The Beauty of Scent, Scrutinized for Pleasure

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Scented Skin Care: the little things matter

As someone who really gets my jollies out of perfume, I really appreciate it when the little things I use every day, like lip balm or face cream, give me a fragrant boost. There are some companies that really understand that the short time we all take to satisfy our daily needs is just another opportunity to show just how much potential there is in every moment. The products I have listed below all make me happy, and are small indulgences I can highly recommend. Their fragrances are all distinctive, yet don't interfere with my perfume. In short, we've got ourselves some (mostly) cheap thrills here.

Pangaea Organics Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom lip balm- $12
The scent of French lavender with its slightly fruity nuances is incredibly authentic here, and coupled with the gentle spicy warmth of cardamom, it's truly delightful. The balm itself is soft and spreads easily, and comes in a convenient oversized stick form. All lovers of lavender must try.

Decleor Aroma Solutions Nourishing Lip Balm- $16
Luxury takes hold with a more complex blend of oils, essences and resins: Hazelnut, rice and macadamia oils, barley grain, vanilla and tonka bean, petitgrain and cinnamon. These sound like notes in a beautiful perfume to me, but in lip balm form, it translates as slightly naughty. I was curious to see if the tonka would be noticeable, and it is, thankfully. No one essence in this concoction dominates, it is a natural and sophisticated blend that is perfectly paired with the silky texture of the balm that comes out of the squeeze tube. This is quite possibly one of the best lip balms I've ever tried.

Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse Enrichie Anti-Fatigue Moisturizing Day Cream- $35
Do you love the scent of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil? Yeah, I do too. It's got a soft jasmine and warm skin scent that no one else can duplicate. Women all over the world clamor for the stuff; it makes skin satin-soft, and it disappears into damp skin leaving no greasy residue. And, most importantly, the fragrance is to die for. That's why when Nuxe decided to create a Prodigieuse facial care line, I was definitely interested. The cream itself provides fabulous, rapidly-absorbing, long-lasting moisture for dry skin and has antioxidants and sweet almond oil for nourishment. The fragrance of the cream is true to the dry oil, and lasts longer than you might expect on the skin. It's not overwhelming in the least, but it will last several hours.

Kisu Lip Balm- $7
This lip balm is available through the DSH Perfumes website, and although Dawn does not make it herself, she's addicted to it just like I am, so she decided she had to sell it through her website. It has the scent of pure Italian neroli essential oil, and that's it. The texture of the balm (in stick form) is very soft and melts onto the lips. The fragrance and the formula itself are so incredibly soothing, it's the closest thing to an instant pick-me-up that I have come across. It's brilliant, and a steal at $7.

Ren Frankincense and Boswellia Serrata Revitalizing Repair Night Cream- $55
This is a night treatment cream that I've used on and off for a couple of years. The fragrance, for lovers of frankincense, is just gorgeous. It's very raw and natural-smelling, herbal, resinous and incredible for a facial massage. Initially I was concerned about my sensitive skin reacting to the frankincense, but it's actually very calming to my skin. Ren products are a bit on the pricey side, but they are really gorgeous and worth the money in my opinion. This is a dead-of-winter must.

Clarins Huile Santal- $50
This is my most recent acquisition, recommended to me by the author of one of my most favorite blogs ever, Beauty Huile. Out of all the facial oils in the world she said unequivocally that for me, it should be Clarins. She was spot on. I really like a heavier texture in facial oils because my skin is dry and I don't like to use a lot of products at one time on my skin. The Santal oil has a base of hazelnut oil and plumps up my skin and makes it as soft as silk and feeling toned. Lately, I've been using it for facial massage at night, and when I wake up in the morning, my complexion has officially ditched the redness it usually has, and instead I have an even skin tone that's as cool as a cucumber. The fragrance is mostly lavender, but there is also cardamom and traces of woodiness- I can't say I can identify it as sandalwood, though. If there were natural sandalwood essence in this oil, the amount probably wouldn't be enough to stand above the lavender to be noticed. The fragrance is relaxing in the way that only lavender seems to be able to pull off, and the quality of the product is excellent. Clarins makes a couple of other facial oils for other skin types as well.

I'd love to know what scented skin care products you use! Please comment below and dish, because obsessed minds NEED to know.

[I was not compensated for these reviews, all opinions are my own and products were purchased by myself with the exception of the Nuxe Prodigieuse Cream, which was a press sample sent to me by the company]


  1. It's not scented (or, at least, the scent is extremely subtle), but I really like Nude lipbalm. The container is somewhat awkward but the texture is just right for me, and causes no irritation. I have sensitive lips and sometimes flavors and sunscreens make my lips red and itchy: both uncomfortable and unattractive.

    As for beauty products with yummy smells: I love the Body Shop almond and brazil nut body butters. And Bigelow Winter Lemon lotion.

  2. Favourite lip balm would be by Cle de Peau - unscented but perfect for sensitive and dry lips! Other than that I love MOR Cosmetics shower gel and body lotion (I have both Snow Gardenia and Casis Noir), their scent lingers on and doesn't cause irritation. The other one is L'Occitane almond body wash ~love the smell, but I haven't used it for a while as I am using Mor now.

    Cheers, Jo (@JoanneSun)

  3. Elisa- I've been wanting to try Nude skin care for some time, maybe I should start with the lip balm. Thanks for the recommendation! And I'm with you on The Body Shop butters, they are all great.

  4. Joanne- I must try the Cle de Peau lip balm, it sounds fantastic.

    I love almond scented bath and body products- I tend to go for that type of gourmand scent for the bath, especially.

  5. Thank you, thank you, always, Carrie. BTW: I have the Decleor lip balm, second to none in its feathery fine texture.

  6. PS to @JoanneSun: I've have tried to lobby Mor Cosmetics to come stateside. Extraordinary scents, oils and balms. They just landed at Nordstroms with their fragrance, but I still want my oils in house.

  7. N.K.- the Decleor lip balm is just killing me with awesomeness. It's got a very similar texture to La Mer lip balm, but the scent is more fabulous and it's a lot less expensive. Got to love that!

  8. Eek, take a look at La Mer's ingredients: Petrolatum: Had the same balm, but like you, love scented anything.

  9. Yikes. I actually find that the Decleor has that fine texture plus it lasts longer on the lips. Another great lip balm is Clark's Botanicals Ultra-Rich Lip Balm. It's slightly oilier in texture, but it's amazing. The only thing is the scent, it's on the "meh" side.

  10. Girl, tomorrow's post is on Clark's Ultra Rich Lip Tints balm! These have an intriguing blend of Vanilla and Jasmine (Grandiflorum) extracts.

  11. Synchronicity, Lawd! I've only used the non-tinted one, but something about the scent being on my lips bothered me. It's not a bad scent at all, it just doesn't *taste* very good. I can overlook it though, because the balm itself is so good.

  12. By the way, N.K., Clark's Botanicals Soothing Herbal Face Wash is pretty much my favorite cleanser. Have you tried it?

  13. Nothing comes to mind for me to add, but I love these recommedations ! :)
    I will definitely give them a try.

  14. I'm the opposite of you - I prefer unscented face products. Or at the very least, short-lived scents. I tested a line of rose-scented face creams/eye creams and hated it -- too rosy! I am tempted by the Clarins Huile Santa for some reason, though. Thanks for the tip! :)

  15. Carrie, have you tried the Dr. Bronner's soap in almond? The smell is awesome. I use it to wash delicates. Works in the shower too.

  16. I always get a little tired of my scented skincare and haven't met one I've loved until the end. The Decleor lip balm sounds wonderful - I'll have to try that out!

  17. I love the scent of the Chanel Hydromax + skincare line. I have uber sensitive (eczema proned) skin and luckily the Chanel skincare line never gave me a bad reaction...if only it were more affordable.

    I received a deluxe sample of the Ren Frankense and Bosellia Night Cream...I think it made me break out or it could have been the Eve Lom cleanser I was also testing.

    I love the clean scent of the NIA24 UVA/UVB SPF 30, so the opposite of most sunscreens I have used in the past. I want to try more of their products.