TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2018
Our first order of the day: to make a pilgrimage to Sulwhasoo’s flagship store in the upscale neighbourhood of Gangnam-su. Easily mistakable for a fine arts museum, the building is surrounded by scintillating brass grids. A tour of the five floors takes us through a culture centre, a heritage room, a boutique, a gift wrapping service station, a VIP lounge, and not one, but two spas.
“Not only has Naomi Campbell indulged in the spa services here,” boasts our guide, “but Mila Jovovich took home this same giftwrapped set recently!” An homage to Sulwhasoo’s legacy, the Heritage Room resembles a wunderkammer; more than 1,000 herbs and ingredients are suspended in medicinal cabinets. It is here where I discover ginseng’s various properties: white for skin brightening, green for moisturising, and red for anti-ageing.
Much to our delight, the tour is capped with an on-site spa experience. My aesthetician leaves no pore unattended as she slaps on creams trice as thick to what I’m used to, traces her fingers around my eyes in a figure 8, rubs serum into my lids using her littlest fingers, massages balms into my lips, and stimulates my scalp using a small brush. Even Erik Satie’s Gymnopédie II, my favourite piano composition, doesn’t send me to sleep, as I simply don’t want to miss a single second of the pampering session!