By Arwa Lodhi
Back in the early 1800s, there was no L’Oreal. No Garnier. No Clarins. Instead, the most coveted cosmetics for the chicest Parisians were Buly beauty products – and now, they’re back.
Located at 6 rue Bonaparte in the heart of Saint Germain, Buly is a one stop shop for organic, handmade French beauty products that are not only wonderfully effective, but heart-stoppingly beautiful, too.
Although it looks like it’s been there for centuries, this Buly branch is the brainchild of one modern married couple: Ramdane Touhami, who revamped iconic candle brand Cire Trudon, and Victoire de Taillac-Touhami, who previously worked at the renowned concept store Colette.
The duo bought and re-imagined French heritage brand Buly, giving new life to it in a shop whose design harkens back to the grandeur of the 19th century, with its wooden cabinets and exquisite glass packaging. But it’s the contents of those packages that are the most fascinating.
Whilst organic ingredients may not be anything new to Eluxe readers, the particular components of some of Buly’s products may well be – there’s a face scrub made up of Japanese bush warbler droppings (said to have regenerating properties for the skin); a mint tea flavoured mouthwash based on French spring water called Eau de la Belle Haleine, pink peony powder facial scrub, and scented candles made from rice, soy and copra wax, presented in delicate bell jars.
Touhami is particularly proud of their all natural, water based perfumes; the pair search the world for organic oils that evoke fragrances like the grass, rain and soil of the Scottish Highlands, for example. One f my personal favourites is the refreshing Kiso Yuzu cologne, with its tangy yuzu offset by mint and Japanese laurel.
More quotidian products include Pommade Concrète, a chamomile infused hand balm, various perfumed body milks, and even their own natural toothpaste brand, which comes in exotic flavours like mint-coriander-cucumber, Montauban apple, and orange-ginger-clove. The tube is so elaborately decorated, you almost don’t want to use it up!
The beauty accessories here also stand out. There are toothbrushes with silk bristles, brushes constructed from horsehair, and a vetiver root scrub brush, to name but a few of the gorgeous curiousities here.
France has always been a beauty capital, but given that most of the big French beauty brands are also some of the most chemically based, toxic ones, it seems that Buly’s step back into the past is actually a huge leap forward.
For more information, please visit www.buly1803.com