When I was a kid there was a rose bush in a certain patch of woods that I used to visit. It crept out from the shade, stretching its long arms toward the sun. It had thickly nestled white blooms and deep green leaves. Every year I looked for it, making sure that this unattended rose, this sweet wild thing, had survived the snow and frost without anyone covering its roots or mounding compost onto its stems to keep it warm.
It had a mythology. Some distant relative had planted it back in the time when roses were fragrant. When they smelled like, well… roses. Honeyed and floral and maybe a hint of spice, depending on the rose. You could bury your nose into the velvety blooms and the sweet, heady scent would devour you whole. Get too close and the hot buzz of bees would issue their warning (“I’m here, too”).
This is what is called “an old rose.” I don’t know if that’s the official name, but at some point over centuries of hybridization and cultivation, roses lost their fragrance. As if some essential part of their being had been stripped. Would a rose by any other name be as sweet if it didn’t carry its same scent? You can float away to another place entirely when you smell an old rose. Then you open your eyes and look around you only to discover that you haven’t moved an inch. The sun hasn’t shifted.
This is a very long way to tell you that we have a new lotion, and that we waited a very long time for the rose water to come to us from Bulgaria, from a historic, organic producer, so that it would smell as sweet as roses in their mythology—in the crevices of our collective memory—did and do.
Our First(ish) Lotion
Aloe Rose All Over Lotion is not entirely our first lotion, but it’s the first product we’ve made that we’ve called “lotion.” Some of you may remember Underarm Primer. We didn’t think “armpit lotion” sounded as good as “underarm primer,” but essentially that smooth, soothing “primer” was a healing lotion. We have our body oil and balms, of course, and those are like the best versions of moisture we can package and deliver to you (so high quality! for such a good price!), but sometimes—especially with the heat creeping in; especially with pandemic hand-washing stripping us all to the bone—you just want something quicker, lighter, and easier than an oil. Also, we thought it would be pretty nice to have a lotion packaged in metal that could be refilled (refill options coming soon).
This lotion is rich in botanical power yet light in feel, thanks to its two key ingredients—aloe vera and organic Bulgarian rose hydrosol. It has the slipperiness of aloe vera and the softness of rose petals. Velvety and slippery—light as a breeze, yet rich in plant nutrients. Forgive the platitudes. When I first tried the sample, I wanted to cry. I smelled old roses, I felt soothed by aloe, I felt softness nestle into my cracked, bleeding hands. I can’t withhold the drama. This is the lotion I’ve been waiting for.
Bulgarian rose hydrosol imparts loads of rose nutrients as well as moisture. Rose petals are an antioxidant powerhouse with natural hydrating and healing properties. Rose is also known for its ability to reduce redness in the skin. Hydrosols are captured steam. They are made from gently simmering plants or flowers until a nutrient-dense steam is created. That steam is then captured and bottled. Hydrosols are much gentler than essential oils, but these aromatic waters possess the same healing properties as their oily counterparts.
Aloe vera is the ultimate skin healer—it’s a powerful emollient (softener) that quells dryness and irritation while imparting antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. Remember: dry skin is uncomfortable, and often irritated skin in need of soothing. It’s not just an aesthetic inconvenience.
How to Use
Spread this all over your body, hands, and face to moisturize, soothe, and restore suppleness to tired and world-weary skin. For extra dry skin on the face that needs a little more than just toner and oil, you can also layer this lotion in between those two steps (toner - lotion - oil). And I suggest that you do. Maybe close your eyes for a sec while you’re rubbing it in. Cup your hands over your nose and just breathe. Did an old rose surface in the vestiges of your memory? You can borrow mine, if you want.
Find Aloe Rose All Over Lotion here.
Written By Vera Kachouh