Morocco is the heart and soul behind Kahina Giving Beauty. Our new ESSAOUIRA BODY SERUM is inspired by the breezy village by the sea.
Here, Kahina founder and CEO Katharine L’Heureux reflects on her experiences in Essaouira.
When was the first time you traveled to Essaouira?
Essaouira was my first stop on a journey to discover the argan forests in January of 2008. After discovering argan oil on a trip to Morocco the previous year, I returned to learn all that I could about the precious oil, where it grows and the methods of its production. The argan forests begin around Essaouira and continue south and east. I always make sure to spend a couple of days relaxing and enjoying Essaouira before delving into the more rugged argan region to the south.
What makes Essaouira different from all the other cities in Morocco?
Essaouira has a rich history as complex as the history of Morocco itself. Conquered by the Portuguese in the 15th Century as a fortress against the Spanish, it was reclaimed by the King of Morocco 150 years later. Under Moroccan rule, a French architect was hired to design the city in the 18th Century. So you have this amazing juxtaposition of Portuguese fortress, French architecture, and Muslim culture. Because it is in Southern Morocco, it can be very traditional, but Essaouira has also inspired generations of musicians, famously including Jimmy Hendrix, and so it attracts an interesting mix of visitors today. I love all the layers, but most of all I love that it is really just a sleepy port city without the bustle and glitz of Marrakesh just two hours away.
What is your strongest memory of Essaouira?
When I think of Essaouira, I think of beautiful blue everywhere – blue boats in the harbor, blue shuttered windows against whitewashed walls, blue taxis, all in the most beautiful shade. After the dusty chaos and sand colors of Marrakesh, it is always such a relief to arrive here and breathe the fresh ocean air and just relax.
What elements of Essaouira do you feel are captured in ESSAOUIRA Body Serum?
Fresh and crisp, yet sultry at the same time, I wanted a scent that would evoke the breeziness of the Moroccan seaside village. Floral notes mingling with citrus and wood make me think of rose geraniums in blue pots against white washed walls in meandering alleyways amidst vendors selling fresh orange juice and the scent of sandalwood wafting from the apothecary.
For Katharine’s Essaouira travel tips with can’t-miss spots, click here.