We are delighted to announce the launch of our new partnership with the finest hospitality group of our hometown, Oxford. The Oxford Collection is an independently owned collection of two 5-star plus luxury hotels and three stunning restaurants, all in the centre of the city.
The Old Bank and Old Parsonage hotels are situated in historic landmark buildings within easy reach of the most popular attractions in the city centre. The restaurants - Quod, Gees and Parsonage Grill - are Oxford’s most popular culinary destinations for visitors to the city and locals alike. Ingredients, locally sourced where possible, are expertly prepared and beautifully presented, serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner in all three settings.
This occasion also marks La-Eva’s first partnership introducing our amenities in refillable, highly recyclable aluminium.
A Natural Partnership
“It’s a natural partnership in every sense of the word. We both aspire to deliver an authentic, quality guest experience through genuine service and organic produce. We’ve always believed that ‘simple is best’, and this is a philosophy that La-Eva also puts into practice with admirable transparency. We're delighted to introduce this holistic approach to our amenities, aiming to enhance guest wellbeing, both physically and mentally. We are particularly excited to be collaborating with a brand built on such strong principles of sustainability. ”
– Rebecca Mofford, Director of Operations, The Oxford Collection
- Q&A on the La-Eva x Oxford Collection partnership with La-Eva Founder & Creative Director, Louisa Canham -
For the opening of our partnership with the Old Parsonage and Old Bank hotels, we chose a layered combination of Rosēum skincare and Spīce haircare.
Rosēum skincare offers a soothing and balancing wash that effectively cleanses the skin while preserving its natural oils. Enriched with organic antioxidant-rich extracts, it calms and protects, leaving the skin soft and radiant. The fragrance of Rosēum is a beautiful blend of rose geranium, petitgrain, and clove, offering a rosy and citrusy aroma that uplifts and regenerates, awakening the senses.
Our Spīce haircare presents an innovative formula that combines natural active ingredients, such as aloe vera and purifying oat kernel oils, to respect the balance of both hair and scalp. This unique blend helps restore strength, volume, and shine, making it suitable for all hair types. Spīce combines ginger, cinnamon, patchouli, mandarin and ylang ylang, scent that inspires layered experiences and a sense of warmth and fulfilment.
Both ranges are meticulously crafted to provide specific benefits and enhance the overall guest experience. Rosēum skincare nourishes and soothes the skin, while Spīce haircare revitalizes and invigorates the hair.
Our scents and aesthetics are defining features of La-Eva amenities and are two of the most commented-on elements of the products.
We use perfumery principles to construct layered, rich fragrances whilst tapping into the therapeutic properties of each individual element that we use. We work exclusively with essential oils - they are truly incredible substances with a structure that only Mother Nature can put together. Our fragrance blends are constructed from the ground up, like a pyramid, beginning with the strong base note and building the rest of the scent upon it, layer by layer.
Aesthetically, we have always looked to the arts for inspiration. Our bottles are adorned with ethereal paint textures, chosen to capture the scent and sentiment of each La-Eva blend, by fine artist Rose-Marie Caldecott who was born and raised in Oxford. The textures featured are small sections of larger paintings by Rose-Marie, nodding to the idea that beauty is found in the detail of the day-to-day, in moments in time.
In regard to the formulations of our amenities, we are particularly proud of our haircare products. In our industry, it is well-known that creating organic haircare products that perform as well, if not better, than formulations that rely on synthetic ingredients is very difficult to crack. We were very fortunate to find two great cosmetic chemists specialising in haircare who were inspired by the challenge. The development process took longer than our other products have to date the - best part of two years from beginning to end. The end result was worth it. Our formulas are based on a blend of naturally active ingredients that respect the balance of all hair types restoring strength, volume and shine. They feel and smell beautiful and are free from parabens, phthalates, SLS and SLES. We have a high repeat clientele using the haircare range and consistently excellent feedback so we are delighted.
We are passionate about creating products that are beautiful in every respect. What is in the bottle, the bottles themselves, the artwork, the refills - every touch point and every decision made is lengthily considered.
La-Eva is part of the rapidly growing positive impact movement out there, as we all become increasingly preoccupied with how to be well, how to find joy in the everyday, and how to be connected in mind, body and nature. We are a high concept, or perhaps psychologically-minded, entity; we have particularly expanded our focus and positioning as a well-being brand since launching our first treatments last year at the renowned new spa at Claridge’s in London, and it is an area of development that we have many plans for. The impact of unique sensory experiences; the connection of the olfactory system with emotions and memories; simplifying complexity to its bare essence; perception and alternative interpretations of beauty; ethical “do no harm” principles; holistic thinking; drawing on the arts to explore and express beauty; these are all threads of inspiration and frames of reference. The ideas that underpin La-Eva seem to have alchemically come together to form a brand and products with a rather unique essence.
Cosmetic development is a creative, multifaceted, lengthy process. It begins with an initial concept, and unfolds with overlapping layers spanning budget allocation, sourcing raw materials, creating formulas, producing samples, exploring artist collaborations and designing packaging. Quality and compliance procedures are rigorous and include testing the behaviour of a product in very cold or hot conditions, microbiological testing to ensure that the chosen natural preservatives are effective in protecting the product, and completing lengthy documentation including a Product Information File (PIF), Safety Data Sheets and Cosmetic Notification forms.
New product development is both one of the most challenging and the most enjoyable processes we engage with. Creativity, flexibility, focus, method and patience are all required in equal measure. In the end, it is always with a sense of excitement, anticipation and hope that we introduce the end result to our customers.
In the city of Oxford, La-Eva amenities will be exclusively available at The Oxford Collection for the foreseeable future. For us, it is a perfect match with our ideal local partner. Developing meaningful, co-creative, unfolding relationships with our partners takes time and mutual commitment. It is a process we cherish and are inspired by.
More broadly, we work with a diverse range of properties in the UK and EU - they bridge contemporary urban properties, rustic vineyards, independently owned retreats, artist’s residences, chateaux and world-class spas. The La-Eva presentation and offering is always bespoke to the needs and wishes of the setting.
In what ways are sustainability and environmental considerations incorporated into the production and packaging of these amenities?
Commitment to the best possible sustainability practices has been a founding principle of La-Eva. We choose our ingredients thoughtfully and purposefully. Where possible we buy directly from growers and are continuously looking for new partnerships with farms and suppliers of ingredients.
The La-Eva capsule range is ocean-friendly, vegan, and of course not tested on animals. Almost all the base oils that we use are certified organic and we use as high a percentage of organic content as possible. Our fragrances are created using beautiful, pure essential oils.
From the outset, we have been committed to refills, only offering this as a presentation solution in hospitality. Five years ago, this positioned us in what was still a pretty niche market, but it has been great watching change unfold and definitions of luxury in the amenity world change. Exchanging small, single-use plastic amenities for full-sized, refillable bottles will have a huge impact on reducing the environmental waste created by the cosmetics industry and does not have to in any shape or form impact negatively impact guest experience - in fact, quite the opposite.
We are particularly delighted that The Oxford Collection is the first partnership where we are introducing La-Eva amenities in aluminium. During the past year, we tested all our formulas in aluminium, a highly ethical material in our industry. Aluminium is infinitely recyclable thus supporting a circular economy and reducing waste. It is lightweight and therefore has low carbon emissions during transportation. It is durable, does not rust and is suitable for reuse or refill systems. It does not leak harmful chemicals - while certain plastics leak toxins into products and the environment, posing risks to health and ecosystems. And it eliminates health and safety concerns that quite often arise in relation to glass.
Is there anything else you would like to highlight about this exciting new product launch and partnership?
For us, the La-Eva x The Oxford Collection partnership is a match made in heaven. We both aspire to deliver the purest of products to our customers. We are aligned in our ethos and commitment to ethical, sustainable practices. We share a passion for the arts and culture. It is a synergistic match and the ease and speed with which this partnership has come together since our paths first crossed earlier this year is a testament to this.