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eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Indie Brand Spotlight: Jiva Apoha

Jiva Apoha founder, blender and healer Angela Shore has something very unique going with her body and face oils. So much so that a few of them have insinuated themselves into my life and my husband's life-- and their therapeutic benefits have pretty much rendered these products unmatched and irreplaceable. However, that's not the limitation of what is interesting about this brand, and the woman behind it.

[The lovely Angela Shore]

Jiva Apoha is a serendipitous mix of ancient Indian Ayurveda and Native American Indian Shamanism, pulling inspiration from many directions to create an ideal springboard for healing, and for helping to teach people how to heal themselves. Each oil blend has a story to tell, and they do tell-- using scent and powerful healing properties of essential oils. Combined with the physical action of increasing circulation with massage while applying the oil, it is quite literally a recipe for wellness.

1967 Body Oil
sandalwood, ginger, patchouli, vetiver, cinnamon bark in a base of sunflower oil
I'm going to start at the top, which for me, is 1967. It's the oil I fell in love with first (yet another nod to my girl Nav), and it was a classic but quite unexpected Proust exercise at first sniff. The combination of real Indian sandalwood and spices took me back to a place and time when good sandalwood was plentiful, and I bathed in it. It's the quickest route to a feeling of well-being and happiness, and it's the ideal antidote for depression and lethargy due to its warming and uplifting elements. Music inspires much of what Angela creates, and 1967 is the perfect example of that. I've been stuck on The Doors my whole life, so I understand how powerful the influence of music on creativity can be.

["Rock Shaman" Patti Smith]

Parutka (Joints) Body Oil
turmeric, lemongrass, eucalyptus and marjoram in a base of sweet almond oil
This oil takes joint pain away, and I'm saying that from experience. My husband swears by it too. I can never get him to use the products I have no matter what I do, until I somehow convinced him that this oil is like medicine. He now uses it every night before bed to ease the horrible foot and leg pain he has after a long day at work, and I use it on sore, inflamed knees. The act of massaging the oil in is a key element here, but the components of the oil itself have all kinds of wonderful properties: anti-inflammatory and pain relief being the two major ones. I've used body oils for quite some time, but I've never had physical pain relief from any, until now.

Atman (Spirit) Body Oil
frankincense, sandalwood, tulsi (holy basil), palo santo (holy wood), neroli in a base of sesame and sunflower oils
Atman is a close second to 1967 for me-- this one is the most effective sleep-aid I've ever used. I have bouts of insomnia occasionally, and when I'm feeling particularly restless, using Atman is perfectly sedating, with a scent that is reminiscent of the coolness of anise and the comforting voluptuousness of frankincense. Simply put, it's gorgeous. A generous slathering puts me in the exact state of mind I need to drift off to sleep.

Kama (Love) Body Oil
water lily, lotus, ylang ylang, black musk in a base of sesame and sunflower oils
This oil has an ultra-feminine, clean fragrance that feels purifying down to the very seat of the soul. I usually go for more unisex fragrances, or even masculine, but there are always exceptions. Kama satisfies the part of me that loves it when people say I smell amazing. On days that I use it, no perfume is needed-- it's the most beautiful of double-threats: effective skin care that smells like heaven.

Amma (Mother) Body Oil
sandalwood, palmarosa and jasmine in a base of sesame and sunflower oils
Amma has a subtle floral and woody aroma and is wonderful for times when you don't necessarily need or want to fragrance yourself very much. While the fragrance that is present is very soft, it's also scary-good, relaxing and calming. I can definitely see women from all walks, pregnant or not, of ANY age becoming very attached to the feeling of peace it promotes within. There's also a Baby Jiva oil, and I'm sort of wishing I knew someone who is pregnant right now so I can gift them a pair of Mom and Baby travel sizes.

Sundara (Beauty) Face Oil
sandalwood, jasmine, lavender, chamomile, rose in a base of grapeseed, jojoba and Vitamin E oils
I love the way this medium-weight facial oil balances my skin and creates a perfectly even canvas for applying makeup. It takes care of the areas of my face that tend to dry out very quickly and it's not so heavy that it leaves the surface of the skin slick. It walks that tightrope for us while we get to enjoy the relaxing floral scent. I've also had great success mixing a few drops into moisturizer and also foundation/concealer. A great facial treatment oil for all skin types. There is also a Sundara (Handsome) Face Oil meant for men that contains lots of interesting things.

It's also worth mentioning that Angela does customized body oils that she creates based on how you answer a questionnaire at the time of purchase, and it only costs about $25-$45 more than the regular oil blends for an 8oz bottle.

Jiva Apoha's offerings are a thoughtfully conceived, well-edited and executed collection of healing oils. I'm impressed with how these oils make my skin feel and look even and calm, and how they do the same for my mood. Maybe part of it is that Angela is an accomplished holistic healer and that she imbues each bottle with positivity. Whatever it is that's making me feel like a million bucks, I want more of it.

[8oz bottles are priced between $105 and $140, with a custom-blended option for $165. 2oz travel sizes range from $45 to $53. Sundara face oils are $105. Samples provided by Jiva Apoha for my consideration.]

note: the 2oz travel size bottles last quite awhile


  1. I cannot get enough of Kama! On my second supersized bottle of this sweet clean feel oil, I'm now on the prowl for a similar scent. The white musk just had me at hello!

    1. Kama is SO pretty. I just go crazy over 1967 and Atman. Bonkers, I tell you! :)

  2. Sounds interesting Carrie. Does she ship overseas ? Especially the face oil sounds wonderful.


    1. Hi Esperanza, Jiva does not currently ship internationally, but there are plans to do so in the near future. Thanks for your comment!

  3. I use a few Jiva Apoha products and I absolutely love them! I have super dry skin and usually fall and winter are terrible for me and my skin actually hurts from dryness. Since I've started using the Jiva Apoha products last winter, I feel like my skin is much more resilient against the cold weather and I smell amazing too! Worth every penny!

    1. Hi Tatiana! Thanks so much for commenting! Jiva oils worked very quickly for me (and husband) to restore skin barriers- that's one of the things that impresses me so much. The best part is that you really want to use these oils every day because there is instant gratification and a feeling of well-being, so Angela has made proper skin care super easy to stick with!