Remember those old Calgon commercials in which a woman soaking in a bubble bath would say, “Calgon, take me away,” and suddenly she’d escape to a meadow full of flowers and green grass? Nowadays we expect our senses to be transported to far more exotic locales with just a dab of coconut-scented lotion or a spritz of hibiscus-infused perfume. Some of these beauty products and treatments often serve double duty by reminding us that we’re due for a vacation. The question is: where to go?
Korres natural products Holiday in Greece Kit ($28) includes travel-size bottles of their Basil Lemon shower gel, Citrus shower gel, body milk and body water, Guava body butter, and Grape Seeds body scrub. The ingredients smell super fresh and energize on sluggish mornings. Use them all together and a weekend in Connecticut visiting in-laws can turn into a jaunt to Mykonos. We’re sure Aphrodite would approve.
If Jamaica or Aruba sounds more enticing, then Aveda’s Caribbean Therapy line will surely whisk you away. We especially love the rich Body Crème, which contains lime, amyris, bay leaf, and vetiver to nourish dehydrated skin. Those hankering for a more intense version of the tropics can opt for the Caribbean Therapy Body Treatment ($140) at Scott J, an Aveda salon and spa (257 Columbus Ave, 212-769-0107, scottj.com). A therapist asks you to close your eyes and envision yourself walking along a beach somewhere. As you begin to drift off, the dry exfoliation, detoxifying seaweed masque, and restorative massage are performed. If you fall asleep, you’ll definitely wake up on the Upper West Side but don’t doubt that for a moment in time you were lazing on a hammock in Puerto Rico.
A popular destination that we’re eager to return to is Hawaii. Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s Aloha Tiare (50ml spray, $49) scent conjures up images of white sandy beaches, sunset luaus, and girls in hula skirts. The perfume is a mix of frangipani leaf, tiare flower, and the aphrodisiac Ylang on top of monoi, coconut, benzoin, vanilla, and musk. The warm, sensual fragrance is feminine and sweet, enveloping wearers in a mist of paradise.
Wherever you decide to go (or not go), it’s good to know that a little escapism doesn’t have to mean long lines at a check-in counter or grappling with baggage carousels. That feeling of being taken away from it all may be as accessible as a Sephora counter.