The concept behind Cowshed originated in the UK when Soho House founder Nick Jones purchased a 7-hectare country estate in Somerset (South West England) called Babington House. Within the expansive gardens of this estate, which offered luxury accommodations with beautiful views of the English countryside, was an old cowshed. And it was this cowshed that Nick Jones transformed into a spa for the hotel’s guests, hence the name. The idea to create a range of Cowshed spa products using ingredients from the estate’s garden came soon after.
The roaring success of the Cowshed spa and its line of honest, wildcrafted products for the bath, body, and home lead to the proliferation of both and today, it’s an international brand with a constellation of spas all over England and abroad. On this day, however, we were celebrating the brand’s arrival in South Africa. It’s official: Cowshed is on the hoof!
Cowshed Moooodia Launch at Cellars Hohenhort in Constantia
The Cowshed launch was hosted at the absolutely breath-taking Cellars Hohenhort, which is nestled so deeply in the verdant Constantia valley that you’re unlikely to find it without a GPS. The hotel’s brightly sunlit Conservatory Breakfast Room – with stunning views of the lush garden – had been transformed from an eatery into an oasis of luxury of the highest order. Tables were laden with Cowshed’s delightful products, creams, oils, lotions, soaps, candles, and scent diffusers, all of which were lovingly presented amidst bouquets of flowers.
The products themselves are beautifully branded with a sophisticated yet honest, almost country rustic appeal. Upon closer inspection, however, the true quirky and characterful charm of the Cowshed brand is revealed and it’s this, I believe, that has captured the attention and the hearts of the public.
Cowshed’s products, especially their gift range, are also beautifully packaged and in such a way that you wouldn’t dream of throwing away any accompanying gift box or bag. Instead, they can be recycled and used as something else. Mine now serves as a handsome vestibule for my collection of travel soaps and creams.
How’s Your Mooooooood?
Instead of dividing their products by skin type – dry, oily, or combination skin: frightfully boring and unromantic – Cowshed has created a unique range of essential oil blends that cater to specific moods. For example, “Knackered cow” is made from lavender and eucalyptus essential oils and is the perfect remedy for when you’re feeling burnt out and exhausted after a long day, week, month, or year. The ingredients were chosen for their therapeutic benefits: lavender is believed to have a potent calming effect, while eucalyptus helps stimulate and rejuvenate the mood.
Others in the (ingeniously-named) essential oils mood range include:
“Moody cow” – when you’re moody and unpredictable (rose geranium, linden blossom, and frankincense)
“Grumpy cow” – perfect for lengthening a short fuse or a great wake-up call (mandarin and grapefruit)
“Lazy cow” – for when you want to gear down and enjoy life in the slow lane (chamomile, jasmine, and sandalwood)
“Gorgeous cow” – pure, unadulterated happiness and a celebration of femininity (Madagascan ylang-ylang, Moroccan rose, and French lavender)
“Wild cow” – to start the day on a high or a night out with a bang (ginger and rosemary)
“Horny cow” – also, to start the night out with a bang (Rose Absolute, sandalwood, and vanilla)
Each mood blend is then further divided into a whole collection of pamper and home products, such as body lotions, bath and body oils, shower gels, shampoos, conditioners, scented candles, and diffusers.
By connecting its products with something as subjective as the moods we all experience, often several times a day, Cowshed successfully makes a powerful connection with the individual. And as I perused each product, I was inspired to think of all the people that would be most befitting of each.
I mean, could there be a more suitable gift for your mother-in-law than “Grumpy cow”?
Cowshed also has a hand care range, which includes the “grubby cow zesty hand wash” and the “cow pat moisturizing hand cream”; a foot care range called “on the hoof”; a range for men called “Bullocks”, and one for mothers or mothers-to-be called “Udderly gorgeous”. You could tell from the smiles all around that the clever names were well appreciated.
After a thorough whiff of each and every product, a chuckle at the clever, punny names, and a decent graze through the incredible breakfast spread provided by Cellars Hohenhort, we were told we could help ourselves to the veritable treasure trove of pamper products before us. I scraped my jaw off the floor and somehow maintained a sense of decorum about myself as I handpicked my choice of Cowshed’s gorgeous and luxurious products; slowly at first and then with greater (thinly-veiled) fervour as I realised that it was okay to be greedy – everyone was doing it.
I returned home from Cowshed’s launch with two bags full of goodies, which are now filling my study and my home with their intoxicating aromas of spicy, sweet essential oils.
Now, who’s a lucky cow?