Haute Flash Perfume Oil, be sure to add the uniquely homespun candle to your cart. Influenced by fresh white botanicals, Haute Flash is a cornucopia of indulgently fresh Gardenia set amidst a bouquet of Jasmine, Tuberose and Lily of the Valley.
Reminiscent of spring’s first inhale, the hand poured 100% soy candle imparts the most precious of green Gardenias to illuminate your personal space with its soot-free, moderately clean burn. The authenticity of the deep and strong throw lies in the wide pool of wax that wholly gives off sweet tempered wafts of cozy florals. Refined and ready to awaken the senses with a reminder that perfumers always manage to have some astute sense to scent candles just the way we like them - with a luminous character.
$30 available at Fumme.com.
perfect little something ($125) to get your body back into check and into its rightful spirit. Saturate and delight your skin’s sense with this ultra-luxe formulation of Aloe Vera juice, organic Bulgarian Rose hydrolate, and a proprietary In Fiore tincture.
Why it matters: This skin-invigorating tonic is like nature’s dew; actually think of it as an essential step in your skincare regimen as it preps the skin to better receive topical restorative treatments by stimulating circulation, restoring epidermal balance and hydrating simultaneously. Medicinal extracts you’ve probably never heard of - Astragalus Root, Red Clover, Mullein Leaf and Oregon Grape Root - are renowned for their healing and anti-bacterial properties. For example, the perennial herb Red Clover has a strong antispasmodic effect on asthma and coughs and also helps alleviate the itch with eczema.
Why it impresses: Because pumping a few spritzes of the faintly scented tonic after a bath helps firm up skin, leaving it more supple and primed for the choice of body oil. The price is a bit steep? Fret not, as it also comes in a travel size ($32) to try. And, the mini bottle can be refilled once you fall in deep, deep love with the formula. Rest easy knowing the nutrients with their dry medicinal notes of the delicious Bulgarian Rose will penetrate easily and leave no trace behind. Try spraying generously onto the bristles of a dry brush and dry-brush from the toes to head in long upward strokes for some serious refreshing. Regular dry brushing this way helps stimulates the endocrine, circulation, immune, and detoxifying systems.
The Final Word: Pair the successive spritzes and brushes with a meditative sense for a bi-weekly oohs and ahhs. And, get 20% off either size between now and February 4 when you use the promo code CORPSBEAUTY. Free shipping on the larger size!
You may never have heard about Fumme.com; a new and niche perfumery from Texas that is making some pretty powerful parfum extraits and perfume oils. And, though there isn’t much history behind the brand – founded by the effusive and charming perfumer Lisa Garrard-Rogers – Fumme is going to be one brand to put on your hot list for producing perfume oils and parfum extraits with their carefully balanced spontaneity and impressive command of essences. In short, Fumme has arrived.
It’s a small, undiscovered brand that values grace and distinction in the serene halo of a scent. The best kind if you ask me – devoid of marketing fluff with all the intent and investment spent into the pureness of essences.
As almost anything with white florals, the obsession begins by finding the truest form of the scent. And, nothing that has been hurried together in a slapdash form will do. In this spirit, Haute Flash and White Perfume Oils ($25) continue this thread of through with their sumptuous and chic accords of flowers; easily wearable on their own or fantastically layerable together.
Gardenia fanatics will marvel at Haute Flash’s near replica of the elusive scent. I mean it’s the closest thing I have smelled to a Gardenia; a righteous ode to the innocence of the flower so loved by many. Most iterations tend to weigh on the heavier side, sometimes even offending with the cloy of companion essences. Not Haute Flash.
Imagine if you will the greenest Gardenia imaginable plucked at dawn with its crystalled dew drops in tact. Its wet and creamy unfold ends powdery with a unique and memorable evolution. White florals (I suspect Tuberose, Jasmine and perhaps even Orange Blossom, but my untrained nose can’t be so sure) have been woven into the heart and create the spellbindingly sweet and airy scent. Watch for the expansive diffusion as it impresses for a few hours of long-lasting wear. The unified structure is liner for the most part, but arresting really. But, what a grand Gardenia it is! To enhance the wear, Fumme also offers in a Whipped Souffle ($25) formula for layering.
In contrast is White. A scent that smells like it was made for me. Seriously, I’m not narcissistic, but my reluctance for musk has lately be thwarted as newer, soft-skin musks grab at the attention. White is an energizing and luminous scent, opening first with the unfurl of a quiet, perfunctory play of tuberose, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, and Gardenia. Yes, the notes are similar, but the velvety bouquet is marked by the graceful and ethereal musk. In short – I love it at first hit. A decidedly lucent musk that appears like a fresh flight of fancy every time the wrist passes the nose.
I liked White’s summer chic linger so much that I implored Lisa to create a less concentrated body spray version for my nightly wear. The mall cart and department store versions always seem so garish to me. Stay tuned for whether it can work or not, but it’s the sort of aesthetic that I’ve come to appreciate and well, really want to wear after a shower.
But, that's the kind of challenge I know Lisa likes. Stylishly speaking, even when a brand stays true to their usual standards of care in their compositions, translating a blend from a dense and energetic version to a scintillating softer one isn’t as easy as we’d like to think. So, the wait for me begins.
But, for the scent-obsessed, that’s never really mattered.
Why? That part I more often than not attribute to the quality of ingredients; high grade essentials fortified with proteins. Oils can be divided into many categories – vegan, infused, blended, etc. – but that’s the fun of trying each and every one of them. But, in this instance, I wanted the whole experience, the ohhhh and ahhhh of the spa experience. So, last Sunday I set aside one whole hour to relax with a trio of Tammy’s ingenious products - Beautifying Hair Serum ($65), Epi-Peel ($80) and Bulgarian Rose Water ($65).
As you know by now, weekly hair oil treatments are a must-do in my book. But, the Beautifying Hair Serum is different in that you don’t mask with it as much as you wear it. It’s an ultra-light formulation of the classic carriers – Sunflower Seed, Jojoba and Grapeseed, which are impeccable for their knack to sink in straight on the spot and smooth out that annoying frizz. But, what makes this oil way more interesting are Perilla Seed and Marula oils.
Isn’t it nice to see more of Marula in face and body oils? This is the first time it makes its appearance in a hair treatment. But, Perilla is the newcomer to the scene; the oil has been highly popular in Japan for over a thousand years. It’s got a high alpha-linoleic acid content (50-60%), which helps the skin and hair retain moisture. Itchy, dry follicles will sop up the oil in an instant. Added to these oils is Dulse: a fanciful name for a protein complex, which fortifies each strand.
6:02 PM: I applied a few extra happy helpings of the serum sparingly throughout my wispy locks and allowed the aromatherapy do its work. The scent is a lovely, transcendent olfactory pleasure of Ylang Ylang, which grows warmer and richer with Rose Geranium. Both blend brilliantly with a touch of sheer and green Rosemary, which invigorates the scalp with and aromatic rub.
- You start by using the paste-like treatment as a scrub. Part of the appeal is the exfoliants; ultrafine bits of Lemon and Orange Peel, which slough away the older skin to reveal your radiant glow from within. The granules are so, so fine in size that sensitive skins won’t have an issue with using this 2 to 3 a week.
- Fun fact: Tammy uses her scrub 2-3x a week directly on her Clarisonic.
- I added more of the mask to create a thin, even layer for the first time and left it for about 10 minutes to allow the Kaolin (a natural clay that absorbs excess oil, dirt, and impurities) suck up the grime from my pores. The mask doesn't tighten or pull on skin, which my Retin-A treated skin appreciated.
- It dries gently on the skin allowing the natural active ingredients and essential oils to remove impurities. And inhaling the essences is what we often skip over during our rushed at-home time, no?
6:57 PM: I’m admiring two things:
- the seemingly softer strands that needed very little conditioner as the hair serum did the trick
- the squeaky clean and polished feel of my face. The fixer-upper scrub left pores fresh and clean, which I now prep with the 100% natural Bulgarian Rose Water – which, to me, is the decadent way to tone.
6:59 PM: Seeing spa-like results with the downright dizzying array of certifiably organic oils and such is always the real treat for me. With earthy essences, lively aromas and wholly nourishing formulations, Tammy Fender’s spa-grade luxury products really do speak to you with a deliberate eco-minded sense.
7:01 PM: Now…the wait for next Sunday’s spa night…begins.
Scent Classification: Floral
Viscosity: Ultralight viscosity
With a welcoming but breezy complexity, the smokeless wick helps pretty notes of Lemongrass and spicy Cinnamon scent the surroundings while quite the clean burn shows some intensity without any potent linger. It’s a quiet but memorable Jasmine - subtly intoxicating - that you’ve wanted for when a candle’s scent ought to surprise with a playful spirit. And, surprisingly not shown is the nice touch of a handy bronze-coloured lid, which can use re-used on your other candles.
$38 available at SkinStore.com*.
*15% off sitewide
It comes in a limited edition gold box ($45). Inscribed atop is the Depuis in 1948 insignia. And, without fail…the Rose essence. This time with Jasmine. Something in the spring air always has me fall hard for Rose anything. And, with Jasmine tonalities, you can expect it’ll be a home run with my skin. And, yours.
Could it be the way the Rose calms the senses on the spot? Like we know all too well Rose’s essence will do, even in acneic skins. Is it the subtle sweetness of Jasmine that complements the plant oils - Almond, Avocado, and Wheat Germ? The regenerative properties of their collective fats (which are fortified by skin-loving Vitamins A, D, E) protect skin with a sleek, lustrous coat of moisture without fail. Day or night. Enough of the prose, yes?
Ok. I love the face oil for being made in France, where the invigorating luxury and purity of their ingredients and mythical attributes are sourced righteously from unpronounceable fields that I could only hope to run through some day. The mouthful of words aside, I’m impressed with more is the addition of Willow, Mamee and Carob Germ oils.
For oilier skins, Willow acts as an astringent and has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties, thus bringing down the flare-ups with ease and sensitivity. Mamee and Carob are a bit of a conundrum, as I haven’t seen either in any other face oil before and very little is written about their precise fatty make-up. Research does show how Carob has a moderate penetrating power faster than Olive even. And, I suspect both oils are equally brimming with antioxidants as most carriers are known to bring. Though, seeing new and unusual fortified carriers, which are notoriously hard to find but surely prized, are what give this face oil astonishingly silky richness and make it a great find.
The scent – dotted with Lavender accents - relaxes and refreshes with its hearty essentials; the exoticism of Jasmine plays well with the charm of an earthy Rose. The oil has a sunny freshness to its spread and does sink in straight away without any greasy residue.
Apparently the face isn’t the only place that’ll benefit from its strengthening properties. One reviewer on Amazon swears that the serum worked so well on her “cracking, disgusting toe nails” that she used it the nails on the hands as well. Worked like a charm…go figure.
With its lively floral blend, what more could you want from a face oil?
Scent Classification: Floral
Viscosity: Ultralight viscosity
uplifting balm ($7.99) can help bring you back from the edge of insanity. Or, just cheer you up.
Why it matters: Because science has proven how essential oils and aromatherapy matter. Studies suggest that odors – like Lemon, Sweet Orange and Ylang Ylang - may have therapeutic applications in the context of stressful and adverse psychological conditions. Whether or not Mercury is in some godforsaken retrograde, you can count on this little tin of wonder to help brighten the doldrums by rubbing the teensiest amount over your temples, wrists and even sides of the neck. Inhale deeply and watch the sad, angry, bitter or resentful feelings slip away. And, please – add a positive intent to this application.
Why it impresses: Slivers of Spearmint cut quietly through the floral essentials blended in Olive oil and acts as a mild stimulant to invigorate the senses. Interesting factoid: did you know Hippocrates, in his medical treatise on plants, mentioned mint for its stimulant properties? Citrusy in scent, some of you may want to apply some over tired tootsies for a quick, non-greasy pick-me-up. Just warm up between the fingertips for an even spread.
The Final Word: Finicky moods (hormonal or not) have now met their essential oil match. Welcome back, bliss!
Saffron James is a cool-ish cult find. Carried at Ron Robinson (the purveyor of all things hip in LA), the brand is a line of Hawaiian-inspired fragrances and was founded by a former Elle/Harper’s Bazaar/Lucky beauty editor. Having grown up in Hawaii, Kate Growney knows a thing or two about the Tiare Gardenia and other exotic florals that are more often than not usually sold in synthetic form and packaged up for those weekend 3-for-1 specials. After years of writing on fragrances and the success launch of four wildly popular fragrances at high end retailers like Nordstrom, Saffron James has recently expanded into body oils.
There’s something that excites the nerve when I hear about perfumers getting into the oil side of things. It’s how their brilliant blending efforts always give us richly potent and diffusive oils that are often drawn to simplicity. It’s all about the essence in its purest form, smartly ignoring the contemporary tendency to recreate a scent in an oil base. The bonus is when you can layer the body oils with the house’s signature scents.
Saffron James’ Tiare Body oil ($40) smells like daytime leis, which seem like they are are carefully collected and cut from the first warm days of spring rising above the fragrant fields on the island of Mo’orea in French Polynesia Tahiti. Intensely soaked in a preservative-free Coconut Oil, the hair and body oil really shows off the refined beauty of Monoi in its unadulterated sense. First off, the oil is so pure that is actually solidifies at 76 F with its low melting point. And, because the bottle comes with a convenient pump, be sure to gently warm the treatment in a warm bath of water for a few minutes. Dare you not to microwave this deluxe oil as you’ll just hasten the breakdown of the carrier and essence.
What follows is an astounding quality of an opulent Tiare with an irresistible draw. Gorgeously rich, the sweetened scent remains faithful to its flower’s burst and is warmed by the redolence of the Coconut oil. You can almost imagine the Tiare as a stately scent without the oil base, as the sultry lushness is quite wearable without cloy.
The Tiare inspires so many repeat sniffs, I almost wish for a lighter carrier so I could be able to sniff the Tiare on its own. But, then I wouldn’t have the supremely dense moisturizing effects of the multifunctional Coconut oil, which is loaded with Vitamin E and fatty acids (such as lauric acid, myristic acid, capric acid and more) and helps strengthen underlying tissues and helps remove excessive dead cell on the skin's surface. The super rich oil has also scientifically been shown to work wonders on lifeless manes and split ends. So much so that even Virgin America's flight attendants swear by its use to prevent dehydrated scalps. Warm an ounce or two and work it into your hair as a weekly hair conditioner about a half hour before you shower. The oil does wash out with one shampoo rinse and leaves your locks glimmering with gloss.
Want to get more use out of your Monoi? Try the Monoi oil as an attractive sheen to dry, chapped lips while treating the parched puckers. Or, make your own scented exfoliating face scrub with mixing an equal part of baking soda and oil and massage into face. Rinse with warm water to remove baking soda residue.
Pristinely blended as an homage to Hawaii’s tropical flowers, the Monoi oil is worthy of your bucks.
Scent Classification: Floral
Viscosity: Moderate viscosity
Appreciate the clean wick, which never smokes and needs just the occasional trim. And the intimate throw and diffusion, which is welcomed by those of you who prefer the serenity of the flickering flame over pulsating potent scents.
$19 available at Paddywax.com.
Not quite. It’s not so easy to get the calibration right in a lab blend. And, if you’re unusually drawn to infused oils, then Phoenix Botanicals gets you and your skin the fix it needs. The Wild Rose Face & Eye Serum ($24) is elegant, light and somewhat simple. Rosehip, Jojoba and Sweet Almond oils are infused through regionally harvest Wild Rose petals through a fluid, hand-processed manner which results in an impassioned serum that works nicely under your night cream and doesn’t bring that in-your-face old granny Rose scent.
I know some of you want the merits of a Rose on your skin, but shy away from the usually cloying sweetness that some Turkish or Indian essences can bring. Fear not, friends, as Irina (the joyfully charming blender behind this coveted Etsy brand) sifts her oil blend through rose petals, which bring that tranquil calm and energy to the serum and softens straight away. Irina says:
"The infused wild rose petals impart the natural Rose oil, which is milder for the skin than using the actual essential oil."Rosehip is always the preferred choice for promoting a clear and bright complexion with its copious amounts of Vitamin A, C and Linoleic acid. The first two get into skin the regenerate, but the latter helps with acne. Studies show that acne often occurs in people whose skin lacks sufficient amounts of linolenic acid (a substance your body derives from linoleic acid).
Specifically, the sebaceous glands in skin secrete “sebum,” the natural oils found in all our skin, and acne sufferers have been found to have sebum that lacks a sufficient amount of linolenic acid. Infusing the oils with rose petals helps calm these pesky inflammations without clogging up the pores. The fast penetrating serum leaves no shine behind and…is scent-free!
Sometimes, it’s the simplest things in nature that work as nature’s profound wonders. The mavericks on Etsy get this.
Scent Classification: N/a
Viscosity: Ultralight viscosity
Seeming to juggle both medical science and a personal intent on luxury skincare, Dr. David Colbert has launched a new face oil, furthering the support for oils as valid ingredients that don’t disrupt the epidermal balance. And, if anyone would and could put some high luxury into a serum, it’s Dr. Colbert.
See, before launching his eponymous line of scientifically sound skin treatments, Dr. Colbert served as a dermatological research consultant for Chanel in the holy land of all things luxe - Paris. Armed with this experience and the appreciation for scent, you can expect some pretty capriciously curated oils to make the cut into his Illumino Face Oil ($125).
I’m duly impressed with a doc putting his whole scientific weight behind the use of oils as women age. Specifically, Dr. Colbert says, “Women have mistakenly shied away from facial oils until recently. Once you hit your mid 30s or early 40s its essential to use a weightless oil to replenish our waning internal supply. And, to continue doing so after the the big 4-0 milestone with the help of retinoids." That’s exactly been my regime for now for over two year…and before you ask, no I haven’t gotten up that hill just yet. How astutely fabulous is it to see a certifiably successful derm calling attention to oils and asserting for their continued use? Very.
Illumino is pretty darn weightless. Try a pump, tilt your palm, and you’ll actually see the oil spill like water. Precisely blended within Fractionated Coconut oil are the usually popular carriers - Olive, Marula, Argan, and Grapeseed. But, Dr. Colbert’s formula differs as it also has Passion Fruit, Yangu and Borage oils.
Passion Fruit is what will help reveal smoother, brighter skin as it’s high in Vitamin A and C content. Profoundly light in texture, it blends nicely with the fatty acid rich Yangu oil, which is derived from the holy grail land of antioxidant oils, Africa. What’s interesting to note about Yangu is how the oil also brings a natural UV protective function to the serum. Packaged with an airtight pumps ensures the unadulterated oils keep their potency for a long time to come.
Splurge alert: once you smell the lavish elixir, I can promise you that you'll use it up quicker than you'll want to.
It’s a fruity cocktail of crystallized Passion Fruit with sweetened floral undertones balanced with a hint of an aquatic vibe in this oil. Fresh and aromatic, the essences don’t overwhelm the senses, but rather hover over freshly toned skin with their crisp and sheer notes. I keep re-sniffing the tendery bouquet of flowers to guess at this oceanic bent and how intuitively it allows the harmonious essences to dominate atop. But, blissful skin is what I really marvel at.
With the smattering of derm-approved face oils quickly replacing the chemically-ladens serum, Illumino is unquestionably quite the standout serum from the few in the market. Spend time massaging this strident oil after cleansing and watch skin come to life with an intangible incandescence by virtue of some pretty fantastical oils. Signs of aging won’t feel deep or true after a few days of Illumino’s use.
Scent Classification: Floral
Viscosity: Ultralight viscosity
So, how does a body and leg oil from Olivina ($29.50) relate to hair? It could. But, not just yet. I’m waxing poetic about Olive oil. See…many, many moons ago, long before this blog or any beauty blogspot site existed, I was using actually pure extra virgin Olive oil every week in 30 minute sessions to prevent my hair from the drying after effects of highlighting them.
Now, hair-abuser, I was not. But, I learned of this nifty, non-spendy trick by way of a quick lecture from my 70-something Indian granny, who reminded me of the age old traditions of India and using common variety kitchen oils to strengthen the hair from the cuticle down, which prevent breakage. See, hot-oil massages are done daily if not bi-weekly in the motherland. But, having wispy fine tresses meant stinky ‘ole Mustard and heavy Coconut (these two are the usual players in any Indian kitchen) were out of the question.
So, I reached for my Trader Joe’s Olive oil. And, never again did the highlights fade much to the surprise of my stylist of 9 years, Jessica Pierce. Touch-up after touch-up, she kept asking what hair products (yes, she assumed plural) I was using as she had never seen her color work stay so true on any of her client’s hair. And, every time I proudly smirked the merits of Olive oil over her $38 conditioners and treatments. Chronically dry hair was a thing of the past with the magic of Olive! And, that's just hair. On skin, it's even better.
So, what is it about Olive that acts a cure-all and gives you the softest skin possible? First off, the docs trust the oil implicitly. Probably more so than any other oil, too. Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Perricone wholly believes in using the vitamin rich oil (it has A, E, D and K) topically and even internally. He says, “EVOO is rich in oleic acid, which possesses superior health and emollient benefits and offers small amounts of vitamin E, a key antioxidant for the skin.”
Skin guru, Dr. Leslie Baumann, also supports the intake of Olive oil as a way to combat signs of photoaging. A recent study of almost 3,000 men and women between the ages of 45 and 60, showed a higher intake of Olive oil correlated with less severe photoaging in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, and signs of sun damage like uneven tone and rough texture. But, she also says its an excellent emollient for dry skins.
The greatness of Olive continues in Olivina’s skin-loving oil. Grapeseed, Safflower, Jojoba, and Rice Bran are added to round out the full-bodied oil and deepen the nourishment from Olive itself. But, what renders this oil excitable is its indescribable androgynous scent, which is gentle, light, and sophisticated.
The essences aren’t listed, but know the quasi-woodsy smell is fully seductive and appealing. When used over shaved legs, not only is skin left silkened up, but it’s also left with a veil of some secret alchemy that isn’t dominated by any single one essence. My guess would rest of a fresh variation of discreetly blended Cedarwood and Vetiver with perhaps equal amounts of a slightly resinous Pine to give the woody base an invigorating lift. The verdant result is quite magnetic with a subtle green sharpness. Aggressive, it’s not, but suitable for both sexes it is.
The best part? A pump! Seemingly, you wouldn’t think such a simple, functional piece would be important, but considering you’ll be applying it onto legs to rid yourself of scaly winter skin, the last thing you’d want to do is hand pour this exceptionally vibrant, inherently stimulating body oil.
By the way: if you're really serious your hair, heat up an ounce or two, apply as a hair mask from scalp to root, and mend those unsightly ends. The oil will wash out with one shampoo rinse and leave your locks gloriously shiny.
Olive oil...the perennial classic works every time.
Scent Classification: Woody
Viscosity: Ultralight viscosity
But, the wick isn’t enough. The intoxicating sophistication about Stark’s hand-poured soy candles is also in the genteel delicateness of its Tuberose. Floral fans should know the throes of a smooth and clean Tuberose are quiet and muted, not garish at all. Aromatic Cape Chamomile complements the aquatic tones of Cucumber, both of which segue evenly into a softened Sandalwood. The scent is inviting and fills up the room without being cloying, which can be tough do to with the pivot of a heavy Tuberose. The efficiently-made candle with its fragile essences has a moderate throw and shows a nice clean burn with its palpable diffusion and an unshakeable sense of serenity with seamless purity.
$28 available at Stark Waxing Studio (a magnet for hipster crowds who flock to this affectionately popular waxing studio for cleverly handmade candles and oils...and pain-free stripping).
convenient three-pack of starter serums ($32.50) to help you try and appreciate the benefits of a great face oil without the commitment to a full sized bottle. Nature’s brilliance in mini-sized spritz samples!
Why it matters: Even though 2012 was christened the year of the 'huile', some of you are still a bit terse and nervy about using a face oil. Irrational fears of breaking out aside, Olie Biologique rode the Argan mania and is actually the only brand to have conveniently packaged up three of their wildly popular oils (two of which are reviewed here) all of which are USDA-approved. Make no mistake as these are oils of character.
Why it impresses: Because your skin will change with the seasons. You might want Huile Moderne for the persistent spotty dryness or Huile Radicale for its inherently serene Rose Bulgar oil. Ultra-sensitive skins will opt for Huile Claire, which in all radical honesty is what I used over a quickie, at-home chemical peel in my neverending quest to obliterate my age spots. I found the supremely lightweight, sensitive-skin formulation took the zing and sting out of the bi-weekly deep exfoliation and hovered lovingly over my tender skin. And, with vivacious accents of Chamomile and Lavender to soothe, I awoke to brighter, clearer skin that was softened with the organic blend without a flake in sight.
The Final Word: A kit that best attests to the power of natural oils. You know have no more excuses.
The curious thing about this perfume oil isn’t just that’s it's a pure Vanilla oil with no other essences to muck up the softened tempo of the scent, but rather it’s quite rich and deep with subtle tones, infused three times in Jojoba to enhance the fragrance of premium Mexican Vanilla Beans. A cut above the regular Tonka variety, Mexican beans have the characteristic Vanilla warmth in their aura. Their indulgent, decadent quality is favoured for slivers of seductive and dark spice currents, which are as enthralling as they are intriguing.
It should be said straight away that this perfume is a deep, enveloping oil blend, which melds into skin beautifully. I’ve been have a rip-roaring time layering it over roses, musky florals, and even oriental scents to concoct some pretty incandescent variations and elevating the original incarnations to something a bit more enticing. On its own, the oil has a decent tenacity and lasted about 2 hours on my skin while staying quite close. When blended, the Vanilla highlights the blended nuances with a buttery softness. Exceptionally charming it's a gentle thing of beauty.
Clean and pure, nothing trumps the comfort and simplicity of an endlessly classic Vanilla, wouldn’t you say?
Badger Balm, widely recognized as the happily certified organic brand of everything you’d actually need for your bathroom cabinet, is getting into hair oils. And, I love it.
Seeing these niche brands launch verifiably pure, USDA approved products at prices with practicality and appeal that won’t break the bank is such a wonderful way to test some of the newer oil blends (which are more often than not made from scratch) that promise to treat up hair without leaving it lank nor greasy. But, what makes the Argan Hair Oil ($18.99) a tad different from the commonly seen Argan varieties is that you can actually leave in this treatment much like a leave-in conditioner.
Isn’t this latest move a bit more fun? It is. Fearful of an oil weighing your tresses down? Don’t be. See, my baby fine locks will be the first to show any signs of weight or shine with a leave-in anything. So it makes sense for me to say if a leave-in oil – the first of its kind – can work.
For emotionally and physically torn dry hair, count on the tried-and-true carriers like Jojoba, Sunflower, Argan and Baobab to bring a high content of vitamins to strengthen the tresses from the cuticle down. Baobab is always a favourite to see as it is such an undervalued oil. Supremely high in vitamins A, D, E, and F, the oil (much like Argan) absorbs quite quickly into porous or dry hair. Is Baobab the new Argan? Quite possibly so as Baobab has twice the amount of antioxidant potency.
Replete in this lively scent is the compelling citrus tang of Bitter Orange mixed with Bergamot. Fresh and slightly green on its opening, both organic essentials allow for delightful hints of Ylang Ylang to sing forth in a festive fashion.
The trick with the conditioner is to cautiously use 1-2 pumps sparingly over your roots and work your way forward. Anyone who dabbles with regular highlighting (either with colour or bleach) with benefit with adding the few drops of this after a touch up session. Reduced fading is one of the perks of using a regular oil like this. Slicking your hair back into a ponytail or up do? Add the oil to defrizz and seal the cuticle before you spritz up.
After your regular shampoo and conditioner, the botanical hair oil will just feel like a natural extension to your beauty care.
Scent Classification: Floral
Viscosity: Slightly viscous
Munio is my first foray into lighting with wood wick candles. The premise is simple – the soft crackle of a mini-fireplace is echoed through the popsicle-like, paper-thin wood stick, which serves as your wick. And, while you don’t have to worry about any freefalling sprouts of embers, you do have to be wary about trimming the wick with each lighting. And, that’s easy enough.
Midnight is the intoxicating blend of a dewy Jasmine laced with a feminine Lavender to create cascades of sheer relaxation. And, what an awesome throw Munio offers! Within just 30 minutes of its initial flicker, the whole room was filled with the irresistible fragrant oils, which are deeply and evenly blended within an all-natural soy wax. Hand-poured in Oregon, Munio gives us a highly potent candle with a young spirit that bursts with emotion and exoticism for hours on end. After two hours of a super clean burn, the candle ends up with a calibrated inch of ambery liquified soybean oil emanating the universally recognizable notes of Jasmine that refuse to fade. The reusable glass jar is a bonus, though eco-fans will appreciate the biodegradable packaging as well.
My lesson to you: learn how to trim wicks, wood ones or otherwise. After allowing the candle to cool, I took nail clippers to nip off the soot part of the wick. After I saw snippets of my soot adulterate the purely serene soy, I decided to invest in a wick trimmer for future candle lightings. You should, too.
$24 available at ZGOStore.com.
Law of Karma keeps me quite the busy bee. Add to that my penchant for oils and the such, I say it’s been a challenge to cordon off a bit of time for a heavenly splash and soak.
And, then I stumbled across In Fiore’s extraordinarily enigmatic bath and body oils – Rose Noir ($58) and Night Queen ($68). Virtually unknown to me was In Fiore’s body oils, as I have spent so much of non-soaking time reveling in the luxury brand’s balms, perfumes, and face serums. How odd a year of blog passed without a review of their decadent body oils?
And, considering the fact that scheduling a weekly bath is my New Year's resolution, I'd say for the bath or skin, consider these oils as decorative works for the skin and soul. Both are created from organic Grapeseed, Jojoba, and Vitamin E oils, which give off a supremely slick feel without any grease or shine. And, how do I know? I love…I mean unrequitedly love…Rose Noir so very much that I started using it on my face! Yes. It’s true. The seemingly ritualistic slather of a body oil has also been used on my face under make-up but over my Retin-A to soothe the wind’s strife against my customarily soft cheeks. And, it works.
What I love so very much about Rose Noir is the conflicting pulses of wildcrafted Rose Absolute, Geranium Sur Fleur Roses, Rosewood, Saffron, Vetiver, and Oud. In Fiore’s incarnation of Rose never ceases to amaze me. The oil impresses with its luminous feel and enriched essences. A full-bodied richness glides across skin as it’s wrapped within an impetuous Rose with a muted Oud. Velvety voluptuousness with an intimate trail is what comes to mind. And, to the face in a mere droplet or two comes a wearable option more so for the night than the day. I could not stop stroking my skin the morning after earning the prodigal Rose a new respect.
In contrast, Jasmine aficionados will want to embrace the delicate botanical meandering of Night Queen, a somewhat heady infusion of Jasmine absolutes blended with Patchouli, Bergamot, Rose absolute, Saffron and Oud. Puritanical in intent, the sensory cacophony of Jasmine and Rose open warmly, but quickly bestows a revitalizing freshness of Bergamot imbued with sensual facets of a resplendent Oud. Rich and seductive, Night Queen speaks to the ecstasy of another kind thanks in part to an attenuated floral heart.
It’s hard to choose betwixt the two – Rose Noir for its satiny linger; Night Queen for its symphonic medley of essences. Whatever your choice, know you’ll elect to soak or slather with an oil that is charmingly feminine and promises to stoke your senses to a higher level.
Forget Calgon...In Fiore...take me away...
Scent Classification: Floral
Viscosity: Slightly viscous