A Simple Beauty

Aromatherapy has grown and become a much loved means to well being and beauty over the past 45 years, brought alive by a handful of pioneers during the 1950s. One such lady was Madame Micheline Arcier who trained and worked in beauty therapy in Paris. After attending a lecture given by Marguerite Maury, who introduced Aromatherapy to the UK in the 1950s, Madame Arcier was so inspired by Mme Maury’s methods of combining oils and massage techniques focusing on the nervous system that she began working with Mme Maury as her assistant before coming to London and opening her own Clinic in Knightsbridge.

I first met Madame Arcier in the early 1990s, I adored her clinic, the aroma as you set foot over the threshold of her shop was utterly intoxicating – the magic of her blends for face, bath and body were like nothing else I had previously known. Booking for a treatment at the Clinic was an enormous treat, the therapy rooms were tiny but the feeling of being cosseted and healed was overwhelming and although the 4 treatment rooms were always very busy, the silence and sense of peace once a client left the reception and entered the treatment area was ever present.

When I opened the Studio Perfumery in 1994 I asked Madame Arcier and her daughter Marie Christine if they would allow me to introduce their famous oils to my clients – after a period of careful consideration they agreed to this. I felt very honoured as I knew their products were not usually sold outside of the clinic –

I am convinced Mme Arcier’s Lavender bath oil helped with my own energy and  well being during the very busy years of running a business.

Madame Arcier also believed in the health benefits of clay and it’s invaluable therapeutic properties – clay has been used since ancient times to treat various ills and in skin care preparations, it’s powerful antiseptic qualities draw body toxins to the area being treated and this was used in her very unique leg treatment called Legorama – a thick paste of clay combining either oils of Geranium or Peppermint was applied to the legs in the form of compresses . Once the clay had dried, the compresses were removed and there followed a very specific leg massage – this treatment was heavenly for tired, heavy, swollen legs.

Madame Arcier’s face oils were definitely my personal introduction to using oil as a face treatment and I have continued the oil regime until the present day, a natural aromatic face oil is perhaps the most valuable treatment product we could  include in our daily skin care –  gentle massage  is a simple but highly effective way to keep the skin looking healthy and helps in maintaining the firmness and strength  of the face.

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Although Madame Arcier and her daughter have both passed away and the wonderful Clinic in Knightsbridge is no more, her legacy is being carried forward by Catherine Milne, who has been familiar with the name of Micheline Arcier and the oils since she was a child, her mother was a devoted client, both Catherine and Germaine Rich now own the company – Germaine continues to hand blend the beautiful oils from Madame Arcier’s original recipes and the original massage treatment techniques have been passed on to a new generation of therapists. Catherine and Germaine are now introducing a whole new generation to the fabulous Micheline Arcier oils and although a few changes are inevitable with the passing of time, the philosophy and roots of this amazing collection remains true to it’s founder.

For me the name of Micheline Arcier and the products she created will always remain very special.

For further information on treatments and the Micheline Arcier collection you can contact Catherine or Germaine at info@michelinearcier.com The whole Micheline Arcier collection can be viewed by visiting their website www.michelinearcier.com