Subtle fragrances + Exquisite craftsmanship: Palais de Chine Titillates The Senses
Palais de Chine has been the talk of the town for its eye-pleasing understated French elegance and its palate-tantalizing gourmet meals. That does not mean the rest of the five senses have been assigned a lower priority. Come walk with me and let me show you the great lengths the hotel has undertaken—from the amenities in the guest rooms to the whiffs of delicate fragrance in the lobby—to soothe the weary traveller’s body and soul.
Luxurious Amenities and Artefacts
Many travelers love to collect the little bottles of bath gel and shampoo as tokens of their hotel stays. If you have this habit yourself, you should not miss the Palais de Chine Hotel. Its luxurious line of amenities, which includes bath gel, body lotion, shampoo, and conditioner are contained in exquisite snuff bottles commissioned especially for the Palais de Chine. They are so adorable no guest can resist taking them home.
The soap dish is also specially designed for the Hotel. Inspired by the inkstone, reputedly the head of the “Four Treasures of the Study” ( i.e., paper, inkstick, writing brush, and inkstone), the soap dish is fashioned out of clay and fired in the kilns in Ying-Ge. It is both practical and aesthetically pleasing. The dish has a higher end and a lower end. In the inkstone, the higher end is a flat surface where ink is produced by grinding an inkstick in a small amount of water; the lower end is a cavity for the containment of the ink thus produced. In the soap dish, the soap sits intact on the higher end as all the water drains into the lower. The soap will never turn soggy from sitting in a puddle of water. Clever, eh?
To compliment the soap dish, was painstakingly give the soap the semblance of a piece of “mutton fat” white jade. The crème de la crème of all jades, “mutton fat” white jade symbolizes all that is good and beautiful, elegant, gentle, and auspicious. It is also the embodiment of the noble characters of benevolence, righteousness, intelligence, valiance, and integrity of a scholar. The semblance is such that many a guest has been fooled into thinking someone had left behind a family heirloom!
Instead of the ubiquitous PVC trays found in all other hotels, Palais de Chine’s ceramic towel tray is inspired by China’s “bi-xi,” or brush-cleaning jar. The three slots are aligned to read like the character “pin,” which makes up part of the hotel’s Chinese name of Jun-Pin ( literally Noble Character). It is a reminder of the hotel motto of “pin-ge,” or character; “pin-de,” or morals; and “pin-wei,” or taste. The tray’s fluted edge, incidentally, helps to keep the towels in place.
Inkstones, brush-cleaning jars, and snuff bottles are the must-haves of ancient China’s privileged scholarly echelon. Palais de Chine has seamlessly incorporated and adapted them into functioning necessities for its guests. The sole purpose is to make guests feel honoured and spoiled.
Essential Oils. Heavenly Scent.
“Perfume,” written by the German author Patrick Süskind, is a novel that explores the sense of smell. The story follows Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a perfume apprentice with a great nose, as he hunts for the “perfect scent” in 18th Century France.
The sense of smell is truly unique. It is not tangible. It can neither be perceived by the eyes nor tasted by the tongue. Yet it permeates and it lingers. It is like remembering a warm embrace, a brilliant summer afternoon, or an unforgettable journey.
Palais de Chine Inn Keeper deems the sense of smell the most important of the five senses. It certainly is the most nostalgic because “ a unique smell will create a lasting memory for the guest, reminding him or her of a pleasant lodging experience.” This is why our Inn Keeper has again commissioned aromatherapist Zhen-Yun Wang, who already created a successful scent for Fleur de Chine Hotel in Sun Moon Lake, to design a scent that is unique to Palais de Chine. Miss Wang, reflecting on the trend which is just taking root in the hotel industry, LDC Hotels & Resorts, like Aman Resorts, actually have essential oils added to their bath amenities and have the same oils diffused throughout the public areas for the benefit and enjoyment of the guests.
Miss Wang began blending and experimenting with different essential oils. She finally settled on clary sage as the base note for Palais de Chine’s scent and complemented it with pine, balsam, and rosemary. The quartet was chosen for their properties. Clary sage has a calming effect, which is exactly what Palais de Chine has in mind for its guests. Pine brings to mind the extensive use of wood in the hotel’s décor. Balsam and rosemary together furnish the soul with calmness to help eliminate negative thoughts. You can buy all these in the gift shop of six floor in Palais de Chine Hotel.
Snuff is a nicotine-containing product made of pulverised tobacco. It originated in the Americas, became popular in Europe, and was introduced to China during the Qing-Long Era (1567-1572) of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
With the increased popularity of snuff, artisans devised little bottles to contain the powder. Snuff bottles soon became ‘objets d’art’ and a status symbol. The more expensive ones were made out of porcelain, ivory, agate, and jade.
As artisans became more versed in the craft, they began to lavish carvings, paintings, calligraphy, glazes, and inlays upon their works. The miniature masterpieces then became one of the most important representatives of China’s applied arts and were bestowed as great favours by emperors on their ministers and subjects.