One of Jane Packer’s Summer 2011 bouquets

The Summer Season

27th May 2011

…has officially arrived, says Mary Linehan

The Chelsea Flower Show – surely the biggest global celebration of all things floral – is just coming to an end, so summer has officially arrived.

And when it comes to celebrating florals, it seems we have every reason to do so. Evocative of the wonders of nature, not only are they visually stunning, fantastic for our sense of well-being, smell divine enough for us to copy their scent to wear day and night, they also possess in their DNA a slew of properties that are potent enough to protect, repair and rejuvenate mind, body and soul.

Parisian skincare brand Darphin, whose serious science products are based on aromatic plants, incorporates some of the most commonly known country garden flora, each beautiful enough to pick up a gold award for excellence. Their youth elixir, 8 Flower Nectar (£84), is an opulently fragrant blend of pure essential oils that includes neroli, rose, lavender and iris, combined to create nourishing and restorative benefits that help improve the texture of the skin, boosting radiance and at the same time helping protect against environmental damage. Perfect for more mature or dehydrated skin, all it takes is five drops daily as part of your skincare regime. Darphin advises that you open the bottle and smell the flowers before application to heighten the well-being benefits of this skin care nectar.

If your skin’s feeling a little fragile, and (let’s face it) there are plenty of reasons why this might be the case – stress, neglect, poor diet or wrong products – then Sisley’s beautifully scented Botanical Floral Spray (£54) is fantastic to use after cleansing as a toner to prep the skin for the rest of your regime, but also as a pick-me-up and day-time skin refresher. Rose, cornflower, orange blossom and witch-hazel also calm redness and comfort sensitivity.

Decleor’s marvellously flowery Hydra Floral Eye and Lip Moisturising Mask (£27) is a rich and soothing moisturising mask that has a complex of cornflower, sweet clover and ivy, along with caffeine derivative, to decongest the delicate eye area and contours of the lips diminishing signs of tiredness, dark circles and any puffiness, as well as rich shea butter to provide intensive rehydration to help combat fine lines.

Meanwhile for sheer loveliness, Ruth Mastenbroek, a major influence on the British fragrance horizon, has created a stunningly scented, highly concentrated RM Perfumer Hand Cream (£30), rich in antioxidants and butters and oils for maximum moisture but light enough to be easily absorbed. RM signature fragrance blends lily, jasmine and rose. Another gold medal winner and a touch of luxury for ardent gardeners.

And, what could be more fitting to celebrate Chelsea? Celebrated international floral designer Jane Packer has a range of five stunning, slow burning and delicately scented candles as part of her signature fragrance collection, including Gardenia, Cedarwood & Patchouli and Iris. Part of The Jane Packer Candle Collection, each retails at £19.50.

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