Altearah. Photo: L Melone

What colour is joy, and how does it smell? Those of us lacking in the synaesthesia department might be scratching our heads, but fear not! The France Today team has been blessed with the answer – and it comes in a bottle. A manufacturer of ‘emotive cosmetics’, Altearah sells a number of skincare products and perfumes spanning the rainbow and beyond, with each colour tied to a specific mood or feeling.

It’s a cute gimmick but, as ever, the proof is in the pudding… and so we found ourselves opening a rather intriguing package in the office one drizzly afternoon. Stamped with hot yellow and the word ‘JOIE’, the box was an instant tonic for the grey British winter. A quick spritz of the parfum saw a ring of wrinkled noses: “What’s that?” “C’est parfumé au citron?” “It’s too spicy to be lemon!” But it was indeed the zesty fruit.

A tad acrid at first, the spray matured into notes of citrus, lavender and a mysterious spice none of us could quite put our finger on. Cloudy and warm, the scent wasn’t of the playful, floral ilk one would expect, but instead brought to mind sunny Mediterranean orchards… which is rather joyful after all, isn’t it?

Altearah perfume

To apply, mist your palm a couple of times and rub your hands together to evaporate the alcohol and release the mood-lifting smell. Of course, there’s something for everyone – from creativity (sweet orange) to peace (peppermint) and even confidence (litsea cubeba). The ultimate seal of approval comes from a number of recognised quality labels such as One Voice and Slow Cosmétique, so you can rest assured your product is organic, cruelty-free and ethically responsible. Smells like a winner to us.

For more information visit www.altearah.com/en

From France Today magazine

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