Kiehl’s is the rare skincare brand genuinely steeped in history. The way it brands itself – “Since 185” – makes that clear. And the brand has come a long way since it was founded as a New York apothecary, long before it sold products under its own name.
To celebrate its 170th year in the business this year, Kiehl’s is releasing a slate of products to mark its anniversary. There is a commemorative range of the brand’s bestsellers: the soothing Calendula toner, the faultless Ultra Facial Cream, the affordably-priced (though very effective) Eye Treatment with Avocado, and the hard-hitting nighttime botanical Midnight Recovery Concentrate serum. These come in a new, limited-edition packaging in glass bottles with gold lids and stoppers.
What’s really interesting, though, is the Heritage collection that Kiehl’s has also come up with. Packaged in signature apothecary fashion, these are products based on archival formulations from years past. The trio of essence oils, for example, are based on the ’20s superstition around tinctures having mystical properties. The brand, in the decade, used to stock a variety of over 120 essence oils that were recommended for uses as prosaic as personal perfuming to purposes as dubious as harnessing lady luck.
For the present-day editions, the brand has come up with Love-Luring, Fortune-Seeking and Jinx-Removing essence oils. They’re made with bergamot, rose and cedar; lemon petitgrain and rosewood; and cardamom, sandalwood and vetiver respectively.
Also in the Heritage collection is a Rosewater Toner originally created in the ’60s and formulated with handpicked Turkish rose petals. This re-edition features calendula and burdock root extracts and is similar to the best-selling Calendula staple: soothing, calming – and thanks to the rose ingredients – even more of a sensorial pleasure to use.