Aroma M Beauty Camellia Hair Oil & Camellia Face Oil ~ scented body product review

Aroma M Beauty Camellia Oil for Hair & Face

Aroma M, a New York-based, Japan-influenced "niche" perfume house, has just released the first two products in its new Aroma M Beauty collection. I've been a fan of Aroma M's fragrances for a long time (my favorites are Geisha Violet and Geisha Marron), and I've recently become a convert to the idea of using oil treatments for hair and skin, so I was immediately looking forward to trying Aroma M's  Eastern-inspired Camellia Hair Oil and Camellia Face Oil.

According to the Aroma M website, "Camellia oil has been a Japanese beauty secret for centuries, and considered to be so beneficial and valuable that has become a symbol of wealth, virtue and happiness. It is made from cold pressed Japanese camellia (Tsubaki) buds, which is a member of the tea family." In addition to its camellia seed oil, Aroma M's Camellia Hair Oil contains virgin argan oil, golden jojoba oil, rosemary oil and tuberose oil, all organic. I don't know much about the centuries-old methods of Japanese haircare, or the significance of haircare within the Geisha tradition, but I can still enjoy the simple luxury of this product when I work it into my own (decidedly non-Geisha-like) hair. And it has a really exquisite tuberose scent, buttery yet delicate. I don't normally wear tuberose fragrances, but this is just enough tuberose, used just the right way, to enchant me.

Aroma M's Camellia Face Oil has a slightly longer list of ingredients, each with benefits for the skin: camellia seed oil, carrot seed oil, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, evening primrose oil, argan oil, vitamin E, and essential oils of jasmine, neroli, geranium and frankincense. I've tried applying it directly to my face or mixing a few drops into my usual evening moisturizer; either way, it absorbs quickly and smells dreamy. I don't usually wear much jasmine in my perfumes or body products, either, but this jasmine is smooth and soft, and its pairing with the neroli and geranium gives it a little brightness and freshness. The finished scent is still mostly jasmine-y, and slightly narcotic, but not overpowering. Just for the sake of contrast, I can't use the cult-favorite Rodin Olio Lusso face oil at bedtime: its scent is so strong that it keeps me awake, and its jasmine is so raw that it makes me a bit queasy. An evening application of  Camellia Face Oil, on the other hand, has just enough fragrance to influence my mood. It makes me imagine actual flowers and a Japanese garden in springtime, and the scent fades away as I'm drifting off into sleep.

Both products are packaged in glass bottles with droppers and labeled with patterned Japanese papers, which makes them all the more desirable. I particularly like using oil-based elixirs at this time of year, when we're shifting into colder, drier weather, and when I've drained my small samples of the Hair Oil and Face Oil I'll be tempted to purchase full-size bottles.

Aroma M Beauty Camellia Hair Oil ($65 for 40 ml) and Camellia Face Oil ($95 for 40 ml) are available through the Aroma M website. For further purchasing information, see the listing for Aroma M under Perfume Houses.

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  1. Kelly Red says:

    Okay, just a little tidbit about japanese hair care in the Edo period. The women wore multiple layers of thin silk, making a statement in their color choices. The fashions looked nothing like the current kimonos and were very flattering. Their hair was worn extremely long, never cut and often was below their waist or in highborn women to their ankles. They washed it and then sat in front of a wooden rack. Their hair was laid out on the rack to dry (imagine a wooden drying rack you see now a days, except more horizontal rather than vertical. After it was dry, the hair would be oiled with the above mentioned camillia oil and combed straight. Sometimes a small knot of hair was made on top, sometimes loops of hair at the side and often it was just left hanging straight. It was a very elegant look and highly unpractical, a desired effect to show wealth and standing. I would post a picture, but hey are easily found online.

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you so much for posting this! A wonderful summary!

    • Kelly Red says:

      I’m sorry I should have said PRE-Edo.

    • nozknoz says:

      Fascinating – thanks, Kelly Red!

    • Naie says:

      Lovely. I should remember this whenever I’m emerging from a cardio session at the gym and can’t be bothered to dry my hair.

  2. nozknoz says:

    These sound really nice, Jessica! Thanks for the review, and please take care during Hurricane Sandy.

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you, Noz! I appreciate that thought. We’re all stocked up and locked in, just hoping for minimal damage!

  3. maggiecat says:

    Stay safe, my friends on the East Coast! This face oil sounds wonderful, especially as the cold, dry weather approaches North Texas. Are samples available?

  4. annemarie says:

    These sound lovely, but too pricey for me so I’ll stick with Nuxe oil, which is wonderful. But I’m always interested in reading about oils. Sweet almond oil by itself works quite well for me, and is cheap of course, but it is not a dry oil so it has to be gently washed or wiped off. Oils always leave me feeling wonderfully pampered!

  5. jirish says:

    If anyone’s interested, you can buy bottles of pure camelia oil from Japan (I got mine on eBay) to be used on face, hair or body, and they cost a lot less. I believe my bottle was about $15. I found out about it when I was looking for a Japanese source of Shiseido’s Murasaki, which they no longer sell in the states.

  6. JolieFleurs says:

    Jessica, these sound fantastic! Where did you find sample sizes?

  7. bluegardenia says:

    Does ‘tuberose oil’ mean tuberose absolute?
    My understanding was that tuberoses can’t be steam distilled to create an essential oil, but rather are solvent extracted to create an absolute. (Maybe I’m being a stickler, but I like truth in advertising!)

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