Practical Packing with Style
Published: June 2009
By Shane Mitchell
What a worldly couple packs to look good on the go
The chambermaid couldn't resist. She had to peek inside Madame's cosmetics bag. (After all, it was her job to pack up the suite by checkout.) There it was, lying open on the marble vanity, contents scattered. Next to it was the gentleman's dop kit. The couple had caused quite a stir in the hotel lobby when they arrived. So tall, so American. It was obvious, even to a complete imbecile like Henri the porter, who risked being fired by asking Madame for her autograph, that they were as extraordinary as the newspapers reported. And she had simply laughed when he noticed her, because everyone always clamored for Monsieur.
Pulling a clipping from her apron pocket, the maid looked at the photos again: Madame backstage at the Lagerfeld show; in London, lunching at Aubergine with Anouska Hempel and David Linley. With her gentleman at the grande fête for the Venice Biennale. (How did she get her hair to do that?) Always traveling for her new collection, his next film. As she gathered the toiletries into a neat pile, the maid decided: That explains why there is such a mélange in their bags. Razor Sharp shave gel by Philosophy. Agnès B lipstick. Naturopathica lavender stress-relief oil.
Inside Madame's sleek Louis Vuitton bag were provocative Chanel colors: Tabou Nightlight Burgundy and Fracas Daylight Crystal eye shadows, Mauve Ice mascara. She couldn't wait to tell her sister. And she had heard from Philippe the valet that they shared everything. Even eau de toilette?She picked up a bottle and read the label: Eau de Campagne, from Sisley in Paris. The maid sprayed a bit on her wrist. The scent was très…unisexe.
She found a damp bottle of shampoo in the shower and carefully wiped it off. It would be a crime to soil the handsome leather of Monsieur's bag. For an American, his toilette was oddly English. D.R. Harris & Co. toothbrush, Joris razor, a shaving brush. Perhaps his next film was to take place in London?At least he favored sweet almond soap from L'Occitane, made near her family's house in Provence. On the tub, the couple had left a small bottle of bath oil—the label read: Jo Malone Nutmeg & Ginger. She wondered, looking intently at the oval bath, if they ever employed it à deux. There was a blue vial of Naturopathica Honey Vanilla lip balm and a petite Perfumes Isabell Garden Herbs candle in a glass votive. Voilà! The wick was burnt. As a key rattled in the lock, the maid zipped up the cases and laid them with the luggage for Henri to take down in the service lift. No one would catch her. Not this time.
Louis Vuitton Cannes Epi leather bag
* Chanel mauve mascara
* Acca Kappa biodegradable toothbrush
* Jo Malone skin serum with protein
* Relax smelling salts
* Hermès sterling silver pillbox
* Ad Hoc compact magnifying mirror
* Soap from the Hempel hotel, London
* Grandiflorum solid perfumes: Floral Ambrette and Balsamic Velvet
* Acca Kappa aluminum comb
* Shu Uemura retractable sable makeup brush
Connolly leather wash bag
* Descamps terry bath mitt
* Kiehl's everyday shampoo
* Bone-handled toothbrush and Pick-Me-Up tonic, from D.R. Harris & Co.
* Acca Kappa eucalyptus toothpaste
* David Hayward shaving brush
* Joris chrome razor
* Erno Laszlo moisturizing lotion
* Body Maintenance shaving salt
* L'Occitane soap and travel tin
* Agua camphor face mask
When a hotel or resort spa creates its own toiletries, it's hard to leave them behind. At checkout time, tuck these into your bag:
* Lavender-scented bath oil, soap, and eau de cologne pro vided in guest rooms at the 13th-century Château de Bagnols, near Lyons (33-4/74-71-40-00).
* Exquisite passion-fruit soap, bath gel, body lotion, and shampoo from Anouska Hempel's new hotel in London, the Hempel (44-171/298-9000).
* Agua bath products, created for the rooftop spa and guest rooms of the Delano hotel, in Miami Beach (800/555-5001).
* High Altitude Massage oil from the Peaks Resort and Spa, perfect after a day on the slopes of Telluride (800/789-2220).