French Pharmacies really are the bees knees. The internet is brimming with posts extolling the virtues of French pharmacy products and the enthusiasm is well placed. Wandering into a French Pharmacy is a real treat. Shelves are jam packed with interesting, strangely named products. It takes a while to navigate the clutter and get through the inertia of the paradox of choice, but trial and error is as good a method as any. Plus you’re bound to discover some hidden treasures.
There are many great pharmacy brands including La Roche Posay, Klorane and Caudalie with hard-working products at a great price, but one of my favourite brands is Nuxe. This is primarily due to their wonder product Huile Prodigieuse, the company’s best seller, with sales of 20 million bottles. It’s a multifunctional dry oil that can be used in a myriad of ways. Its moisturising properties work on the body, face, hair and as a scented treat for the bath.
Huile Prodigieuse has a great texture. It’s not overly oily and sinks rapidly into damp skin. What makes this a stand out product though is the fragrant perfumed bloom of orange blossom, vanilla and coconut that gives the oil a silky creaminess. It’s a heady tropical mix but errs on the side of good taste. The official notes also list plum, rose, geranium and magnolia in addition to six plant oils – macadamia, hazelnut, borage, sweet almond, camellia and St. John’s Wort.
A perfume, Le Parfum Prodigieux was launched in 2012 and has a similar scent but I have to say that I prefer the oil, the perfume was a little sharp to my nose. Also available is Huile Prodigieuse Or with the addition of a golden shimmer, but I’m not sure I can pull off that sparkly look. However younger women and perhaps the odd male will no doubt be able to rock it. The blurb on the website somewhat amusingly states that this ‘appeals to the goddess sleeping in every woman’.
I’m on my second bottle of this fragrant oil and it’s one of those products that I feel I need to have with me at all times. It has pride of place on my bedside table where I often rub it on my hands in the evening when they’re looking a little worse for wear. Huile Prodigieuse offers relief to parched skin in summer but also lends a beachy vibe when it’s chilly and summer is but a distant promise. Now it becomes an effervescent pick me as it swiftly conjures wistful memories of hazy Mediterranean skies, azure seas and lazily slow days. The smell of the South of France captured in a bottle.