LONDON — It claims to be one of the most advanced skin care ranges in the world and yet, derived entirely from plant-based medicine, there’s nothing technological about it.

This story first appeared in the June 16, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“I spent 18 months looking for something that wasn’t at all toxic or chemically enhanced,” said Natasha Bhatia, a former venture capitalist and now — as of earlier this year — owner of Nascent Organic, together with partner Elena Sheridan-Young. “When I stumbled upon the products, I immediately fell in love with the ethos and philosophy behind it.”

Nascent — meaning “to be born” in Latin — is the result of 12 years of testing, trying and tweaking by a group of dermatologists in Denmark.

The line, which launched in the U.K. at Selfridges a year ago and is expected to make its move to the U.S. by yearend, is made from 91 percent of certified organic ingredients; the remaining 9 percent is made up from wild-grown ingredients. Because of this, the products obtain the highest levels of antioxidants, essential in combating aging processes, with no chemical compromise, said Bhatia.

There are no synthetic colors or fragrances, no preservatives and not even any almond-, hazel- or peanut-based ingredients.

The line comprises just five products. There’s a 50-ml. face moisturizing cream priced at $42 and lotion for $37 that promises to restore moisture, softness and glow; a 20-ml. eye cream at $21 for sensitive skin; a 125-ml. cleanser for $25 with chamomile and sandalwood to soothe irritations, and a 5.5-ml. lip saver containing shea butter, jojoba oils and aloe vera priced at $9. All prices have been converted from the British pound at current exchange rates.

Although it’s a limited collection, having such a compact line does have its advantages. “Quite often women will buy the entire range,” said Sheridan-Young. “Not just because the products work so well together, but also because it’s cheap to do so.”

However, there are plans to expand the line. A body lotion is almost ready and a “holistic” facial, devised by a leading therapist at Dr. Hauschka is set to launch by the end of June.

In contrast to the current trend of squeezing every pore and blasting the skin with exfoliates, the Nascent facial will leave a healthy glow, not a series of red patches.

“People have facials to feel and look great — I’ve never understood the idea of a facial that leaves you looking worse than when you went in,” said Sheridan-Young. “Ours will be very much about looking and feeling radiant.”

The no-fuss packaging is another example of the brand’s simple philosophy — just clean, white pumps with a black typeface and circular logo. “With the packaging especially, it was important to steer clear of any ‘hippy-dippy’ connotations,” said Sheridan-Young. “We also didn’t want to get too carried away with how it should look, that’s not what the product is about.”

“Because it’s nondescript, it works for men, too,” said Bhatia, who added the line was gaining popularity in the men’s market.

Nascent Organic currently has five doors in the U.K. including Selfridges and Organic Pharmacy and 45 doors in Denmark. In addition to the U.S. rollout, plans are also in the works for the brand’s expansion to Scandinavia and Germany later this year.

PARLUX DEAL NIXED: Quality King, a privately held fragrance distributor and marketer, withdrew its proposal to acquire Parlux Fragrances, after failing to line up the approval of its lenders for the all-cash offer, originally made to the Parlux board May 19 by Quality King and Ilia Lekach, the current chairman of Parlux. Quality King first expressed interest in acquiring Parlux, the marketer of several fragrance brands, including Perry Ellis and Jockey, in October.