Everybody has their favourite bathing ritual - what's yours? Shower or bath? Bubbles or oil?
- Most bath and shower gels are made from plant based surfactants (the cleansing and foaming ingredients). We fragrance ours with essential oils. There's nothing better than releasing the natural perfume into the bubbles under a lovely shower preferably with a Mediterranean sea sponge.
- If you love a bath then bath oil is a great way to relax and lock in moisture. Many bath oils are made with natural oils such as sweet almond, grape seed and jojoba. Our bath oils are water dispersible and make with mineral oil and essential oils. Our resident beauty scientist says that mineral oil is the best for very dry skin and excema. As an added bonus the bath is not left so greasy due to the oil dispersing agent.
- Bath salts are an invigorating alternative to bath oil. Bath salts can be made with epsom salts, rock salt or sea salt. Artful Teasing bath salts are unusual because they use only Dead Sea Salt. These have long been thought to be very beneficial to the skin, and have even been used to alleviate the symptoms of skin diseases such as psoriasis.
- Let's not forget your hands - a beautifully fragranced hand wash can lift the spirits several times a day. Using essential oils ensures aromatherapy benefits.
Exfoliating the skin to remove dead skin cells smooths your skin and can unclog pores. It is not advisable to use a body scrub more that once a week as your skin is delicate and very important! We definitely want to avoid those scrubs and polishers that contain small plastic beads that end up in fish as they are washed into our rivers and seas. Our Dead Sea Salt body scrub is made with coconut oil. This means that when you wash the scrub off your skin is left beautifully silky and smooth and the exfoliating salt crystals are safely dissolved.
As we get older dry skin becomes more and more of an issue. I have only discovered this in my 40s and 50s - I was a hopelessly dark haired, greasy person who spent hundreds of pounds trying to keep my skin and hair matt and spot free! Moisturising is the act of preventing water from escaping from your skin.
If you have really dry skin you might want to consider body oil. Our body oil is made from coconut oil and macadamia nut oil. Macadamia oil is very high in palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid which is very similar to the oils in the sebum. It is also perfect for use as a massage oil.
Is applying body lotion part of your daily routine? A body lotion is the quickest and easiest way of getting moisturising power onto large areas of your skin. If it spreads well and soaks in easily without leaving your skin tacky then it makes keeping your skin well moisturised and in tip-top condition not just a chore but a pleasure.
For intensive moisturisation a body butter is great for softening knees and elbows. Shea butter is the perfect ingredient. Shea butter comes from the nuts of a West African tree. The nuts are harvested and processed by women's co-operatives.
The best kind of hand lotion is one that does not leave you hands slippy or greasy. The best way to ensure this is to use ingredients that sink easily into your skin. Our had lotions contain a blend of shea butter and sweet almond oil.
- For an extra moisture boost hand cream packed with unctuous oils gives your hands a soothing treat. Our hand creams contain shea butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and olive oil, all of which build up the skin's natural barrier function.
Rose Hips have been used for their medical and health benefits for years. They are rich in vitamin C and Clair Loewenfeld of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children pioneered the use of rosehip syrup as a source of vitamin C during the second world war when citrus fruits were in short supply.
Rose Hip oil is rich in anti-oxidants like lycopene and vitamin A derivatives. Some of those vitamin A derivatives are the same as active ingredients in pharmaceutical skin creams for photo-damaged skin. Because these ingredients are very sensitive the oil has to be extracted using a cold press method that doesn't cause any unnecessary stress.
Rosehip oil has been used for centuries and doesn't get the kind of celebrity endorsements and big budget advertising that big name skincare enjoy. But it continues to win people over.
Artful Teasing Hand Creams contain cold pressed rose hip oil.
Artful Teasing's Hand Cream is formulated with natural plant derived oils including sweet almond oil, rosehip oil and olive oil. These form a natural barrier that holds moisture that would otherwise be lost in the skin. It also protects the hands. Shea butter is popular for its moisturising and soothing qualities and rosehip has long been know to be rich in vitamins.
But on top of selecting the best and most effective ingredients Artful Teasing have also used their formulating skill to devise a cream that matches the way the skin works. This makes it a surprising effective moisture even when used in small quantities, which is why people return to our shop time and again to buy it.
Scented with a blend of lavender and rose geranium and no synthetic fragrance at all it has a truly natural smell. Everything you can smell came originally from a plant.
A cliché by any other name would smell as sweet they say, but there is no doubting the appeal of the smell of rose. Some fragrances go in and out of fashion but rose is a favourite year in year out. The rose oil industry started in the tenth century when the famous Persian philosopher, doctor and scientist Avicenna published his method of distilling rose petals.
Perfumers have been using rose ever since, and the use of rose has become a speciality of fragrance houses in Grasse in southern France like Durance. So it was inevitable that they would include a rose in their range of room fragrances. The smell is a particularly rich and sweet one which captures the full range of notes you would expect if you came across a rose bush in full bloom on a calm summer's evening.
It comes in a 100ml dispenser bottle with a set of absorbent rattan diffuser sticks that will continue releasing the scent into your room for weeks. A 250ml refill is available for when it finally runs out.
There are some things only an Italian chemist could come up with. Dr Vranjes has come up with three fragrances to use in your car. Presumably he drives an Italian car, something stylish of course. Anyway, he offers you two ways of giving your car the aroma of Italian style. You can get a spray or scented strips. There is nothing quite like that new car smell, but these come a close second.
Cuoio Classico (Classic leather) has a basic leather note, as do all three. It has a strong sandalwood element reminiscent of forests as twilight falls. There is more than a hint of spice as well. This would suit the experienced and worldly man whose track record means he has got nothing to prove.
Cuoio Vero (Genuine leather) is a sharper more get up and go scent. I think I can pick up the citrusy note of lemon and maybe some orange in there somewhere. It speaks of dynamism, energy and charisma. This is the fragrance for a man who is going places. In his car.
Cuoio Nobile (Noble leather) Some cars, some men and some fragrances just ooze power and natural elegance. In Nobile the leather is enveloped in violet leaves with hints of precious woods: Vetiver, Briar Wood and Cedarwood.
All of these fragrances are alcohol free so there is no risk that they will harm the interior of your mean machine. The scented strips are particularly convenient, they can just be left somewhere discrete to do their job. The bottle used for the sprays is square jawed and masculine in shape with a real hard wood top. It says luxury and elegance before you even open it.
- Bergamot can only be grown in very special low fertility soil and a mild climate. It was first grown in the Calabria region of Italy which is where the best oil still comes from.
- Bergamot gives Earl Grey tea its unique taste. The leaves are flavoured with bergamot oil. This was originally frowned upon and at least one tea trader appeared in court for adding an artificial flavour to his tea.
- Half of all fine fragrances for women contain bergamot oil.
- In 2010 scientists reported that bergamot oil showed a similar ability to reduce anxiety to Diazapam.
- The first fragrance that we know contained bergamot oil was Eau de Cologne, which has been in production since the early seventeenth century
Try Artful Teasing's Bergamot, Pepper and Cardamom Hand Lotion
The first thing you notice about this product is the subtle citrusy smell. Lime is not the most obvious of fragrances for a shaving cream but it works really well, giving a warmth as well as a freshness.
The second thing you notice is the pearliness. It shimmers. It applies easily to the skin without any fuss. Although it is described as a shaving cream, and it looks like a shaving cream, what it really is a particularly thick liquid soap. And when I say soap, I mean soap as in the stuff you can make by boiling vegetable oil and caustic soda in an open kettle. (The brightly coloured liquid soaps you see in supermarkets are made from synthetic detergents.) This product is a potassium soap which makes it softer than tablet soap which is a sodium soap. The consistency is achieved with beeswax. There is some pomegranate seed extract as well - this gives some healing antioxidant power. So when they say it is 99.9% natural, they aren't joking.
So how was the shave? Smooth in the extreme with no irritating after feel. It was a good start to the day.
The Michel Design Works range carries the same designs over to different items, so you can match up bars of soap with the matching soap dish. Soap is always a popular gift because you know it will get used, but if you want to give them something to keep as well this matching soap dish will be kept for years. It is made of glass and has the smooth slightly curved shape suited perfectly to keeping a bar of soap under control in a bathroom.
The illustration is drawn from a Victoria botany textbook and shows a purple and a white floret of a hydrangea. The progressive Victorians were very interested in botany and were impressed by the way the colour of some species of hydrangea, particularly Hydrangea macrophylla would change colour to reflect the pH of the soil in which they were grown. Some hand written notes are included to evoke the atmosphere of a scientific gentleman's study, where he may well have been completing his monograph for the Royal Society on the plant specimens he has collected from his recent visit to the East. In addition to the Hydrangea are a couple of other flowers - an anemone and a crocus they look like - and a charming dragonfly.
Mint isn't an obvious base for a personal fragrance, not even for men. But there is more to the smell of mint than its common use in sweets and liqueurs. Nothing quite matches the piquancy of freshly picked mint. In fact there is only a hint of the mint in this well balanced blend. The mint is there all right but it just gives it a cleanness and freshness which is, well, clean and refreshing. The main body of the smell is green and herbaceous. It is distinct but not intrusive.
The final result is down to earth and businesslike. Despite Durance's Mediterranean heritage, this is a fragrance that would be very at home a cosmopolitan place like Paris.On the skin you begin to get notes of suede and maybe a hint of leather coming through. It almost evokes the smell of the first drive in a new car.
The distinctive indented flask shape that Durance use for their L'Òme Eau de Toilette range is coloured subtle blue, avoiding the cliché of green for mint. It would not look out of place on any bathroom shelf or bedroom cabinet.
Welcome to our new website. We hope it makes browsing our collection of fragrant gifts a pleasure.