Not just for chocaholics – Hotel Chocolat also offers an under-the-radar beauty range, called Rabot 1745, inspired by the brand’s heritage of chocolate making. Since 1745, the Rabot Estate in St Lucia has farmed cocoa and provided employment for generations of local people – and is where the beans for the brand’s chocolate are grown. Hotel Chocolat co-founders Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris challenged modern apothecary Andrew Gerrie to explore the Rabot Estate and its rich history of trade between Saint Lucia and Britain going back over 250 years. The result is essentially the exotic location bottled in a range of luxury beauty products, all based around ingredients grown on the estate.
Inspired by Saint Lucia, the people and the plants that flourish there, the beauty arm of the chocolate brand places the cocoa bean at its heart but also uses the natural world of the tropics as inspiration.
The Body Mists, for example (£10 each), are light and airy fragrances – ideal for cooling scents on hot days – or to transport you to balmier climates in the depth of winter. The London scent, for instance, uses the white star-like Tiaré flower at its core to give a creamy-sweet perfume, with jasmine-like notes. It is refreshing and uplifting.
The Tokyo version, meanwhile, is based around the soft cotton flower and honey extract for a light, exotic fragrance.
As you’d expect, The St Lucia Mist is like a shot of Caribbean sun in a bottle, with lemongrass and pink grapefruit giving a zingy spritz. The New York Mist, on the other hand, has an urban twist with citrus notes mellowed by warm vanilla.
Fragrancing the home around you is this gorgeous Cacao and Vanilla Scented Candle. It is made from a premium blend of soy, coconut, canola and beeswax, infused with natural fragrances and essential oils for a warm and mellow scent.
Cacao and vanilla combine with a woody base of musk, cedarwood and amber to give a rich fragrance for your home which will transport you to holiday ‘mode’ before you know it.
I love these Body Scrubs (£16 each) which are made from natural ingredients inspired by the Robot Estate. The Coffee Scrub uses Arabica ground coffee – the Rabot house blend, no less – combined with salt to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and dirt. Rich in antioxidants, the caffeine tightens as it smooths, while the super-hydrating cocoa butter and almond oil intensively nourishes.
The reusable coffee cup packaging is another genius idea – crafted from bamboo, corn fibre and wood fibre – it is 75% biodegradable and has been inspired by the pods grown on the Rabot Estate. The Sugar & Sour Orange Scrub will send you to olfactory heave – made with citrus-fresh sugar enriched with essential oils of orange and tangerine. Nourishing argan and jojoba hydrate as the sugar exfoliates for a super-smooth finish.
Finally, the brand’s hero product is this Wonder Balm (£9.95), which comes in a unique bamboo pot. It has a multitude of uses and can hydrate, calm, tame and highlight with intensively moisturising effect. Sinking in like a dream to hydrate cuticles, lips or dry patches (as well as doubling up as an eyebrow tamer, cheek highlighter and heel saviour), it uses Bois Bandé – the rainforest stimulant loved for centuries for its aphrodisiac properties – as well as cocoa butter and shea butter. Sexy and delicious.
*This review is based on press samples