Neal's Yard Remedies
When it first opened in 1981 in London in a little hidden courtyard off Covent Garden's yet-to-be-fashionable Neal Street, Neal's Yard Apothecary (as it was then called) was a glorious olfactory experience akin to stepping back in time to the purveyors of yore, with large marble slabs loaded with soaps and glass canisters of dried herbs, essential oils and Bach flower remedies.
Founder Romy Fraser was way ahead of the pack in terms of cruelty-free, organic and eco-friendly skincare, indeed her intense, marigold-coloured and paper-wrapped geranium and orange soap immediately becoming the default hostess gift of its day.
Cut to 30 years later, and for Hong Kong's British expats who have grown up alongside the brand it's a delight to see the carbon neutral company's flagship store arrive on ever-evolving Hollywood Road. Famed for its signature, beautiful cobalt blue glass bottles and jars fired from Scottish sand that protect the natural contents from UV deterioration, the contents are certified organic, sustainably sourced and 100% vegan.
The range includes face, skincare, body, hair, baby and men's products, as well as aromatherapy oils, remedies and therapies, and of course, the divine orange and geranium soap, still in its paper wrapper. It's comforting to know that some of the best things in life don't change.