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.