Favourite Tropical Body Products

Continuing the tropical theme, I want to share some of my favourite body products this summer.

Being a perfumer and an avid perfume wearer, I actually prefer my body products to be very lightly scents, if at all. Unfortunately, unscented body products often smell like white glue… So I usually opt for the more attractive options, usually with as many natural moisturizers as possible, and with a subtle scent that will not overpower the perfumes that I would like to wear, or better yet – will complement them somehow. Cocoa and coconut based products are the most fun to wear, and instead of overpowering other scents, they melt into the skin and leave it only lightly scented for a while. My newest discovery from only a few months ago, after years of using only unscented body lotions, was the Alba Botanica line, and in particular - their Hawaiian line. It is a delightful to smell, lightweight and makes the skin feel smooth and delcious.

I like both their Coconut Milk Body Cream and Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Lotion.
The Coconut Milk Body Cream Smells like coconut milk and a hint of pineapple, fresh and silky smooth. The Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Lotion is a bit heavier in texture, satiny-smooth, and nevertheless absorbs well into the skin. It is delicately scented with cocoa and honey.

Another coconut delight is Vancouver based Escents’ Coconut Escape Body Milk, which comes in the form of spray. An ideal solution for preventing stretch mark in your teenage daughters – all you need to do is attack her with this fragrant spray of tonka bean, benzoin and coconut, and the skin will become flexible and rejuvenated and resist the temptation to show signs of stretching.

I already told you about my love to Azurée Body Oil from Estee Lauder - a new take on the mossy scent Azurée from 1969. An interesting take on beachy scents, this includes incense, myrrh, vetiver and gardenia notes and a hint of allspice. It took me a little while to get used to the idea of spraying oil on my body – but the scent is gentle and heavenly, and the oil is very lightweight. The scent is more dominant than the other body products I mentioned above, but it is light enough to wear another perfume at the same time, if desired. I love it on its own – one of the very few “perfumey” body products that I don’t find overwhelming. The oil itself includes olive oil and macademia nut oils, and feels as gentle on the skin as it is to the nose.

For the face, I am even more picky – cleasers and moisturizers have to not only smell good, but also absorb well, perform, and most importantly – be hypoallergenic. My favourite for years was Jason Natural’s Tea Time Green Tea Moisturizer. It had a green tea and nutty scent, and was perfect in almost everyway. Recently, I stuck with my new discovery of Alba’s Jasmine & Vitamin E Moisture Cream, which has a lovely scent of jasmine that goes particularly well with Le Parfum de Thérèse...

P.s. Painting of Gauguin from Gallery Lafayette.

P.s.s. Tomorrow: closing the summer with figs.

Sand, Sun, Skin…

This indecisive product swings in between a perfume and a body oil, but to judge by the fact that 1/5 of the bottle was gone only 5 days after Azuree joined my glass clan – I think of it as a body oil. The scent is mild and non-overpowering. Despite its definite presence and unique odour, it does not seem like an improbable act of insanity to wear other fragrance on your wrists while your skin is covered with the glowing aura of this subtle, sensual scent. I was a bit surprised when I smelled it first because it is rather spicy. With all the coconut and gardenia hype, one might grow to expect Azure to be just another fun suntan oil scent. Azure is mostly a woody scent, warmed with allspice and cloves. It has a spicy-sweet and woody-dry, warm presence at first, with less-than-obvious melted-honey-comb top notes. Than it gradually melts into the skin and radiates an aura of warm sand and skin, or shampooed hair heated by direct sun light. The gardenia is very subdued and so are the coconut and myrrh. The overall feeling when wearing Azuree Body Oil after a while is what one would want a sun tan lotion to be: a non-obstrusive complement to one’s skin. And that’s what I love about it.

The packaging is simple and exquisite, the exact colours of Youth Dew Bath Oil. The apple did not fall far from the tree in this case…

The oil is made mostly of silicone (cyclopentasiloxane caprylic/capric triglyceride), it is made friendly and moisturizing with olive oil, macademia nut oil, kukui nut oil, grapeseed oil and wheat germ oil. I believe it's that combination that makes the oil absorb so fast and not feel so oily (like most suntan oils are!). The list of ingredients definitley makes me like this oil more...

A downside is, though, that all the cinnamic acids and spicy aromas can be a bit tough on the skin. If you have a sensitive skin don’t apply it all over your body – it may result in a burning or itching sensation or irritation to the skin. This is why it would be nice if it came in a more concentrated oil that can be applied discreetly to pulse points, or just a perfume, a-la-Youth Dew Bath Oil.

Another issue is the price: if (and I repeat: IF) Azuree was a perfume, the price (below $40 CAD) would have been very attractive. But, considering the fact that it is a Body Oil, and is meant to cover more skin than a perfume – it goes faster that I wish it would, and so the price is actually not as great as it seems…

The gorgeous photograph titled "Fraingipani" is courtesy of The Haliimaile Hippie
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