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Your Wish Is My Command
Text by Viseshika Sharma
Published: Volume 21, Issue 11, November, 2013
Verve explores an Ayurvedic beauty brand’s foray into customisation

In its 12-year history, Forest Essentials has ensured that women can feel virtuous about turning to Ayurvedic remedies without compromising on the luxuries we’ve become so used to. Now the brand’s ‘Made to Order’ Ayurvedic Beauty Cream is pure indulgence.

To begin, one enters personal and contact details, and their Soundarya Club membership number - Soundarya Club is the loyalty card for devotees of the brand. You’re then led through a series of questions with multiple choice answers. The question dealing with your choice of fragrance has especially poetic answers - any takers for ‘the subtle scent of jasmine flowers, braided into the hair, or when you pass a tree with jasmine flowers’? Other questions deal with your personality type, skin condition and preferred routine - do you employ a bare-bones routine or enjoy taking your time? You also get to highlight any specific concern before sending off the online questionnaire.

Based on my answers, I received an email from Ayurvedic Skincare Consultant Dr Ankita Goyal, identifying my predominant Dosha type - Pitta, if you must know. The email also detailed my skin’s qualities, getting it quite accurate. I was recommended increased consumption of cooling foods - buttermilk with roasted and hand-pounded cumin seeds and finely chopped mint, or milk with rose petals soaked in it overnight.

My specially formulated cream would contain tea tree oil, nut grass, satavari, nagkesar, ashwagandha, vidarikand and pomegranate juice, in a base of cold pressed organic sweet almond and wheatgerm oils, and kokum butter. Choosing to proceed with this formula, I send off a confirmatory email and settle down to await the pricing. When my ‘Made to Order’ Ayurvedic Beauty Cream arrives, it will do so in a signature Forest Essentials 50-gram jar, with the label featuring my name and the special ingredients used. Now all I need is the retinue of help that maharanis of yore commanded.

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