Summer Inspired Recommendations from French Marie Claire : Perfumed Oils

The summer came to Brussels overnight. I went to bed on a cold, rainy day and woke up to dazzling sunshine. As the mercury levels starting rising, my colorful summer dresses came out of their hiding spots in the closet as did my strappy sandals and kitten heels. I also resumed my passionate love affair with big white floral perfumes that bloom particularly well in hot, balmy weather. But a couple of weeks later autumn flew into my room on a small golden leaf that landed right on my desk, a reminder that the summer extravagance will soon come to an end.

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I felt a pang of sadness as I always do when I realize that the summer vacation is drawing to its end. Wondering how I could retain my summery mood, I remembered an article from the August issue of French Marie Claire, Un huile à tout faire pour satiner. It described the all-purpose dry oils, from voluptuous Caudalie Divine Oil to elegant L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier Dry Oil, that make summer beauty rituals so alluring. So, I’ve decided to transition into the fall with some summer inspired pampering.

I’m a big fan of dry oils, and Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse has been a part of my beauty arsenal for the past ten years. Its scent of coconut and tiare reminds me so poignantly of summer that I only need to get a whiff of it on a cold, snowy day to feel better. From reading French magazines, I’ve noticed that in most beauty stories, the purpose of the product appears secondary to the sensory pleasure it provides. The face cream may remove wrinkles, but the caressing touch of your fingers is often mentioned first. In the same vein, Marie Claire reminded me of the sensual nature of the oils and their application process. This may sound trivial, but there is something very seductive about the silky touch of the dry oils and the way they melt into your skin.

Moreover, dry body oils make summer grooming effortless–they can be used  in the morning after the shower for moisturizing the skin or mixed into the evening bath. You might make a quick oil mask for your hair before shampooing. Or, if your hair is dry, a tiny spritz on your comb is all you need for extra shine and moisture. Refined oils also retain scents really well, and if your goal is to don a light veil of perfume, dry body oils are a great choice.

My beloved Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse celebrated its 20 year anniversary this year, but while it’s still an excellent product, today you can find a wide selection of dry body oils that have different scents and are appropriate for various skin types. Since I’m familiar with all nine oils recommended by Marie Claire, I’ve decided to share them with you. Most of these products are a  great example why European pharmacy shopping is such a delight–affordable prices, excellent quality and interesting selection. The article charmingly categorized the dry oils from voluptuous to couture, but the commentary is my own.

Voluptuous

Caudalie Divine Oil (Huile Divine), 21 €/100 ml

Marie Claire calls this oil from Caudalie voluptuous, but I would also add elegant. The scent for Divine Oil was created by none other than the great perfumer  (he of Alexander McQueen Kingdom, Yves Saint Laurent Nu and Stella McCartney Stella fame). No wonder then that Caudalie has such a sophisticated perfume: The green grape inflected top note leads  to the luscious heart of honey, rose, tuberose and vanilla; the musk and soft woods anchor the delicate petals in place.  Its long-lasting perfume means that you need not scent yourself with anything else when you use this oil. The product is based on four different vegetable oils and shea butter. It absorbs quickly without leaving any greasy traces on the skin.

A special thank you to my reader Andrea for bringing this great product to my attention!

Authentic

Klorane Monoi Beauty Oil For Body and Hair (Huile de beauté corps & Cheveux au Monoï Morinda Les Polysianes), 11.50 €/125 ml

Klorane is well-known for its excellent and affordable Tahitian monoi oil, which is certified and validated by an Appellation of Origin. The tiare blossoms are handpicked and soaked in pure coconut oil, resulting in the sumptuous, golden liquid. The particular Klorane product Marie Claire recommended is a limited edition for 2012, but anything from the Klorane Monoi oil collection is excellent. The rich coconut base makes for an extra-nourishing moisturizer, and it’s excellent for skin that requires special care. A scent of summer in the bottle.

For Dry and Sensitive Skin

Vichy Nutriextra Extraordinary Oil (Huile Extraordinaire Nutriextra), 18.30 € 

Can be used on face, body and hair. Vichy’s base is a mix of nine oils, and it feels silky and suave.  Vichy claims that the effect lasts for 24 hours, and I can attest that this is a great oil for dry skin. The white floral scent is very light but pleasant.

Light

Roger & Gallet Fleur d’Osmanthus Beauty Oil (Huile Embellissante), 23.50 €/100 ml 

Based on the oil apricot kernel, sesame and sweet almond oil, Fleur d’Osmanthus Beauty Oil is another great choice for daily pampering. The scent of jasmine, citrus and apricot is crisp and fresh at first, but it dries down to warmer roasted almond and sandalwood finish.

Fast Absorbing

L’Oréal Paris Extraordinary Sublime Body Oil (Huile Extraordinaire Sublime Body), 9.90 €/150 ml 

Marie Claire: “Sweet almond oil and vitamin E in the dry base which soothes and nourishes without leaving a sticky finish.” One of the best budget beauty care products I’ve tried recently. It moisturizes the skin really well and leaves it radiant and soft.

Ultra-comfortable

Payot Élixir, 35 €/100 ml

Marie Claire: “A cocktail of rice, hazelnut and almond oils, enriched with myrrh and amyris.” I’ve sampled it at the store only, so I can’t comment on the long-term benefits, but the delicate woody scent and the suave texture of this elixir are tempting.

Delectable

L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier Dry Body Oil (Huile Sèche Pour le Corps Premier Figuier), 45 € 

True to the green fig and almond perfume of Premier Figuier, this light and fast absorbing oil is my preferred version of this classical L’Artisan fragrance. The scent lingers well on skin–a delicate courtship between the fig leaves and creamy sandalwood.

Nourishing

Les Fermes de Marie Pure Altitude Beauty Oil for Body and Hair (Huile de beauté corps & cheveux Pure Altitude), 48 €

Marie Claire: “Edelweiss, wheat germ and sesame oils.”  Les Fermes de Marie beauty treatments developed at their Pure Altitude Spa are highly rated in French press.  This oil is likewise excellent–it feels like a light veil on skin and has a delicate green floral scent. Since it’s on the more expensive side, I couldn’t justify selecting it over the aforementioned products.

Couture

Yves Saint Laurent Saharienne Dry Body Oil (Huile Sèche pour le Corps), 42.50 €/75 ml 

Marie Claire describes the fragrance as “sublime and intoxicating: lemon-ginger, a pinch of salt and pine needles warmed by the sun.” I think that it’s a great quality product, that absorbs instantly into the skin, but the scent was too sharp. Then again, I’m not a fan of Saharienne to begin with.

In Europe most of these oils are sold at pharmacies, with the exception of L’Artisan Parfumeur and Yves Saint Laurent. In the US, look for these oils at New London Pharmacy, Amazon.com, Aedes (L’Artisan Premier Figuer Body Oil), Sephora (Caudalie), drugstores (Vichy and L’Oreal), and department stores (Yves Saint Laurent).

Do you like to use dry body oils? Do you have any favorite scented body products?

Image: Sonja Kinski in the ad for Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or.

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109 Comments

  • Andy: I’m not really familiar with perfumed dry body oils at all, so it’s definately something for me to look into. But I do like the Monoi Tiare Tahiti brand Monoi oil that comes with the red label with white flowers on it. It smells so tropical and I like that it is a handmade product. And aside from that, I usually moisturize my skin with high quality oils (argan, rosehip, sweet almond) because their seemingly high cost is offset by the fact that you only need a tiny bit. They work better than cream moisturizers too! August 27, 2012 at 8:42am Reply

    • Barbara: My great aunt is 78 years old, she has the most beautiful skin. She says that she used sweet almond oil for moisturizing all her life and swears that it’s her beauty secret. August 27, 2012 at 8:46am Reply

      • Andy: While I’m too young to vouch for any of the anti aging effects of oils, I do notice that moisturizing my face with oils certainly does make the skin clearer (despite the rage over “oil free” products) and very supple. What a great story! August 27, 2012 at 9:32am Reply

      • Victoria: My great grandmother also used her own handmade products, and even as a 90 year old lady she had skin like a peach. She had lines, of course, from smiling, etc., but none of the discolorations and uneven tone. One of her favorite beauty tricks was to use rosewater as a toner. August 27, 2012 at 9:42am Reply

        • solanace: Our grandmothers knew stuff, and not only about choosing classy perfumes! I’ve had all kinds of skin allergies, triggered after I used a stupid cream with nanotechnology in it. My skin had been very good before, but it was horrible, truly sick for about 5 years, until I settled with natural oils. Jojoba for the face, rosehip as a serum around the eyes, grapeseed/sesame/coconut for the body. I scent the body oil myself with organic stuff (currently, a mix of grapefruit EO and nougat extract). All my relatives say I’ve recovered my former skin when they meet me. It’s so obvious! I’m never, ever usin any artificial skin care again, no matter the hype! August 27, 2012 at 11:24am Reply

          • Victoria: A story with a happy end, A! I hear you! My skin has gotten much better once I started doing less to it. August 27, 2012 at 12:23pm Reply

      • marsi: When I was little, my mom used olive oil on my skin to heal rashes. August 27, 2012 at 10:17am Reply

        • Victoria: I wish my mom used something like that! She used iodine on my scrapes and cuts, and I always looked like a spotted leopard as a kid. 🙂 Another thing common at the time as a topical antiseptic was the dilute alcoholic solution of Brilliant Green (zelenka as it was called in Russian). Now, that was even worse! Imagine painting yourself bright emerald green. That was the perpetual color of my knees until I turned 6 years old or so. 🙂 August 27, 2012 at 10:23am Reply

        • Little Red: My mother would give me an olive oil massage everyday when I was a child to help keep my eczema under control. It was done at the recommendation of my pediatrician since my skin was so sensitive that even standard soaps/lotions would cause problems. August 27, 2012 at 9:52pm Reply

    • Victoria: I like that brand very much. I think that it’s another one certified product, and the handmade aspect really appeals to me.

      Argan oil is one of my favorite recent discoveries. The fresh oil is a great skin moisturizer, and the toasted variety is delicious in salad. In Morocco it’s mixed with ground almonds and honey for a kind of spread. A piece of toast slathered with it makes for a filling and fragrant breakfast. August 27, 2012 at 9:40am Reply

      • Andy: I didn’t know about the toasted variety for food. I’m sure it’s really delicious in that Morroccan spread. And in terms of bodycare, as you said you learned from your grandmother to use rosewater as a toner, I thought I’d mention that you can use argan oil on the face right after you’ve misted it with rosewater. I usually use witch hazel in a spray bottle as a toner, rather than rosewater, but the principle is the same, and I’ve found that applying a few drops of oil while the face is still wet is very effective. The warmth of your fingers and the massaging motions emulsify the oil and water on your face, and make for a moisturizer that absorbs well and feels really luxurious. August 27, 2012 at 10:10am Reply

        • Victoria: That’s such a good tip, Andy. Thank you. I will keep it in mind. I usually mist after I apply the oil, but the other way around might be better. The oil is certainly easier to apply onto the damp skin.

          I also discovered lavender water recently, and I like it even more than rosewater. My skin is too sensitive to use rosewater daily, but lavender water doesn’t cause any problems. August 27, 2012 at 10:13am Reply

          • Daisy: I apply my facial oil immediately after I swab my face with toner. I use Mario Badescu’s Alpha Grapefruit Lotion because I love how it smells. August 27, 2012 at 10:40am Reply

        • marsi: Andy, you know a lot about plants and skincare. I’m impressed! What’s the difference for skin between witch hazel and rosewater? I see many skincare products with witch hazel. August 27, 2012 at 10:19am Reply

          • Andy: Thanks! Both plants and skincare (and plant-based skincare) are among my passions. Both witch hazel and rosewater are anti-inflammatory and astringent, and are essentially interchangeable for most skincare uses. However, rosewater is more hydrating and humectant, making it better suited for dry, aging, or mature skin. Witch hazel, on the other hand, is more astringent, making it better for oily skin. Witch hazel also has anti-swelling properties, which is why it is often used in products for puffy eyes. August 27, 2012 at 12:23pm Reply

            • Victoria: Andy, I finally understand why I see witch hazel in many eye treatments. What an interesting bit of info! Thank you so much for sharing. August 28, 2012 at 9:17am Reply

            • marsi: Thank you, Andy! I’m going to read the labels more carefully now. August 28, 2012 at 10:13am Reply

        • solanace: Coconut water is another amazing toner. August 27, 2012 at 11:27am Reply

          • Victoria: Mmm, that sounds so good! Especially since it’s sunny and hot here, and the idea of some coconut water is very appealing. August 27, 2012 at 12:24pm Reply

        • marsha: I love the Nuxe dry oil for my body, but I have also discovered argan oil for my face. I also discovered years ago that misting my face with water just felt wonderful and helped calmed the slight rosacea on my cheekbones and my chin. This summer I have been misting my face with water and just pressing in a few drops of argan oil and this lasts almost all day. I used to layer on the moisturizers. And my skin is pretty dry, but I live in humid weather. I am curious to see how the argan oil will hold up during the winter. August 27, 2012 at 11:46am Reply

          • Victoria: My skin is normal/combination in the summer, drier in the winter. And that’s when argan oil becomes essential. Like you, I find that it moisturizes my skin really well, but at the same time, it helps to keep it clear. The only thing I’ve been warned about is that argan oil tends to go rancid until kept in a cool spot. Rancid oil would not do much good (the smell is quite pungent too), so I usually keep a tiny amount in the bathroom, while the rest stays in the fridge. August 27, 2012 at 12:33pm Reply

            • marsha: That’s how I keep mine. August 27, 2012 at 3:36pm Reply

              • Victoria: I’ll tell my husband that this is how it’s done. The other day he was teasing me about my skincare oil being stored in the fridge. 🙂 August 27, 2012 at 5:09pm Reply

  • Barbara: What a fun topic and so timely for me, because I’m in a bodycare rut. The first thing that gets my attention is the silky texture, so it sounds like I should try one of these oils. I like something that immediately gets absorbed into the skin and leaves the feeling of softness.
    Also I just bought a package of Roger & Gallet Fleur d’Osmanthus soap and I love how it smells. August 27, 2012 at 8:53am Reply

    • Victoria: I love R&G soaps too. The packaging is beautiful, the scents are great, and the soap is not too drying for my sensitive skin.

      If you like the silky texture, you will definitely enjoy the dry oils. The texture is their selling point for me. August 27, 2012 at 9:44am Reply

  • marsi: Good morning, V! That Divine Oil sounds great.

    My favorites, let’s see… I LOVE Nuxe and use their skincare too. I stocked up on my fave Gommage Corps Fondant, it has almonds and orange blossom petals and I wish it came as a perfume. Who needs an expensive spa treatment! August 27, 2012 at 9:15am Reply

    • Victoria: Morning, Marsi! I haven’t tried Gommage Corps Fondant, but your description is so tempting. And yes, I agree, with great body products, spa treatments are hardly necessary, especially if one is on a budget and is pressed for time anyway. August 27, 2012 at 9:46am Reply

  • Anne Sheffield: I used to love Nuxe Huile produgieuse, but I am totally gone off it since they ve introduce the perfume. They ve ruined it for me, by trying to recreate it as a fragrance.
    So I am LOVING Caudalie Huile divine! I shower in it since June! And I love the bottle! I am also a big fan of LIERAC Huile de fleurs blanches. ( white flower oil). They have an hydration spray version and a oil. The spray is ok, but the white flower scented oil is fabulous, especially for hot humid August “had enough of summer” ‘s day!
    Lots of love Victoria!
    Anne August 27, 2012 at 9:27am Reply

    • Victoria: Do you find that the perfume is much sweeter than the original oil? That was my main qualm with it. In the oil, the gardenia-tiare is soft, but in the perfume it’s really sweet and creamy.

      Adding Lierac to my list! I haven’t tried it yet. August 27, 2012 at 9:47am Reply

      • Anne Sheffield: Definitely! The perfume is very sickening! Very strong sweet tiare/ amber and it doesn’t seams to calm down on me. I think that s what put me off the oil! I think you re going to live the LIERAC oil. August 27, 2012 at 11:42am Reply

        • Victoria: I discovered that it’s a great perfume for the colder months, not as I originally planned to use, for the summer. The sweetness also doesn’t calm down on my skin, but when it’s cooler outside, it’s such a nice reminder of summery things. Nuxe oil is still my favorite summer treatment, but yes, Lierac is definitely on the list. I think that I’ve seen it at the pharmacy when I was testing some other oils. August 27, 2012 at 12:26pm Reply

          • Raquel: Re-reading this post I like so much I must say I love Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum… March 27, 2016 at 2:00pm Reply

            • Victoria: It layers well with oil, too. March 28, 2016 at 8:34am Reply

      • behemot: Lierac has great skincare products, and they are not very expensive. Not widely available in the US though. August 27, 2012 at 10:55pm Reply

        • Victoria: I will definitely look for it. I see it at the pharmacies. Thank you! August 28, 2012 at 8:52am Reply

  • Allison: Thank you for the great recommendations! I am very intrigued by the Caudalie Huile Divine – the scent sounds amazing. I have a bottle of Barbara Bui Huile Blanche which is lovely with a subtle comforting scent. I like to apply it at night before bed during the winter. August 27, 2012 at 9:34am Reply

    • Victoria: You’ve reminded me how much I enjoyed Barbara Bui perfume. Huile Blanche is new to me, so I will have to see if it’s available around here. I love how soft and glowing my skin becomes after using the oil based products. I don’t get quite the same effect with the creams, so I’m always looking for more dry oils to try. August 27, 2012 at 9:50am Reply

  • Daisy: I don’t use an all-over dry body oil, but I have made the switch to using an oil on my face as a moisturizer. It’s Rodin’s Olio Lusso (speaking of white florals) — pricey but considering that little bottle lasts me a year, it seems worth it. August 27, 2012 at 10:08am Reply

    • Victoria: What’s your skin type, Daisy? I’ve heard about Rodin’s Olio Lusso before, but I haven’t met anyone who actually used it, so I’m curious what difference you see between that and whatever you’ve used previously. August 27, 2012 at 10:14am Reply

      • Daisy: I have normal skin — which I understand to not be very normal! But in the fall and winter, it can get dry and a little chapped. I had heard so much about Olio Lusso too before I tried it. It was so expensive for such a small amount of oil that I just circled around the display each time I was in Barney’s, afraid to test it. I think the SA noticed too because one day, he made me this giant sample. Like 2 ml. Which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it lasted me over three weeks!

        After using it for that long, my skin was great. Even, satiny. Amazing. I only use two drops in the summer and no other moisturizer. I sometimes use three drops in the winter if I don’t layer another moisturizer.

        Before Olio Lusso, I was using Sarah Chapman’s serum under Jurlique’s daily moisturizer. When I priced it out, that combo was way more expensive per year than the Rodin. The oil just soaks right in, while the serum kind of just sits on top for a while. I notice the difference the most in the summertime. My face sweats less using the oil. I know, it’s gross to mention that, but it’s true. August 27, 2012 at 10:25am Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you, Daisy! Sounds very interesting (and promising).

          I used to like Jurlique serum, but it has been reformulated. Before it smelled of rose and sandalwood, but now I notice something sharp and herbal, lavender like in it. And it no longer works for me. Whatever they’ve added irritates my skin and makes it red, and this has never happened with the other product. August 27, 2012 at 12:37pm Reply

  • MB: Hi, V. Great article. Do you know if any of these products are readily available in the States? Maybe I just don’t know where to look. Any suggestions? August 27, 2012 at 12:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: I mentioned the sources I knew in the very last paragraph, but in the States I would usually get them from Amazon.com or beauty.com. They are a bit more expensive in the US, but still affordable. I saw L’Oreal and Vichy at Duane Reade in NYC. New London Pharmacy in NYC likewise carries lots of these small European lines (and probably even more oils besides what I mentioned). August 27, 2012 at 12:30pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, and Divine Oil is available at Sephora. August 28, 2012 at 10:09am Reply

  • maggiecat: I’ve been trying and loving dry oil sprays recently and adore them – i think I’d like one of eachof allof the ones you’ve mentioned in this post! Yet another reason to get to Europe, I guess. 🙂 Here in the U.S., Carol’s Daughter has some nice dry body and hair oils – I love the Sweet Magnolia one and wore it a lot this summer. August 27, 2012 at 12:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: I miss Carol’s Daughter products here! I love its Mimosa Hair Honey, which is great when I want to do a perfect, sleek bun. August 27, 2012 at 2:53pm Reply

  • ellenb: Victoria, what a wonderful blog post! You’ve shared so much here. I’ve been using the Mama Mio body oil for 3 years, and have been curious to branch out into different dry oils. It’s really the best for my aging and sun damaged skin, and I love how the subtle scents hug close all day. Thank you! August 27, 2012 at 1:50pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m glad that you enjoyed it. I love using body oils for moisturizing, and the difference in how my skin looks and feels is amazing. Plus, the whole application process feels seductive the moment you feel the oil on your fingers. 🙂 August 27, 2012 at 2:55pm Reply

  • breathesgelatin: I’m jealous of you Europe-dwellers and your pharmacies! I really want to try some of these oils. August 27, 2012 at 1:58pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’ll trade you five of these pharmacies for a single convenience store that stays open 24 hours. Or at least in the evenings and on the weekends! 🙂 Here, getting sick on Sunday is a really bad idea. August 27, 2012 at 2:57pm Reply

  • Nikki: I use Argan oil for face and decollete, I order it from a Moroccan website. For the body, I use Neutrogena Body Oil Sesame Formula, it is amazing. I use peppermint wate spray for my face which I keep in the fridge and strawberry and rose facial tonic because it smells so good! I love scented soaps and the Estee Lauder soaps are really great and true to their fragrances. August 27, 2012 at 2:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: Scented soaps can tempt me even more perfumes. I loved shopping at TJ Maxx for discounted German and Italian soaps. They often came in such gorgeous packages, too. August 27, 2012 at 2:58pm Reply

  • Absolute Scentualist: A good body/bath oil is one of my favorite parts of a beauty ritual. Victoria, all of these look wonderful. The Nuxe oil has been on my “to try” list for ages, and I’m now really curious to try the Caudalie as well.

    As for oils/bath and body products I love, I am a huge fan of Pure Fiji. They’re a bit on the pricy side, but you can find their products for reasonable prices if you shop around. Their sugar rub is probably the best I’ve tried and I’ve tried many, many body scrubs. Their coconut milk bath, which also comes in a variety of tropical-inspired fragrances, is just decadent as well. On the slightly less expensive side, I like some of 100% Pure’s products, especially their hand creams and body scrubs. Their coconut fragrance is amazing. For budget, good old Yves Rocher Monoi de Tahiti oil is perfect. I put it in the bath, in my and my daughter’s hair, rub it on feet and elbows and it seems as if I’m always finding new uses for it.

    The product I really want to try and missed out on last year is the Chanel No. 5 bath oil. I’m really hoping it will make an encore this year as I just love No. 5 and can’t think of a more sumptuous bathing experience than that beautiful smell rising in the steam from a warm bath… Unless adding a candle and champagne is an option. 😉

    Does anyone know of good bath/body products with more of a woody/incense fragrance? There was a wonderful drugstore line of oil-infused body washes a few years back and their Japanese and Moroccan fragrances–the former heavily incense based and the latter more juniper and sandalwood–were amazing. I’ve been looking for replacements ever since. August 27, 2012 at 2:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also hope that Chanel No 5 bath oil will return. I think that they usually issue it for the holidays.

      You would enjoy Costes soaps and lotions. They are scented with incense and rose, and the perfume is on the woody-dry side. They are on the expensive side though ($45).

      For even more luxurious options, you have Frederic Malle’s Noir Epices lotion and vetiver soaps. I liked Diptyque Tam Dao body butter scented with incense and sandalwood, but you know, I’m a thrifty shopper when it comes to body products. I couldn’t justify spending $90 for it.

      Ah, just remembered something else! Indian shops should carry the sandalwood soap. Most brands are excellent, especially if they are made in Mysore. They often contain the real sandalwood powder and smell so good you can use them to scent your closet. August 27, 2012 at 3:09pm Reply

  • Victoria: And my Twitter follower Alex mentioned another product that’s inexpensive and nice: Le Petit Marseillais dry body and hair oil for 4.88 euros. August 27, 2012 at 2:48pm Reply

  • sara: Hi, my every time favourite oil is the one from Eau de Campagne range (Sisley) really expensive but the results are amazing and the scent is outstanding.

    Best regards from Spain. August 27, 2012 at 3:33pm Reply

  • sara: Hello,
    I have forgotten face dry oil from Alqvimia, absolutely magical anti-wrinkles and lifting power.

    All the best! August 27, 2012 at 3:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: Eau de Campagne is a great perfume, but I haven’t tried the oil yet. Definitely on my list to try. Thank you so much for mentioning it.

      And Alqvimia is new to me as well, so that’s enough new product to discover. 🙂 August 27, 2012 at 5:11pm Reply

      • Austenfan: Alqvimia has some amazing body oils as well. These are not dry oils but are lovely anyway. My favourites are Cleopatra ( Myrrh), Huile Relaxante ( citrus and herbs) and the Lavande.
        If you google the name you should be able to find a retailer near you.
        I have never tried their face care as it is very expensive. August 28, 2012 at 7:20am Reply

        • Victoria: Just googled and it seems like it is easy enough to find. There are several pharmacies near me, although each has a different assortment of brands and products. August 28, 2012 at 8:54am Reply

  • Andrea: Thank you, Victoria, for your sweet mention about the Caudalie oil. It’s fun to share new “discoveries” with one another, isn’t it? Although you have certainly shared SO much more than I!:-). I look forward to trying Nuxe and a few others, but Caudalie will be a staple for me. I also enjoy Elemis Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt. It is yummy!

    As for facial oil, I occasionally use Sonya Dakar Omega Booster, which is essentially organic flaxseed oil with Neroli and lavender. It absolutely cured my teen daughter’s blemishes. (The dermatologist only made them worse, and we tried his prescriptions for 2 years.). Soothing inflammation is crucial to good skin, to protect
    the skin’s barrier.

    I will also mention a lip/cuticle balm that I recently discovered, since it is SO very fragrant and works like a miracle. By Terry’s Baume de Rose is so beautifully “rose-y” but the best news is that it can heal chapped, cracked lips within 24 hours. It is horribly expensive, but since my lips tend to chap I consider it a medical expense. (My insurance might feel otherwise!):-) August 27, 2012 at 8:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: The problem with many derm prescriptions is that they address the blemishes only on the surface and irritate the akin badly in the process.

      Wearing Divine Oil today as I’m engaged in the thoroughly unglamorous task of floor scrubbing. It’s wonderful. Thank you again for your recommendation. August 28, 2012 at 8:58am Reply

      • bluegardenia: I had acne as a teen and saw derms who put me on topical and oral antibiotics, retin-a, benzoyl peroxide, etc. They kept trying new things. Eventually my acne went away but pretty soon afterwards I developed rosacea, which I still have to this day. I wonder if there’s a connection 🙁 August 28, 2012 at 3:52pm Reply

        • Victoria: That’s awful! I can’t believe that they’ve used ALL of those products on you. Of course, I’m not a derm, but somehow this sounds like a very harsh treatment.

          If you have rosacea, definitely be careful with essential oils. On the other hand, if you haven’t tried argan oil (it’s a plant based oil, very gentle), you might want to explore it. It has become my holy grail, along with a hyaluronic acid serum I get from Professional Solutions. August 28, 2012 at 3:59pm Reply

          • bluegardenia: oh thank you for the recommendations! i haven’t tried argan yet, but of course have heard raves. will check it out, and the serum.
            it’s funny, i know people who have beautiful skin from using retin-a every night for years…but for me, none of the prescription treatments ever worked! and most or all of them made my skin very dry and irritated and unhappy. instead of oral antibiotics, which i haven’t taken in years, i’m now taking probiotics and using very gentle things on my skin. fingers crossed! August 28, 2012 at 4:05pm Reply

            • Victoria: Good luck!
              Retin-a definitely does wonders, but it’s definitely a tricky product to use. Definitely not for all skin types. August 29, 2012 at 4:25am Reply

  • Little Red: While I haven’t heard any of the ones you’ve listed, I love using scented oils for my face and body. I’ve just recently bought a bottle of Aftelier Rose body oil, ko denmark jasmine neroli rose body oil, and Weleda Wild Rose body oil. I will also be purchasing a bottle of Ren Moroccan Rose Otto body oil.

    On my face, I’ve used both Aftelier Jasmine & Ylang-ylang facial oil and Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Moisturizer and both leave my skin soft and smooth during winter.

    Ren makes a Rose O12 Moisture Defence Serum that smells great and leaves your skin glowing. I swear that stuff in Youth in a Bottle! Short of jumping into a time machine, this stuff might be it. August 27, 2012 at 10:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: So many interesting products! I haven’t tried any of them, and Weleda in particular is calling my name. Is the scent of rose very strong? August 28, 2012 at 9:00am Reply

      • Little Red: It’s definitely rose along with some spicy greenness. August 28, 2012 at 10:28pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you! I’ll definitely check it out. I love Weleda products. August 29, 2012 at 4:13am Reply

          • Isis: Dear Victoria, I stumbled upon this article today after cleaning the house with hot water, something called Ajax and a few drops of an essential oil mix I had lying around (lavender and neroli I believe) and I started to think about the oils that I use. in case you have already found and tried the weleda wild rose body oil, I would love to know what you think, and if you know of any rose perfumes that resemble it. Weirdly, I cannot find a rose perfume that I like, while I have been using the Weleda oil for over ten years and I absolutely adore it. August 18, 2013 at 12:34pm Reply

  • bluegardenia: I adore Olio Cosmetico from Santa Maria Novella. It’s in their gorgeous packaging of course, it smells deliciously floral but not over the top, and it’s the most gorgeous blue color (from the skin soothing agent azulene which comes from blue chamomile I believe). I keep one in my bathroom and one on my nightstand. And even though the bottle is glass, I travel with it! Don’t like to be without this stuff 🙂 August 28, 2012 at 2:12am Reply

    • Victoria: Have you ever tried Santa Maria Novella almond cream for hands? It’s expensive, but it is worth every penny, because it makes my hands soft and smooth. So I can believe that their other products are great. August 28, 2012 at 9:02am Reply

      • Rowanhill: Pasta di Mandorle is the best. I have two jars at home at all times. August 28, 2012 at 10:37am Reply

        • Victoria: 🙂 I’m usually reluctant to spend too much on a hand cream, but this one is something special. Plus, a jar lasts me for a very long time. August 28, 2012 at 3:45pm Reply

      • bluegardenia: i’ve heard great things about it! it’s going on the must-try list. August 28, 2012 at 3:49pm Reply

        • Victoria: It looks like some brownish goop, not that compelling, but what a great cream! August 28, 2012 at 3:55pm Reply

  • bluegardenia: Ps. Has anyone ever experienced any irritation or skin reactions from using essential oils? I love the idea of a ylang ylang body oil or Rodin olio lusso with its yummy jasmine scent, but I’ve heard from certain people (doctors included) that sometimes essential oils can be very potent and cause skin reactions (especially when skin is exposed to sunlight). But then so many other people seem to have great results. I have rosacea so have to be careful. Wondering who to believe! August 28, 2012 at 2:16am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s possible. But it also depends on the type of oil and your skin type. Some oils like citrus and lavender can cause irritation, and even rose oil can be sensitizing on some skins. Of course, essential oils need to be diluted before used on skin and often quite significantly. For instance, I’ve used Pratima essential oil based line for a while. At first, the results were great, but over time my skin started turning red and blotchy. Once I stopped it got back to normal. August 28, 2012 at 9:07am Reply

      • bluegardenia: very good point. i suppose anything, whether made from essential oils or not, can cause irritation, whether in the short term or the long term. it all depends on specific skin. i agree with keeping it simple! thanks for your comments. August 28, 2012 at 3:48pm Reply

  • Bina: I very much enjoyed this post as I have recently started using face and body oils with great results. The Nuxe oil is a staple and the Caudalie is on my to try list. My favorite body oil thus far though is the Diptique voile satin with its beautiful jasmine fragrance. I also use the Clarins facial oil as well which is very hydrating and smells great too. August 28, 2012 at 3:01am Reply

    • Victoria: Bins, glad that you liked it! I didn’t think that I was such an oil fiend until I read the article and realized that I’ve tried all of their recommendations. 🙂

      I’m adding Diptyque to my to try list! August 28, 2012 at 9:09am Reply

  • annemariec: Wonderful! Denyse on Grain de Musc is a big fan of Nuxe oil and ever since she posted about it, it has been on my to try list. I’m glad I waited, as in the intervening time an online seller has popped up in Australia which sells Nuxe and Caudalie. So I succumbed to temptation just then and ordered some of the Nuxe oil, with the Caudalie now on the try list. Is it very honeyed, by the way? I hope so!

    Dry oils are almost unknown here. Funny isn’t it? I was amazed to discover how popular they seem to be in Europe. I can’t tell you how much I wish I had bought Goutal’s Heure Exquise in the dry body oil, but it is d/c now and hugely expensive if you happen to find some. Sigh. August 28, 2012 at 5:45am Reply

    • Victoria: Anne Marie, I think that oils are so good in dry climates, because they seem to moisturize or perhaps retain moisture better. Nuxe also has a great oil with gold glitter, and although I’m not sure where to wear it (coming to work with glittering legs doesn’t seem right!), it is irresistible.

      Huile Divine is quite honeyed, but not animalic like most honey notes tend to be. Imagine it more as tea roses soaked in honey! August 28, 2012 at 9:14am Reply

  • Austenfan: Eau Dynamisante used to have a dry oil spray. Great smell, and wonderful for your skin.
    Very fun post! August 28, 2012 at 7:23am Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t seen the dry oil form of it. Wonder if it has been discontinued.

      Glad that you liked it. I had fun writing about my favorites. Not perfumes but so close! August 28, 2012 at 9:16am Reply

      • Austenfan: I think it has been. Which is a shame, I like it better than their bodylotion or the fragrance itself.
        Rummaging through my brain ( I am at work so can’t rummage through my cupboards) I realised I actually own a bottle of Heure Exquise body oil.
        I don’t think I need to explain how wonderful it is.
        Have fun floor scrubbing. In the new place I presume? August 28, 2012 at 9:20am Reply

        • Victoria: You need not explain! It is such a great perfume, and I can just imagine how good it would be in the oil form.

          Yes, the new place! Belgacom did even wrong and yet we already have internet. These days I’m thankful for small things. Stretching out amid chaos, having a cup of tea and chatting here already feels like luxury. 🙂 August 28, 2012 at 9:26am Reply

          • Austenfan: It’s good to hear things are improving for you. Tea is always a good thing, it never fails to hit the spot.
            I recently got some Jasmine tea pearls from Le Palais du Thé; do go sniff that if you have an occasion. They have this deep jasmine scent, almost honeyed. August 28, 2012 at 11:00am Reply

            • Victoria: I’ll be sure to visit. Between the work and household hassles, I haven’t made time to stop by the store. But I’m running low on my favorite teas, and your mention of Jasmine pearls is so tempting; I’ll probably go there next week. August 28, 2012 at 3:48pm Reply

  • Debbie: Love this article! It really inspired me to make the best of the Edinburgh sun this morning and smooth on some Bobbi Brown Beach body oil. The Caudalie oil is now on my shopping list. Thanks 🙂 August 28, 2012 at 9:37am Reply

    • Victoria: Enjoy the sun, Debbie! 🙂 We have a perfect sunny day today, but it already smells of fall. The leaves are starting to turn golden. August 28, 2012 at 10:01am Reply

  • Rowanhill: Nuxe dry oil with and w/o goldflakes is an absolute essential, although I use the sparkly one mainly on summer evenings on legs, arms and shoulders, or during the holiday season when a bit of glitter seems fitting.
    For this summer I also got the Caudalie oil and albeit it is nice to have something different for a change I keep returning to Nuxe for its fragrance.
    My other cosmetics cabinet staples are
    Elemis’ Exotic Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt, Ligne St Barth Avocado oil and Hei Poa Tiaré oil especially in the winter, Estée Lauder Azurée Soleir dry oil is another summer staple or a memory of sun in the winter, Bio-Oil, as well as Clarins’ Huile Tonic and Huile Anti-Eau.
    I have oily and sensitive skin, and argan oil as well as Clarins’ Lotus oil have worked wonders on my face. No more oil slick in the mornings. It is so counter intuitive but it just works. As for toner, the Nuxe Three Rose Toner cleans but does not irritate, and absolute must. August 28, 2012 at 10:51am Reply

    • Victoria: Your cosmetic cabinet sounds like a treasure trove! 😉

      That was my experience with argan oil too. The difference was obvious almost immediately. Where do you buy it here? I’m running low on the bottle I brought with me from the US. August 28, 2012 at 3:50pm Reply

      • Rowanhill: I bought the argan oil from Marrakesh so unfortunately no absolute Brussels shoppincg advice on that one. I saw a bottle though at Delhaize Deli with olive oils and such and wondered if that would work on face too when I run out of the current bottle. If something else comes up I will let you know. August 28, 2012 at 5:36pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’ll check out Bio Planet. They seem to have every single oil under the sun, so I would be surprised if they didn’t carry it. I’ll keep you posted as well. August 29, 2012 at 4:18am Reply

  • Glen Swain: What do you think of L’occitane products? I believe they also have a dry oil and I was thinking of trying it. August 28, 2012 at 9:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: I admit that when L’Occitane was a small company, the quality was much better and the scents were interesting, but even so, I still love their soaps, candles, creams (especially their hand cream) and body scrubs. I haven’t tried the oils though, so that’s something new to explore. The one oil based product I use from them and really like is their salt scrub. August 29, 2012 at 4:15am Reply

  • Bela: My favourite is still the Eau Prodigieuse and I’ve just discovered that there is a whole range of Nuxe skincare that has the same scent. I didn’t like the perfume they’ve brought out, but the face cream is lovely (I was given a sample of it the other day and am seriously considering buying a whole jar).

    Btw, there is also a Huile Sèche Merveilleuse by the Laboratoires Arnaud that is a dead ringer for the Nuxe one. It is much cheaper too. Like the Huile Prodigieuse it is on sale in parapharmacies, pharmacies and Monoprix/supermarkets. August 29, 2012 at 12:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve seen Huile Sèche Merveilleuse at my pharmacy, but since I didn’t know the brand and the testers weren’t available, I didn’t get to try it. I’m actually running low on Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, so I will be sure to try your recommendation instead. August 29, 2012 at 3:11pm Reply

      • Bela: Since I had bought a bottle of Huile Prodigieuse very recently I didn’t buy the Arnaud version, but I tried it in the Monoprix in Lille and was really quite impressed with it and intend to buy it next. August 29, 2012 at 4:50pm Reply

  • Bela: Oh, and I didn’t see any mention of Peau d’Ange by Méthode Jeanne Piaubert. It’s an absolutely delicious dry oil that makes the skin unbelievably soft and delicately scented. I bought it once, when I was wealthier than I am now. That one is not on sale in ‘grandes surfaces’. August 29, 2012 at 12:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: Another recommendation of a brand I know nothing about. Thank you, J! My list of things to try is now very long thanks to all of these comments. 🙂 August 29, 2012 at 3:13pm Reply

      • Bela: Jeanne Piaubert is one of those niche brands, you know, like Guinot, etc. I’d forgotten about it until I read your blog post. It really is lovely.

        Happy hunting, V! 🙂 August 29, 2012 at 4:56pm Reply

  • Savita: Dear V, do you think it’s possible to add perfumes to jojoba oil to create an after shower body oil? Or will the jojoba oil turn the fragrance? Apply oils after a shower seems fabulous for the skin and I am anxious to try. September 16, 2014 at 10:58am Reply

    • Victoria: Depending on perfume, the ingredients might interact in unexpected ways, but what I would do is to keep a small decant of your favorite perfume in the bathroom (not the fully bottle, since the moist, hot environment is never a good place for storing perfume) and then mix oil and perfume in the palm of your hand. A bit of oil and a small spray of perfume. Mix and apply. It usually works really well. September 16, 2014 at 11:16am Reply

      • Savita: Ok so basically I should mix the oil and perfume just before application…..Thanks so much, can’t wait to try. September 16, 2014 at 11:23am Reply

        • Victoria: Yes, that’s it! 🙂 September 16, 2014 at 11:34am Reply

  • Raquel: I Love this post! I just bought Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse based on your comments and I love it! Thank you. Caudalie is not sold in my country but it’s on my list as well as Monoi oil. May 24, 2015 at 3:11pm Reply

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