From the court of Louis XIV to today’s red carpet, the soothing and smoothing powers of Pommade Divine have stood the test of time. But the future of this centuries-old wonder-balm looked uncertain until two enterprising fans came to its rescue
Thanks to the determination of two visionary British women, with a 40-year age gap between them – Ania Macadam, 30, and her business partner Diana Heimann (do the maths!) – Pommade Divine has been ‘saved’ for the nation.
‘The first mention of Pommade Divine is in a letter from Marie-Antoinette’s great-grandmother, Princess Elisabeth Charlotte,’ explains Diana, 1962’s Debutante of the Year and former Vogue journalist. ‘Elisabeth Charlotte wrote thousands of letters to friends and relatives in Germany from the court of the French king Louis XIV – she was his sister-in-law,’ continues Ania.
‘In one, dated 1720, she raved about Pommade Divine. “You won’t believe, dear Louise, what a good thing this Pommade Divine is. I am sending you a box, so that you can carry it with you at all times. Another thing this pommade is good for: if you have burned yourself badly with sealing wax and treat it immediately with the pommade, it reduces the pain. I don’t know how one could not like the smell of Pommade Divine…”’
Ania, an ex-Procter & Gamble marketing whiz, realised when she was introduced to the product by Diana’s cousin, with whom she was working in Geneva at the time. ‘Yes, it’s good for bumps, bruises, burns, sunburn, mozzie bites – but it’s the beauty applications that interested me,’ she explains. ‘Lip balm, cuticle softener, flyaway-tamer… It’s great for patches of rough or dry skin. And if I slather it on last thing at night – as a face mask, or as a foot/hand treatment – my skin is baby-soft by morning.’
Diana popped to Boots one day to replenish supplies only to discover that Pommade Divine had gone from the shelves as part of a ‘rationalisation’ by its then owners. ‘I was bereft,’ she remembers. So bereft, in fact, that she rang her banker husband David about it. And unbeknown to Diana, David bought the company for her as a gift.
Pommade Divine has just landed at leading department stores and online retailers.
Source: Daily Mail