Aesop: Good Enough to Eat!
Have you heard of Aesop? Of course you have, it’s that Australian skincare brand with the amazing packaging. We just had to learn more. What we found is that you don’t need to dig very deep to find the culinary elements in Aseop — it’s written right there on the label, cardamom, parsley seed, sage and so on.
Now, we needed to consult the experts for this one. Since we do not recommend actually eating the product, how could we get the benefits of wearing Aesop and consuming the “essence” of it? We spoke with Hans Hendley, or as we like to call him: the nose of Aesop. Hans is responsible for training all of the newcomers about scent, essential oils and the benefits of each product and ingredient. He will be our “To Wear” voice in the portion below.
We then thought Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson, or “The Sara(h)’s.” These ladies know Mediterranean and Middle Eastern comfort food like nobody else. Kramer and her partner dazzled our taste buds at an Aesop dinner held at the Bon Appétit test kitchen a few weeks ago. These former Glasserie alums are on to new falafel ventures in Los Angeles (but more on that later) for now, they will be representing “To Eat.”
This photo series is here to prove that Aesop can be brought to the dinner table. We spoke with Hans and the Sara(h)’s about the benefits of cooking with the ingredients individually and wearing the product as whole. Now, let’s eat!
Anise, Clove & Spearmint
To Eat: We love the combination of anise, clove and spearmint, as well as some added green chiles, parsley, garlic and lemon, for a fresh spice condiment where the freshness of the mint counter-balances the warm spices nicely. It adds some zing and depth of flavor to almost anything.
To Wear: Clove bud oil is well known for its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties which make it particularly suited to oral hygiene products.
To Eat: We have been adding chamomile to slow-braised fingerling potatoes, as of late. With a generous amount of olive oil, bay leaves and peppercorns, you end up with a creamy and deliciously floral potato.
To Wear: Similar chamomile tea we drink to soothe and calm from the inside, when applied topically, chamomile essential oil is one of the safest and most universal soothing and calming ingredients for the skin.
Grapefruit & Lemon
To Eat: We love using citrus peel infused into neutral oil, such as grape seed, to incorporate citrus notes without adding having to add the juice itself. These oils are great for sauces and vinaigrettes.
To Wear: The cold pressed grapefruit and lemon peel oils work synergistically with the other ingredients in the formulation to cool and tone the skin whilst providing anti-microbial benefits.
To Eat: Green tea is an awesome addition to a cocktail or punch, adding flavor as well as roundness and tannins.
To Wear: The addition of green tea extract provides a layer of anti-oxidant protection to fortify the skin against free radical damage.
To Eat: Licorice is an interesting addition to braises, particularly poultry or rabbit.
To Wear: Licorice Root Extract is utilized for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and skin tone evening properties.
Mandarin Orange & Rosemary
To Eat: Mandarin orange and rosemary are a natural and proven pair. The orange zest goes perfectly in a rosemary shortbread, cake or ice cream.
To Wear: Rosemary oil is utilized for its softening, hydrating and anti-oxidant properties while mandarin rind extract provides antiseptic benefits
To Eat: Parsley seed has been a recent obsession of ours, thanks to Aesop! We lightly grind it and mix it with sumac and sesame for a fun spin on za’atar.
To Wear: The potent anti-oxidant properties of Parsley Seed oil are a result of the flavone and myristicin content of the oil along with vitamin A and vitamin C. It seems quite likely that there is in fact a synergistic effect at play, with more than one component lending the oil its efficacy, leading ultimately to potent anti-oxidant activity. It has been noted that Parsley Seed oil has higher anti-oxidant potential than the commonly used ‘gold standard’ anti-oxidant compounds such as BHT.
To Eat: Rose, and other flower waters, are a great way to incorporate floral notes into both savory and sweet dishes. We incorporate rose water into a syrup for soaking a semolina cake, a variation on the ubiquitous dessert, basbousa.
To Wear: The highest quality Bulgarian Rose oil used in Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturising Masque contains meaningful levels of Beta-carotene (vitamin A), tocopherol (vitamin E), which significantly contribute to its soothing and softening properties on the hair and skin.
To Eat: Sage is mighty tasty inside just about any stuffed pastry whether savory- cheese or ground meat- or sweet- walnut or apricot. But a little does go a long way!
To Wear: Sage Leaf extract calms and soothes the skin adding in this formulations suitability for sensitive skin types.
Photography by: Signe Birck