I used to love House of Rose. It's a Japanese skincare and beauty brand that this year will celebrate its 40th birthday. House of Rose prides itself on providing cosmetics that are "friendly for the skin." Its products are based on plant extracts and milk derived ingredients. House of Rose wants the customers to fall in love with its skincare and become loyal, long-term users.
Despite being "natural," House of Rose skincare is ridiculously cosmetically elegant, mostly expensive, and dare I say, effective. The Refining White (with tranexamic acid) line is pure gold.
The only thing that House of Rose does not have is a solid SPF50+ sunscreen. Sad. That was one of the reasons why I didn't visit their counter at the local mall more often.
Apart from Refining White, another reason why I loved House of Rose was the fact that it had a licensing agreement with Disney. If you buy a character hand cream at Tokyo Disneyland, you are buying a House of Rose product.
Yes, I'm a huge Alice fan. I can't help it. All these cute Disney goodies are made in Japan and are available exclusively at Tokyo Disneyland. I'm going there next week, actually. Yay!
The exception seems to be Winnie the Pooh, as you can find Pooh's image on honey-based products sold at regular House of Rose counters.
This is the shop selling Disney-branded House of Rose products at Tokyo Disneyland:
The name is La Petite Parfumerie and it's located in the Adventureland part of the park.
House of Rose was always my go-to place when I needed suitably fancy, but still (kind of) affordable gifts. And that is why last week I was standing in front of the House of Rose counter at a local mall. I stood there pondering which ones of the ready-made gift sets to grab. They included a hand cream, or a body butter, and a bath bomb. All beautifully packaged and ready for gift-giving.
The bath bombs had subtle and a lot more natural smelling scents than Lush next door.
I made my selections of sakura hand creams and bath bombs and body butters, paid, and the woman at the counter started to gift wrap my purchases.
I mean, you can't go wrong with a House of Rose gift, can you?
And then I picked up one of the bath bombs and looked at the back of the label carefully.
What did I see?
Made in China.
Made in freaking China.
Sorry, not sorry, but I do not buy beauty products made in China. The country can't get something as essential as a baby formula right, and I am supposed to trust it with cosmetics? No. Just no.
That is the reason why I do not buy L'Oreal or Maybelline products sold in Japan - they are made in China. Hardly anyone I know, except for foreigners perhaps, buys them, for precisely the same reason.
Now sadly, I will have to add House of Rose to the list of companies I am going to avoid. Why? If a drugstore brand makes its products in China, well, they are drugstore cosmetics sold at drugstore prices.
If a department store brand sells made in China beauty products, I have a problem with it.
I asked to cancel my purchase, removed all bath bombs from it, and settled on made in Japan bath salts instead.
This really saddens me, because House of Rose does have great skincare. However, I just can't support a "natural" and quite expensive brand that sells beauty products that are made in China.
I really wanted to buy some of this sakura line for myself, because it does smell divine, but in the name of principles, I didn't. I only bought the gifts. Then I tossed my loyalty card in the trash and went over to the next counter, to HABA, to buy skincare for me.
Bye bye House of Rose.
It was nice knowing you.