Given that Nannette de Gaspé’s velvety Baume Noir, a nearly-neon lilac balm, boasts an infusion of fermented black tea, black superfruits, Tahitian pearl extract and kakadu plum, I’m unsure as to why it smells so much like a Mediterranean garden on a deep summer night. It has the hypnotic scent of those rich white flowers – jasmine, phlox, orchid – that only open after sundown and fill the air with their syrupy sweetness. It does contain stem cells from Indian gentian leaf though, the blossom of which, granted, is white – but it would be hard to convince me that these stem cells smell of very much at all while they’re plumping up my epidermis – and I’m fine with them to just keep on doing that.
Long story short: there aren’t many items as luxuriant and evocative as this one in my bathroom cabinet. And I’m not sure its vibrant pastel hue will ever to cease to please me as I lift the lid. But all this pleasure aside, it’s a bloody hard-working balm. Those natural actives each work one, or more, of many wonders: stimulating collagen production; improving firmness and elasticity (that kakadu plum); protecting, nourishing and hydrating (Rooibos tea extract, hyaluronic acid and naturally derived vitamin E); firming and exfoliating (matrixyl, squalene and vitamin C). All of which are delivered to the deeper layers of the skin via the brand’s trademarked biomimetic micro-vectorised technology – a method created to efficiently encapsulate the active ingredients within the formula to maximise impact. Impressive, yes, but even the molecule itself has healing and restoring properties.
All this is about to happen as I massage my face – I’ve never done well with the prescribed ‘press’ or ‘pat’ it in, there’s just less satisfaction derived – and dream of Greek island gardens, the pool glittering in the dark, the jasmine on the air.