It’s the time of the year, when even the laziest of shoppers – not us, of course – find joy in wearing their comfortable shoes, roaming around Cairo’s various shops, to find one unique X-mas gift. But just as we were sighing in relief at checking all the boxes on the ‘who’s getting what for Christmas’ list, we suddenly found oursleves someone’s secret Santa.
Now that it was the second round of gift shopping, we’re now experts in ‘where’ to look for ‘what’. A stroll down Road 231 in Maadi led us to Areej Aromatherapy, a local brand that offers a host of all-natural personal care products.
The minute we walked in, our eyes met the island occupying the centre of the shop, where every single product of the brand stood proudly, waiting for customers to test; from moisturisers and lotions, to scrubs and soaps.
Nearly every skincare brand has a tester for each product, so what? Was it the fancy island that struck our attention? Of course not, what grabbed our attention were the nifty sets of cotton pads, napkins, and wooden spatulas, which are left at the customer’s disposal while testing the products for hygienic purposes – now we needn’t worry about where the previous customer’s finger was before dipping it into any of the jars. In addition, the island also has a sink, which comes in handy when sampling soaps and scrubs; now that’s a feature that we’ve never encountered anywhere else in the city.
Since it’s the season of joy, and dry skin, the first thing we decided to test was Areej’s range of moisturisers (200 gm – 150LE), which comes in scents including wild rose, vanilla, lavender, and melon. We loved the product’s rich yet non-greasy texture, and we highly recommend the refreshing, subtle scent of melon.
We asked the friendly shop assistant to help us find a shower gel (250 ml – 100LE) of the same fragrance, but, unfortunately, it wasn’t available. Instead, we opted for the next best scent, which is the wild rose; unlike the cream’s, the shower gel’s scent was on the milder side, which works best for us.
Having almost forgotten what we were there for in the first place, it was high time we played Santa, or his elf, and picked some Christmas goodies for our friend. Areej offers for the season a round of gift boxes with prices starting from 500LE, however, since we were sticking to a budget, we decided to collect a number of items within the designated range.
We opted for a couple of travel size roll-on tubes of essential oils mixes, one for the eyebrows, and another for the eye lashes (75LE each). Our only comment would be our concern regarding the efficiency of the roll-on applicator, especially the one for the eyelashes; it would have been perfect, had the applicator been a mascara brush. With its delicious-looking packaging, we couldn’t help but pick one of those strawberry lip scrubs (50 gm – 75LE); the smell is a little too strong to our liking, but given that the process of lip scrubbing takes almost less than a minute, we decided to give it a go.
Trying to keep ourselves from picking up another product, we took a quick shuffle through the rest of the shelves that have a wide spectrum of essential oils (prices start from between 55LE), in addition to a round of scented candles (130LE), bath bombs (50LE), and more.
Stating the obvious, we liked everything about Areej Aromatherapy; from the well-thought, shopping friendly design of the store, to its wide range of all-natural products.