My good friend Erin Malone is responsible for my latest obsession - Manetti & Roberts Acqua alle Rose facial cleanser and skin toner. It was the packaging that initially caught her eye, and I have to say that one look at the cobalt blue bottle, old-timey label (not to mention the drug store pricing) and I was reeled in hook, line and sinker. Anything packaged that well had to be good, right? In this case, the answer is yes! And, even better, it is made in Italy.
It was way back in 1867 that Henry Roberts (an English chemist and pharmacist) created the facial tonic "Aqcua alle Rose" in his pharmacy on the elegant Via Tornabuoni in Florence. Supposedly this was the secret toner Florentine women could not live without! (However, it was Borotalco - a refined talcum power that would be his claim to fame and fortune.)
In 1992 the now Manetti & Roberts expanded the line of Acqua alle Rose products to include my beloved facial cleaner based on the original formula. The toner and cleanser contain no alcohol or colorants and are created with pure essential oil of Rosa Centifolia and distilled spring water so they are great for delicate skin. I was a little skeptical that the rose scent would be too much ... but the cleanser imparts only a gentle rose scent to the skin. What I like best is the fact that the products are incredibly light and leaves your skin feeling fresh, clean and luminous. Goodbye Kiehls - Hello Roberts!
Turns out the toner is also good for laundering lingerie and linens, and in the summer they recommend keeping the toner in the fridge and dabbing it on your face and body after a hot day in the sun (or out pounding the Roman cobblestones) for a refreshing, cooling sensation. I think I will definitely need to try that!