Created with longstanding collaborators James Russell and Hannah Plumb, Aesop Cambridge is an artefact of the surrounding water and land. Proximity to academic and archival collections provided further inspiration—the store is a place to leaf through books in quiet comfort, enveloped in botanical textures and aromas.
Like the binding of an antique tome, the shopfront is the hue of well-worn leather. Using both ancient and pioneering techniques, local plant matter is the interior’s primary material. Oversized shelves are made from English freshwater bulrush, harvested and woven by Felicity Irons and her team at Rush Matters, who have brought this archaic and yet renewable practice into the twenty-first century. The bulrush is hand-cut from long punts on the River Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire, then air-dried and sun-bleached before being braided into furniture at the nearby workshop.
Other shelves are formed from hemp—grown just twenty miles from Cambridge—pressed with resin. This dense, tactile material is also inlaid into cabinetry, recalling the burnished surfaces of old writing desks. Underfoot, nineteenth-century floorboards have been polished by two hundred years of footfall.
In this tranquil, studious environment, customers can explore and select from a complete range of skin, hair and body care products, distinguished by botanical and laboratory-generated ingredients of the highest quality. The store’s trained consultants are able to offer advice about products best suited to individual needs.
Aesop was founded in Melbourne in 1987 and today offers its superlative formulations in signature stores around the world. As the company evolves, meticulously considered design remains paramount to the creation of each space.