My favourite flying ritual is going perfume crazy at the duty-free section. I usually end up spritzing myself with a so many different fragrances that I transform into a little perfume ball as I saunter towards my flight. I am partial to niche fragrances but unfortunately most airports tend to stock only mainstream brands. Heaven would be an airport that stocked Le Labo, Frederic Malle, Penhaligons, Diptyque and Jo Malone. Unsurprisingly, I squealed in delight when I came across the newly opened Jo Malone store at Dubai International airport.
I am a Jo Malone fan and have previously been treated to their complimentary hand and arm massage and fragrance tailoring sessions. I've even dragged Ed along to these. Luxurious indulgences are hard to resist and I so I succumbed to yet another session at Jo Malone Dubai. The session, which lasts around 20 minutes, involves a hand and arm wash with a Jo Malone body wash of your choice (or as recommended), a lovely hand and arm massage followed by perfume spritzing and completed by a vitamin E gel massage. Bliss, if you are a perfume-head like me.
The idea is that you choose a fragrance family you like and then experiment with fragrance layering. The Jo Malone website also provides combination suggestions. My all time favourite is Wild Bluebell layered with Blue Agava & Cacao Cologne. I often spritz some on even when when I'm lounging around the house and sometimes before I go to bed. The mix of floral and chocolatey notes is just the perfect the formula for lifting my spirits after a long day. At the recent session, I experimented with Nutmeg & Ginger layered with Pomegranate Noir -a lovely combo of spicy and fresh notes. Ed tried the newly launched Earl Grey & Cucumber with Amber & Lavender- it smelt musky and macho yet had a lovely freshness to it. Jo Malone fragrances lie quite close to the skin so I sometimes experiment layering them with stronger scents like Hermes or a woody Penhaligons scent to enhance sillage.
But, this post isn't just about Jo Malone. Besides perfume-mania, below are other little things ( in my experience) that help make flying (especially long haul) feel luxurious even if you fly cattle class like me...
Seats: Due to Ed's long legs, we always try and get emergency exit seats on flights. You can't book these online and so you need to get to the check-in desk early. They make the worLd of difference, even if you have little legs like me. You can also be cheeky and ask for complimentary upgrades at the gates- just make sure you scrub up well.
Foot massage: Most airporst have massage facilities. I've found that it costs about £10-£20 on an average ( depending on where in the world you are) for a 15-20 min foot massage to soothe tired feet and improve circulation. Just what you need to cope with several hours of travelling in a pressure vessel. I must add that I've found that full body massages don't really work for me while flying-I tend to feel a bit rough after.
Sleep Lounges: Not all airports do these and I think they are missing a trick. Singapore has the best I've seen so far. The Rainforest Lounge has sleep pods that can be hired for an hourly rate in between connecting flights or whilst waiting for a silly-hour flight. They also offer light bites and fantastic massages. If you do your research before you fly, you will be able to either find airport transit hotels that offer hourly rates or you could negotiate a rate to get into one of the posh business class lounges. Sleep, as you know, can do wonders to your feeling of wellbeing
Flying Fresh: Ed introduced me to the concept of showering in between flights-I did not think it would help when you are getting into a manky plane again but it did. You can choose to use the free shower facilities available at most airports or for a small charge, use a hotel facility with all the toiletries, towels etc included. The Dubai International Hotel has one of the best facilities for this-for about £7 you get an hour's use of a shower cum dressing room with fluffy towels, a bathrobe, slippers and good quality toiletries. It made a huge difference to how I felt after many hours of flying. Also, carry a small pot of moisturiser, wipes, a face spritzer and toothpaste & brush to keep you feeling fresh up in the air.
Duty Free Shopping: Did you also know that most of the posh duty free stores offer a reserve and collect service? Airport duty free sections are also ideal for investment purchases. The Heathrow Duty Free used to be one of the best places to buy a classic Chanel bag (up to £500 cheaper for a Chanel 2.55) but they have recently stopped selling their classics at airports. You can still buy other styles for much cheaper. Also, if you plan to fly around the January sales time, you are likely to get up to 70% off on brands like Mulberry, Miu Miu, Ferragamo and Smythson in their annual sales. Fab or what?!
Have you got some more ideas on how to make flying more enjoyable? Ann x