Sex Dust and vampire repellent: a stroll through Gwyneth Paltrow’s new LA store

Visitors to Goop Lab, the first permanent brick-and-mortar store to feature the actors lifestyle brand, found themselves in something akin to heaven

In the apothecary section, two young women were inspecting shelves with detox kits, Sex Dust, psychic vampire repellent and a shamanic pouch with healing stones that included the goddess stone chrysocolla.

In the kitchen area, a mother and her toddler daughter were leafing through coffee table books with titles like Foraged Flora, Sunday Suppers and Dinner Diaries: Reviving the Art of the Hostess.

Lilli Lee was in the living room area with her friends flicking through a clothes rack and lingered over a pair of lime-green trousers. She examined the price tag. Three hundred dollars. Oh, am I in trouble?

Lee wasnt in trouble. She was in Gwyneth Paltrows new Los Angeles store, the alpha zen actors first permanent brick-and-mortar space of her lifestyle brand Goop, and apparently that felt pretty close to being in heaven.

Its just beautiful, said Lee, 43, indicating the antique mantle, chandelier and blue and magenta wall coverings all inspired, like the rest of the store, by the dcor of a nearby bungalow owned by Paltrow.

The store, called Goop Lab, opened this week in Brentwood Country Mart, a cluster of boutiques in a plush, celebrity-filled neighbourhood near the Pacific Ocean which likes to call malls marts.

The shop is airy, bright and small, just 1,300 sq feet, with soft music and smiling, white-clad staff a physical embodiment of the online store that inspires devotion for Paltrows vision of wellness and scorn for products such as jade stones which women are invited to insert into their vaginas.

The
The dining room area of Gwyneth Paltrows Goop Lab store in Los Angeles. Photograph: Rory Carroll for the Guardian

Its all been choreographed by GP, said Heather Taylor, a store manager, using a term of affection for her boss. All the products are clean. They have nothing that could be harmful to the body.

Some, however, may disembowel the wallet.

The entrance, which mimics a garden, offers buttery and soft deerskin gloves for $48, gold-handled floral scissors for $72 and the prettiest compost bin ever for $175.

Sex
Sex Dust, priced $38 per jar, for sale at Goop Lab in Los Angeles. Photograph: Rory Carroll for the Guardian

Further inside, you find a pair of Portuguese napkin rings with images of sky blue swallows for $56 and a champagne flute for $180. A silk blouse costs $685; a floral dress $795.

The kitchen area is centred around an ivory and brass LaCanche oven where Goop food editors are due to cook and provide demonstrations. Paltrows image beams from the cover of her book, Its All Good: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook ($34).

To the stores guests they are not called customers it was all good. Goop, which Paltrow started as a newsletter in 2008 and turned into a global brand, now had a sanctum: the artfully arranged flowers, the whimsical dcor, the wares which promised to stop ageing and banish bad vibes.

I think its all pretty positive and uplifting, said Heidi Brecker, 36, a longtime fan, as she browsed some dresses . Goop helps keep you young and fresh and vibrant. Brecker, it should be noted, looked about 26.

The stores vibe reminded her of London, where she used to live. It feels very Westbourne Grove.

One can only speculate what Little Nell would have made of a curiosity shop where nothing is supposed to grow old.

Brentwood Country Mart is sufficiently LA to have a sign in the car park reminding visitors theyre not at the beach: Wear shirts and shoes. Leave dogs outside No skateboards or rollerblades.

During the Guardians visit, all Goops customers were slender white women, save the toddler, who seemed destined to become one. She rummaged through the kitchenware, picking items at random. What have you got there, honey? asked her mom. Nice! You have good taste.

Some guests came out of curiosity, but all felt Goops magic, said Taylor, the manager. Nobody can come here and not buy anything. Everybody leaves with something.

Walmart and Debenhams take note: options in the apothecary included jars of Sex Dust, a lusty edible formula alchemized to ignite and excite sexy energy in and out of the bedroom ($38) and bottles of psychic vampire repellent, comprising sonically tuned gem elixirs ($30).

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Psychic vampire repellent, priced $30 per bottle, for sale at Goop Lab. Photograph: Rory Carroll for the Guardian

The medicine bag pebbles included black obsidian for grounding and protection, carnelian for support for female issues, lapis lazuli for the speaking of ones truth and clear quartz for connection with your higher self, intuition and spirit guides ($85). There was no sign of vaginal jade stones.

Kitchenware included a $50 rolling pin with wood apparently reclaimed from the Atlantic City Boardwalk, a type of rare south American hardwood some of which is extinct today, according to Goops website. All products, it says, are designed to let people shop with meaning.

Goop collaborated with the design firm Roman and Williams to mix custom and vintage dcor, Brittany Pattner, Goops experiential creative director, said via email. Our headquarters are a short drive away from the store, so we see it as an extension of our home. A lab of sorts for us to experiment in, connect with our community of readers and shoppers.

Goop had plans for further retail expansion, Pattner added. We hope to share more news about that soon.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/22/sex-dust-and-vampire-repellent-a-stroll-through-gwyneth-paltrows-new-la-store