SPA IN THE CITY

I have tried many aromatherapy treatments but here’s why the one at Jean-Claude Biguine Spa and Salon is different…

Sometimes all that you need comes in a tiny vial. I have tried many aromatherapy treatments but the one at Jean-Claude Biguine Spa and Salon in collaboration with Aromatherapy Associates is extraordinary. Before I go further, here’s a bit about Aromatherapy Associates: It’s a British brand, founded by Geraldine Howard and Sue Beechey based on the principles of the power of smell. The founders were inspired by this ancient sensory science and created a range of bath, body and skincare products to help women (and men too) focus on mindful beauty. It works as certain scents have the potential to address specific concerns and enhance wellbeing. Even if you don’t know which essential oil stands for which concern, don’t fret. Just let your nose decide. It won’t gravitate towards the same scents forever. And the ones it tends to prefer are the ones you need at that moment.

Now back to the experience at Jean Claude Biguine at St Regis, Mumbai. The mood is very different at city spa, unlike a wellness retreat that is away from the madding crowd. Every time, I visit a spa in the city, I expect magic. A quick session that instantly fixes my minor aches and relieves general exhaustion. Being a spa devotee, I expect all the trappings – impeccable hygiene, soothing music and bespoke service. All of this in a matter of minutes, as I have no choice but to catch up with my daily grind.

So how this is treatment different? For starters, there is also a 40-minute express session, which is great when you want to sneak in that bit of pampering on an otherwise packed day. Then the consultation. I am made to sniff a series of aromatic blends. And it’s wonderful that my therapist lets my nose decide. Like a magician, she figures out what is out of balance, as I picked up #innerstrength. It’s a blend of rose, lavenderclary sage, cardamom and frankincense. At the base of this treatment, lies the simple tenet of aromatherapy that the sense of smell holds the power to heal. Certain scents evoke a particular emotional response. Some like lavender soothe while peppermint refreshes. For a moment of balance during a day, one could always apply suitable essential oils on the pulse points or add a couple of drops to your bath. While a self-application of the essential oils has its benefits, they compound many times when combined with relaxing massage strokes.

Generally, aromatherapy treatments, range from light to medium pressure and use Swedish massage strokes. But here the massage moves beyond the regular vanilla, feel-good zone, as the therapist uses medium to deep pressure depending on individual preference. In a style that’s unique to Aromatherapy Associates, the therapist begins by activating the chakra points. I am intrigued and glad to note that the staff is trained to do elementary chakra and cleansing. And this is great because, in just less than an hour, the body feels remarkably rejuvenated. I love the bespoke character of this treatment, where the therapist tries to identify my problem zones and try to put them to ease. It’s not a mechanical cookie-cutter kind of salon massage but has a definite spa feel to it. Towards the end, there is mild Thai-style stretching involved, to boost the blood circulation. A lighter blend is used to massage the face.

In just 40 minutes each muscle, from the toes to the head, is worked upon. Besides the carnal pleasure of having sore muscles kneaded and pressed, the healing benefits of essential oils work on the mind. I am sure the story is the same for others, but I leave the salon feeling utterly refreshed and satisfactorily calmer!

Aromatherapy At Home

The small and easy ways in which I incorporate the ‘spa feels’ on a daily basis:

1. Add a couple of drops of my favourite essential oil to a bucket (when I don’t have the luxury to soak in a tub). It works better in warm water and the entire bathroom ends up smelling heavenly. I prefer refreshing aromas in the morning to energise me for the day ahead. And relaxing essential oils (rose + lavender) in the evening to simply relax and sleep better.

2. Generously place oil diffusers throughout my house. The one in the bathroom and the bedroom is lit up religiously every evening. Scented ambience, mild not too overwhelming, just helps me destress. I believe it also elevates the energy of the spaces we breathe in.

3. I always keep a mini kit of a few essential oils (Aroma Magic by Blossom Kochhar, Ras Luxury Oils and Nykaa have most of the staples) in my bathroom closet. Sometimes I add them to the coconut or olive oils to uplift my massage experience.

4. My Beauty Holy Grail comprises of Geranium (uplifting + balances energies), Lavender (calming + soothing) and Rose (purifying + antidepressant). They are not necessarily the must-haves as each nose decides what works best for it. I know many who favour jasmine, tuberose, sandalwood and bergamot.

I would love to know the different ways in which you incorporate essential oils in your beauty routine. Drop me a line at aparrnagupta@gmail.com

Author

  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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