It’s a night of wine and roses as Lancôme hosts an exclusive gala dinner for its VIP clientele at Raffles Hotel.
The night is still young as Lancôme’s special guests start to stream into the Raffles Hotel Casuarina suite, decked out in the evening’s opulent gold, white and rose dress code. An elegant tri-coloured rose bower, one of the many nods throughout the night to the French beauty house’s long-standing romance with the rose, frames the entrance and invites guests to snap a couple of welcome shots under the nodding blooms.
The conviviality and warmth shared by the Lancôme ambassadors and the guests can’t help but remind one of being at a family function – some of these friendships go back as far as 30 years as loyal customers have followed equally devoted counter staff through the decades.
“I’ve been using Lancôme since the ’70s,” one of the guests Grace, a lovely mother of four and die-hard Génifique loyalist, shares with me over dinner. “I’ve tried other brands over the years, but have never lasted beyond a bottle before returning to Lancôme. It’s my favourite.”
Lily, on the other hand, only just discovered Lancôme Absolue Soft Cream when it launched at the start of the year, and has not looked back since. “It’s a very special cream,” says the trader, who is in her early 30s, “I love trying all sorts of beauty products, but this one makes my skin feel different – very soft.”
In the gilded reception area, some of Lancôme’s shining stars of skin regeneration in delicate gold, black and rose tubs are a-plenty with tiny spatulas to be spread on proffered cheeks and backs of hands, for full appreciation on the skin.
In pride of place is the ultra-luxurious Lancôme Absolue range, featuring all-time favourites Absolue Soft Cream, Absolue Revitalizing Oleo Serum and Absolue Revitalizing Eye Cream. Complete with the Absolue L’Extrait, Absolue White Aura and Absolue Precious Cells ranges, guests luxuriate in brief pampering sessions under winking chandeliers.
The story of Lancôme and its 80-year legacy of French heritage and craftsmanship never gets old – of the fabled beginnings of the iconic Lancôme rose, bred from tens of thousands of hybrids to produce the one perfect deep magenta bloom.
It is apt, then that dinner service features a specially created rose-inspired menu with such delectable items as Rose Sherbet and Watermelon Jelly, and Raspberry Rose Sorbet – all delicious and refreshing on the palate.
As the wine flows, so does the light-hearted conversations all round, above the tinkling of glasses and piano keys. Jokes and pleasantries are exchanged with familiar faces from past Lancôme events and showcases, and even children and other family members are asked after.
The rose-tinted night draws to a close as each guest leaves with a fond hug, early Christmas wishes and a special bag of Lancôme gifts for more home pampering. The delicate scent of roses lingers, as do memories of a happy night.
Images and video footage by Yong Kwang Wei. Video edited by Charlene Chong. All artwork by Curatedition, all rights reserved.