Skincare products from the brand Nuxe are manufactured in Fougères, France. I found this out from a police officer while walking on Rue du Rocher. I’d just crossed the bridge where the street meets Rue de Madrid when he leaned out of the police car window. “Sahn Jahme,” he exclaimed. I’d bought two shirts from Saint James, and the navy shopping bag caught his eye.
He asked me if I’d ever visited the commune in Normandie of the same name. I told him that I hadn’t. He proudly informed me that his hometown of Fougères in Bretagne was better in comparison. The manufacturing of iconic products from Nuxe was one of the reasons he gave to support his argument. He asked me if I knew of Nuxe. “Oui !” I exclaimed—our hour-long conversation took place in French; he didn’t speak English.
“Fougères !” he’d say periodically in a resolute tone. My point of reference to the brand Nuxe was the popular Huile Prodigieuse I’d recently purchased. If the officer’s description of Fougères was anything like the multipurpose oil bottled there, I concluded that it was worth seeing.
Huile Prodigieuse is a dry oil, which means that it absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn’t leave behind an oily film. I’ve come to associate it with the act of beginning the day, specifically beginning the day in Paris. I’d pined over this product for at least a year before buying my first bottle from my pharmacy in the 17ème. Its scent is multidimensional; I’d describe it as a complex, subdued floral. The official description: orange blossom, magnolia, and vanilla.
This product has turned getting ready into a sensory ritual. I use Huile Prodigieuse daily but reach for the shimmering Huile Prodigieuse Or after a succession of cloudy days.