Yael Alkalay, creator and founder of the luxury beauty and lifestyle brand red flower, has lived in Manhattan for 15 years, after spending four years in Tokyo. Having lived in many great neighborhoods in New York including the Upper West Side and the Meatpacking District, Yael’s favorite has to be where she now resides in the heart of Chinatown. Her love of urban life, its vibrant energy, relentless creativity and the ageless anonymity feel just right, however it leaves her craving nature and tranquility.

One of Yael’s favorite pastimes is to stroll through the neighborhood, taking pictures and documenting the never-ending evolution of NYC. Perhaps because of her studies in anthropology, the same block passed by every day can still uncover new secrets and transformations. Its familiar sights, sounds and smells are a never ending source of discovery – ginseng from the Chinese medicine vendors wafting from small glass doorways, incense burning from the tiny Buddhist temples, sharp spices, fresh fruit and watching women in their 90’s start their day with graceful tai chi at 6 am year round in the park. It is a constant source of inspiration.

Living in NYC, Yael is constantly on the go. In trying to be committed to the underlying red flower mission of living life fully and healthfully, Yael has found a perfect way to create balance and harmony with the raw energy of NYC and the little cacophony that is her neighborhood. It is this discovery that Yael feels is worth sharing and passing along to everyone who can also benefit from the power of serenity.

“Monday through Friday, I come home and light a candle. Lately I have been craving French lavender. Blended with the leathery warm sharpness of pepperina mint from Cordoba where I traveled with my Argentine family as a child, it has always been one of my favorites. I have started to realize that it is not just the pleasure of the smell, or the symbol of the light but the actual impact it has on my brain that has made it such an essential part of my home coming routine,” says Yael.

red flower’s lavender is sourced from Oregon and France and is distilled by steam to extract the purest lavender fragrance and essential oil available. “It leaves my mind absolutely clarified and balanced and I know it makes me a better person. The natural therapeutic effects of lavender are endless. Upon the lighting the candle, I instantly become less restless,” continues Yael. Lavender is known to aid in the reduction of anxiety and stress and has been shown to relieve pain from tension headaches. The powerful essential oil is also used to treat respiratory infections and is even a natural mosquito repellent. “My home is quiet, with open spaces and clean lines. It is the French lavender candle that refreshes and cleanses the air every evening when I get home after a long day at work.”

The healing effects of lavender can also be experienced in your own daily bathing ritual as well. While living in Tokyo, the Japanese bathhouse and bathing culture changed Yael’s life in the most positive of ways. The sensual and thorough art of caring for the body by blending layers of exceptional ingredients and pure scents deeply into the skin sounds complicated, but in fact are very basic and fundamental. The bath should be a refuge, a place of calm and cleansing for both the mind and the body. By simply adding a few bath products that share the same essential oils used in the red flower lavender candle, you can transform a simple daily ritual into one that is both curative and extraordinary. “I believe that no daily ritual is more important to well-being than to draw a warm bath at the end of the day,” says Yael.

French Lavender Isla Das Rocas Revitalizing Sea Salt Scrub is the essential part of a healthy skin regimen. Unlike other salt scrubs, the Isla Das Rocas Revitalizing Sea Salt Scrub is aloe vera and algae based, delivering a texture that is not greasy on application. It leaves skin incredibly smooth and soft without any uncomfortable slick residue. It’s an indulgently pure blend that removes dry skin, stimulates circulation, firms and softens for a beautiful glow. Scented with botanical and essential oils of lavender, peppermint, rosemary and pepperina, the scrub is naturally cooling, healing and moisturizing.

red flower Hinoki Mint Mineral Bath Soak is an insider secret boost to immunity. red flower customers have described numerous beneficial effects of the soak including curing common colds and healing sore muscles. The hinoki mineral bath soak expertly blends hinoki wood, mint oil, cedar and minerals from the deep earth to lift spirits and relax the body. With the intensely relaxing essences of hinoki and cedar, the purifying and healing effects of sage and lemon and the therapeutic effects of chlorophyll, bathing is transformed. Slip the body into this citrus-mossy scented, mineral-rich bath and release.

red flower Ionizing Vita Toning Flower Mist is the perfect ending to your bathing ritual. An instant boost for your mood, the toning, one-hundred-percent whole essential oil and pure plant hydrosol mist balances the skin and restores the natural pH level, leaving the skin clean, clear and ready to be hydrated. Steam-distilled hydrosols are mildly astringent to help constrict and contract skin tissue. Misting vita creates a rush of negative ions, awakening a sense of health and well-being. Ion steam distillation of rose, rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin C and calming, revitalizing lavender over the face and body refreshes and anti-oxidizes the skin. Negative ions are shown to promote alpha brain waves, improve awareness and reduce anxiety, creating a feeling of joy.