I almost swooned with joy at the sight of this beautiful packaging that took me to the first half of the 20th century. The creamy box and elegant font say glamour and film stars of the old school and silk satin negligees and furs and alligator handbags and triple mirrored, chiffon frilled dressing tables with ring trays and a light dusting of face powder.
That being said lovely retro packaging is all very well, but the product inside needs to match up. Fortunately for me, because I wanted to write about it before I’d even tried it out, this handcream from small private company Mitchell & Peach absorbs quickly, smells divine and leaves no sticky feel on fingers.
A good thing too in the 21st century, when greasy paws make heavy work of touchpad screens. My hands really did look better after, with hangnails softened, and the backs of my hands smooth and plumped. (And the entore Mitchell & Peach range is free from parabens, mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulphate and synthetic colouring.)
Just as lovely as the product and the packaging is the story behind the company. The Mitchells have been farming the same land in Kent, England, for five generations. The family has cultivated everything from strawberries and apples to hops and cobnuts, and in 2009 the family celebrated 100 years at Foxbury Farm, which remains the centre of the estate to this day.
Continuing in the family’s tradition, Ian and Jod Mitchell planted fine lavender on the estate. The quality of the essences distilled from the plantation inspired them to create a bath and body range and so Mitchell and Peach was born.
The gentle fragrance, which is used throughout the collection, was created by English perfumer Arthur Phillips, using lavender from the Mitchells’ farm in England, violet extract and rose from Egypt and Morocco, ylang-ylang from the Commoros Islands and palmarosa from India and Guatemala, isn’t overpowering. Slightly powdery, and gently floral it’s timeless and rather elegant.
Luxury Hand Cream, 60ml, £17
(Most impressively, it’s just been announced that Mitchell & Peach will be the new products at the Dorchester Collection’s rumoured-to-be-amazing Coworth Park hotel which opens at the end of September. If you aren’t planning on being a regular there and able to scoop up the bathroom supplies into your handbag, it’s stocked in Harvey Nichols, Fortnum’s (Of COURSE it is) and a handful of independent retailers. More stockist details here.)