The very notion of selling a 1.7oz jar of face cream for $1,000 is in itself absurd. But there are even more reasons for La Prairie's Cellular Cream Platinum Rare to qualify for Dept of Daft. From the packaging which "combines the grace and power of ancient sacred geometry with space-age sleek minimalism", to the key ingredients (smart crystals, climate adjusted hydration and platinum) to how the whole thing came about (more on that in a moment).

Naturally, my first action was to find out more. Predictably, I couldn't find details on the ingredients anywhere. So I sent a polite email to Nordstrom saying that, while La Prairie's Cellular Cream Platinum Rare looked very attractive, I was reluctant to spend $1,000 when I had no idea what it was and, therefore, would someone be kind enough to send me the list of ingredients. That was a week ago and there has been radio silence ever since.

Left to my own devices, I found out that there is an amusing, but also rather revealing origination myth for this potion. Apparently, La Prairie's president Lynn Florio paid a visit to the chemists at Centre des Researches Biocostmetiques and said "I want the platinum standard in a product". To which they said that they had actual platinum. Ms Florio, clearly a woman who is never at a loss for words, replied: "No kidding!".

Now the fact that a metaphor for we want to make a very expensive cream so serendipitously became the key ingredient begs the question as to what platinum will do for us. This thousand buck secret sauce is basically negatively charged platinum and water. However, the CRB scientists say it has an ionic buffer zone that holds in moisture while protecting against free radicals and other damaging forces.

So let's look at those claims a bit more closely. As to platinum protecting against free radicals, there may be something to this. I found a Japanese study on worms that concluded that platinum nanoparticles are a superoxidise dismutase and that the insect's lifespan was prolonged. This is, however, the only evidence I have been able to find.

Perhaps that's why they added in that good old antioxidant standby, resveratol (grape extract). There is also malachite (they do like to mine for ingredients at La Prairie).

I am less convinced by the ionic buffer thing. If you do an internet search on the terms 'platinum ionic buffer zone' the only references that are thrown up are for... yes, you guessed right, La Prarie Cellular Cream Platinum Rare.