Nature Trail

by Lucia Ferrari, Harpers and Queen

Lucia Ferrari on the real thing for rose lovers, and perfectly pure perfume.

Every week literally hundreds of brand-new products wend their way to the Harpers & Queen beauty department, some with much more of a fanfare than others. But as soon as the Persian Rose products landed on our desks (in tiny, 50p-sized plastic pots), we knew they must be good, because we immediately found ourselves fighting over them.

Initially a sideline for rose grower Teresa Scarman, who has been selling old-fashioned English roses grown in her Staffordshire garden since the Eighties (it grew out of her sending a bottle of rosewater, along with her rose catalogue, to loyal customers), the beauty products have become her new passion.

After searching worldwide for the perfect rose for her skincare range (the English climate is not warm enough to produce the right kind), she settled on damask roses (the most highly scented) from Iran, where they are cultivated at 10,00 feet, picked at 4am when the air is cool, and distilled using only pure mountain springwater. Scarman was adamant that the roses should have the organic seal of approval, so she sent the British Soil Association to check them out. And when they returned with a glowing report she agreed to import the Persian rosewater and oil to use in her skincare range.

It's tricky to decide on a favourite; the range includes eye gel, from £13, and bath salts, from £20, but the pot of organic handcream, from £8, had queues of people begging for a tiny drop, so must probably be the winner. The rose and aloe vera gel, from £14, makes a wonderful cleanser and moisturiser for even the most sensitive skins. Serena Linley obviously thinks so, as well. When she stocked up recently at Les Senteurs, she went back a week later, wanting to double her order.