Focus On: Flamingo Estate
How an upscale veg delivery scheme in Los Angeles launched Flamingo Estate, one of our new Beauty and Grooming brands.
A porn studio in the 40s and 50s and the mid century setting for infamous demi monde Hollywood parties, the Estate, set high in the hills above Los Angeles, is now 7 acres of lush orchard, dense planting and joyful landscaping around a pink (hence the flamingo of the name) stucco Spanish style house, atop a flight of 75 brick steps. In honour of its hedonistic past, the current owner is cultivating pleasure from the garden.
Flamingo Estate is owned by Richard Christiansen, founder of New York branding agency Chandelier Creative: the restoration of the original building and development of the site a result of a fortuitous meeting between Christiansen (son of Australian bee farmers and himself a knowledgeable bee keeper) and the eccentric former owner of the house who had an interest in all things apiary.
Christiansen’s credo is that pleasure is a human right. At the centre of his life at Flamingo Estate is a large concrete bath house which faces east and catches the morning sunlight through its huge custom glass windows. With water a precious commodity in Southern California, waste water from baths and showers is used to irrigate the garden. The impetus for making the bath and body range was to develop formulations for shampoos, conditioners and body washes which were effective, natural, beautifully fragranced and would cause no damage to the plants in the garden.
During lockdown Christiansen offered to help a farmer friend, who was struggling to sell her produce through the usual retail channels. Using his Owl Bureau bookshop in the city as a base, Flamingo Estate became the hub for an upscale scheme to sell local fruit and vegetables. I love a Riverford veg box but it most certainly doesn’t include Chrissy Teigen’s homemade jam.
Australian Wattle, Bergamot Rind and Tuscan Rosemary Shampoo for soul-stirring hair washing (and that’s the kind of hair washing we crave). Lavender, Tulsi, and Eucalyptus Conditioner to smooth hair, support strength and elasticity, and soothe your senses (I know, all this in a conditioner). Sage, Blue Eucalyptus and St John’s Wort Invigorating Body Wash is part of our new morning ritual, offering clarity, cleanliness and daily thrill (and we love a thrill with a shower). Sage, Ylang Ylang, Tulsi, Desert Yarrow and Blue Chamomile Hand Wash: the natural antiseptic properties of Sage are complemented by Blue Chamomile to help promote heart-opening joy and relaxation (yes absolutely. Please). And the candles smell utterly amazing: Heirloom Tomato (and it’s just like Proust’s madeleines, I am straight back in my grandfather’s greenhouse); Climbing Tuscan Rosemary; Adriatic Muscatel Sage.