Monday 27 March 2023

GERANIUM No.1 by C.Atherley

A jar of Geranium No.1 Bath Salts from C.Atherley, the new company from Cath Kidston Padgham and Heathcote & Ivory
National Fragrance Week is a celebration of all things scented, and it’s seven days during which the perfume industry goes full throttle in its attempt to both educate as well as encourage customers to purchase. The main focus is always centred on liquid perfume, although more recent years have seen candles and diffusers vying for some attention as well, but there’s a whole category that often gets overlooked. I’m talking about bathroom products. These are the first things we reach for in the morning and the post-work relaxers that send us to bed at night. So, let’s raise the flag and discover the new Geranium No.1 collection from C.Atherley.

Cath Kidston is a name that’s as synonymous with the high street as Jo Malone and, in a similar way, became a brand name in itself. When Cath decided to exit the company completely she had to leave her name behind, and many wondered whether we would hear of this talented entrepreneur again. She now goes by Cath Kidston-Padgham, incorporating her record producer husband’s surname, and C.Atherley is her latest venture. The company name honours the surname of her geranium-loving grandmother, but also pops her own initial at the front as a personal link to the generations of women that have gone before.

A bottle of Geranium No.1 Body Wash from C.Atherley, the new company from Cath Kidston Padgham and Heathcote & Ivory
C.Atherley came out of Cath’s fascination and love of geraniums, which she vividly recalls surrounded the kitchen door in her childhood, but the pandemic gave her an unexpected opportunity to truly appreciate these scented beauties. This was when she first wondered whether a complete range of natural products could be created that would bring the plants to a wider audience. The scent of geraniums is revealed when you rub the leaves between your fingers, a very intimate connection with nature, and so it seemed obvious that the range should focus on bath and body products rather than the more traditional fragrance-first approach.

The geranium that she chose was the Radens Pelargonium, which is known widely as a “tender geranium”, and has a lemony rose scent with distinct green facets. So, Cath took the plant to a natural perfumer and he recreated the living scent of the leaves using essentials oils that, in combination, are known to act on both mood and the skin. This wasn’t just the usual “earthy floral” that appears in many fragrance notes, what they achieved was a photo-realistic conjuring of the actual scent. Cath has partnered with Heathcote & Ivory to help create the products, and the ethical and sustainable credentials of their combination is to be applauded.

A bottle of Geranium No.1 Bubble Bath from C.Atherley, the new company from Cath Kidston Padgham and Heathcote & Ivory
The aroma opens with a delicious note of grapefruit and lemon myrtle, so you’re instantly captivated, before the rose nuances start to come through. These are kept in the background, because an inspired combination of powdery chamomile and lavender take focus with their delicate campherous hay accord. The green edge is elegantly provided by a perfectly dosed mint, before a woody resin arrives courtesy of expertly balanced cedarwood and frankincense. The fragrance you shower with or soak in is, in my opinion, more important that the fragrance you spray, and Geranium No.1 makes luxury affordable and indulgence a necessity.

The Geranium No.1 collection consists of a full range of vegan bath and body products, as well as a nourishing oil and hand cream, and is available from the C.Atherley website at with prices ranging from £10 to £39. [Products shown were purchased]

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