Byredo body lotion in 'Rose of No Man's Land'

Screen Shot 2019-05-15 at 10.19.03.png

*We interrupt an otherwise quite fun & daft chat about products to bring you this bulletin*

I am a little bit heartbroken at the moment.

Yes, that’s right. I’m having a challenging period of ‘guess you haven’t got your shit together like you thought’. My shit is the opposite of together. It’s dotted in steamy clumps around my flat, smeared on the inside of some of my cupboards, and the place where my bed used to be there’s now that big putrid pile from ‘Jurassic Park’.

But look, it’s mental health awareness week, and if you were to ask me how I got through my big sparkly sequinned ordeal at the tail end of last year my advice would be:

  1. Write your feelings down,

  2. Get a hobby.

So here I am putting my money where my big gob is.

The first, that of the writing, is evidenced by the fact that you are reading this. The second, the hobby bit, is the reason I sit here in my wet look lycra ready in half an hour to go and dance to pop music by women in their 20s. I say ‘ready to go’ like my state is in any way active. I’m actually slumped over the kitchen table with a (quite cute) pot belly sticking out, eating peanut butter out of the jar with my hands like Winnie the Pooh with his hunny pot.

The other hobby of mine of course, is dipping those same peanut butter crusted hands in to creams and balms, slathering them about my person and letting the world know whether they’re any good via The Trowel. So to honour my own advice, I checked myself out of heartbreak hotel & popped to the happiest place on earth (Libertys) to purchase Byredo’s terrifically-appropriately-named body lotion, ‘Rose of No Man’s Land’.

Thick, sludgy, glide-y, it gives you a lovely good ‘slap’ sound when applied with vigour (a method I would always recommend). Byredo stuff is so incredibly pretentious it actually bypasses the ‘twatty tryhard’ stage and goes straight to ‘charming, clueless toff’ one. Like it’s that posh it’s completely lost touch with the common man, and has so little grip on reality you sort of forgive the fact that it claims to contain notes of papyrus (PAPYRUS!) and take its name from WW2 nurses as though those things are perfectly normal. It reminds me of when Clarissa Dickson Wright on ‘Two Fat Ladies’ used to talk about jamon iberico like it was Billy Bear ham slices from the Asda counter. Not a clue.

Byredo does this thing where they take something perfectly nice, then stick something slightly weird and avant garde on top of it & charge £100, tricking you in to thinking if you’ve got a problem with it it’s because you’re too common to understand and not because it’s actually a bit rank. Like when bougie bakeries started making bacon & maple syrup cupcakes at a fiver a pop. Happily, in this instance, the addition of the scent of ancient Egyptian stationery i.e. papyrus works quite nicely over the roses, in a dusky way. I adore the idea that in thousands of years there will be some lovely scent for robots : ‘Eau de A4’.

I’m being sardonic, but when all’s said and done I like this. It’s fancy, it’s mine, it makes me smell like a garden and reminds me of The Mummy. It also encourages me to touch all the bits of my body; the same body that I have made the decision to keep to myself at the moment, actually.

For I am a peanut butter gobbling, slightly pot bellied, sweet smelling lovely little rose of no man’s land. And I like it that way.

*Normal service can now resume*

Byredo ‘Rose of No Man’s Land’ Body Lotion, £44 for 225ml

Rebecca Humphries