There are a couple of things you ought to know about me as a beauty editor. Firstly, I am somewhat of a bath product and fragrance connoisseur. I have an indulgent bath every night before bed as a part of my self care routine and I refuse to ever forgo it. Secondly, I have very high standards when it comes to products. I try hundreds of new beauty launches every year, meaning I know a thing or two about what makes a product really great.
So, when I heard the news a few months ago that my go-to luxury bath and body brand, Susanne Kaufmann, was joining forces with one of my go-to luxury perfume brands, Byredo, to create two limited-edition products, it's safe to say I was elated.
While Ben Gorham's Byredo is responsible for creating and bringing to market some of the best niche perfumes around (all while maintaining a global appeal), Susanne Kaufmann's nature-first spa products have remained some my most coveted skin and body care products for years. And now, the brand founders have come together to create two new products which blend the best of each brand.
The last beauty collaboration I was this excited about was Byredo's iconic link up with haircare brand Ouai, which produced the single best dry shampoo I've ever used (sadly, it's not available any more). So it's fair to say my hopes for these products were high—and I'm pleased to report I haven't been disappointed.
The collaboration has delivered both a fragrance oil and a body oil, both in the same fragrance—'Bregenzerwald'. So first, let's talk about the scent. The Bregenzerwald (in which the fragrance is inspired by) is a forest situated in the Austrian Alps, and it is also the home of Susanne Kaufmann skincare. Throughout my years as a beauty editor, I have been lucky enough to visit the Bregenzerwald (and the Susanne Kaufmann retreat hotel and production site) a couple of times. It is a place of undisturbed beauty, where nature is championed and prioritised in every aspect of life. In fact, I often refer to a trip to the Bregenzerwald as medicine for the soul—the air is clean, crisp and undeniably fresh.
And that, truly, sums up what the Susanne Kaufmann X Byredo scent smells like. With a combination of floral jasmine and sweet yet green fig, one sniff is like taking a deep lungful of the calming, soothing atmosphere of the Bregenzerwald. Truthfully, I've never smelled a beauty product quite as stunning.
And as for the products themselves, let me tell you they're good. The fragrance oil, which is applied to pulse points via a rollerball, is a truly unique product. It acts as both an exceptional fragrance and a wellness product in one. Unlike so many other perfume oils out there (which, by the way, are typically the most long-lasting form of fragrance on the skin), it's worth noting that this one isn't just non-irritating, it's also skin soothing, non-greasy and a general joy to apply and wear. And while the scent, in its nature, is delicate and unimposing, the fragrance lasts for hours and hours on the skin. Since receiving it a month ago, it has barely left my handbag.
Before we get onto the body oil, I want to let you in on something: I am not a body oil person. Despite the fact I moisturise my entire body every single day, I typically avoid body oils. I've never found one that doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy and uncomfortable. But given my love for this collaboration, I felt like I needed to give it a proper go. Formulated with antioxidant-rich apricot kernel and meadowseed oils, it's nourishing, glow giving and deeply nourishing. My final verdict? It's the best. It's so good that I've been slathering my body in it every day and have become quite upset over the rate I'm getting through it.
Which brings me onto my final point—these products are expensive. Very expensive. For a 10ml bottle of the perfume oil, we're talking a £90 price tag. And the 100ml body oil? £75. So yes, we are talking about seriously luxury products here. With both Byredo and Susanne Kaufmann products sitting on the expensive side of the beauty pricing spectrum, I wasn't expecting these products to be affordable by any means, but the size of these price tags isn't lost on me.
However, I genuinely feel as though the pricing is justified. With these products, you're buying into a luxury experience—every time you take a deep breath of the perfume oil or slather the body oil onto limbs, you truly feel as though you've been transported to a mountain-side spa. Every component is carefully considered—from the championing of local production and the genuinely sustainable practises of the Susanne Kaufmann brand to the expert craftsmanship of Byredo perfumery and true ingredient efficacy.
It's rare in my job that I'm truly blown away by a new launch but this collaboration has done just that. For me, fragrance, skincare and body care is a form of wellness and escapism—and these limited-edition products deliver exactly what I'm after.
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Shannon Lawlor is the Executive Beauty Editor at Marie Claire. With nearly a decade of experience working for some of the beauty industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear, Glamour UK, Stylist and Refinery29, Shannon’s aim is to make the conversation around beauty as open, relatable and honest as possible. As a self-confessed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for hard-working perfumes, fool-proof make-up products and does-it-all skincare.
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