It's been a while since we've talked shop. But here it is - our very first beauty post of the year! And we started on a zinger. Today I'm here to introduce you to our new ally in the series on animal and earth-friendly brands, Dermistem.
I found the brand through none other than Ms Tracy-Lee Rosslind, South Africa's fashion darling, and Dermistem brand ambassador. If you haven't heard of her, 1) where have you been? And 2) here's a way to fix the error of your ways. Anyhoo, I was Tracy's guest at the spa that gave birth to Dermistem, an understated, wonderful boutique in Cape Town's Southern Suburbs, called Aseyah R after its owner - more on that later. In letters painted outside - 'Aromatherapie et Parfumerie'.
A bit of background. Since I first read the book as a teenager, Peter Suskind's Perfume (1987) has been one of my top ten favourite books of all time (there's also a pretty baller movie - Rotten Tomatoes be damned). For those not familiar with it, the story follows a boy into manhood, where he is led, quite literally by the nose, to commit the murder of fourteen young women.
Now this doesn't sounds like an altogether pleasant book - and it isn't. It's a thriller, after all. But what makes this book so undeniably lovely, strange, and brilliant, is that its plot centers on the lead character's extraordinary talent for smell. This leads him to the house one of the world's best perfumers, and so begins one of the only accounts of the art of perfumery in literature. It's beautiful. Truly romantic in an 1700s type of way - that is, peppered liberally with tragedy.
That description fits perfumery well overall, I think, beyond the confines of Perfume. A delicate process undertaken in the pursuit of a full but fleeting pleasure. When I met Aseyah Rosslind (no relation to Tracy), she was introduced to me as a natural perfumer. 'Have you watched Perfume?, I asked her after my (incredible) treatments with the massage therapist. She had. 'Of course', I thought, recalling her offer to show me her perfume organ (it looks something like this). This woman could have written it.
Some more things about Aseyah. She loves oakmoss. She is CEO of Dermistem, a natural, anti-aging skincare range based on the plant stem cells of the Alpine Rose. Aseyah works with Jerome Jackson, Dermistem's CSO and resident research and development fundi, and together they've created an exclusive treatment menu showing off Dermistem goodness. It was such a pleasure to meet her and her team. Thank you to Tracey Rosslind, Aseyah Rosslind, and Jerome Jackson for your warm invitation and an awesome day.
If you'd like to know more about Dermistem, please check out their product listing here, and find their contacts details here. If you'd like a bespoke item from Aseyah's aromatherapy boutique and perfumery , or just want to visit, take a look at their Facebook listing for more information.
Disclaimer from Captain Obvious: The products featured in this post were given to toofufu at the brand's expense. Toofufu was also invited by an associated ambassador to the brand's spa, where toofufu staff received spa treatments, again at the brand's expense. Please make responsible buying choices. Your wallet is your power.