Ed. Note: The adorable and talented Heather Robinson from Lost In Arles is back today sharing one of her secret pleasures. If you're visiting France and looking for that elusive "perfect gift" I think Heather and I would agree this is it.
I push my face deep into my grocery store roses. They make me smile so that my teeth tap the petals. Outside it is so hot that it smells of smoke. Yes, this is the south of France and summer is indeed upon us. And upon my skin. Thank goodness for roses and I am not just talking about of the hothouse variety. It began with a gift.
My friend Claire placed a beribboned box on my plate while we were waiting for our Pad Thai. "Pour toi." She said simply with her impish grin. Inside were Pains de Rose, little Aleppo olive and laurel oil soaps that had the perfume punch of a garden and the appearance of Turkish delight straight out of Narnia.
Claire knows that I have ah-hem, sensitive skin. As in crackled broken down red-head skin that even la pharmacie and le docteur regard with a Gallic shrug. This soap has been such a blessing that I bought it in the shower-ready heart-shaped version as well as their Damask Rose Oil. And yes, both live up to their promises of leaving even my skin "supple et tonique". A long-time believer in Bioderma’s Crealine H2O, I have even, gasp, used the products on my face with wonderful results. The rose oil sooths my flip-flopped feet and frizzy ends, the aroma my frazzled nerves.
Created by Tadé Pays du Levant, the products are 100% natural and ecological. The entire rose line is made in Syria under guaranteed ethical conditions, so that a purchase can perhaps do a tiny bit of good during such a moment of horrific chaos.
They are also unbelievably reasonable with each item being well under 10 euros. Aleppo's qualities were supposedly adored by the likes of the Queen of Sheba and Cleopatra. If it is good enough for them...well, then perhaps it is time to stop smelling the roses and start clinking the rosé!