Western Living Magazine
These Are Your Top 5 Finalists for the 2022 WL Home of the Year!
The Home Tour: Black, White and Textured All Over in Vancouver
BEFORE AND AFTER: This 1970s Vancouver Home Goes from Drab to Fab in a Gorgeous Modern Renovation
Wine of the Week: Start Drinking Beaujolais or Christmas Is Cancelled
Recipe: Coconut Lemon Amaretti
New ‘House Special’ Docuseries Charts the Bittersweet Nostalgia of Chinese-Canadian Cuisine
Discover the Perfect Winter Getaway in Penticton
The Ultimate Winter Staycation Guide 2023: 6 Great Places to Explore in B.C.
B.C. Winter Staycation Guide 2023: 48 Hours in Tofino
Western Living’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide
2022 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Kitchen Aficionado
2022 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Homebody
Introducing Western Living’s 2022 Designers of the Year Award Winners
WL Architects of the Year 2022: Measured Architecture
WL Robert Ledingham Memorial Award for an Emerging Interior Designer 2022: Studio Roslyn
Founder Nicholas Fritz wants a little "something luxurious" for everyone.
At first glance, “chocolatier” might not be an obvious stepping stone to becoming a skincare savant—but a closer look reveals a through line between the careers. At least that’s the case for Nicholas Fritz, founder of Vancouver Island’s Asklepios Garden: a decade back, a friend was starting up a skincare line and thought Fritz’s knack for tempering chocolate and working with cream fillings as an apprentice in a Bowen Island chocolate shop might come in handy. Her hunch was right, and together, she and Fritz took their Sangre de Fruta brand all the way to the pages of Vogue.
It’s this experience—paired with a background in graphic design and a return to school to formally study the science of skincare—that make Fritz’s own Asklepios brand so compelling. Pretty, potion-like packaging; plant-based ingredients blended with care; and (here comes that chocolate piece) a passion that’s downright Willy Wonka-like (though Fritz’s choices in headwear are far more stylish).
Asklepios is the Greek god of healing; his symbol (a serpent wrapped around a staff) has been used by doctors for centuries. Asklepios Garden’s own logo plays off of that classic icon, with a a snake elegantly coiling itself around the stem of a rose.
Fritz’s skincare studies are rooted in European cosmetic standards (which are among the strictest in the world) and witnessing his mother and grandmother mixing homemade balms and lotions growing up. But the elegance of Asklepios’ serums and cleansers go far beyond the homespun or health-food-store products he grew up with. “I have a respect for nature, but I also wanted to create something luxurious—something high quality in which everyone could take pleasure,” Fritz says. The Rose Euphoria Glow body oil is what Fritz calls “a luxurious moment,” while the Élixir du Poèt floral facial toner is crafted to inject moisture in with hyaluronic acid, even as it soothes and tones.
The goal with everything from the adaptogen-packed Crème Fraîche cleanser to the Prima Materia serum (made with omega-rich sea buckthorn oil and hydrating borage oil) is to protect the natural moisture barrier, promote collagen production, and deliver nutrients deep into the epidermis. Scents come from essential oils—ones that are appealing genderless. “It was important for me that every product had a grounding luxurious scent, to either invigorate or calm the mind,” says Fritz. “The goal is to create a ritual that you really look forward to and enjoy doing because it feels beautiful.”