Since it came to Canada over a decade ago, Sephora has always been slower to evolve than its American counterpart, and downright sluggish in comparison to the European branches. For a variety of reasons that include expensive licenses, bilingual repackaging, and sometimes straight politics, Canadian shoppers are often left wondering why we’re always the last to get something.
That’s all changing.
This year Sephora brought itself up to speed by adding a variety of luxury brands to its already packed arsenal, including the full Tom Ford Beauty range, La Mer, Jo Malone, It Cosmetics, and now Roger & Gallet, a Parisian house founded in 1862 and specializing in deluxe body care and skin care products. They were only recently bought by French conglomerate L’Oreal, which I suspect had a large part in getting the brand on-board so quickly. Sephora now carries 32 SKU’s from the extensive range, admittedly only a drop in the bucket, but definitely a start (the rest can be found at The Hudson’s Bay). They seem to be online exclusive at this point, and are competitively priced at $10* to $65*. In their arrival they are helping close the large gap between what Canadians want and what they can have. I think this is a step in the right direction.
Roger & Gallet was kind enough to send me some press samples for the 2011 fragrance by the name of Fleur d’Osmanthus ($50*), as well as matching Uplifting Shower Gel ($17*) and Travel Box Perfumed Soap ($10*). These come individually wrapped in crickled paper, sealed with a sticker, just as they did in 1879.
What I can tell you about the fragrance in this case, is that it is not very concentrated. I have, over the past four years, blogged about fragrances that were both fleeting and everlasting. This is more like the former. The Fleur d’Osmanthus Fragrant Wellbeing Water, as it is called, is more like a body mist than a true perfume, or even eau de toilette. The handsome bottle, made of heavy glass and decorated with beautiful floral patterns in lime green, could be seen gliding across my entire body, spraying away its light juice, only to have it disappear practically instantly. It reminds me of the Demeter Fragrance Library collection of “Pick Me Up Colognes,” which are intended to be applied liberally and often. I could see something like this being perfect for someone who works in a scent-free environment like a school or an office, or in a guest bathroom to luxuriate your visitors. For someone who likes to smell as strong and as long as I do, this particular item is not practical nor cheap.
That said, the soaps and the Fragrant Wellbeing Water smelled absolutely divine when I could detect them. I got notes of sweet, green citrus, like an orange tree in the heat of summer, branches heavy with ripe fruit ready for the picking. This fragrance is lightweight, happy, relaxing, and optimistic. I did feel balanced and “well” whenever I smelled it.
Have you tried anything from this new line? I hope that their products eventually trickle down into stores and give the Fresh Beauty body care line a run for its money. I am curious to try their Aura Mirabilis Legendary Cream ($55*) next, and will definitely report back when I do. Thank you to Sophia for organizing this review!
*Prices true at time of writing.
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