Cruelty- and paraben-free with recyclable packaging to boot…This bath and shower brand proves that you can have luxury without damaging the planet
Lightning Oak, Willow Song, Summer Rising … the names given to the products in the Noble Isle range are like incantations – and their elements, like ingredients for a magic spell: English Oak bark from the Forest of Dean, Elderflower and Gooseberry from the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Yellow Huffcap pears from Gloucestershire.
As for the scents themselves, they are nothing short of enchanting: the first time I showered with one, I found myself unabashedly inhaling the delicious perfume of my arm as I hung on to the overhead rail on the train.
‘When I created Noble Isle, I had a passion to produce something truly British,’ explains founder Katy Simpson. ‘A British company making products in the British Isles, sourcing ingredients from celebrated local producers.’
This local focus is further maintained in the manufacture of the brand’s products, which Katy resolutely retained in Britain, even when she was being pushed to take it overseas.
‘Britain in a Bottle captures the heart of our brand,’ she continues. ‘We promote farmers, charities, conservationists – people doing exceptional things in our country. Each producer is incredibly passionate about their ingredient.’
Vegan, cruelty free and devoid of parabens, Noble Isle further reduces its footprint by balancing sleek, stylish packaging with eco-credentials.
All of their boxes are made from uncoated card, which can easily be recycled (although you may well be tempted to reuse them first: they look that good) and their products are bottled in highly recyclable PET. Even the pumps, once dismantled, can be recycled.
Found in department stores, as well as hotels, airlines and restaurants, Noble Isle deliberately keeps its distribution small and exclusive, enabling the brand to stay true to its ethos.
The company has also partnered with charity Clean Conscience, which works to recover and repurpose partially used toiletries from the hospitality industry, redistributing them for the benefit of those most in need of such products, both in the UK and internationally.
‘Single use plastic and its effect on climate change is a significant issue for the hospitality industry,’ says Katy. ‘Millions of travel-sized toiletries are wasted each year, and the need for brands to address fully sustainable ways of working is more important than ever. Our partnership with Clean Conscience addresses this issue and offers alternative ways to repurpose toiletries which would otherwise end up in landfill.’
There are ten fine fragrance collections in the range, each of which comes in a variety of products, including hand washes, hand lotions, shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath and shower gels, body lotions and body scrubs, as well as candles and reed diffusers.
As for the scents (and the fact that – yes, okay, I’ll admit it – I pretty much fancy myself every time I use them) Noble Isle create them along similar lines to a perfume, with top, heart and base notes: lasting on the skin for several hours, deeper notes are revealed as each wears away.
The role of scent in promoting serenity and calm has long been recognised – perhaps never more so than this year, when access to our usual sanctuaries – be that the spa, salon or studio – has been severely curtailed. Self-care has rarely seemed so vital to our wellbeing.
‘We are great believers in the power of scent and the ability it has to remind you of a person, a place, or special moment in time,’ says Katy.
The fact that these memories are unique to each person makes the sensory experience even more special – as the brand’s head ‘nose’, who has been working with fragrance over 20 years, puts it: ‘People can smell different things in the same fragrance, and that’s exactly why fragrances are fascinating: because they evolve in time.’
The extracts are as remarkable for their benefits to skin and body as they are for the pure pleasure of their aromas: elderflower, used in the Summer Rising collection, is regarded as ‘the people’s medicine chest’ and is rich in antioxidant tannins, while the willow bark that forms the basis of the Willow Song range contains salicin, known for its antibacterial properties.
Extracts of English Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir grapes, found in Golden Harvest, are bursting with antioxidants; rhubarb, sourced from a sixth generation Yorkshire farm, is packed with vitamin C and calcium.
The result, of course, is that both your body and mind get a boost – not to mention the planet: kindness to oneself is mirrored in kindness to the world we inhabit.