Facial Mists (Naturally Fragrant and Unscented)

In the grand scheme of skincare, facial mist didn’t seem to me like a relevant item, particularly since I associated it with plain water spritzers. This would change after my sojourn in Japan. While I was in Tokyo studying the kodo incense ceremony, I had plenty of time to explore Japan’s vibrant beauty scene. This is how I discovered that my facial mist ideas were rather out of date.

Forget water in a canister! Modern mists address many skincare needs, from radiance to hydration. It may sound like a tall order, but it reflects a particular approach Japanese women take towards skincare—layering. The idea is to start with the lightest product in terms of texture and then build up the layers to the moisturizing cream, before ending with sunscreen. In this routine, mist can be used as a first step, a boost throughout the day or for setting makeup after touchups.

I have since adapted the layering technique to my own needs and found several European brands that offer interesting products. My favorite mists are hydrating and refreshing. Also, they can function as an aromatherapy session on the go. The latter is the reason why a bottle of rosewater is always in my purse. I usually buy natural distillate from a Middle Eastern grocery store or pharmacy, paying attention that the ingredient list includes nothing but distilled rosewater, and decant it into a portable spray container. One of the best rosewaters is made by Mymouné, a Lebanese women’s cooperative. Its scent is velvety and rich, and one spritz is all it takes for everything to come up roses—and to soothe the skin.

An ideal ingredient for sensitive and dry skin, rosewater can also be found in a variety of blended mists. One example is Omorovicza The Queen of Hungary’s Water. It’s based on a 14th century recipe which was allegedly commissioned by Elizabeth of Hungary to keep her skin beautiful and attract the heart of a much younger king. Apart from the fact that nobody really knows who this perfume obsessed Elizabeth of Hungary was, the story is charming. While the original Hungarian water consisted of spirits and herbal tinctures, Omorovicza offers an alcohol-free toner. Besides rosewater, it includes orange blossom and sage leaf distillates, and glycerin to capture moisture. I use The Queen of Hungary’s Water both as the first layer before serum and moisturizer and later in the day to hydrate my skin further. The uplifting, bright scent is an additional pleasure.

Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence is another rosewater based product, and in addition to many interesting ingredients like hyaluronic acid (hydration), gotu kola (anti-inflammatory) and willow bark extract (mild exfoliation), it features a generous dose of aloe vera juice. Floral Essences is one of the most moisturizing mists I’ve tried, and it smells delightfully of rose petals and citrusy lavender.

I admit that I sampled May Lindstrom’s The Jasmine Garden Botanical Mist mostly because of the jasmine part.  I was not to be disappointed, and besides jasmine, I also discovered a new beautiful toner. It calms any redness and leaves skin soft and smooth. Like the other products that I’ve mentioned, it doesn’t contain alcohol or artificial perfumes; its base components of jasmine, rose, ylang ylang and vanilla essences give it a creamy white floral fragrance. This potion takes me to the gardens of Andalusia, proving conclusively that hydration and wanderlust can be satisfied simultaneously.

But what if you have sensitive skin and prefer to avoid essential oils or simply don’t like scented products? In this case, I would suggest either Bioderma Sensibio Eau Dermatologique or Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray. The former is similar to the classic Evian spray, except that it contains an extra cocktail of soothing ingredients. Clinique’s mist includes aloe vera and glycerin, thus making good on its promise of “moisture surge”. Both are excellent.

What is your favorite skincare product?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin



  • Meredith Russell: Great post- now I am on the hunt for the perfect mist to go. I appreciate you list of recommendations as a starting point! March 6, 2023 at 9:49am Reply

  • Aurora: Your choices all sound like such treats, Victoria. I often use a simple rose water as a toner but when I want more of a treatment water I use Embryolisse Eau de beauté Rosamélis which combines rose, bleuet, hammamelis and orange flower. March 6, 2023 at 3:37pm Reply

  • Iryna: I’m thinking of mixing rose water with glycerin for a facial spray. Anybody tried this? March 7, 2023 at 9:08am Reply

  • Sandra: recently back from Morocco and orange blossom mists are everywhere and I brought back some as both a momento and to remember the many smells of Marrakech
    My favorite one is by a brand called Nectarome
    I have sensitive skin and this hasn’t been a bother
    They don’t sell this in the US, but if you have something similar in mind do let me know when I run out… March 7, 2023 at 9:31am Reply

  • Marita: Most of the professional skin care lines have scented mists with hydrating and vitamin ingredients. After cleansing and exfoliation this step is adjusting the skin PH making the serum absorption more effective.
    So the mist is not only a pleasant olfactory step but a very important part of the effective product layering. March 7, 2023 at 10:03am Reply

  • OperaFan: I use both of Caudalie’s Beauty Elixer and Grape Water, as well as simple rosewater in a spray bottle.
    I’d love some suggestions of Japanese branded beauty mists and essences (preferably scented) as I have signed up for a Japan tour this summer. March 7, 2023 at 10:29am Reply

  • Julia: I love face mists and it’s nice to try different ones. Do you know where the Mymouné Rosewater or the Hungary water are available to buy in the US? Thank you! Julia March 7, 2023 at 3:19pm Reply

  • behemot: Herbivore also makes a Jasmine mist, and it is for oily and combination skin. They also have Rose mist for all skin types, probably mixed with coconut. I also like Elemis peach toner, which is a mist and very delicate and refreshing. Chantecaille’s mists, orange blossom mist, and rose water mist are lovely but insanely priced, and they are not worth the money, IMHO. March 8, 2023 at 12:16am Reply

  • Nancy Chan: My favourite facial mist is by Alteya Organics. Rosa Alba distilled from white roses , a by product from rose essential oil production. The scent is a lovely fruity lychee rose which makes this mist makes so gorgeous to use.

    Mymoune orange blossom water is another one I have tried, and is also lovely. I have yet to try their rosewater as a facial mist. I have tried their lovely rose jam!🙂

    Jurlique also produces facial mists. Rose is really nice, but contains alcohol which I prefer to avoid, and I really like their sweet violet and grapefruit mist. March 8, 2023 at 7:05am Reply

  • Trudy: Just a question regarding the Mymoune rose water. I found it on the Mymoune website but it says it is for cooking. Is this the same rose water you are referring to? I want to order it but just want to make sure I’m ordering the correct product. Thank you for the great post. I love facial mists and have used several different types. My favorite is rosewater and the Mymoune sounds so nice. March 9, 2023 at 6:45pm Reply

  • Silvermoon: I enjoy using face mists especially in the summer months. I have the Queen of Hungary Water mentioned in Victoria’s post, and it’s very pleasant to use. I also use Jurlique’ rose water mist, Forest Essential’s Vetiver face mist (sadly discontinued for now), Mario Badescu’s Aloe, chamomile and lavender mist, an
    among others. I also find the plain Evian face mist greatly refreshing especially when traveling on long haul flights.

    I will try to locate the mymoune which sounds lovely. Will also check the Clinique Moisture Surge. March 13, 2023 at 6:22pm Reply

  • Mariann: I cant access any of the French ones here in Chile, La Roche Posay and Caudalie being two favorites. But I found a wonderful local brand here in Chile, Tessa, whose vitamin C mist I adore. Not sure how much it does but it smells beautifully with some rose as well. March 19, 2023 at 12:38pm Reply

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