After I wrote my review of i Profumi di Firenze Frangipane e Cocco last week, I started craving a fragrance that actually smelled like frangipani. I couldn't find anything fitting that description in my sample drawer, and then I remembered the sample packets of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse that I had tucked into the bathroom cupboard a month or two ago. Voilà! Just the kind of thing I'd had in mind, even if it came in the form of a body product.
Nuxe is celebrating Huile Prodigieuse's twentieth anniversary this year with a limited edition bottle and a bit of fanfare over its "multi-usage dry oil." This product can be used to moisturize the body, hair and face; it's a blend of "six precious oils" (borage, St. John's wort, sweet almond, camellia, hazelnut and macadamia) as well as other botanical extracts and synthetic ingredients. To my nose, and my imagination, Huile Prodigieuse has a "fancy French suntan oil" smell: a breath of neroli, a drizzle of coconut milk, a shimmer of musk. And, yes, it features a creamy note of frangipane (or tiare) flower petals!
Huile Prodigieuse's scent doesn't cling too long to the skin or hair, but it's heavenly while it lasts. It might even inspire me to seek out Nuxe's more recent release Progidieux Le Parfum, a perfume version of the oil's fragrance developed by Serge Majouillier with a composition of bergamot, mandarin, orange blossom, rose, gardenia, magnolia, mineral accord, vanilla and coconut milk. (If you've already tried Progidieux, do comment!)
I can't help thinking that Caudalie's Divine Oil, which was launched in 2012, is intended as a competitor to Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse. It's another dry oil that boasts a recipe of botanical oils (in this case, grapeseed, argan, sesame and hibiscus oils), and it's also recommended for use on the body, face and hair. It has a similar texture to the Nuxe oil and it feels just as luxurious and works just as well. However, it has a completely different scent: Divine Oil's fragrance is a woody floral composed by Jacques Cavallier, with notes of rose, grapefruit, pink pepper, cedar, vanilla and white musk.
Divine Oil is more intensely scented than I expected, and its fragrance is deep and complex enough to suggest an actual perfume. The rose is a true rose note with a dusting of pepper, and it gradually dissolves to make way for the warm cedar, subtle vanilla and woodsy musk, with just a hint of lingering citrus to lighten things up. It's a sophisticated, feminine blend, yet it merges with my skin in a way that no chain-store scented body oil will ever do. If you were in the mood for a subtle veil of fragrance, you could apply this product, let it sink in, and skip applying actual perfume.
These two oils convey very different moods with their fragrances: Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse is definitely tropical and carefree, and Caudalie's Divine Oil has a more classic (but not stuffy) feel. I like both, for different occasions or times of year. When I finish my samples, I'll have to decide which one will be my first full-size purchase.