Though this month's issue is all about what's on trend and in style for 2018, it is hard to say that Aesop, the Australian skin and haircare brand, is new. It has been around for over a quarter of a century! But, despite its global presence through some of the chicest retails spaces around, Aesop retains cult brand status and still feels like a discovery to those yet to experience it. 

There are many attributes that set Aesop apart. But, let's start with the fact that it is a line that balances the best of man-made and nature-made ingredients. Said differently, its products are all a mix of science and nature with a focus on being the highest quality range of products possible. The brand describes itself as a "health brand" versus a skin or haircare line because it is not focused on the latest "anti-aging fad" nor on trumping up a new ingredient or product line to keep up with the other "haircare Joneses." Aesop is relentlessly perfecting its range of products and only ventures into something new once they've understood it to be a healthy and relevant experience for its clientele. 

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And, experience is really where Aesop stands head and shoulders above every other line out there. Starting with the products themselves, the scent profile is beyond compare. But, the most shocking element of the products' scents is that they have not been designed. The aromas are the byproduct of ingredients formulated to benefit your skin and hair. They just happen to smell amazing. Among our favorites: the Geranium leaf line and the Moroccan Neroli line. 

Next, the packaging. Perhaps taking a cue for Kiehl's, Aesop leaves design and packaging to one side. Their focus is what's on the inside. But, what is often the case when you don't over-design, is that Aesop packaging is instantly iconic. Amber bottles, sand-colored tubes and leaf-green boxes together create a striking range of products that make the store shelf and your bathroom counter looking photo ready. 

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Where the Aesop experience ultimately fires on all cylinders is in their stores. Not surprisingly, the scent-scape is unreal. The merchandising is bold despite and because of the simplicity of the products. The spatial design is a different in every store yet visiting multiple stores makes you feel like there is franchise like rigor and uniformity to them. And, that comes largely because of the incredibly expert and approachable experts working the stores. Jargon and affect are left to one side so that a genuine understanding of and belief in the products stands out. You are only going to leave an Aesop store with what you need, never feeling bamboozled into buying 6 additional items. 


But, those that you do leave with are going to leave your skin and hair looking, smelling and feeling better than you've probably ever experienced them. And, you'll run to tell all you friends about this great, new line you discovered and, in turn, find you've joined an exceptional cadre of Aesop acolytes.