As a young girl, when I traveled with my family, I would check out the fancy soaps in the gift shops. They always had French milled lavender soap, and I thought it was the epitome of quality. So I wanted Alegna to have a classic lavender soap. The first time I made it, I put whole lavender buds in the mix, thinking it would be a pretty white soap with purple speckles. Instead, the lavender turned a very un-pretty brown. Now I grind it up before adding it to the mix, and the little flecks you see in the soap are actual bits of milled lavender. Apart from its classic qualities, pure lavender soap makes me feel so relaxed, it can actually put me to sleep. I have even been known to put a bar of it under my pillow at night. Made on Long Island with organic olive, coconut, and palm oils and organic shea butter.
Tying up her hair to put on a touch of mascara and blush before slipping into a crisply pressed navy-and-white-striped button-down shirt and white pants, Victoria checks her watch.
“I can’t be late for lunch, and I need to stop for a small gift on the way,” she tells herself, preparing to meet her best friend for a quick bite to eat at their favorite East-Side bistro.
As she steps into her Rothy flats, this tastefully tailored doyenne makes sure to check her phone before placing it snugly into a pocket in her red leather bag. Always well-put-together and right on time, Victoria peeks at the mirror for a quick once-over. “Hmmm. A little gray coming through,” she notes, glancing at her hair, but she’s comfortable with that sign of being a woman experienced enough to know just what to do and when to do it. Closing the door to her Upper West Side brownstone behind her, she descends the front steps just as the Uber driver pulls up. As she climbs into the car she tells him to stop at the boutique where she has discovered a favorite handmade Lavender soap.
There’s a reason she stays stress-free—always plan ahead, a time and a place for everything, take care of your friends, and take good care of yourself.
The shop already knows she is on her way, and the packages will be wrapped and ready. For her friend, a gift basket of delicately scented scrubs, and for herself, the prospect of a lavender-lathered soak in the old claw foot tub later that evening surrounded by candles and the soothing sound of Bach—just the thing to maintain her even keel—and no one else need be the wiser.
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