”
Oils should be applied in a circular motion, helping to increase blood flow – one of the reasons one can feel more invigorated post-massage. Use gentle sweeps if relaxation is on the agenda.
Jane Cunningham is a beauty journalist and blogger. An early adopter of beauty blogging, her website britishbeautyblogger.com provides (sometimes brutally) honest product reviews and beauty news. Cunningham collaborated with Marks & Spencer to produce a limited edition make-up range and with Makeup Revolution on an eyeshadow palette. She also works with beauty brands as a creative consultant. @britbeautyblog.