scented oils: 5 posts

5 Scented Ways to Put The World on Pause

“Take a pause,” says my mother when I complain about some specific problem or just the general stress that wears me down. She means inhaling deeply, tuning out all of the worries and giving myself a break. It’s a simple concept, and I like the image of the whole world around me freezing in mid-movement as I readjust myself and regain balance.  Scents often make my breaks more satisfying, even if they are nothing more than a pellet of aromatic resin or a few drops of floral water.

sandalwood chips

Sandalwood and Cashmere

If you want your garments to smell of roses and cream, tuck a few sandalwood chips in your closet; wool and other natural fabrics absorb the scents readily, and the fact that sandalwood repels moths is a bonus point. Picking up a sweater and inhaling its perfume jolts me out of my sleepy state in the morning as I select my outfit and it instantly puts me in a better mood. Since I’m cranky before my first cup of tea, anything that makes me more socially adjusted in the morning is worth its weight in gold.  Catching a delicate whiff of sandalwood throughout the day is such a comfort.

Continue reading →

Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum : Perfume Review


Whenever I see a product described as a cult favorite, I’m instantly skeptical. The pink and green Maybelline mascara is the worst thing I’ve put on my lashes. Rosebud salve in its pretty retro tin dries out my lips. Nars Orgasm blush is just OK. The exception for me is Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil from French skincare & cosmetics firm Nuxe, and it fully lives up to its “cult favorite” label. It’s a seaside vacation in a bottle. The oil leaves skin soft and shimmering, not at all greasy, and applying the golden liquid feels like a luxury spa treatment.


Besides the nourishing and moisturizing benefits, fans of Nuxe oil adore its frangipani and coconut perfume. It’s sophisticated and rich, a tangle of white petals and coconut flakes. I’ve always thought that it’s good enough to be in a perfume bottle, and a couple of years ago Nuxe decided to do just that. The company turned to the same perfumer who created the beloved Nuxe oil scent, Serge Majoullier, and asked him to blend Prodigieux, Le Parfum*.

Continue reading →

How to Make Your Own Scented Lotion and Body Cream

One thing that never tempts me at the fragrance counter is the expensive selection of scented creams and the other matching body products offered in perfume sets. The trained sales associates will usually pitch them as “making the perfume last better” or “being a great value,” but I remain skeptical. A good fragrance should linger well on its own, and my hard-earned money can go further by being spent on something more useful (like another bottle of perfume!) Body lotions and shower gels can easily be sacrificed, especially if my budget needs to be kept in check.


That being said, I still love the ritual of applying scented lotion to my skin. In the evening, I massage away the fatigue accumulated during the day, enjoying the sensation of fragrant cream melting under my fingers.  It’s such a simple pleasure that it feels wrong not to indulge oneself.  The good news is that perfumed lotions are easy to make, and as long as you don’t require fancy packaging, you can enjoy your perfume in a variety of ways.

Continue reading →

Rose and Vanilla Almond Oil Treatment For Lustrous Skin

The first thing that I found interesting about Brussels was not its Manneken Pis mascot (chalk it up to the uniquely Bruxellois sense of fun) and not even the common sight of beer drinking at 8am (chalk it up to the grey weather). It was the dense concentration of beauty and hair salons. Every street, whether elegant or run down, has several of them, ranging from omnipresent franchises like Olivier Dachkin to tiny hole in the wall places that look like someone’s living room. Judging by the perfectly coiffed and perfumed grandmothers, age has no bearing on the desire to be beautiful.

The women in my family take their beauty rituals seriously, but spas and luxury salon treatments rarely tempt them. Ask my mom or my grandmother about their tips for silky hair or luminous skin, and you will get a lecture, along with handwritten recipes. My great grandmother left behind several thick notebooks filled with beauty and health advice. Nothing can inspire me to take better care of myself than leafing through the yellowing pages that smell of vanilla and sawdust and wondering if as a young woman, my great grandmother really made hair masks of egg yolks and cognac and rubbed her hands with cucumber juice, as she advises in her delicate, loopy handwriting. The recipe I follow most often is a simple almond oil treatment. The note next to it says, “will make your skin as lustrous as mother of pearl,” and it was all the incentive I needed to go to the store and buy a bottle.

Continue reading →

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.


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.

Continue reading →

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Tourmaline in 10 Favorite Modern Patchouli Fragrances: Hi Frances, What a wonderful word to describe strong fragrances – “bombastic”! I wear my bombastic perfumes in cold weather. With kind regards, Tourmaline October 21, 2021 at 6:35am

  • Tourmaline in 10 Favorite Modern Patchouli Fragrances: Hi Jeanne, Well that’s interesting… I didn’t know that Les Néréides created perfume. I only knew the brand for the pretty jewellery that I’ve bought from a TV shopping network… October 21, 2021 at 6:29am

  • Monika in 10 Favorite Modern Patchouli Fragrances: Paestum Rose is extraordinary — to quote Chandler Burr — it “unfolds with a scented crepuscular darkness, a twilight that is an exact balance of disappearing sunlight and incipient evening.… October 20, 2021 at 7:27pm

  • Michele in Top Classical Patchouli Perfumes : Part 1 Patchouli: Michele: Victoria, could you review Mandy Aftel’s Bergamoss Solid. It’s a Chypres and she said she created it to be like ones first created. I’d really like to know. Thank… October 20, 2021 at 5:42pm

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2021 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy