First Look: L'Officine Universelle Buly 1803

Beauty

September 13, 2017 | BY Emilie Yabut-Razon

This new apothecary in Hong Kong unveils beauty secrets from 19th century France

Photo: Claudia Cheung/Hong Kong Tatler

“We have a very different point of view when it comes to beauty,” say Victoire de Taillac and Ramdane Touhami, the couple behind the remarkable revival of French beauty emporium L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803, which opens its first store in Hong Kong today. The pair believes that true beauty is achieved through simple, time-tested solutions while using all-natural ingredients and of course, the right tools.

Their wood and glass apothecary of aromatic creams, clays, oils and powders on Wyndham Street comes straight out of 19th century Paris, with most offerings formulated and bottled in France. The experience of choosing from over 600 beauty products (all in glass or aluminium packaging to retain efficacy) is made even more special with personalised wrapping and calligraphy.  

Photo: Claudia Cheung/Hong Kong Tatler
Photo: Courtsey of L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803

A good water-based perfume

Victoire says a good perfume adapts to the person and their personality, not the other way around. It should not be too overpowering and should complement rather than overwhelm. She adds that the alcohol and ethanol used in most perfumes are aggressive solvents that alter scents. Buly’s Eau Triple range comes in a water-based emulsion that doesn’t stain clothes or dry the skin.

Photo: Courtsey of L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803

A cleansing facial lotion

"Use one that is lightly scented and refreshing with a wonderful texture for every day,” says Victoire. Buly 1803’s rose-distillate-enriched soothing lotion, Eau Superfine, calms reddened skin and evens out your complexion.

Photo: Courtesy of L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803

A daily face cream

“This is a must to keep skin soft,” says Victoire. To be warmed between the palms prior to use, Buly 1803’s Pommade Virginale uses linden water and sweet almond oil to hydrate, mollify and smooth the skin. 

Photo: Courtesy of L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803

A dermatological soap

"Everyone needs a product that effectively cleanses without parching the skin," Ramdane says. Buly 1803’s Savon Superfin is not just any soap—it is lightly scented, pH-neutral, plant based, and comes in 11 wonderful scents.

Photo: Courtesy of L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803

Beauty oils

“These are great, powerful beauty secrets from all around the world,” says Victoire. If there are certain conditions you want to deal with, such as fine lines, restoring tone and radiance to dull skin or dry and lifeless hair, there’s a plant-based oil out there for you. From rosehip to avocado to camelina seed, Buly 1803’s versatile pure vegetable oils are made strictly from cold-pressed or gentle maceration and extraction methods.