Monday, 27 November 2017

Odaban Antiperspirant Spray

RRP: £10.49 for 30ml

--What does the promo say?--
"Excessive sweating and body odour causes sufferers untold misery and leads to a loss of confidence and much social embarrassment. Sweat dripping from the forehead, hands or underarms is a nightmare, however, this problem is now controllable. For 40 years, Odaban antiperspirant has offered targeted yet gentle help.

Odaban Antiperspirant spray is gentle and effective offering long lasting protection for most areas of the body. Whether making an important business presentation or holding hands on a date, no matter what the ambient temperature, Odaban will bring you freedom to concentrate and of course, a new found confidence. Dermatologists, Pharmacists, Podiatrists and Doctors have long recommended Odaban Antiperspirant spray worldwide. The convenient and unique pump spray is 100% free from perfumes and allergy inducing products.

Odaban is the most effective and safest antiperspirant for the control of excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis) and the associated complications of body odour, sweat rashes, “Athlete’s Foot”, sports blistering and chafing, especially that experienced by the wearers of artificial limbs.

Odaban can be used to control the complications of excessive sweating for the below areas of the body:
  • Head and Face
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Underarms
  • Back and Front torso
  • Intimate areas

How does Odaban work
Radio-isotope tests have shown that the active ingredients of Odaban do not stop the sweat glands from working. The drying effect of Odaban is produced by poral "plugs," formed from a combination of aluminium and skin protein. It is the partial blocking of the sweat ducts by these poral "plugs" that causes a re-routing of the perspiration to the blood capillaries where it is transported to areas of the skin from which evaporation can take place more easily or to the kidneys for excretion. The net result is to leave the treated skin area dry and without compensatory sweating elsewhere on the body.

Why is Odaban different
The unique, non-aqueous, silicone formulation helps prevent the skin irritancy experienced with other products; whilst Odaban's hermetically sealed container prevents the damaging water contamination associated with roll-ons and felt tip dispensers. Odaban's revolutionary pump spray also ensures an accurate and consistent dose that helps avoid over application; this means that even children and those with sensitive skins can experience the swift relief that comes with having dry skin."

The white and blue spray bottle is slim and unisex - perfect for travelling. The spray mechanism allows for precise application and wide diffusion simultaneously.

Apply onto clean dry skin at night. You can also apply talcum powder afterwards if your skin is sensitive. Wash off the deodorant in the morning. This is simple and quick to achieve.

A clear spray that leaves no residue or white marks on the skin.

Clinical, really; at least this makes you feel like it will work even if it lacks a sense of luxury.

--Texture and consistency--
No sticky residue is left; it dries powder-light.

--Effects on the skin--
Sweat and chafing is effectively combated, and long-term too: the once-to-twice-weekly recommended use is accurate.

--Value for money--
Seems expensive, but is far more effective than commercial antiperspirants and is in line with other market leaders such as Driclor. I was sent mine for free by Odaban's PR, but would spend my own money on this. It works well and one bottle lasts ages. What more could you want?

perfect partners
Hand Cream, £9.55 for 75ml
Foot Powder, £10.50 for 50g

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Personal Consultation Experience: John Bailey, Master Parfumier

“You must meet my friend and neighbour, John the perfume man,” said my sprightly 87 year old mother. So, on a recent trip back to England, we arranged for the two of us to go for coffee one
rainy morning in July. We sat in John’s immaculate conservatory looking out over a bower of flowers. Despite his experiences from London to Paris and Grasse to Geneva, it seems it's Hertfordshire that he prefers. Deep blue pots set against a background of luscious green, running water and, in the corner of the garden, John Bailey’s perfume studio. Perfect.

John is passionate about flowers (particularly roses), scents and perfume, and has been a fellow of
the Royal Society of Arts and Founder of the Perfumer's Guild (Bespoke English Perfumery) since
1981. He is co-author of “British Perfumery – A Fragrant History”, a book celebrating the 50th
anniversary of the British Society of Perfumers, of which he is an elected ambassador. He was
Chairman of the inaugural Middle East Fragrance Foundation FiFI Awards Jury Panel in 2010, is a
former Liveryman in the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, and was also awarded the title High
Sherriff of Hertfordshire in recognition of great and valuable services to the community. He is a real
font of knowledge and has a wealth of experience, recognised further by his appearances on The
Apprentice and at the Chelsea Flower Show. Listening to him, it was easy to be drawn into the
fascinating world of fragrance. Arriving in his wooden garden studio was like stepping onto the set
of a film, with cabinets full of famous perfume bottles, modern and ancient, of all shapes and sizes.
All my favourite fragrances over the years were there and the memories came flooding back. A
perfume version of Proust’s madeleine in “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu”, I suddenly saw myself :

 Aged 16 and falling in love with ‘Gary’ in Saint-Tropez. My first introduction to the male
scent “Eau Sauvage”. How was I to know then that this olfactory experience would remain
with me for the rest of my life….
 My happy student days, wearing “Opium” at Exeter University
 Remembering a dear university friend, now sadly passed away, who introduced me to YSL’s
“Rive Gauche” along with wearing stockings, a seductive combination
 “Chanel 19” and my ‘Headmistress years’
 Clarins’ “Eau Dynamisante” – the fragrance of a love affair
 A visit to the States and Calvin Klein’s CK One
 White musk, one of my father’s favourite scents
 “Dune”…the smell of my mother….

As I got lost in my memories, finding ‘old friends’ amongst John’s cabinets, he was carefully
memorising my perfume preferences and building up a picture in his head of my ‘perfume persona’.
He picked up that I liked fresh, lemony and citrus fragrances; my current favourite is Dior’s “Escale à
Portofino”. He also noted that I am prepared to wear ‘heavier’, more sophisticated scents in the

On the shelves there were small bottles of raw materials used to make fragrances. We talked about the difference between lavender and lavandin and exotic ingredients from all over the world. On the wall were posters detailing the four main perfume families – taken from “Fragrances of the World” by Michael Edwards. The key to everyone’s likes and dislikes in choosing fragrances is an understanding of how the four main families - FRESH, FLORAL, ORIENTAL and WOODY – have evolved.

Fresh fragrances heavily feature citrus zests, balanced by the other families. Musk and tea accents add modern dimensions to this category of scents. Floral scents are still the most popular, however, with new headspace technology  allowing perfumers to identify and clone bloom scents from which oil cannot be extracted traditionally, and bringing to light new notes and molecules every year to revitalise floral perfumes. Oriental scents are sensual, full-bodied and heavy, including vanilla and musks. The final family is that of the woody fragrances, which include cedar, patchouli, pine, sandalwood and vetiver.

Back in the conservatory, I was astounded to discover that perfumes I loved, that I had always
considered to be quite different from each other, were all in fact from the same perfume family.
And, guess what? The “Eau Dynamisante” by Clarins that was the signature scent of a passionate
affair turned out to be specifically produced as a female version of “Eau Sauvage”. So, that Saint-
Tropez experience at the age of sixteen had clearly never left me and I am, it seems, more
predictable in my perfume tastes than I had realised.

My preferences were for the lemons, mandarins and oranges in the fresh family, combined with  elements from floral family. My evening perfumes often had elements from the oriental family, vanilla, musk, frankincense and patchouli. (Oh, the sixties and the seventies have something to answer for there!)

John dipped long pieces of white absorbent card into various scents he created to see my reactions
and hone down his choice for me still further. We then went on to chat more about the art of
creating perfume – a subject it is easy to become passionate about in John’s company. He took me
into his library where there were floor-to ceiling books dedicated to perfume-making, many of them
highly technical, covering an entire wall. On the opposite wall, a similar number of tomes about
flowers. I could easily have gone on talking with John for hours and felt all set to begin a perfumery
course, depart for Grasse in the South of France, not too far from where I live, and begin a whole
new life of study. Very tempting!

Two days later, through my Mum’s letterbox, came his brochure and a package containing the perfume, called “Sarah”, which he had created especially for me. Inside the minimalist, stylish packaging of purple corrugated card with white ribbon holding his business card (which John calls ‘Le Wrap’), were TWO small bottles. I was astonished and delighted to see that John had created not
one perfume for me, but two…a day blend and an evening blend. The day blend is fresh and light and stays on for hours. The evening blend is a more ‘heady’, sultry and sensual version. I wore it one evening and it was still on my wrists the following morning, even after taking a shower!

Once back home in France, I tried my perfumes out on my husband. It came as no surprise that he fell for the sensual evening version and swiftly ordered me a bottle for Christmas. Presented in a 30ml natural spray bottle for £50 (not including P&P), it more than rivals any perfume I can buy on the market. The bottle came in a lovely white bag with gold lettering and purple ribbon. There was also a scroll describing my perfume in detail.

So now I have my own signature scent. Whenever I wear it people comment on what a wonderful
scent it is and I am proud to tell them that it is my very own “Sarah” perfume, made especially and
exclusively for me, by John Bailey, parfumier extraordinaire! How ‘chic’ is that?

John Bailey pioneered niche perfumery in the 1980s to promote the art, creativity and individuality of
fragrance, marrying rare aromatic ingredients to clients' personalities. He welcomes calls and emails
for his ‘à la carte’ “Scents Direct” service, which enables private clients to purchase hand-blended,
limited edition and bespoke fragrances directly from an artisan perfumer and scent maker. They are based on the client's own interactive, sensory and enjoyable personal journey of discovery, helping to
create an exclusive fragrance that is perfect for them. Consultations can be carried out in person, over the phone or by filling out a questionnaire. Fragrances are untested on animals and are environmentally friendly. The Perfumers Guild has been featured and listed in all the leading Cruelty Free Guides in Europe.

John’s career started as an apprentice in the laboratories of a manufacturing chemist, druggist and
distiller, where he learned the art and science of formulating pills, potions and perfumes.

The Perfumers Guild “Scents of Luxury” are beautifully presented in elegant bottles tailored to your
needs, from a simple flagon to cut glass, fine crystal, or even antique bottles. The simple but stylish
“le Wrap” packaging is designed specifically for recipients to receive their fragrances in pristine
condition, but with minimum packaging. All compositions – vintage or contemporary – are carefully
hand blended with the finest quality essential oils and aromatic essences – all formulae incorporate a
skin moisturiser for a velvety feel and longevity.

Personal consultations and commissions are welcomed for anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, thank-
you gifts or just self-indulgence.

For a customised fragrance consultation and bespoke service – please see the Perfumers Guild Limited website on or contact:
JOHN BAILEY – Artisan perfumer and Founder of The Perfumers Guild Limited

Sarah Cross
South of France correspondent

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Carun Active Hemp Face Cream

RRP: £16.99

--What does the promo say?--
"Carun Skin Cream is naturally anti-inflammatory and antibacterial so it is suitable for regular daily use and problematic skin, helping to maintain and restore balance and a healthy appearance.

Carun Skin Cream has been created to help sufferers of acne, rashes or dry skin but it can also be effective on other common ailments such as inflamed or irritated skin, blisters, eczema, psoriasis and itching."

The squeezy metal tube is practical rather than luxurious, but does the job well, minimising wastage and with clean, unisex deisgn and colour scheme.

Apply to clean, dry skin after cleansing. Is light enough to be used in the daytime, while moisturising suitably during the night.

An off-yellow cream that blends invisibly into skin.

Has a refreshing scent that comes from the rosemary, but which is tempered by the lavender and lemon, which are not really detectable, but prevent it from being overpowering.

--Texture and consistency--
Slightly greasy, and yet blends in quickly, and does not leave a slick layer on the skin.

--Effects on the skin--
My acneic skin was greatly calmed by the use of this product, toning down redness and reducing blemishes.

--Value for money--
At £16.99 this isn't cheap, but it is effective and one tube lasts a good few months, as a little goes a long way. I was sent mine for free (thanks, Carun PR!) but I would purchase with my own money and recommend to others, especially in conjunction with the Active Hemp Soap.

perfect partners
Hemp Ointment, £16.99
Hemp Body Oil, £13.99
Hemp Bath Spa, £19.99

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Cindy Joseph Boomsilk

review by Sarah Cross

RRP: from $27

-- What does the promo say?—
“One body, one moisturiser! Protective, nourishing and healing for your entire face and body. Apply to the delicate skin around your eyes, your lips, your face and neck. But don’t stop there! Smooth BOOMSILK over your entire body with the knowledge you are applying only the most protective, safe and healing ingredients to your skin.”
The same ingredients as for BOOMSTICK GLO have been blended into a luxurious cream that can be used anywhere on your body.
They are purified water, organic extra virgin olive oil, beeswax with propolis and pollen, raw Pupekea wildflower honey, and d-alpha Vit E.

  • Boomsilk is more alive than other skin care products which is one reason it works so well, moisturising, healing and revitalising the skin.
  • Honey is a natural collagen stimulator and attracts and retains moisture. It is a natural preservative that is the perfect ingredient for an overall eye, face, lip and body moisturiser, suitable for even the most sensitive skin.
  • Bee pollen is the primary food source for bees. The vitamins, minerals and amino acids are easily absorbed by the skin.

Remember, whatever you put on your skin ends up inside your body. (It’s why the patches work!) BOOM SILK is pure and clean. There are no emulsifiers, no binders, no colour additives and no perfumes. As with BOOMSTICK GLO, there is no SPF included because of the controversy surrounding these products."

-- Packaging--
BOOMSILK pots are simple white plastic pots with the colourful pink and red BOOM logo printed on the side. On first opening the pot has a seal which is easily removed.

-- Application--
A little really does go a long way. BOOMSILK can be applied on any part of your body. Just take a small quantity on your fingertips and apply it wherever you want to moisturise.

-- Appearance--
A yellow, creamy looking mixture. We are told on the website that the colour may vary because the bees are collecting pollen from different flowers through each season, so your BOOMSILK may be more yellow, or more green, depending on when the pollen was collected for your particular pot. Cindy also warns that because BOOMSILK is such a natural product that the ingredients may separate, which means you may find a little pool of olive oil in the centre of the pot. This can easily be blended back in with a clean finger or other implement. I used BOOMSILK for over a month (in a hot climate) and this never happened.

-- Scent—
No scent.

-- Texture and consistency--
Smooth and silky, quite thick and rich. Perfect for dry skin!

-- Effects on the skin—
When I wrote my review for BOOMSTICK GLO I said that I did not feel that it was a suitable night cream for my skin, which is dry and needs lots of moisture. BOOMSILK fulfils that need. As BOOMSILK is manufactured as an ‘all-over’ body moisturiser, I decided to give it the biggest challenge it could have, which was to moisturise my feet after a summer of exposure to pool and terrace. Just a few applications at night helped my cracked and dry heels heal and returned them to their soft, silky selves. BOOMSILK does leave your skin looking quite shiny after application. (BOOMCOTTON has been produced for those who do not wish to have this shiny effect – review to follow.) It is also worth noting here that BOOMSILK has been reported as helping to calm or even cure eczema and, apparently, teenagers have also reported that their blemishes or acne has disappeared. I don’t have these problems so cannot report on this.

-- Value for money--
8 oz of BOOMSILK costs $58. This price compares well with other good quality moisturisers
on the market, particularly if you are using it for many purposes and not having to purchase
other creams for hands and feet etc. So I would purchase again, even though shipping from America (fast, efficient and tracked) needs to be added to this. The international flat rate shipping charge costs $13.95 and they say it takes between 7 – 15 working days to arrive. My products took eight working days to get from America to my home in the South of France.

perfect partners
BOOMSTICK GLO, $27 (see above)
BOOMSTICK COLOR, $27 (see above)
BOOMSTICK GLIMMER, $27 (see above)
BOOM COTTON shine control moisturiser, from $32
BOOM MASK rejuvenating, cleansing and moisturising mask, from $42


Customer service is speedy, efficient and friendly. Any questions by email are responded to quickly. Packages are tracked every step of the way.
The website is very user-friendly and has videos showing how to apply the make-up and explaining the philosophy behind the products. All ingredients are listed. There is a Facebook page and a blog, and you can even join the BOOM CLUB to be notified of special offers and discount codes.
Cindy’s videos “Saturdays with Cindy” and her articles on her cover a range of inspiring topics and include tips for covering undereye circles, ageism in our culture and transforming the way you think about age. I particularly enjoyed her reference to the Japanese art form ‘kintsugi’, where aged things are even more beautiful. That true beauty ‘reflects the whole of life and the process of growth and change’. What a refreshing thought! Join the pro-age revolution! Get connected, get inspired and feel good about yourself!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Carun Active Hemp Soap Bar

RRP: £4.99

--What does the promo say?--
"Organic Cannabinoid rich gentle cleansing soap bar.

Naturally effective hypoallergenic skin maintenance and protection.

Naturally Antibacterial, analgesic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

Made from 100% organic oils, Carun soap is an incredibly gentle cleanser, helping to balance and maintain your skins natural PH and moisture levels."

Packaged in a very environmentally friendly manner, the soap bar comes in a cardboard box with the white, blue and green colour scheme which characterises it as part of the Carun line. 

Lather up under running water to create a foam which you can rub over clean dry skin and then rinse off.

The soap is a creamy light cacao/off yellow colour which lathers into a white foam, leaving no visible residue on the skin. The Carun name and its trefoil logo is carved simply into the bar.

Again a creamy scent with a slightly refreshing zest to it, most likely thanks to the cacao and sea buckthorn.

--Texture and consistency--
The foam is fine yet luxurious.

--Effects on the skin--
The soap effectively rebalances the skin, reducing the amount of sebum production and generally calming the skin's condition, leaving it feeling moisturised.

--Value for money--
At £4.99 this is hardly going to break the bank and it indisputably calms acneic skin down, especially in conjunction with the Active Hemp Face Cream. One bar lasts ages and is not costly to replace. I was sent mine for free, but would buy again.

perfect partners
Hemp Ointment, £16.99
Hemp Body Oil, £13.99
Hemp Bath Spa, £19.99