It was in Paris that I enjoyed my first taste of a sweet and delicate madeleine as a naïve and carefree 14-year-old, idly watching powerfully-mustachioed men playing pétanque from my vantage point at a traditional round table in front of an exquisitely-dressed patisserie window. My Proustian moment comes, however, as I recall sitting at Les Deux Magots in St Germain-de-Pres; observing with utter fascination as the immaculately put together Parisian ladies delicately lunched on elegant green beans, with a single soft boiled egg on top and a side of Vogue cigarettes: their radiant chic; their studied yet apparently style and grace . The French certainly know how to bake beautifully, create timeless fashion and craft luxury skin care.
When I heard that Sentéales was now available to buy through retail outlets within the UK I was thrilled. Thus far their products have only been available on our shores in select spas and treatment centres; and little wonder they have proved such a hit that their public is clamouring for wider access and at-home consumption: Sentéales is a real treat as much for self-pampering as it is for being pampered.
The Vivifying Mist is an instant pick-me-up. The sensation of the refreshing spray is simply exquisite. You are struck first by the coolness of the liquid and then by the blend of grapefruit, lemon, lavender and peppermint aromas. It smells like the best spa days and holidays on The Riviera; instantly evocative of calm and luxuriant relaxation; imbued with the scent of the approaching summer (especially impressive on a somewhat dank morning in April). The mist is hydrating and rebalancing, acting as the perfect uplift for tired or dry skin. It is specially formulated to use in combination with the elixirs, increasing the absorption of the essential oils.
I love a high end dry skin oil, and smoothing the soft elixir onto my dampened skin felt so silky and nourishing. The bottle is a delightful shape and fits neatly into the palm of your hand in perfect proportions like a lovely little lemon macaroon, all sleek and inviting.
The Soft Elixir is light in texture and feels soothing to the touch. Designed for delicate skin, it is a luxurious blend of pure essential oils and plant oils. It contains skin-softening magnolia, bitter orange and lavender with botanical extracts of marigold, raspberry, centella asiatica oils and soya unsaponifiables (which have remarkable emollient skin conditioning properties) to calm irritation and soothe sensitivity. It is lightweight and easily absorbed.
The Vitality Cream is a delicious daily moisturiser, specially designed for dry and fragile skin. Whipped up to an almost edible consistency, the cream acts as a shield both to pollution and the elements, all the while nourishing and repairing the skin.
It is an ingenious cocktail of active plant-derived ingredients including centella asiatica, raspberry seed oil and soya unsaponifiable. The hydrating shea butter, macadamia and jojoba oils soften fine lines and wrinkles, leaving my skin feeling comfortable, silky smooth to the touch and with a palpable radiance.
Radiant, refreshed and with the renewed confidence that comes from being quite literally comfortable in my own skin, you’ll now find me strolling the Somerset boulevards sporting a jauntily-angled beret and in search of the daintiest salads. When circumstances permit me to return to Paris for a weekend of strolling along the banks of the Seine, I dare to imagine that my soigné complexion will see me taken for one of the Germanopratines that I so greatly admired and revered in my youth.
Sentéales is now available to enjoy at home from their website.