Black Friday is the starting pistol for the Christmas shopping season. A few Christmas’s ago, I asked Santa for a Vilebrequin swimsuit which were the smartest suits I had come across. Since the fashion line was among my Haven’t Seen collection, Santa’s little helper had to find one at their London boutique (see me modelling my turtle motif suit below). But now Ritz Carlton Maldives is featuring the Vilebrequin line at its resort boutique. So if you are puttin’ on the Ritz Maldives for Christmas and are behind in your shopping just put on some Vilebrequin.
Best of the Maldives: Personal Fragrance – SAii Lagoon
Instagram can save the sights and sounds of your trip to paradise, but how to do preserve the scents? The tropical flowers, the salty sea air, the crisp coral sands. I asked that question with my #26 of installment #5 of “Haven’t Seen Yet”, but thanks to SAii Lagoon “M.I.Y” (ie. “Mix It Yourself”) bar, I can finally tick that one off.
The M.I.Y. boutique lets you prepare a customised bouquet from their extensive array of aroma’s in the “Aroma Lab”. “M.I.Y.” is also a reverse acronym for “Yim” Thai word “Yim”, meaning “to smile”. So, the Aroma Lab motto is, “Make a scent that makes you smile.”
The process includes product testing to ensure your skin’s suitability and affinity with the customised formula. You can wear the final olfactory cocktail directly or have it added to you shampoo and soap in your room as well throughout your stay. Finally, each formula is kept for when you return to SAii Lagoon.
Makes scents to me!
Best of the Maldives: Panama Hat Station – LUX North Male Atoll
For your own personalised memorabilia to express your individual tropical style, LUX North Male features its own Panama hat station. You can choose from a wide range of hot weather headgear and even get is customised with your name.
Best of the Maldives: Maldives Inspired Beauty Range – LUX North Male Atoll
The sense of smell is supposed to be the most evocative of all our senses for memory and emotion. The Maldives itself will provide an olfactory smorgasbord from salty sea breeze to tropical coconutty delights. LUX North Male sought to distil and bottle these scent sensations by enlisting “world renowned aromatherapist” Shirley Page to develop a special range of essential oils for the resort. Page had a residency at LUX for three months where she refined the collection testing the oils for the Maldives conditions and alignment with feel. The end results are provided to all guests in their rooms. Also, the spa offers a range of signature treatments using these oils perfumed with the essence of the Maldives.
Best of the Maldives: Resort Scarves – Coco Prive
Another resort featuring Oevaali’s work is Coco Prive who have commissioned an exclusive silk-screened scarf for their guests. So exclusive, thst Oevaali won’t release any more than a peek of what the scarf’s artistic design is (see above).
Best of the Maldives: Local Jewellery – Kuredu
If you are looking for a pink accessory for October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month), then one of the most enchanting examples of Maldives themes jewellery I come across is Kuredu’s collection of Oevaali. The manta above swirls as gracefully as its aquatic inspiration. Oevaali are a local Maldivian artist studio who do painting as well (see bottom).
The fashion accessory of the season if not the entire 2020 year is the now must-have (in more ways than one) face mask. While some decry this ostensible inconvenience, I think it is a whole new opportunity to rock some stylish fashion.
My friend Sylvia is making these in her back room. They come with a nose clip and an inner pocket to insert a filter if you want extra protection. I found this material at my local haberdashery, so naturally I commissioned an Indian Ocean one with the Maldives Islands front and center. Lori opted for a Wrasse-inspired designed (see bottom).
Email me if you would like Sylvia to make one for you. She is doing so to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis).
Best of the Maldives: Reef Friendly Sunscreens – Gili Lankanfushi
Environment Day today to celebrate appreciating, respecting and care for the environment around us. Sometimes the smallest of things can have big impacts over enough people and time. On example is sunscreen which we slather on to protect us from the tropical sun. But when we take a dip in the ocean to cool off, the salty water washes a lot of its chemicals off our body and onto the coral reefs we swim amongst.
Gili Lankanfushi is now only selling reef-friendly sunscreen in its boutique for its guests to remove this extra burden on our coral friends:
- “A key ingredient in more than 3,500 sun protection products is oxybenzone…Annually four to six thousand tonnes of these chemicals enter our ocean through wastewater effluent, and by swimmers slathered up with sunscreen. Acting like an oil slick, the chemicals settle on marine life and the reefs become suffocated.”
Also, Grand Park Koddhipparu have made a similar announcement, but I was unable to get additional details.
Best of the Maldives: Local Artist Boutique – Faarufushi
For low-miles “buy local” shopping, Faarufushi’s boutique is stocked with items almost entirely sourced from local artists. The miles-friendly range includes jewellery, fabrics, ceramics, and even Maldives themed phone covers. The shop also carried massage oil made from locally produced coconut oil (the same signature oil they use for the resort spa treatments). Many of the products are also featured in the rooms, spa and around the island like the Island Bazaar soft furnishings (see photo above) and the Island Apothecary hand cleanser.
Another impressive line of “local” products is one of the most extensive collections of books about the Maldives I have come across. Not just touristy coffee-table photo books, but histories and novels set in the archipelago. Beach reading about your beach!
Best of the Maldives: Jewellery – Vommuli
Taking inspiration from the Maldives is a range maker of jewellery inspired by the tapestry of dappled colours both twinkling across its gentle waters, adorning the schools of tropical fish underwater, and filtering through the canopy of swaying palm trees. Ritika Ravi is part of the St. Regis Vommuli family herself and her visits there sparked her design
- “Ritika Ravi’s jewellery line gives precious stones like polki and sapphires a contemporary, sea-inspired makeover Cartier’s perennial favourite, the stackable rings, meets Gucci’s enamelled and bejewelled ones, but with an Indian aesthetic, in Ritika Ravi’s Ivar Jewellery. The inaugural collection, 10.18, is a combination of gems with white and rose gold, ‘inspired by a vacation to the Maldives’. Ravi used polki (uncut diamonds) and sapphires from Sri Lanka to mimic the crystal clear waters and the many shades of blue of the sea surrounding the tropical island… While she largely retails online, her only brick-and-mortar store is, quite fittingly, at her family-owned The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort.”
Prices range from $300 – $400 and can be bought at her online shop at Ivar Jewellery.
This latest example of “Maldives Inspired Design” has in turn inspired me to add a tag for it.