Botanical Beauty by Susanne Kaufmann
Imagine the quintessential Alpine village—superior winter sports, an impressive landscape, and local traditions that charm and befuddle foreign visitors in equal measure—and you’ll likely have conjured a scene from Austria’s Bregenz Forest, located on the north side of the Alps. Populated around the year 1000, the region has largely maintained its traditional farming structure, thanks to its altitude (high) and topography (hilly). Ask locals for the secret behind the delicious milk and cheese for which the Bregenzerwald is famous, and they will point to the unique diet of their cows: alpine herbs from the mountain pastures.
“It’s like a huge nature preserve,” says Susanne Kaufmann, who grew up in the region, where her family has operated the Hotel Post Bezau since 1850. Kaufmann took over the management of the hotel from her mother two decades ago, when she was just 23. Among her first priorities was the hotel spa. As a child, she had joined her knowledgeable grandmother in herb-gathering expeditions; now she sought a way to bring the power of Alpine flora to the spa’s treatments and ultimately, to a line of products.
“My family’s hotel is located in a small village, surrounded by mountains. It is peaceful, beautiful, and warm. The spa is part of the hotel, but it has a distinct identity—here I wanted a white, pure look. The focus is on the therapies, the people, and the products.”Susanne Kaufmann
“Natural medicine plays an important role in the Bregenzerwald. There are still people here who work as healers, and the belief in traditional medicine and recipes is strong. I wanted to take ideas rooted in these old recipes and transform them with scientific experience into effective products.”Susanne Kaufmann
“I wanted to take ideas rooted in these old recipes and transform them with scientific experience into effective products.” She worked with pharmacists and dermatologists to develop modern, effective, and “uncompromisingly natural” formulas fueled by traditional ingredients ranging from marigold blossoms and honey to witch hazel and pumice powder.
Her line of Susanne Kaufmann Organic Treats debuted in 2003. The products are innovative in their ability to deliver intensive effects in soothing, balancing formulas. The botanical body care range includes Body Scrub, Body Butter, and Body Oil, while the bath oils are formulated to transform a relaxing ritual into a skin-restoring soak with the help of ingredients such as cinnamon, clove, and orange oils as well as those derived from the ylang-ylang tree and patchouli plant. Each has a fragrance that is uplifting yet not overpowering, like a brisk Alpine breeze.
The glass jars—filled, sealed, and packaged by hand in the company’s factory—put the focus on the precious ingredients inside, while the understated white labels nod to the region’s wealth of architects and designers as well as the spa Kaufmann has created at the Hotel Post Bezau. “The spa is part of the hotel, but it has a distinct identity—here I wanted a white, pure look,” explains Kaufmann. “The focus is on the therapies, the people, and the products.”