The writer goes under a profusion of fruits overlaid with flowers for a lush facial

I know I'm in good hands. Those hands are softly ministering to my face, tip-tapping their way across the landscape of my cheeks, softly stroking my brow, leaving no part of my city-battered visage alone. My face flowers under this attention but there's something else that adds to the delight of the experience: the fragrance of flowers, fruit and cream. I'm in good hands. The hands belong to Kulu Phokela, the owner of the Shahnaz Husain Herbal Parlour down Ali Askar Road, off Cunningham Road. And Kulu has only recently received official acknowledgement for those magical hands of hers: she has been awarded the Best Shahnaz Husain Herbal Franchisee award for south India.

I'm undergoing the fruit and flower facial at Kulu's parlour. I've seen the faces of a brace of friends who have emerged from her parlour after a fruit and flower facial and nothing is going to sway me from that. Especially given that the fruits involved are a combine of apple, melon, banana, orange, papaya, with honey as the base.

The beauty of the facial lies in its simplicity. Kulu first cleans my face, neck, as well as my upper chest and back with Sharose cleanser (all Shahnaz products used here, of course). The delicate scent of rose wafts up to my nostrils. Next come the vegetable peel, Egyptian lotus cream massaged for a quarter of an hour.

Just as I sink into a pleasant stupor, a vibrator is applied to my face for about five minutes. It's a very gentle motion which wakes the skin up. After the cream is removed, along comes the scrub, Shagrains mixed with Sharose.

The true magic of Kulu's fingers come into play here, as she massages the scrub in, with just the right amount of pressure. Then the scrub is removed and my face is given a stern look-over for any lurking blackheads or whiteheads; unfortunately, a few are stealthily skulking around so they are removed, Kulu ignoring my winces. Some discomfort is worth the glow-to-come, I figure.

What follows makes up for the earlier discomfort. A lavender cold compress is applied to the face, neck, back and all is well again! After which, the hollyhock and fruit pack goes on the face and neck, a cucumber pack on the eyelids. I'm left alone in the quiet calm room to muse on the merits of flowers, breathing in the delicious scent of fruits.

The facial winds up with a 40-second oscillation massage of my face, neck, back, with Sharose again. I'm gently helped onto my feet and led to the large mirror that runs the length of one wall in the room.

What can I say? I like what I see! I love how my face feels. And the floral fragrance lingers on for hours afterwards. Nourished, cosseted, feeling yummy are words that come to mind. And stay there for the rest of the day.

For details, contact Kulu Phokela at 2201549/22260423.